Saturday, December 27, 2008
Books - Book Review - The Attack - Yasmina Khadra
This book is the first one to be completed for the 9 for '09 Reading Challenge
There are 9 categories in my challenge, and this book falls under the FREE one, because
I won this book from Reading Matters. Not only did I receive a book but a very nice postcard, that I use as a bookmark.
This novel takes place in Israel. A talented Palestinan surgeon, Dr. Amin Jaafie, works in a hospital. He still struggles with being accepted. Despite having a high hospital administrator (who is Jewish) as his mentor and friend, some of his colleagues still have reservations about him and his loyalites to Israel.
Dr. Jaafie has achieved a lot in a few years. His grandfather was a Bedouin. His father rebeled by being an artist. And Dr. Jaafie studied hard and now lives in a nice home with his wife, Silhem. The couple is not religious and have many Jewish friends. She sometimes goes to visit their Arab relatives.
One day, there is a suicide bombing at a cafe, and Silhem is found among the dead. Dr. Jaafie's life changes. He cannot understand why anyone wants to do this.
His work is affected, and he goes off to try to find some information. He visits relatives that he hasn't seen since childhood and is amazed at how some of the buildings are no longer standing and how many relatives see nothing wrong in suicide bombings.
During one of his breaks in the search for information, he meet with Navid, an Israeli police investigator, who is also a friend. Navid's theory on why terrorists do what they do is this: "Something clicks somewhere in their subconcious, and they're off. Their motives aren't all equally solid, but generally, whatever it is, it comes over them like that," he says, snapping his fingers. "Either it falls on your head like a roof tile or it attaches itself like a tapeworm. Afterward, you no longer see the world in the same way...You're nothing but the instrument of your own frustrations. For you, death and life come some to the same thing...As for this world, you don't even want to hear about it anymore...They way you see it, the day of your funeral procession will be the day when you're exalted in other people's eyes. The rest - the day before, the day after- that's not your problem; as far as you're concerned, it doesn't exist."
Yasmina Khadra guides us expertly through Dr. Jaafie's journey. I read the book quickly so I could find out what happened that day that affected so many people.
Khadra is the nom de plume for a former MALE Algerian military officer, Mohammed Moulessehoul. He is able to presents both sides of the Arab/Israeli issues and show the Muslim mindset to people who are not familiar with it.
Click here to find out how Yasmina Khadra came into existence.