Persians of Israel: Dorit Rabinyan

July 16, 2021 03:58 PM
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Israeli author Dorit Rabinyan, whose parents immigrated from Iran, drew inspiration from the Persian women in her family to write two novels that won her domestic and international acclaim in the 1990s about the lives and loves of Persian girls and young women. After moving to New York in the early 2000s, she met a Palestinian artist and developed an intimate relationship that later would inspire her third and most recent novel, 2014’s All the Rivers. The book's tale of an Israeli-Palestinian interreligious romance, a taboo for many conservative Israelis, prompted Israel’s then-conservative government to stop high schools from compelling students to read it. In this Persians of Israel episode, Rabinyan tells VOA’s Michael Lipin how the controversy surrounding All the Rivers has made her a liberal advocate against what she sees as an internal conservative threat to Israel’s democratic values.