Three cups of Tea
I’ve just finished this wonderful book of an American who came to found dozens of schools in the Middle East.
Mashaallah, what an impressive accomplishment and what a brave man – A person who fights terrorism, who builds bridges and respects other cultures and religions.
A wonderful example of how one can change the world. Even if some of the book might be fiction, it really is a beautiful read.
Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations . . . One School at a Time
A book by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
“The book is titled Three Cups of Tea after the northern Pakistani customs of hospitality of honouring guests and making them friends and a part of the family over successive servings of tea.
Inside the book, David Oliver Relin takes us on a trip along with this American climber, Greg Mortenson, who almost made it to the top of one of the most difficult, harshest peaks in the world, the K2.
Reading through the first few pages, one reads about how close he comes to his goal of climbing the mountain but fails and almost loses his life in the process.
But the story that starts out as a tale of survival on the base camps quickly shifts gears as he finds himself in a small village, Korphe, at the foothills of the Himalayas.
He is transported centuries back in time as he realizes that nothing much has changed in this small village for generations or in the lives of these people, called the Balti. As he regained his strength living amongst these people, his life changed forever, in a way he had never imagined.
He left the village with a promise to return one day with a gift of a school for the children who surrounded him with their smiles as he was recovering
He was finally able to raise enough funds to return to Korphe and give the children their school after enduring through learning local languages, customs, and any other hurdle that came his way, of which there were many.
But this turned out to be only the beginning of a life-long mission for him.
From this first school, Greg Mortenson and the Central Asia Institute (CAI) that he later founded, over the next decade, would build and support hundreds of schools all over northern Pakistanand Afghanistan.
This is the story of an ordinary American who, unknowingly to himself, became a hero to thousands of children who would otherwise never go to school.
What he thought was his failure to climb K2, made him the champion of the lives of a whole generation of children.
He did all this with the greatest personal sacrifice, having to stay away from his home, his wife, and his children his loves so much.
He also put his life in incredible danger and persevered through the most hostile land, fiercely rugged terrains, harsh climates, thugs, warlords, and the fundamentalist Taliban in a time of war in the region, all for the sake of these children.
A soldier of peace, he fought a war for the helpless children and women, among them with pens and the true teachings of Islam, so that they can stay away from the fundamental madrasas and the terrorism they spread. ”
(Parts of the book review by Ali I.Raja, MD, Arkansas, 2007)
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