Mr Fahīm Rūḥānā al-Za'innī

Fahīm Rūḥānā al-Za'innī

Mr Fahīm Rūḥānā al-Za'innī (Philip Zenni) was born in Syria on 25 October 1886 1 his father was Rohana Zenni.

He was married in France four months before he travelled on the Titanic.

He boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as a third class passenger 2 with ticket number 2620 (£7 4s 6d).

‘Zanni made an effort to leap into one of the boats, but an officer of the boat stood with a drawn revolver in hand and all the men were compelled to stand back at the command, ‘Women and children first.’ Zanni made a second unsuccessful attempt to leap into the boat and was 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 was twenty women and three men in the boat. Zanni was placed at the oars. A woman in the boat pleaded with him to save her dog.’ (Niles Daily News, April 25, 1912)

He was rescued, possibly in lifeboat 6.

After surviving the sinking of Titanic, he continued on to his destination of Dayton, Ohio where he lived out his life. He was first employed as a machinist as Platt Iron Works in Dayton but later worked in the confectionery business. He was married to Elsie and had four children (1 son and 3 daughters)3

Mr Zenni died of typhoid fever and broncho-pneumonia on 4 December 1927. Three days later he was buried at Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio.


Articles and Stories

Unidentified Newspaper (1927) 
Niles Daily News (1912) 


Gavin Bell, UK
Peter Engberg, Sweden
Phillip Gowan, USA
Elsie Zenni Hadley, USA


1. The death certificate gives the date as 1889
2. He appears on some passenger lists as Fahim Leeni.
3. Another source says three children. Two are thought to be still living. Curiously, only siblings were listed as survivors in the three contemporary newspaper articles mentioning his death.

References and Sources

Niles Daily News (Ohio), 25 April 1912, Survivor from Titanic Arrives in Niles
Unidentified Newspaper (Dayton, Ohio), 6 December 1927, Obituary
State of Ohio Certificate of Death
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279]).
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2018) Fahīm Rūḥānā al-Za'innī Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #965, updated 17th October 2018 08:51:34 AM)

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