Israeli father reunited with children 20 years after immigrating from Ethiopia

Yahalem Tadasa made Aliyah from Ethiopia in 2002, but his children Abrarao and Kano stayed behind; after two long decades apart, the family is back together again in Israel; 'this is a dream come true'

Eitan Glickman|
Twenty years after Yahalem Tadasa made Aliyah from Ethiopia to Israel, he was finally reunited with his children this week.
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  • Abrarao, 30, and Kano, 28, embraced their father and couldn't stop the tears after they arrived at the airport.
    2 View gallery
    יהעלם טדסה, קנו ואברראו
    יהעלם טדסה, קנו ואברראו
    Yahalem Tadasa with his children Abrarao and Kano
    (Photo: Yariv Katz)
    “This is a dream come true. I can’t believe I’m seeing my children after 20 years. A years-long battle for the right to see my children has come to an end," Tadasa said.
    Abrarao and Kano are part of a group of 160 immigrants from Ethiopia that arrived in Israel on Tuesday.
    "I'm always by their side since they arrived in Israel. Neither of us had any sleep. We talk a lot and try to make up for the long years I waited for them to come," he said.
    "This is really a dream come true. Everybody's hugging and are with the extended family all the time. There are many tears of joy. We're having a hard time realizing that we have fulfilled our mission to bring them here after long years of fighting."
    2 View gallery
    חיוכים עם הנחיתה בישראל. יהעלם התאחד עם ילדיו אחרי 20 שנה
    חיוכים עם הנחיתה בישראל. יהעלם התאחד עם ילדיו אחרי 20 שנה
    Yahalem Tadasa reunited with his family after 20 years
    (Photo: Elad Zagman)
    Immigration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata, the first Ethiopian-born woman to enter the Knesset, has requested then-interior minister Arye Deri to allow Tadasa’s children to immigrate two and a half years ago.
    “When he made Aliyah in 2002, he was promised that his children would come too,” she wrote to Deri. “It’s extremely unfortunate that Mr. Yahalem Tadasa and his children are put threw this terrible suffering for their wish to return to Zion."
    As part of Operation Zur Israel, 3,000 Olim Chadashim from Ethiopia are expected to make Aliyah in the coming months and be settled in five immigration centers set up from them by the Aliyah and Integration Ministry.
    In the first stage of the operation, 2,000 people have made Aliyah in a move promoted by Tamano Shata in the previous governmet.
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