Yona Sabar

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Yona Sabar (Hebrew:יוֹנָה צַבָּר) (born 1938 in Zakho, Iraq) is a Kurdish Jewish scholar, linguist and researcher. He is currently professor of Hebrew at UCLA. He is a native speaker of Aramaic and has published more than 90 research articles about Jewish Neo-Aramaic and the folklore of the Kurdish Jews.

Sabar was born in the town of Zakho in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. His family moved to Israel in 1951. He received a B.A. in Hebrew and Arabic from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1963 and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from Yale University in 1970.

His immigrant journey from the hills of Kurdistan to the highways of Los Angeles is the subject of an award-winning memoir by his son, Ariel Sabar, an American author and journalist.[1] Ariel Sabar's book My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for his Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq won the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography.



  1. ^ Erdos, Agi (October 2012). "From Generation to Generation: My Father's Paradise" (PDF). Jewish Renaissance. 12 (1): 48–49. 

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