How did Kathy's Islamic faith serve her after Hurricane Katrina?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Dave Eggers' nonfiction book Zeitoun,  Kathy is an American who converts from Christianity to Islam. Her conversion to the Islamic faith is for both spiritual and intellectual reasons, and occurs before she meets her husband, Abdulrahman Zeitoun. As Kathy immerses herself in the tradition, she discovers that...

Get
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In Dave Eggers' nonfiction book Zeitoun, Kathy is an American who converts from Christianity to Islam. Her conversion to the Islamic faith is for both spiritual and intellectual reasons, and occurs before she meets her husband, Abdulrahman Zeitoun. As Kathy immerses herself in the tradition, she discovers that in many ways, Islam is quite similar to Christianity. Her conversion is largely a learning process in which she realizes that many of the things she thought about the Islamic faith were incorrect assumptions.

As Kathy further immerses herself in Islam, she does so with curiosity and open-mindedness. Those attitudes serve her well throughout the trying times of Hurricane Katrina and the unfounded, brutal detention of her husband Zeitoun.  

Before Hurricane Katrina made landfall, Kathy and her children went to Phoenix, Arizona for safety. There, they stayed with Yuko, another American convert to Islam. Yuko supports Kathy and the children throughout the hurricane and Zeitoun's detention. Yuko's support throughout the process is extremely helpful to Kathy. The relationship between these two women began in childhood, and the women remained bonded throughout (and as a result of) both of their conversions to Islam. 
 
Kathy's open mind and fierce personality seem to motivate her the most throughout the novel, particularly in trying and difficult times, such as Hurricane Katrina and Zeitoun's arrest. Kathy's personality was a gateway through which she decided to convert to Islam. Her personality is the largest motivating force that allowed her to get through the hurricane and the prolonged separation from Zeitoun.
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team