Everest Peace Project

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Everest Peace Project - Library kids.jpg

The Everest Peace Project is an organization based in the United States that promotes peace, teamwork and cultural understanding by climbing some of the highest peaks in the world by a team of individuals from various faiths and cultures.[1][2]


2006 climb[edit]

In 2006, there was an ascent of Mount Everest by Ali Bushnaq, Dudu Yifrah and Micha Yaniv, members of the Everest Peace Project. The climb is the main focus of the documentary film Everest: A Climb for Peace.

Ali Bushnaq

Ali Bushnaq is a Palestinian (Bosniak from Palestina). He was born in Nablus, but later he and his family moved to Jordan. He went to college in the United States. At the time of the expedition, he, his wife, and three children lived in Abu Dhabi.[6] Ali is an athlete who has played rugby, and run marathons. His climbing experience includes climbing Mount Shasta in California and several climbing expeditions in the Alps and Himalayas. In 2005 he summited Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.

In 2006 Ali reached the elevation of 7000 meters (23,000 feet) in his bid to summit Mount Everest. Although Ali, who is not a professional climber, was not able to reach the top of Everest at 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) , he became the first Palestinian ever to reach 7000 meters elevation.[6] Ali believed that some of his Arab friends would no longer talk to him because of his decision to climb Everest with Israelis.[7]

Dudu Yifrah

Dudu Yifrah is an Israeli who was born in Northern Israel. At the time of the expedition he was 32 years old. A member of the Israeli Alpine Club, his climbing experience includes summiting Mount Blanc, the Matterhorn, Kamet and others. He is also a great rock climber, who has climbed almost every rock climbing site in his native Middle East region. In 2006 Dudu summited Mount Everest. He became the second Israeli to successfully climb Everest, reaching the top on May 18, 2006 at 6:51am .[6][8] Dudu served in the Israeli Defense Forces in an elite commando unit. At one point his unit was stationed in Gaza. Six weeks after he came home after successful ascending Everest, Dudu was called to fight in the Israel-Hezbollah War.[6]

The expedition leader for the project, Lance Trumbull, recalls talking to Dudu just before he was called for active duty, when Hezbollah was firing rockets to Northern Israel:[9]

Dudu works in his family business, still serves in the military, and continues climbing in his free time.[6]

Micha Yaniv

Micha Yaniv is an Israeli who was born in Tel-Aviv and who at the time of the expedition was 40 years old. Micha, his wife and three children live in Jerusalem. He studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he received a bachelor's degree in math and physics.[6]

Micha became interested in climbing in 1988, and is a climbing instructor for the Israeli Defense Forces. He is also an active member of the community, and a volunteer teacher for needy kids.[6]

Micha climbs all surfaces, including rock and ice. He has climbed mountains around the world in Switzerland, Italy, France, Peru, Nepal, Tibet, India, and is only one of a handful of Everest summiteers who has also climbed El Capitan in Yosemite.[6] On May 18, 2006 at 9:35 a.m., he became the third Israeli who successfully climbed Everest.[8]

When he is neither climbing nor volunteering, Micha is working on a Ph.D. in Geophysics.[6]

At the mountain[edit]

Three men in mountain climbing gear on an ice covered slope
The climbers on the mountain Source: Lance Trumbull – EverestPeaceProject.org

At the interim camp, Ali shared a tent with Micha and Dudu. He was the last one to arrive at the camp, and he was exhausted. His Israeli friends helped Ali prepare his meal, and let him sleep in the middle between them. As soon as Ali felt better, he helped Micha and Dudu, whenever possible. Lance Trumbull was surprised that Ali, who was not a professional climber, was able to climb to the North Col in the same amount of time as Micha and Dudu did.[11]

Yet even at 5,180 meters (17,000 feet) elevation, sitting in a base camp, the men often engaged in arguing about Middle East politics. Lance Trumbull recalls one such exchange:

Trumbull understood how uneasy it was for the three men on different sides of the brutal war to overcome their differences, and to work together as a climbing team. On Everest, the ability to work as a team is often a matter of life and death.[12][not in citation given]

Dudu and Micha reached the "top of the world", as Everest is called. Ali had turned back near the North Col. He was suffering from pneumonia, and felt dizzy and weak. Micha cried when he learned that Ali would not share the summit with them. Although Ali could not make it to the top, the Palestinian flag was carried to the top of the highest mountain in the world by Ali's Israeli teammates. The culmination of the entire climb came when Dudu Yifrah's "raised the sewn together Israeli-Palestinian flags on the summit of Everest and dedicated his climb to his new-found brother and climbing partner Ali Bushnaq". When Ali learned about this by radio contact with Dudu and Micha, he was deeply moved.[7][12]


Everest: A Climb for Peace
Everest - A Climb for Peace.jpg
Directed by Lance Trumbull
Produced by Billy Marchese,
Lance Trumbull,
David M. Call,
Lisa Tauscher,
Laticia Headings
Written by Jill Sharer
Narrated by Orlando Bloom
Music by Erik Mongrain, James T. Sale
Cinematography Brad Clement
Edited by Billy Marchese
Running time
63 min
Language English

Everest: A Climb for Peace is a documentary about the 2006 climb, and is narrated by Orlando Bloom. The documentary has been hailed as a "tremendous achievement" by the Dalai Lama and has received his endorsement.[13]


The climb for peace expedition and the documentary which took five years to plan, execute and put together [14] is about 9 climbers as they climb the north side of Mount Everest.[15] The climbers, of different nationalities and faiths, work together despite their cultural differences to climb the mountain for peace.[16] Although there were 9 peace climbers on the expedition, the film focuses on Palestinian Ali Bushnaq and Israelis Dudu Yifrah and Micha Yaniv.[17]


  1. ^ Peace Climbers
  2. ^ Sharma, Sushil (December 31, 2002). "Multi-faith bid to scale Everest". BBC. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  3. ^ Seeking world peace and understanding on Mt. Everest
  4. ^ Review of Everest: A Climb for Peace
  5. ^ Israeli plants Palestinian flag on Mt. Everest
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Everest: A Climb for Peace" (PDF). www.everestpeaceproject.org. 
  7. ^ a b Judith Kuriansky (August 30, 2007). Beyond Bullets and Bombs: Grassroots Peacebuilding between Israelis and Palestinians (Contemporary Psychology). Praeger. p. 227. ISBN 978-0-275-99880-6. 
  8. ^ a b "Lance's night: Everest Peace Project Summits 10". www.explorersweb.com. May 18, 2006. 
  9. ^ New York Times via the International Herald Tribune (July 12, 2006). "Clashes spread to Lebanon as Hezbollah raids Israel". Retrieved August 16, 2007.
  10. ^ "Dudu Yifrah – War and Peace". www.everestpeaceproject.com. October 20, 2006. 
  11. ^ Lance Trumball (May 3, 2006). "Everest: A Climb for Peace". gulfnews.com. 
  12. ^ a b c Haaretz "Two Israelis and a Palestinian – conquering Everest together". Retrieved June 16, 2010.
  13. ^ "Dalai Lama heaps praise on Orlando Bloom's 'Everest: A Climb for Peace'". Malaysia Sun. November 30, 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  14. ^ "Everest : A climb for peace". The Moviezzz. January 23, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  15. ^ Sharma, Sushil (December 31, 2002). "Multi-faith bid to scale Everest". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  16. ^ "Everest : A climb for peace". 2006-05-19. 
  17. ^ "Multi-religious team to climb Everest for West Asia peace". The Hindu. April 6, 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-12-18. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 

External links[edit]