All Things Assyrian
Assyrian Survivor From Titanic Arrives In Niles
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Editors note: This article was published in the Niles Daily News, in Niles, Ohio, on Thursday, April 25, 1912. The Encyclopedia Titanica has more on Mr. Zanni.

Philip Zanni Tells a Tragic Story of His Rescue - Assisted in Rowing Lifeboat Away from Sinking Ship

The first survivor of the ill fated ship the "Titanic" that has reached Niles is Philip Zanni [sic], and [sic] exceptionally well-spoken Assyrian who arrived in the city last night at 8 o'clock from New York and is a guest in the home of his friends: Messrs Shaker and Abraham of Furnace Street, who are doing everything in their power to assist him in recuperating from the effects of the great fright and shock to which he was subjected in his miraculous escape from the fast sinking vessel.

A representative of the News called on Mr Zanni this morning and he told him his story in a most graphic manner. He and a companion had retired for the night and were sound asleep. Zanni was awakened by his companion who heard the crash of the boat against the iceberg and both leaped from their berths and ran to the upper deck. The greatest confusion was evident on all sides and men were lowering the lifeboats. Zanni made an effort to leap into one of the boats, but an officer of the boat stood with a drawn revolver in his hand and all the men were compelled to stand back at the command "Women first." Zanni made a second unsuccessful attempt to leap into the boat and was again ordered back by the officer, but a moment later the officer turned and he made a leap, landing in the middle of the boat. He took refuge under one of the seats and the boat was pulled away. There were twenty women and three men in the boat and in order to escape from the suction of the great ship those in the boat realized that it was necessary to row quickly. The men called on the women to row, when Zanni made known his presence and was placed at one of the oars. They rowed a distance of about two miles guided only by the morning star which shone brightly in the heavens and stopped when they believed themselves to be safely away from the ship, and watched the great "Titanic" sink with its cargo of souls aboard. The cries of distress from those on board are still ringing in the ears of Mr Zanni and he feels just as all the other survivors feel that many more lives might have been saved in the boats. The sight of the sinking ship, after one plunge, bow downward, will never be forgotten by any of the people who were in the lifeboats. It was nearly five o'clock when they sighted the "Carpathia" coming toward them, and one great cry went up from the lifeboats, and lanterns were waved frantically.

Mr Zanni tells of the kindness shown toward them by the captain and officers of the [illegible] boat and of the [illegible] trip to [illegible] New York. On their arrival they were shown every kindness by the waiting throngs. He was taken to the office of the Hebrew sheltering and immigration Aid Society where he was provided with clothing and rendered every assistance. An incident which tends to prove the utter selfishness of shallow-minded people is related by the young man. When the survivors were being raised into the Carpathia a woman who was in his lifeboat pleaded with him to save her dog, which she had clasped tightly in her arms since leaving the "Titanic." Zanni informed her politely that human beings came first and the clung desperately to the little animal until someone lifted her to the deck of the boat.

Mr Zanni was married four months ago and left his wife in France. He goes to Cincinnati soon where he will engage in business.

Name: Mr Fahim ("Philip Zenni") Leeni
Born: Monday 25th October 1886
Age: 22 years
Last Residence: in Tula Lebanon
Occupation: General Labourer
3rd Class passenger
First Embarked: Cherbourg on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 2620 , £7 4s 6d
Destination: Dayton United States
Rescued (boat 6)
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Sunday 4th December 1927
Cause of Death: Typhoid Fever
Buried: Calvary Cemetery Dayton United States

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