The Attack

The Attack


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The Attack by Yasmina Khadra

From the bestselling author of The Swallows of Kabul comes this timely and haunting novel that powerfully illuminates the devastating human costs of terrorism.Dr. Amin Jaafari is an Arab-Israeli surgeon at a hospital in Tel Aviv. As an admired and respected member of his community, he has carved a space for himself and his wife, Sihem, at the crossroads of two troubled societies. Jaafari’s world is abruptly shattered when Sihem is killed in a suicide bombing.As evidence mounts that Sihem could have been responsible for the catastrophic bombing, Jaafari begins a tortured search for answers. Faced with the ultimate betrayal, he must find a way to reconcile his cherished memories of his wife with the growing realization that she may have had another life, one that was entirely removed from the comfortable, modern existence that they shared.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307275707
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/25/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 504,340
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

YASMINA KHADRA is the pen name of the former Algerian army officer Mohammed Moulessehoul. He adopted his wife's name as a pseudonym to avoid military censorship. He is the author of more than 20 books, at least six of which have been published in English, among them The Swallows of Kabul and The Attack, both shortlisted for the IMPAC literary award. Khadra’s work has been published in 45 countries. He has twice been honored by the Académie française, winning both the Médaille de vermeil (2001) and Grand Prix de littérature (2012). His latest novel is The Angels Die (2016). He lives in France. The New York Times describes Khadra as, “a writer who can understand man wherever he is.”


Aix-en-Provence, France

Date of Birth:

January 10, 1955

Place of Birth:

