NOLA NOW: A Trip With Zeitoun

August 31, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Video and Editing By Josh Parr, Nicolette Schleisman and Kassi Schmitt

The NOLA Now team spent Sunday morning with Abdulrahman Zeitoun as he drove us around the city and explained his experiences from the book ‘Zeitoun.’ Specific places we visited were the house where he fed the dogs every day, the house on Claiborne where he was arrested, and Camp Greyhound where Zeitoun was taken and held for three days under miserable conditions. For more on Zeitoun’s experience read Josh Parr’s story in Wednesday’s Daily Campus.

NOLA Now: A Trip with Zeitoun from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

NOLA Now: Zeitoun Says ‘Everything Happened For A Purpose’

August 29, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Our NOLA Now travelers interviewed Abdulrahman Zeitoun, the main character of the first-year common reading, and his wife Kathy at the couple’s New Orleans home. In this video, Daily Campus online editor Josh Parr gives a preview of the full interview, which will be posted later Sunday.

“With Katrina, I think everything happens for a purpose; I stayed here for a reason, I go to jail for a reason, everything God desired of me perfectly,” Zeitoun said.

NOLA Now: Zeitoun from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Here’s reporter Kassi Schmitt’s take on the Zeitoun interview:

Abdulrahman Zeitoun and his wife, Kathy, stand in front of the couple's New Orleans home. Both were featured prominently in this year's SMU freshman common reading, 'Zeitoun'. (PHOTO BY KASSI SCHMITT / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Our time is quickly winding down here as day two comes to a close. After our adventures in the 9th ward this morning, we headed over to a different neighborhood in NOLA to interview Abdulrahman Zeitoun, the man whose Hurricane Katrina story was the subject of this year’s freshman reading novel. The common reading novel for the incoming freshman was entitled Zeitoun and told the compelling tale of how he stayed behind after the storm hit and used a canoe to travel around the neighborhood he could so easily walk around in before. He talked about his experience the days following the storm and the time he was approached by two men with guns and taken to prison without being able to contact his wife. Zeitoun and his wife went through so much in such a short period of time, yet remained optimistic and hopeful throughout their whole experience. We spoke to them for almost two hours and sat at the edge of our seats for every minute of the interview.

NOLA Now: Residents’ Love Brings Restaurant Back to Carrollton Avenue

August 28, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Audio slideshow by Hayley Nelson

Marvin Day has been a server at the famous Camellia Grill on Carrollton Avenue for 20 years. When Hurricane Katrina shut down the restaurant five years ago, he said it took the love of the community to bring it back.

Nola Now: Residents’ Love Brings Restaurant Back to Carrollton Avenue from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Want to see more New Orleans footage? Check out the rest of our NOLA Now blog or visit