Israel gives everyone a chance
Dr. Mero Geta spent his early years as a shepherd in a remote Ethiopian village and did not attend school.
He emigrated with his family to Israel and began to excel in everything he did – first as an officer in the Golani, later in the medical field. He is one of the few doctors worldwide specializing in head and neck cancer surgery. Furthermore, he likes to recall that the generosity of a Jewish widow in Chicago got him there.
As a child, he did not attend school and could not read or write – and as an adult, he became a doctor, now specializing in head and neck cancer surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada.
He was fortunate to meet a Jewish family in Chicago who, in 2005, took him under their wing and funded his medical studies at Ben Gurion University with the IMPACT scholarship, awarded on behalf of the Friends of the IDF in the U.S. “The scholarship’s contribution to my career has been tremendous. “The scholarship’s contribution to my success was decisive,” he says. “It allowed me to invest most of my time in studies and reduce my work hours.” Mero graduated from medical school with honours.
Mero, was born in 1983 in the Gondar district of Ethiopia into a family of 13 and spent his first eight years as a shepherd. “We lived in a small, remote village,” he says, “and my family, like all the other families in the village, lived off sheep and cattle. I didn’t go to school until I was eight years old. It was only when we immigrated to Israel that I began to study. My main task as a shepherd was to ensure that the herd I went out with in the morning came home at the end of the day and that no animal ran away.
That’s a big responsibility. It teaches you to accept responsibility at a young age and to worry all the time. I think that’s what built me. Those are fundamental values.” In 1991, he immigrated to Israel with his parents and 10 siblings as part of Operation Solomon. “My family was always accompanied by the hope of reaching the Land of Israel,” he recalls.
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