Kenadsa, Sahara, Algeria


Officer in the Algerian army

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Attack 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Given the state of the Middle East today, this is a timely and incredibly written story that I recommend without regard to your particular political beliefs. Beautiful and haunting in it's delivery, the author leaves you feeling very sad for both sides.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The protagonist is Amin a Muslim, an Israeli, a prominent well thought of surgeon. The attack is a suicide bomber in a restaurant. Amin's world is turned upside down when the authorities discover the bomber is his pampered beloved wife. Amin dives into the madness of the Palestinian terrorist, in order to prove the police wrong. This is a strong work, especially in light of today's world affairs. This is the first time I've understood the psychology of sucide bombers.
Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
The Attack by Yas­mina Khadra is a fic­tional book set in Israel and the West Bank. Yas­mina Khadra is the nom de plume of Mohammed Moulesse­houl, a for­mer Alger­ian mil­i­tary officer. Dr. Amin Jafaari is a well-respected Arab who is an Israeli cit­i­zen and suc­cess­ful sur­geon in a Tel Aviv hos­pi­tal. One day a mas­sive sui­cide attack hap­pens close by which mobi­lizes the whole hos­pi­tal. After get­ting home from a very long shift, Dr. Jafaari is woken up ask­ing to come iden­tify his wife's body who has been killed in the attack. Dr. Jafaari dis­cov­ers that his wife was not vis­it­ing fam­ily as she said, but she was the sui­cide bomber. And thus the story begins. The Attack by Yas­mina Khadra is a won­der­ful, even handed and fas­ci­nat­ing book. Deal­ing with sen­si­tive sub­jects yet stay­ing away from a mil­i­tant point of view is a remark­able achieve­ment by itself, com­bine that with an excel­lent story and you've got your­self a winner. The story is told from the per­spec­tive of Dr. Jaa­fari, a nat­u­ral­ized Israeli Arab who works in an Israeli hos­pi­tal in Tel-Aviv and lives in an exclu­sive neigh­bor­hood in town. There are more than a mil­lion Arabs with full Israeli cit­i­zen­ship, who live between worlds and often find them­selves in unen­vi­able positions Even though Dr. Jaa­fari is sup­pose to the model of inte­gra­tion and peace, one day his life falls apart when it is dis­cov­ered that his wife exploded her­self in the mid­dle of a restau­rant, killing many includ­ing chil­dren who were there to cel­e­brate a birth­day party. The novel doesn't directly deal with the com­plex­ity of the issues in the Mid­dle East, but with the tur­moil of one man who con­sid­ers him­self a sec­u­lar­ist, a suc­cess­ful man mar­ried to his wife, liv­ing in paradise. As I men­tioned, this book is even handed, there is no right or wrong. Both Israelis and Pales­tini­ans are nei­ther demo­nized nor are they being heroic. They are sim­ply peo­ple liv­ing day to day try­ing to get through a tough time. Last time when we vis­ited Israel we had to take our son to the hos­pi­tal (my wife's worst night­mare com­ing true). A Druz doc­tor took care of our son in the best pos­si­ble way and we were grate­ful to him. It did not mat­ter to us, or to the rest of the peo­ple in the pedi­atric ward, the doctor's ori­gins as long as he knew his stuff. Our son, by the way, was fine - just a lot of gas like his old man and to his mother's dismay. The book starts out beau­ti­fully, but as the nar­ra­tor sinks into a state of con­fu­sion so does the nar­ra­tive. The reader isn't sure what day it is, which twist comes next or even if the plot is told in a lin­ear sense. Any­one who has ever been in a posi­tion where they are con­fused, bit­ter and depressed or on the brink of mad­ne
Michael Aviles More than 1 year ago
The setting is that of the evening news, on any given night. However, Mr. Khadra has found the gift of transporting you from the confort of your favorite evening news viewing couch, chair, etc... into a world that not even the protagonist in this book could have ever imagined, could be experienced. Your transported into the anguish and bewilderment that is felt by so many unfortunate souls on both sides of such an existance, from one whom would have never expected to be thrown into the mix in such a personal tragic manor. Truely heart pounding. Read and pass it on... Everyone will thank you. And surely pass it on...
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a past president of a Zionist organization this beautifully written book gave me new and needed sympathetic viewpoint of the genesis of the Palestinian position
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regina77004 More than 1 year ago
"When horror strikes, the heart is always its first target," (pg 13). This is never more true for Dr. Amin Jaafari when he finally accepts that his wife, Sihem, is responsible for the latest suicide bombing. The Jaafari's are naturalized Israeli citizens who have left the ravages of Palestine for a comfortable life in Tel Aviv. Amin states, "I ddin't need to be a conscientious objector to distrust poliicies requiring armed struggle and sermons based on hatred. Gazing upon Jerusalem's sacred structures was enough to persuade me to oppose everything that might injure the enduring grandeur," (pg 142). Thus, Amin makes the deliberate decision to save lives rather than desroy them, fights prejudice on a daily basis, and becomes a renowned surgeon. <br/><br/>One day, while Amir is at work, the hospital becomes flooded with victims from a suicide bombing. The bomber walked into a restaurant where children were celebrating a friend's birthday and kills seventeen people. After frantically saving as many lives as possible Amir goes home exhausted only to receive a phone call to return to the hospital. Once there he is forced to identify the destroyed remains of his wife. Never suspecting his wife's involvement in terrorist activities, Amir is devastated. He treasured his wife and is haunted by the missed signs that she was descending into this world. Receiving a letter from his wife postmarked the day of the attack, Amin sets out to discover how this journey to destruction could have escaped him. There are a 1001 ways this premise could have gone wrong. While I'm not sure how I feel about some of Khadra's choices, there are some things I really appreciated. First, Khadra does an excellent job of providing insight into the daily lives of Israelis and Palestinians. Second, he beautifully captures the anguish jihadists leave family members with both in terms of grief over the loss of loved ones and the retribution enacted upon survivors. Finally, he shows that there is a choice in which path you follow. If you are new to Khadra's work, Yasmina Khadra is a nome de plume for Mohammed Moulessehoul, who began writing under his wife's name when the Algerian army demanded review of his work before publishing. Moulessehoul was an Algerian Army Officer.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Fascinating depiction of life in Israel of an Arab-turned-Jew to a wife who, though she had supposedly 'converted' to Judaism, was unable to renounce her Arab heritage, to the point of killing herself and others because of her perceived wrongs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rolled over amd jumped up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fascinating premise never fully developed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*hides nearby, watching*
steveforbertfan More than 1 year ago
Read this book on recommendation from book group and reviews. I thought it was a waste of time, I could just watch a Palestinian recruitment video and get the same information. The Jews were bad -- the Arab was good. Failed to show both sides of the story, did not stress the conflicts both sides felt. Much ado about nothing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
U know me and the uk wat *says grinning