Ariel Sabar – My Father’s Paradise. A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq
Reading and Discussion in English as Part of the Film and Reading Series "Between Marrakesh and Mashhad" (audio recording available)
"He was old Kurdistan. I was Los Angeles of the 1980s."
As a teenager, Ariel Sabar – who grew up in California – found his father Yona Sabar, professor of the Neo-Aramaic language, whimsical. It was only when he himself became a father that he became interested in the story of his father Yona.
Yona was born in the city of Zakho in Iraqi Kurdistan where the Jews still spoke Aramaic, the language of Jesus and the Talmud. In the 1950s, he immigrated to Israel and eventually went to California, where he devoted himself to the preservation of his dying language and became the best-known researcher of Neo Aramaic.
The book My Father’s Paradise by the journalist and writer Ariel Sabar is not only a fascinating life story, but also an exciting portrait of Kurdish-Jewish history and is not least a declaration of love from a son to his father and to their common cultural heritage.
Moderation: Dr. Karin Mlodoch (HAUKARI e.V.)