My Father’s Paradise with Yona and Ariel Sabar

Royal Geographical Society, Kensington, London SW7 2AR

Thursday 28th June 2012

Yona Sabar grew up among Aramaic speaking Jews in Zakho in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. He is now a distinguished professor of Hebrew and Aramaic at UCLA. His son, Ariel Sabar, is the author of My Father’s Paradise, the award winning book about his family’s story. Ariel talked about ‘paradise lost and found’, the history of the Jews of Kurdistan and his father’s inspiring life story. Yona shared his memories of growing up in a Jewish family in Kurdistan in the 1940s. Together, they discussed the history of the Jews of Kurdistan.

The evening included the first ever exhibition of Anthony Kersting’s outstanding and historic photographs depicting Kurdistan in the 1940s, made available by The Courtauld Institute of Art’s Conway Library. Our special thanks to Mr Giovanni Garrisi, Gulan’s patron, whose generous donation has made this exhibition possible.

Review by Jessica Elgot in the Jewish Chronicle

Review by Eleanor Robson, The British Institute for the Study of Iraq