by ARIEL SABAR
An ancient land. A lost language. And a wayward son who never knew what he and his father shared. Until they embarked on an epic journey into their family's extraordinary past. Ariel Sabar's father, Yona, 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. Rugged lumberjacks and humble peddlers, self-made mystics and gifted storytellers, the members of this Lost Tribe of Israel were so isolated that they still spoke Aramaic, the language of Jesus. But in the late 1940s, the outside world came crashing in, and Yona Sabar would be the last boy bar mitzvahed in Zakho.