top of page
War in Israel Israeli Flag

לסיפורים בעברית

From Ethiopia to Israel, a story of Zionism and valor.

Kalkidan Mehri

Kalkidan Mehri was a gentle soul, with a kind heart and an unwavering love for his country. He was born and raised in Ethiopia, but at the young age of 18 he made the decision to do Aliyah to Israel alone. His family thought he was crazy, leaving everything behind to enlist in the Israeli army, but Kalkidan knew it was his duty as a proud Zionist.

He arrived in Israel with nothing but determination and ambition. Kalkidan had always been passionate about photography, a hobby he had inherited from his father. He would often be seen with his camera, capturing the beauty of his new home country. His family would often tease him for following in his father's footsteps, but Kalkidan didn't mind. He found solace and purpose in documenting life through his lens.

After months of training, Kalkidan was deployed to Gaza as part of an elite unit. He was excited to finally put all of his training into action and serve his country on the front lines. But unfortunately, fate had other plans.

On that fateful day in Corridor Netzer, Kalkidan along with fellow soldier Ido Aviv were killed by a tank shell accidentally fired at their building during an exchange of fire with terrorists.

The news shook not only their families back home in Israel but also their distant mother Almaz who still lived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She had always worried about her son being so far away from her and now her worst fears had come true.

Kalkidan's cousin wrote about him saying "They are right when they say that it is always the best who are taken" He described him as high-quality - both as a soldier and as a person - someone who embodied what it meant to be a true Zionist; optimistic even in times of war and always putting others before himself.

Despite being thousands of miles away from home and starting from scratch with a new language, Kalkidan never lost his enthusiasm for serving his country. He was proud to put on the uniform and serve alongside his fellow soldiers.

But what made Kalkidan truly special was his ability to stay connected with his distant family, especially his mother Almaz. He would visit her whenever he could, send her money and call her regularly to check in. Despite the miles between them, their bond remained unbreakable.

The news of Kalkidan's death hit the family hard. The sound of Almaz's cry when she received the devastating news could be heard all the way to Jerusalem. It was a cry that shook everyone who heard it, a cry that reflected the pain and loss felt by not only one family but an entire nation.

Kalkidan Mehri may have fallen in Gaza, but his memory will live on in the hearts and minds of those who knew him. He will always be remembered as a brave soldier, an exceptional photographer, and most importantly, a loving son who gave everything for his country.

Read More Stories

bottom of page