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I spent the first 18 years of my life in France. In a way, it was an accident. Born in Iran, my father, who had spent the war years in Beirut, took up with enthusiasm the opportunity to pursue his engineering studies in Grenoble after the war. He married my (Iraqi-born) mother in Israel in 1961; at which point they decided to return to France, where my father rose to become a “cadre,” indistinguishable from any of his French colleagues.

I always considered myself privileged: to have been born in France; to have attended the same Parisian lyc?e as Val?ry…

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