“I will never forget waking at midnight to leave for Jerusalem. I was only seven, but I knew that Jews were not allowed to leave Ethiopia. From that night on we were always in danger.” Isiah made Aliyah from Ethiopia with his family in 1984. They walked for weeks across the scorching desert, were robbed by bandits, shot at by rebels and barely survived the disease infested refugee camp in Sudan. Isiah’s first home in Israel was at a UIA-KH sponsored Absorption Centre in Northern Israel.

“My army service was the best thing for me,” says Isiah, who served in a combat unit for three years. Following the army, he began studying graphic design and art. If it had not been for the UIA sponsored Scholarship Isiah would have been unable to complete his studies. Today, Isiah works as a policeman but aspires to be a full-time artist. His drawings reflect his deep pride in both his Ethiopian and Jewish culture.