Monday, June 4, 2012

Hope for Israel and Turkey on Mount Everest

Last month, 24-year-old Nadav Ben-Yehuda was just 300 metres from the summit of Mount Everest. He had spent two years training for his goal to become the youngest Israeli to scale the peak, and he was just about to make it.

But Ben-Yehuda gave up his goal in an instant when he saw a Turkish climber who he had met before starting the climb. Forty-six year-old Aydin Irmak was lying unconscious, having fallen on his way down from the top of the mountain.

Ben-Yehuda risked his own life and carried Irmak to safety eight hours away. Both climbers suffered frostbite on the long, cold journey.

Ben-Yehuda will be receiving the Presidential Medal of Honour in Jerusalem this month, though he been insisting to Israeli media that he feels unworthy of the great honour.

Irmak reportedly told Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot that Ben-Yehuda has "built a bridge between Turkey and Israel," and that he now sees his rescuer as a "brother."

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