Michael Kenneth Williams's Character "Kebede Bimro" in Netflix's "The Red Sea Diving Resort" is inspired by the heroics of Farede Yazazao Aklum, Photo: Netflix / Marcos Cruz

About Farede Yazazao Aklum
GenderMale
SpouseSamira ??? - 2009
SiblingsAmram Aklum, Naftali Aklum
NationalityEthiopian
JobActivist
Birth Year1949
Death Year2009
BuriedBe’er Sheva

Netflix’s The Red Sea Diving Resort, which premiered on July 31, depicts the dangerous Mossad operation to rescue Ethiopian Jews from the grips of conflict. Michael K. Williams plays Kebede Bimro, a key player in helping Mossad agents evacuate Ethiopian refugees into Israel using a beachfront resort in Sudan. This story is inspired by real events, which means there’s a real hero behind Bimro. He is Farede Yazazao Aklum, dubbed the “Ethiopian Moses” for rescuing Jewish Ethiopians in the ‘80s operation. He’s a man worth knowing about, so we’ve got Farede Yazazo Aklum’s wiki to tell you the true story behind The Red Sea Diving Resort.

Farede Aklum Was an Ethiopian-Jewish Activist

Farede Yazazao Aklum (name also spelled as Ferede Yazezow Aklum) was born in 1949 and came from a large family of 12 children. The Aklum family lived in the Ethiopian village of Endabaguna.

Back in the late 1970s, when Ethiopia was gripped by civil war, the Marxist regime in the country had struck a covert deal with the Israeli government that allowed Ethiopian Jews to be secretly airlifted out of Sudan. But after Israel’s then-foreign minister, Moshe Dayan, went public with the deal, Ethiopian officials went back on the agreement, declared the Jews remaining in the country traitors, and began targeting Jewish activists like Aklum who were helping Jews escape to Israel.

Advertisement

Aklum had to leave his home in Tigray to escape the persecution, and walked to the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. He had with him a notebook containing the contact information of Mossad agents who were aiding the secret airlifts.

Once in Sudan, Aklum set to work immediately. He began writing letters to these Mossad agents, asking for help in saving the Jewish people caught in the crosshairs of civil conflict.

Menachem Begin, then-prime minister of Israel, received one of these letters and appointed Mossad operative Danny Limor to the task. Limor is depicted as Ari Levinson, portrayed by Chris Evans in The Red Sea Diving Resort. Additionally, Limor was a consultant on the film.

Michael Williams and Chris Evans on Netflix's Red Sea Diving Resort

Michael Kenneth Williams as Kabede Bimro and Chris Evans as Ari Levinson on Red Sea Diving Resort – Photo Credit: Netflix / Marcos Cruz

Aklum Is the Mastermind behind the Arous Resort Plan

In Khartoum with Limor, Aklum began brainstorming ideas. He thought that if he could convince the Ethiopian Jews to come to Sudan, Mossad could have them airlifted out of the country.

Advertisement

Also Read: Rob Mendez Wiki, Facts About The Coach Born Without Limbs Who Won The Jimmy V Award at ESPYS 2019

Advertisement

He began writing letters to Ethiopian villages on the border, urging the Jews there to make the perilous journey into Sudan so they could be evacuated to Israel. It’s estimated that more than 20,000 villagers walked to Sudan, their numbers greatly reduced by starvation, disease, and bandits along the way.

The Mossad agents had to come up with an evacuation plan once the refugees arrived in Sudan, without raising any suspicions. Inspired by the biblical exodus of Israelites from Egypt, Limor and his colleagues devised a plan, referred to as Operation Brothers in the Netflix retelling, to smuggle the refugees through the Red Sea.

Arous on the Red Sea, a Mossad-operated fake beachfront resort, would be the base of this evacuation. They would gather the refugees there and have them evacuated on boats and planes in the night.

Advertisement

Aklum’s family and villagers from Endabaguna, including his youngest brother, then-one-year-old Naftali Aklum, trekked all the way to Sudan in 1979.

Before the resort opened in 1981, the family members were hidden in a safe house in Khartoum. With the resort front ready, they were given fake passports and airlifted to Israel via Greece.

The success of this mission paved the way for future evacuation operations. Seventeen more such clandestine missions were arranged through the Arous resort.

Aklum’s Family Lived in an Ethiopian Neighborhood in Israel

Aklum and his family arrived in Israel and initially lived in Be’er Sheva, in a largely Ethiopian neighborhood. Many of these Ethiopian Jews and their descendants have struggled with finding a national and cultural identity.

Don’t Miss: Brittany Kaiser Wiki, Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Featured in Netflix’s The Great Hack

Aklum married a woman named Samira and continued working with Mossad to help Ethiopian Jews until his death.

He died in 2009 at the age of 60, during a trip to Ethiopia. The nature of his death is a mystery, along with several other aspects of his life. He is buried in a cemetery in Be’er Sheva. His efforts were recognized in 2017, when the Shofar Square was renamed after him.

He is survived by his family, including his brother Naftali, who keeps his legacy alive and educates second-generation Ethiopian-Israelis about their legacy and the history of the Arous resort rescue.

Naftali Aklum Works with Ethiopian-Descended Israelis

Aklum’s younger brothers, Amram and Naftali, are determined to educate second-generation Ethiopian-Israelis about the history of the Arous operation. They want people to know that it was not just the work of the Israeli government, but also the grit of the Ethiopians who risked their lives to come to Israel.

Naftali says that these families who spoke next to no Hebrew struggled to integrate into Israeli society. Naftali himself only truly felt a part of Israeli society after he served in the Israeli Defense Forces.

Naftali studied politics, government, history, and Middle Eastern studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and graduated in 2008. He then traveled to Ethiopia and discovered that he had a rich history.

Also Read: Jason Brown Wiki, Former ICC Coach On Netflix’s “Last Chance U

He now helms an organization helping Jews of Ethiopian descent embrace their complex identity. He lectures youth and holds workshops for Ethiopians living in Israel.

He also hopes The Red Sea Diving Resort will educate young Ethiopians in Israel about the perilous journey their families took to escape conflict in their homeland.

Red Sea Diving Resort premiered on Netflix on July 31, 2019

Alex Hassell, Alessandro Nivola, Chris Evans, Haley Bennett, Michiel Huisman appear on Red Sea Diving Resort – Photo Credit: Netflix / Marcos Cruz

Loading Comments..