While my new book, The Stones of Yemen, is a novel, it–like most fictional writing–is built around a nugget of truth. A central event in my story is the bombing of a school bus in Sa’dah, Yemen. It was an historical event on August 8, 2018. Below, I’ve posted a 25 minute documentary from Aljazeera about that bombing and, for those with a shorter attention span, a two minute summary that appeared on MSNBC. I suggest that you watch the documentary after you have finished my book. The first video focuses on one father of 2-3 (in one place it says two and in another it says three) victims of that bombing and that man could easily have been Jabbar.
I want to make it clear that my book is about bereavement in general as well as love, hate, revenge, and forgiveness. If you watch these documentaries before reading the book, you may think I have a bias or an agenda. I do not. For the sake of fairness, the protagonist is the son of a victim of the 9/11 terrorist attack and there are other terrorists attacks against American interests in the story, as well as America’s support for organized terrorism, or war. If I have a bias, it is against human-wrought suffering. A complete waste and the ultimate sin.
It may be hard to think about the war in Yemen, now that they have a ceasefire, and the war rages in the Ukraine, and the horrible earthquake has destroyed so many lives in Turkey and Syria. But when I started writing this book four years ago, the war in Yemen was on the center stage. But it doesn’t matter. You could change the names and the events and be in the war in the Ukraine or the civil war in Syria. You could sense the same suffering that the earthquake victims in Turkey are suffering and the same questions raised, although that is not the product of human hands, at least not directly. Below are the commentaries, the top 25 minutes, and the bottom 2 minutes long.