Title: The Attack
Author: Yasmina Khadra
Dr. Amin Jaafari works as a surgeon at a local hospital in Tel Aviv. Jaafari, an Arab-Israeli citizen, is apolitical and highly revered by his colleagues for dedication to his profession. One day, a deadly bomb explosion causes havoc in a local restaurant. Atleast 19 were dead, 11 school children among them. Several people sustained many catastrophic injuries. Jaafari slogs his guts out all night at the emergency room saving as many lives as he can. Not soon after he reaches home, he is summoned back to the hospital to verify the identity of a corpse. It was none other than his lovely wife Sihem. What Jaafari finds more devastating is when the police officials deduced that his wife must have blown up the restaurant. She is bearing injuries similar to that of a suicide bomber. Her whole body is reduced to a pulp, except her beautiful face.
Jaafari feels completely befuddled when he tries to fathom why Sihem, his lovely wife, known to be an intelligent and caring woman, would commit such a crime. How could he knew so little about someone he loved and cared about all his life? Did Sihem leave any cues for him to pick up before she chose her destiny? Did she not enjoy a perfect life with him? Was he not a good husband to her? Why would she choose to suffer a horrific death?
At his wits' end, he quits his job and embarks on a treacherous voyage to find out why someone, his wife, in particular, would choose to become a martyr. He travels to Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Jenin searching for answers. Jaafari learns that deprivation of homeland could bring endless suffering and why martyrdom is a better choice for them.
Yasmina Khadra proves once again that he is an adept storyteller. Today, we live in a world where terrorism threatens to endanger our peaceful lives any moment. Hundreds of civilians lose their lives in suicide bombings everyday. Its aftermath is always horrendous. This novel offers a chilling look into a world, of terrorism, only a few people are beginning to understand. Another beautifully written novel!!
My Rating: 4/5