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Home Is Where The Heart Belongs: Zeitoun

1275 words - 6 pages

“Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other. It is the place of confidence. It is the place where we tear off that mask of guarded and suspicious coldness which the world forces us to wear in self-defense, and where we pour out the unreserved communications of full and confiding hearts. It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush out without any sensation of awkwardness and without any dread of ridicule”, said Frederick W. Robertson. Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, emphasizes the crisis during and after Hurricane Katrina, the sixth strongest hurricane in American history. The story narrates the experience of the Zeitoun and his family, the plot describes the family’s feelings, perspective and problems they had to face during and after the natural disaster. Islamophobia and the importance of home is affected through the events and situations that the two main character, Kathy and Zeitoun, had to live with during and after the dreadful natural disaster Hurricane Katrina.

Islamophobia according to dictionary.com is defined as hatred or fear of Muslims or of their politics or culture. Before reading Zeitoun I wasn't aware of how big islamophobia was, however as I read this novel I realized how awful it is. Living in these circumstances is harsh. Zeitoun and his family had a huge obstacle in front of them everyday. Islamophobia influences the actions and decisions the family takes during the hurricane. For example, when Kathy leaves New Orleans to Baton Rouge, her mother insists that she doesn't need to wear the hijab. “‘Why don’t you take off that thing and relax’ she said pointing to Kathy’s hijab. ‘He’s not here. Be yourself.’” (p. 106) Be yourself. Kathy is trying to be herself, she adopted the Islam living and became a Muslim in a Catholic family. Those little details and words are how islamophobia is caused and how it affects Muslims. For that reason, Kathy decides to leave Baton Rouge and head to Phoenix were her best friend, Yuko, lives. There she feels secure because Yuko is also a Muslim and she doesn't have to hide who she really is. Furthermore, when Zeitoun is surprisingly sent to prison because they suspected he is an al Qaeda. “‘Why are we here?’ he asked a passing soldier. ‘You guys are al Qaeda,’ the soldier said. Zeitoun had long feared this day would come.” (p. 212) This shows how most Americans are intolerant of different types of races. Specially after 9/11 they have a fear relating Middle East descendants. “Racism is beyond common sense and has no place in our society.”, said Steven Patrick Morrissey. In conclusion, islamophobia played a huge rule in the novel because of it the family had to take radical decisions to reform there life style during and after Hurricane Katrina.

Home isn't the physical infrastructure design by an architecture, but where family is. Home is where one feels comfortable, where one isn't afraid to show its true colors, and where one is allowed to express their...

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