Rethinking Schools: Why did you decide to go to New Orleans after Katrina?
Shakoor Aljuwani: Like many, I was glued to CNN watching the images of Katrina, and I sincerely felt that only part of the story was being told. They were talking looting, but not talking of any heroism, and that didn't make sense to me, so I had to go and see for myself.
RS: Does the fact that you were willing to do this have anything to do with things you've done in your past?
Aljuwani: I've been in many different situations where communities were under attack, and so I was familiar with what to expect and how to respond. I felt I could handle any situation I would face down there. Living in Buffalo, I helped to organize a response in blizzard situations, and I've been in up to category 2 hurricane events in Florida. And I've been in more than a few riot/rebellion situations.
RS: What affected you the most when you arrived in New Orleans?