The University of Iowa

'Zeitoun' selected for 2011 'One Community, One Book'

June 9th, 2011

Dave Eggers’ book “Zeitoun” is the 2011 selection for “One Community, One Book,” a project sponsored by the UI Center for Human Rights (UICHR) that promotes learning about human rights in the United States and the world through literature.

“Zeitoun” is the story of the Zeitoun family during the Hurricane Katrina aftermath in New Orleans. Abdulrahman Zeitoun is a Syrian-American with a successful contracting business in New Orleans. While using his canoe to help families still in their homes, he is arrested by armed guards. The reason is unclear until a guard accuses him of being in al-Qaida. Then Zeitoun realizes that race and culture may explain his arrest.

Launched in 2001 by UICHR founders Dorothy Paul and Burns Weston, “One Community, One Book” is an annual community-wide reading project coordinated by the UICHR, a part of International Programs at the University of Iowa. The goal of the project is to encourage people to read and discuss the selected book to develop a greater community awareness of human rights issues locally, nationally and globally.

For more information, contact Joan Nashelsky at 319-335-3900 or