Thursday, August 26, 2010

Book Review: Zeitoun

I just finished Zeitoun and loved it. This true story is set in 2005 in New Orleans, in pre & post Katrina.

Through the story of one man’s experience after Hurricane Katrina, Eggers draws an indelible picture of Bush-era crisis management. Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a successful Syrian-born painting contractor, decides to stay in New Orleans and protect his property while his family flees. After the levees break, he uses a small canoe to rescue people, before being arrested by an armed squad and swept powerlessly into a vortex of bureaucratic brutality. When a guard accuses him of being a member of Al Qaeda, he sees that race and culture may explain his predicament. (NYT)

I was so shocked reading this book that this actually the US. It was eye opening to the craziness that went on post-Katrina, despite having seen the Spike Lee documentary.

It also reminded me how quickly we are to judge & stereotype when we are undeducated about something. I would bet that most Americans think 'terrorist' when they hear the words Muslim, Islam, Afghanistan, Middle East, Arab. But, how much do most people really know about any of those things. The Taliban is a terror group within Afghanistan, but that doesn't mean that everyone in that country is a part of it. They don't like the Taliban either. It's like how we have the KKK in the US - not everyone is a part of it. Wouldn't you be so mad if someone from say, Australia, thought everyone from the US was in the KKK?

Loved the book. Excited the author is coming to SF in October & hope to go see him speak.

No comments: