Three Cups of Tea; Promoting Peace: One School At A Time
A Review of Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time, by Greg Mortenson
"A Template For Peace" -Bloomsbury Review
What a novel way to promote peace . . . one school at a time—in Pakistan and Northwest Afghanistan! Greg Mortenson is an American, on a mission to build schools for kids (often girls) who have never seen a school.
He didn'tset out to promote peace, or to become a political activist. He just wanted to return a series of unselfish acts of kindness showered on him by residents of Korphe, a tiny village tucked in a remote mountain valley, high in Pakistan's Karakoram Range.
Greg, a mountaineer, got separated from fellow climbers after an unsuccessful attempt to climb K2, the world's second highest mountain. Fatigued, suffering the effects of altitude sickness, and extremely weak, he took a wrong turn. Almost dead, he lost his pack and all his supplies. In the dark, he stumbled up a side valley, and spent a miserable night without food, water, or shelter. He would have died had the villagers not discovered him.
While recovering in Korphe Greg discovered the children had no school. Only a few boys had access to schools "down below." No girls went to school. Greg was so moved, that he promised to return and build them a school.
That was 1993. Remarkably, Greg kept his promise. He returned to the US and began raising funds. That story, and the challenge involved, is fascinating in itself. But the story of how he returned to Pakistan, purchased supplies, and got them up to the village is remarkable. They even had to build a bridge across a chasm to get the materials into Korphe.
But once the school was built, Greg didn't stop. He kept building schools. Since then, he's built over 78 schools, which cater to 28,000 kids, including 18,00 girls -- most in the volatile northwest Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan.
Why? Because he could see the desperate need for schools and education among these impoverished, yet kind and caring villagers. And because he saw Saudi-funded Taliban recruiters building Madrassas (schools for young Jihaddists). That's when his kindness became a mission: to promote peace… one school at a time.
Co-written with David Oliver Relin, Three Cups of Tea became a #1 New York Times bestseller. It's won a dozen prizes and been nominated for dozens more. This year Greg will be awarded the Sitara-e-Pakistan “Star of Pakistan” (Pakistan’ highest civilian award).
US News anchorman, Tom Brokaw, who gave Greg his first $500 towards the Korphe school says, "Three Cups of Tea is one of the most remarkable adventure stories of our time. Greg Mortenson’s dangerous and difficult quest to build schools in the wildest parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan is not only a thrilling read, it’s proof that one ordinary person, with the right combination of character and determination, really can change the world."
This a great human interest story. It is also a great action and adventure story. I have not yet a single person who's read it who has not loved it. I highly recommend it.
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