CC Alums’ Courageous Actions Made into “Resistance Climbing” Film
“We started studying Arabic at CC and that’s where it began,” says Colorado College alum Tim Bruns ’14. “If we hadn’t taken an Arabic class sophomore year, this dream wouldn’t have happened.”
A dream, combining Bruns’ passion for rock climbing with his desire to make an impact in the Middle East, which has become a livelihood — and mission — for this CC graduate. Learning Arabic opened the eyes of both he and his friend and fellow CC alum Will Harris ’14 to studying abroad in Jordan.
While there, it was a trip exploring the West Bank that stopped Bruns and Harris in their tracks. “I was totally shocked by what I saw there. The military occupation the Palestinians have been subjected to for over 50 years had disgusted me,” Bruns says.
The people, he discovered, had nothing to take their minds off the gunfire and explosions that happen frequently in the region. “They are isolated there,” he adds. “They live in a society controlled by the Israeli military occupation — where they can go, where they can study, even where they can pursue outdoor recreation. They’ve been so stigmatized in the West, yet there are millions of human beings living there who want the same things in life that we do. I was so curious about the situation and wanted to know more. I wanted to be involved in a solution.”
Bruns realized there was climbing potential in the West Bank but there were no climbers. He and Harris wanted to start a grass roots operation in Ramallah, a city in the West Bank that serves as the de facto administrative capital of the State of Palestine. But they wondered how they would do it.
That’s when an entrepreneurship class with Colorado College Professor of Business Jim Parco gave Bruns and Harris the impetus and the green light to make it happen. Bruns applied for and received a Keller Adventure Grant to travel to Ramallah in 2014 during his senior year to do market research to see if there was interest. There was.