I’d read several great reviews about Zeitoun & thoroughly enjoy a true story that is even more engaging that than fiction. The eye-opening and heart-wrenching story of a Muslim man and his family struggling to survive through and after Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans is a story of the triumph of the human spirit and the cataclysmic failure of our government in the wake pure devastation. Born and raised a devout Muslim in Syria, the story of how Zeitoun immigrated to the states, married a white woman who converted to Islam and how they successfully started a construction business is itself fascinating.
Everybody knows how any story about one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit the US ends, but I enjoyed the journey as they re-lived their rational for staying (Zeitoun) and for packing up the kids to stay with relatives (his wife). Obviously nobody anticipated the scale and magnitude of the devastation caused by the flooding, but to hear the first hand stories and how Zeitoun witnessed both tragedy and triumph in the days following the storm is engrossing. With his survival and handyman skills, he weathers the storm just fine and then assists in rescues for several days before an unexpected twist sends him to an unimaginable hell and conditions that are hard to believe existed in our country. The depth of the heartache that he and his wife endure makes the story engaging and provides a human connection to the terror that so many people simply watched unfold on television. I’m still pondering about the take-away from this book. I feel it should be more than just an entertaining read & that I really hope changes were made so that this type of situation, both the original flooding & the subsequent lawlessness (of both civilians and law enforcement officers themselves), will never happen again. He did start a foundation to help rebuild New Orleans and to focus on human rights issues in the process. I highly recommend this book if you want to read fascinating on a dark period in our country’s history.
GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: Working this morning, but hopefully getting up the Woodlands for the art festival this afternoon.