He is the unlikely and unknown builder restoring some of Israel’s most significant and fascinating archaeological sites, including the hidden tunnels beneath Jerusalem’s Western Wall.
I ran into this quiet, unassuming man while covering the inauguration ceremony of Herod’s Vaults, a magnificent, 150-million-shekel restoration project at Caesarea’s National Antiquities Park. He was sitting in the back with us reporters and general audience, cordoned off from the dignitaries and VIPs, which included Israel President Reuven Rivlin and Baroness Rothschild.
“I built it,” his face lit up as we admired the enormous vaults. “I am the manager of the team that has been working for five years to restore and build the beautiful building you see,” he told me with pride. Why was he was sitting back here and not with the VIPs? “This is where they told me to sit,” he whispered with a smile.
The 53-year-old father of two IDF soldiers arrived 26 years ago out of the deserts of Ethiopia with his father and brothers to return to their homeland in…