January 4, 2022

Through a series of sto­ries that span sev­er­al gen­er­a­tions, Cov­er Me with My Izar’, brings to vivid life the mod­ern his­to­ry of Iraqi Jews.

The sto­ries are fas­ci­nat­ing, humor­ous, filled with human­i­ty, always cap­ti­vat­ing, and brim­ming with heart. Each sto­ry is told from the view­point of a dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter across the generations.

From the tales of the vibrant Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty in Bagh­dad, through the ter­rors of the Farhud Pogrom to the mass immi­gra­tion into Israel, a rich sto­ry of strug­gle and learn­ing to adapt unfolds.

From the mir­a­cle that was vis­it­ed upon the bar­ren Lat­i­fa, to the dis­as­ter Ezra, the sword col­lec­tor, brought on his own head; from Yvette, who decid­ed to go and earn an edu­ca­tion for her­self against all odds, to the sto­ry of Itzik and Nava, chil­dren of the third gen­er­a­tion born in Israel who want­ed to be inte­grat­ed into its new­ly form­ing soci­ety. These are just a hand­ful of the rich tapes­try of sto­ries woven togeth­er to form the fab­ric of this book. A fab­ric as unfor­get­table and rich as that from which the tra­di­tion­al Izar gown, worn by the Jew­ish women of Iraq, is made.

Discussion Questions

Cov­er Me with My Izar is a fic­tion­al por­tray­al of a Jew­ish Iraqi fam­i­ly across sev­er­al gen­er­a­tions. It is told from the view­point of dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters through a series of sto­ries woven togeth­er, like the fab­ric of the tra­di­tion­al izar, the gown worn by the Jew­ish women of Iraq. The book begins with the vibrant Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty in Bagh­dad, fol­lowed by the Farhud Pogrom in 1941 and the group’s mass aliyah to Israel. Often using Jew­ish Ara­bic words, the author speaks of a world that no longer exists. Through the indi­vid­ual sto­ries, the read­er learns of the lives, cul­ture, and tra­di­tions of the peo­ple and the changes that have tak­en place over the last hun­dred years. There is hard­ship, suc­cess, super­sti­tion, humor, and love. The char­ac­ters are well-defined and unfor­get­table. Tak­en togeth­er, the sto­ries reveal the mod­ern his­to­ry of Iraqi Jews and the strug­gles they faced learn­ing to adapt after their immi­gra­tion to Israel. It is a his­to­ry that future gen­er­a­tions should know.