The protagonist of the book, Zeitoun, as he is usually called, is originally from Jableh, a small coastal town in Syria. After spending years as a sailor traveling all around the world, Zeitoun moved to… (read full character analysis)
Zeitoun’s wife, Kathy was raised in a working-class, Southern Baptist family. She was married and quickly divorced at a young age. Feeling unmoored and unhappy, she began to learn more about Islam through her friend… (read full character analysis)
Zeitoun’s father, a former sailor who narrowly escaped death on one of his ships, and subsequently vowed to not spend his life on the water, but rather to settle down with his family. Ironically, he… (read full character analysis)
Zeitoun’s older brother, and the first sibling to leave Jableh to become a sailor and then ship captain. He later hired Zeitoun and they traveled the world together. Ahmad now lives in Spain with his… (read full character analysis)
Kathy and Zeitoun’s oldest daughter, who is mature, intelligent, and spunky.
Another daughter of Kathy and Zeitoun. Aisha is also the name of one of Zeitoun’s sisters, who lives in Syria.
Another daughter of Kathy and Zeitoun.
Kathy’s son from her first marriage.
Yuko’s mother and the adopted mother of Kathy.
A friend of Yuko’s who hosts Kathy and her family in Houston.
An acquaintance of Zeitoun, and another Syrian immigrant who left the country in 1995. He is imprisoned with Zeitoun in New Orleans.
A tenant of Zeitoun who lives on Claiborne Street, and is arrested with Zeitoun.
A New Orleans resident who breaks into the Claiborne house to use the telephone after the storm. Zeitoun allows him to stay, and Ronnie ends up getting arrested along with him, Todd, and Nasser.
A carpenter who lives next to the house on Claiborne Street.
A pastor and neighbor of Zeitoun. Zeitoun helps him and his wife escape their flooded home.
Zeitoun’s former boss, who admired his work ethic.
A friend of Kathy’s, who is Muslim but doesn’t wear the hijab.
A friend of Zeitoun and Kathy from New Orleans, who helps track down Zeitoun after Katrina.
Zeitoun’s cousin, who manages a number of Subway franchises in New Orleans.
A client of Zeitoun in New Orleans.
A fellow prisoner at Camp Greyhound, whom Todd suspects of being an undercover officer trying to make the four prisoners admit to terrorist activity.
This man is in the prison when Zeitoun asks him, against the regulations, to call his wife Kathy. It is through the missionary that Kathy first learns that Zeitoun is alive and at the Hunt Correctional Facility.
A lawyer in New Orleans whom Kathy hires to help get Zeitoun out of prison.
One of the officers who arrests Zeitoun.
An out-of-state officer who helps in Zeitoun’s arrest.