AbdulRahman Zeitoun is an iconic American Muslim. But if you tell him this, he will shrug and change the subject. He doesn’t talk much about the book written about him or the animated movie that is in the works (directed by Oscar winner Jonathan Demme). He’d rather talk about his painting company or the masjid that he helps run.
For those who are not familiar with Zeitoun, I strongly recommend picking up the book about his life before and after Hurricane Katrina – Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. Zeitoun stayed in New Orleans during the vicious hurricane and rode out the storm. After the levees broke and chaos ensued, he was arrested and held in maximum security prison for three weeks. I read the book last Ramadan during our New York City trek and was surprised at how much the book reminded me of God and his countenance.
I met him yesterday at Masjid Rehma near Tulane University and followed him as he visited his job sites and broke his fast at the mosque.