One Muslim Businessman Reaches Out to Help Evacuees

September 4, 2005

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

On September 4, 2005 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, "Shabaz Khan Sherwani wished he'd known guests who arrived Monday night were from New Orleans. They left his La Quinta Inn that Tuesday morning. Sherwani figures it's because they were out of money. If he'd known, he would have insisted they stay put, money or no money. So, now he's asking guests to show their driver's licenses when they check into the motel near Norcross. Sherwani wants to know if anybody's from Louisiana, Alabama or Mississippi. He wants to know because he wants to help, something he's been doing a lot of the past six days... On Thursday, 17 families from the Crescent City were staying at Sherwani's hotel... Another 60 were expected to arrive through the night. The $367 weekly rate has been cut to $200. Rooms with double beds, usually $55, now rent for $45. No money? No problem. Sherwani will find someone — or some way — to pay... He got a local car dealership to donate a van to haul evacuees to employers looking for workers. The Emory University-trained medical doctor-turned-businessman has helped an evacuee get medication, and another get paid. (The company headquarters was in Illinois, not New Orleans). And he's constantly on the phone with agencies, churches, synagogues, temples and citizens who have done what he's done: opened up their hearts."