Film, Video My Father's Paradise

About this Item

My Father's Paradise
Yona Sabar was born in a mud hut in the remote Kurdish region of Northern Iraq. Protected by towering mountains, the Jews of Zakho lived peacefully among Muslims and Christians for hundreds of years. But in the late 1940s, the outside world came crashing in, and Yona would be the last boy in Zakho to become a bar mitzvah. Yona's son Ariel Sabar discussed his new book, "My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq." In "My Father's Paradise," Sabar retraces his father's footsteps as part of a mass exodus of 120,000 Jews from Iraq to Israel. He brings to life the eccentric characters, extraordinary determination and fascinating historical odyssey of the Kurdish Jews. Father and son travel to today's war-torn Iraq in a quest to rediscover a forgotten land.
Event Date
February 11, 2009
-  Ariel Sabar is an award-winning former staff writer for the Baltimore Sun and the Providence Journal. He covered the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign for the Christian Science Monitor. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Monthly, Mother Jones, Moment, Christianity Today and other publications.
Related Resources
African and Middle Eastern Division:
Running Time
45 minutes 56 seconds
Online Format

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Credit Line: Library of Congress

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Chicago citation style:

My Father's Paradise. 2009. Video.

APA citation style:

(2009) My Father's Paradise. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

My Father's Paradise. 2009. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.

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