The Dove Flyer

Eli Amir

04/03/2010 4:45 pm

When his Uncle Hizkel is arrested, Kabi and his family face an uncertain future as do all Jews living in Baghdad. It is 1950 and each member of Kabi’s circle has a different dream: his mother wants to return to the Moslem quarter where she felt safer; his father wants to emigrate to Israel and grow rice there; Salim, his headmaster, wants Arabs and Jews to be equal, and Abu Edouard just wants to care for his adored doves.

Born storyteller, Eli Amir, spoke to us about Baghdad and the period when Jews faced a most uncertain future, the subject of his beautiful novel, The Dove Flyer, which is at long last available in English.

Eli Amir

Eli Amir was born in Baghdad in 1937 and left for Israel in 1950. Amir began his career as a messenger boy in the Prime Minister\'s Office and worked his way up to Arab Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister. Amir has concentrated on the social problems of new immigrants, and was appointed deputy director-general of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption. Today he is the director-general of the youth immigration division of the Jewish Agency. He won the Yigal Alon prize for outstanding pioneering service to the Israeli society. Amir is well-known in Israel for his lectures, articles, radio and television programs and especially for his book, Scapegoat, a semi-autobiographical novel that depicts the integration of an Iraqi-Jewish youth in an Israeli transit camp soon after the establishment of the state. This and other novels by Amir are included in the secondary school sylabus.