My Father's Paradise

My Father's Paradise

A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq

Book - 2008
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In a remote corner of the world, forgotten for nearly three thousand years, lived an enclave of Kurdish Jews so isolated that they still spoke Aramaic, the language of Jesus. Mostly illiterate, they were self-made mystics and gifted storytellers and humble peddlers who dwelt in harmony with their Muslim and Christian neighbors in the mountains of northern Iraq. To these descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel, Yona Sabar was born.

Yona's son Ariel grew up in Los Angeles, where Yona had become an esteemed professor, dedicating his career to preserving his people's traditions. Ariel wanted nothing to do with his father's strange immigrant heritage--until he had a son of his own.

Ariel Sabar brings to life the ancient town of Zakho, discovering his family's place in the sweeping saga of Middle-Eastern history. This powerful book is an improbable story of tolerance and hope set in what today is the very center of the world's attention.


Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2008.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781565124905
Branch Call Number: 305.892405672 SAB
Characteristics: viii, 332 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

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m
mclarjh
Jun 22, 2015

Interesting subject, part memoir, part fiction, journalistic writing.

d
DorisWaggoner
Jun 04, 2013

As a history nut, I had never heard of this group of "lost" Jews, and found the account fascinating and well-written. Sabar's characters and their relationships live so clearly that I sometimes found myself in tears. As a journalist, he knows how to personalize larger issues. I'm the grandchild of immigrants, in an era when the mere word sets of firecrackers, the book is also even more timely than when it was written. He'd have gotten 5 stars from me if the end hadn't felt like a bit of a fizzle compared to the rest, and if the proofreading had been better.

BrigidScott Jan 17, 2012

I don't often pick up nonfiction, but this was fairly interesting.

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