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Posts Tagged ‘everest’

Tough guys cry on Mt. Everest

Posted by Richard on May 25, 2006

I’m a sucker for Everest stories, but I almost missed the story of the Everest Peace Project expedition. From Ynet News:

Israeli mountain climber Dudu Yifrah of the “Everest Climb for Peace” expedition conquered the mountain from its Tibetan side at exactly 6:51 a.m. local time last Thursday after a grueling final climb of seven hours in -45 degrees weather.

Micha Yaniv, the second Israeli on the team, arrived two hours later.

Upon reaching the summit, Yifrah, a 32-year-old farmer from Kfar Shamai, proceeded to plant Israeli and Palestinian flags, thus keeping his promise to fellow mountain climber Ali Bushnaq, a Palestinian water engineer who currently resides in Abu Dhabi, who collapsed on the way to the top and was forced to wait for the others at 7000 meters (23,000 feet).

Bushnaq broke into tears when he heard of Yifrah’s gesture.

“Now he is my brother,” he said. 

The UAE-based Gulfnews.com has a whole special section on the Everest expedition, with lots more about Ali Bushnaq and his teammates:

Climbing with Israelis, Ali admits it was "a little bit weird" at first, but past the stereotyping, he saw only real people who share his passion for climbing. "We even have the same taste in coffee!" he says.

Israeli mountain climber David Yifrah, for instance, saved the life of another climber suffering from cerebral and pulmonary edema. "I know him better now," he says.

Ali and his team mates – including one Buddhist and two Christian Americans, a Christian South African, a Hindu from India, and an atheist from New Zealand – have already scaled Kilimanjaro and Mount Shasta in California to prepare for Everest.

And no, they won’t be at each other’s throats. "We get along and we work together. We are doing what we enjoy – climbing. We hope to show the world that peace is possible and everyone can get along," he says.

I learned of the story — and stole the title — from Lisa Goldman. Lisa reported that the second Israeli climber, Micha Yaniv, began to cry when he learned that Ali had to turn back, and confessed:

I have a huge soft spot for tough guys who know how to cry.

Damn, Lisa — you’re bringing tears to my eyes. 😉

Israelis and Palestinian on Everest
L to R: Dudu Yifrach, Ali Bushnaq and Micha Yaniv

UPDATE: Oops, I forgot — the pointer to Lisa’s post came from Blogs with a Face, where I was confirming the addition of my lovely visage to the growing collage of bloggers’ faces/symbols/logos (best viewed in IE; there are some page layout issues in Firefox).
 

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