Demqen Asmare and family waited 10 years before they were permitted to come to Israel from Ethiopia.

Her husband's family had already immigrated a decade earlier.

In the interim, the Asmare family left their small village for the city of Gondar, as directed by the Jewish Agency.

But after 4 years of waiting, they could no longer sustain life in the city.

"“There is nothing there but hunger... I prefer the countryside over the suffering in Gondar.”


So, the family went back to their village and waited 6 more years

awaiting notice from Israel’s Ministry of Interior, responsible for Ethiopian immigration approvals.

"[My husband's] sister told us to get to Gondar that  same day  or we would be left behind, like 10 years ago."

Finally, when they received approval, Demqen's family came back to Gondar to wait another month.

In their final month Demqen recalls hearing the war creep nearer.

July 2022

Demqen told her mother that she was just leaving to sign a form.

But she never returned.

It was too painful to tell her the truth,

And that if she would, it might take decades.

that she might not see her again.

Demqen has requested to bring her mother and eldest daughter to join the family in Israel.

However, adult children who have gotten married (like her eldest) are not permitted to immigrate with their parents.

Now, Demqen’s siblings, mother, and eldest daughter have all been left behind in Ethiopia.

youngest daughter Atsede

The family arrived during the height of the pandemic, were quarantined, and has since settled into the Tzfat Absorption Center.

Her husband found a job with help from the center.

Thoughts on why you had to wait so long?