The goal of the present project is to allow a group of young Israelis and and palestinians to ascend a demanding and emblematic summit in the Alps, namely the Mont Blanc. In addition to the physical and emotional experience, this ascent will have a high symbolic value, inasmuch as mountain climbing requires extensive solidarity between participants. The event will thus serve to illustrate the possibilty of solidarity between Jews and Arabs.This symbolic Value, which promotes the idea that peace in the middle east is indeed possible, will be illustrated in a film covering the project from start to finish.

  • To provide a group of young Jews and Arabs with an opportunity for experiencing coexistence.
  • To initiate a permanent program of common Israeli-Palestinian activities in the Alps, on a yearly basis.
  • To seek media impact, i.e. to disseminate in the public the idea that Israeli-Palestinian coexistence is indeed possible.
Project Leaders

Olfat Haider was born in Haifa, where she presently lives. She is Arab. She received a B.A. in Physical Education from the Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sports and worked as a high school physical education teacher for 12 years. She is a certified Outward Bound Instructor, having worked with this organisation (http://www.outwardbound.org) to lead at risk teenagers through outdoors activity. A volleyball player since she was 12 years old, Olfat Haider spent several years as the only Arab member of the National Volleyball Team. She is an Israeli Ministry of Tourism licensed tour guide. Olfat Haider has been involved in several projects promoting peaceful coexistence between Jewish and Arab youth in Israel. She participated with Doron Erel in the expedition "Breaking the ice". She helped to create the Palestinian-Israeli Unity Project (PIUP), a joint effort between Breaking the Ice and the North Carolina Outward Bound School. This project brought Arab and Jewish teenagers from Haifa to the North Carolina Mountains in the summers of 2005 and 2006 for an intensive wilderness expedition. Olfat Haider is currently responsible for helping the PIUP students with their follow-up projects in Haifa.

Doron Erel was born in 1959 in Tel Aviv. He trained in a Swiss climbing school (Leysin) where he gained experience exploring the French and Swiss Alps. He is the first Israeli who climbed Mont Mc-Kinley (1987) and Mount Everest (1992). He presently belongs to the very restricted group of top level mountaineers who successfully climbed the "seven summits", i.e. the highest mountain on each continent, including Antarctica. He has been active in Alpine rescue operations, including a search for survivors of the 1990's Lenin's Peak avalanche, which was the worst disaster in climbing history (40 victims). In 2004, Doron Erel was a leader in the expedition "Breaking the ice", which led 4 Palestinians and 4 Israelis together to the top of a yet unclimbed mountain in Antarctica. This expedition aimed at proving that people from different political and religious backgrounds can co-operate with each other. Presently, Doron Erel introduces groups of young people to rock climbing.

Jean Troillet was born 10 March 1948 at Orsières and lives at La Fouly in Valais. Of Swiss and Canadian nationality he obtained his mountain guide qualifications in 1969. He has reached the summit of ten peaks of more than 8000 meters, all climbed in the alpine style, and without oxygen Jean Troillet is also seafarer (shipmate of Laurent Bourgnon onboard Primagaz) and a photographer (Animan magazine). Jean Troillet is actively involved in helping young people with difficulties. In January 2008, he created
his Foundation, with the goal of promoting mountaineering and outdoor activities with juvenile delinquents. Jean Troillet takes them out in the woods, to walk, make fires, and discover simple things. "I talk to them about life, tell them how important it is to remain focused, as with high altitude mountaineering. Descent is the most dangerous, when one
believes that victory is behind. Some react very positively, and it is a wonder to watch them change".

May-July 2010: Group & Field training in Israel
end of July - mid August 2010: Alpine training and summiting in the Alps.