MY FATHER'S PARADISE: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq.

Sabar, Ariel.

ISBN 10: 1565124901 / ISBN 13: 9781565124905
Published by Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books, 2008. dj, 2008
Hardcover
From Bookfever, IOBA (Volk & Iiams) (Ione, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

SIGNED hardcover first edition - First printing. The author's first book, winner of the National Book Critics Award, which is not only a personal memoir, but one which sheds a light on an almost unknown history: "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. . 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. " In the 1950's, 120,000 of these Jews were airlifted to Israel, among them Ariels father. A story "of tolerance and hope set in what today is the very center of the world's attention." INSCRIBED on the title page - "For . . . with many thanks". 332 pp. Fine in fine dust jacket (a new copy.). Bookseller Inventory # 50882

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Bibliographic Details

Title: MY FATHER'S PARADISE: A Son's Search for His...

Publisher: Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books, 2008. dj

Publication Date: 2008

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

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.

From the Inside Flap:

"I am the keeper of my family s stories. I am the guardian of its honor. I am the defender of its traditions. As the first-born son of a Kurdish father, these, they tell me, are my duties. And yet even before my birth I resisted."
So begins Ariel Sabar's true tale of a father and a son, and the two worlds that kept them apart and finally brought them together: ancient Iraq and modern America.
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, humble peddlers and rugged loggers 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.
Caught unawares by growing ethnic tensions in the Middle East after World War II, the Jews of Zakho were airlifted to the new state of Israel in the 1950s with the mass exodus of 120,000 Jews from Iraq one of the world s largest and least-known diasporas. Almost overnight, the Kurdish Jews exotic culture and language were doomed to extinction.
Yona s son Ariel knew little of his father s history. Growing up in Los Angeles, where Yona had become an esteemed professor at UCLA and had dedicated 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.
"My Father s Paradise" is Ariel Sabar's quest to reconcile present and past. As Ariel and his father travel together into today's postwar Iraq to find what s left of Yona's birthplace, Sabar brings to life the ancient town of Zakho, telling his family s story and discovering their place in the sweeping saga of the Sephardic Jews' millennia-long survival in Islamic lands. He introduces us to his spiritual great-grandfather, the village cloth dyer by day"

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