Dawn and Dusk: A Kurdish Family Torn by War
New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
2007, 151 pages
Depicts the personal and political crises facing a fictional Kurdish family living in western Iran during the early 1980s. The intended audience of middle-school students learns about Kurdish customs as well as how society changes when Ayatollah Khomeini reintroduced strict Muslim laws in 1979. The protagonist, 13-year-old Azad, lives a typical life by attending school, playing with friends, and caring for his pet parrot. He tries to hide the pain caused by his parents divorce due to his father's life as an informant for the ultra-conservative SAVAMA secret police and his mother's loyalty to human rights. The Iran-Iraq war falls on the doorsteps of this small border town, called Sardasht, when Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi leader, orders chemical weapons to be unleashed. This event widens the family rift further as Azad chooses to leave his father and accompany his mother to her tribal home in the mountains. Azad's uncle, Mohammad, joins the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), to pressfor equal rights and the creation of a separate state of Kurdistan. He is caught, and the family is forced to seek asylum in Turkey and finally to relocate to the United States. (IP)
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