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Review: My Father’s Paradise

August 25, 2008

My Father’s Paradise: A Son’s Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq, written by Ariel Sabar and published by Algonquin Press is actually the story of three journeys.

Yona’s (Ariel’s father) journey is told first. His starts his journey as a young Jewish boy in a small village in Kurdish Iraq. From there, his journey continues to Israel and it finally ends in the United States. Yona is a humble man, who believes in the value of mankind. He treasures his family and is passionate about preserving Aramaic, his mother tongue

Ariel’s journey takes him from a privileged, belligerent young man who is embarrassed because his father is different, and makes no attempt to fit in, to a husband and father who begins to see the importance of his family’s past.

Ariel and Yona take the final journey together, traveling to Israel and Iraq. While they’re on their journey, Ariel comes to realize that his father’s work is important. He comes to appreciate the value of preserving the past as we move into the future.

I enjoyed this moving tribute to a humble man and his people. It was wonderful to see the transformation in the relationship between Ariel and Yona. I have to admit that I found some of the political and historical facts a little difficult to follow. I did learn a lot about the history of Iraq, though.

You can order this book from amazon here.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 28, 2008 4:00 pm

    This is on my bookshelf also – I’m looking forward to reading it!

  2. August 28, 2008 6:13 pm

    I’m really glad you liked it. The book is on my TBR list, partly because I was Ariel’s editor when he was a reporter at The Baltimore Sun. He covered the U.S. Naval Academy among other topics, and in addition to being a dedicated reporter, paid close attention to his writing. I remember how excited he was about this very personal book project.

  3. kegsoccer permalink
    August 29, 2008 2:34 am

    I’ve been told I’m getting this soon… very excited!

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