No Looking Back: One Iraqi Jewish Family's Flight to Freedom: One (Hardcover)
Joseph H. Dabby was ten years old when he discovered he had three older siblings. His parents, facing increasing persecution in Iraq, had sent their older children to Israel when Dabby was five and planned to join them a few weeks later-but they never made it. Instead, the family was split in two, forced to live in separate countries at war with each other. NO LOOKING BACK is the story of one man's childhood and adolescence under a repressive regime, his marriage to his sweetheart, and their eventual escape to freedom in 1971. It begins on the eve of the Farhud ("dispossession") in 1941, the first violent pogrom the Iraqi Jews experienced since the beginning of the Ottoman rule in Iraq 550 years before. This was the beginning of the end of tolerable life for the Jews in Iraq and the dawn of the slow and systematic ethnic cleansing of one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world.Dabby offers readers a glimpse into the life of the last Jews of Iraq, who held on to their customs and traditions during the turbulent times that followed World War II and the birth of the State of Israel. He tells the story of a community that fought against the odds to survive and did its best to live a normal life in abnormal times.Growing up in a hostile society, Dabby learned from a young age what discrimination and persecution meant. He learned to be careful not to say the wrong thing on the street and to be passive and invisible to avoid trouble. Nonetheless, he was imprisoned twice by the Iraqi government, his fate always uncertain.Woven into the story is the violent power struggle in a young country created by the British after World War I: thirteen years of British mandate, followed by twenty-six years as a parliamentary kingdom, which was overturned by an authoritarian republic that went through three coups d' tat in ten years, culminating in Saddam Hussein's rise to power in 1968.It would be twenty years before Dabby would be reunited with his family and learn their unbelievable stories.NO LOOKING BACK is a story that happens every day somewhere in the world. It is the story of the suffering of people persecuted because of their religious beliefs, their dispersal to distant and foreign lands, and the sacrifices they make to give their children the chance to live a better life free from discrimination.