3 Cups of Tea

April 6, 2009 at 5:06 pm (Reviews) (, , )

Wow.  What Greg Mortenson is doing in Pakistan and now Afghanistan amazes, awes, and even frightens me a little.  This book is very much the story of how one person can make a difference.  I can think of at least two people that I need to buy a copy.  Aside from how I feel about the man’s work, David Oliver Relin has done a fantastic job in telling Mortenson’s tale.  Biographies aren’t always entertaining reading, but this one grabbed my attention and didn’t let go.  Once I started reading, it was hard to put the book down and turn off the light.

Greg Mortenson has gone from being a mountaineer attempting to reach the summit of  K2 to being an enormous force for peace in the world.  I will admit to many preconceived notions about northern Pakistan and Afghanistan…we all hear the news reports about it being the breeding ground for the Taliban, and how little the rights of women are respected in that area.  I learned so much about Islam and Muslims that doesn’t make it onto the front page or the anchor desk.  I now firmly believe that Mortenson and the CAI are doing the right thing to promote peace: by providing schools to promote education, especially for girls.  When a more moderate education is provided, a boy is less likely to go to the extreme madrassas where he will be taught the most narrow view of Islam and that any infidel is your enemy.

I also applaud Dr. Bishop-Mortenson’s wife.  It can’t be easy to watch your husband leave the family to spend months in a dangerous place.

To date Mortenson and the Central Asia Institute have built 78 schools, educating over 28,000 students of which at least 18,000 are girls.  They’ve come a long way from that first school he built for the children of Korphe after seeing them sitting on the ground writing with sticks in the dirt.   If you want to be inspired and amazed, read this book.

What would Jane say?  Education?  Helping children?  She’d very definitely approve.

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