The Swallows of Kabul is a novel written by Yasmina Khadra. It was published in 2002 and is set in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, when the Taliban was in charge there. There are two main couples in the novel. The first couple is Mohsen, a formerly wealthy shopkeeper that has had his family’s businesses destroyed by the Taliban, and his wife Zunaira who is not only beautiful but also intelligent. Zunaira used to be a teacher, but now under the rule of the Taliban, she has to cover her face in public and has had to give up her job and cannot leave the house without an escort. The second couple is on the other side of the social spectrum; Atiq is a prison guard who has been converted by the Taliban, and his wife is named Musarrat and is dying from loss of her health and hope.
In the novel, every action every character makes seems to be connected in some way, and the theme of fate and predestination is evident in the plot. In each of their lives, the characters experience violence, love, and survival that is all described to be part of their destinies. In addition, Khadra incorporates important details about Islamic fundamentalism and how complex the Muslim world truly is.