• Nathan Thrall
Cover of A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy

Five-year-old Milad Salama is excited for the school trip to a theme park on the outskirts of Jerusalem. On the way, his bus collides with a semitrailer in a horrific accident. His father, Abed, gets word of the crash and rushes to the site. The scene is chaos - the children have been taken to different hospitals in Jerusalem and the West Bank; some are missing, others cannot be identified. Abed sets off on an odyssey to learn Milads fate. It is every parents worst nightmare, but for Abed it is compounded by the maze of physical, emotional, and bureaucratic obstacles he must navigate because he is Palestinian. He is on the wrong side of the separation wall, holds the wrong ID to pass the military checkpoints, and has the wrong papers to enter the city of Jerusalem. Abeds quest to find Milad is interwoven with the stories of a cast of Jewish and Palestinian characters whose lives and histories unexpectedly converge: a kindergarten teacher and a mechanic who rescue children from the burning bus; an Israeli army commander and a Palestinian official who confront the aftermath at the scene of the crash; a settler paramedic; ultra-Orthodox emergency service workers; and two mothers who each hope to claim one severely injured boy. Immersive and gripping, this is an indelibly human portrait of the Jewish-Palestinian struggle that offers a new understanding of the tragic history and reality of one of the most contested places on earth. --Adapted from publisher description.


Thrall, Nathan. A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy. Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, 2023.