Zeitoun Essay

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Despite warnings of evacuation, Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian-American owner of a painting and contracting company in New Orleans, chose to stay when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. During his canoe trip journey after Katrina, Zeitoun encountered many people who were trapped in their homes and in need of his help. Risking his life to save others, Zeitoun was falsely accused of stealing and dealing drugs because of his race. In Zeitoun, Dave Eggers portrays the view that America has towards Muslim people and how people are treated unjustly simply because of how they look. A few days after Katrina hit, the levees broke, leaving the trapped civilians in shock and poverty. People who remained in the city had little resources, causing many people to break into other homes and stores to find whatever they can to survive. Zeitoun sailed on his canoe around the city and helped people who were trapped in their homes, including two dogs that were left behind by their owners. He felt that he was unable to leave his business because he felt responsible for the damaged houses throughout the duration of the storm. Also, Zeitoun felt that his home was "worth fighting for" (70) Zeitoun believed that by staying in New Orleans, he felt as if this opportunity was given to him by God to help the people who were still trapped in the city. The National Guards showed up at Zeitoun’s house with guns, assuming that Zeitoun and his friends were part of the Al Qaeda. The guards forcefully tackled them to the ground and arrested them. The National Guards did not inform them why they were being arrested and taken into custody. Zeitoun was taken to an interrogation room where he was stripped naked and his rectum searched for imported goods. They were forced to sleep on the ground and could not touch the jail bars or there would be consequences. Zeitoun was accused of terrorist activity, thus he and his friends were treated inhumanly. During the brutal treatment...
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