Thursday, April 3, 2008

Book Review of Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea
By; Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

This book chronicles the life’s work of Greg Mortenson as he strove to provide educational opportunities for Muslim boys and girls in Pakistan and later Afghanistan. He mentions paying respects to Mother Teresa as she lay in state. His life parallels hers, in that he sacrificed all thought of personal gain for his family or himself on his striving to achieve bringing opportunities to children in remote mountain communities that had been ignored by their government. To this day he is continuing his work which has resulted in the building of 55 schools complete with books, supplies and teachers. The curriculum takes special care to not offend conservative religious leaders. All funds from donations by people he has convinced to support this effort. There is a website Check it out for more detailed information or make a tax deductible contribution to;
Central Asia Institute
P.O. Box 7209
Bozeman, Mt. 59771
It is an inspiring book to read. I wish now to share several important thoughts as expressed in the book.
1-“Slowly and painfully, we are seeing worldwide acceptance of the fact that the wealthier and more technologically advanced countries have a responsibility to help the undeveloped ones, not only through a sense of charity, but also because only in this way can we ever hope to see any permanent peace and security for ourselves”.
2-“ I wish Westerners who misunderstand Muslims could have seen Syed Abbas in action that day,” Mortenson says, “They would see that most people who practice the true teachings of Islam, even conservative mullahs like Syed Abbas, believe in peace and justice, not terror. Just as the Torah and Bible teach concern for those in distress, the Koran instructs all Muslims to make caring for widows, orphans, and refugees a priority”.
3-While his efforts achieved positive results; we learn that our “friends” in the region, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have spent millions constructing mosques in Pakistan and Afghanistan to provide impoverished children an Islamic education. They are referred to as Wahhabi madrassa. It is a conservative, fundamentalist offshoot of Sunni Islam and the official state religion of Saudi Arabia’s rulers. Little in the way of education is provided in subjects such as math, science, history or geography. Many become recruits for the Taliban. The goal, it seems is to churn out generation after generation looking ahead to when armies of extremism will have the numbers to swarm over Pakistan and the rest of the Islamic world.
Why do our government leaders not recognize that Saudi Arabia is responsible for much of the continuing hatred of America? If a single individual like Greg Mortenson can make a positive contribution why doesn’t our government offer assistance in countering this onslaught by our enemies? While our troops are fighting to restore order, the Saudis continue to stir the pot increasing the difficulty of our mission.
The above comments represent the most important issues that I gleaned from reading the book. I did not write in detail the story of his accomplishments. I leave that to you if interested. Purchase or go to your local library. Reading it is worth your time.

Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
April 5,2008


drsam93 said...

I would hope that all Americans not only read this book, but read information that does not always line up with their thinking and belief systems.

It seems that in polite company, Americans no longer talk about religeon or politics. However, these are two very important shapers of individual thought and beliefs, as well as national and world policy.

Americans should learn how to talk about religeon and politics with an open mind, with the ability to listen to another's view point, and without heated debate or confrontational attitude.

Along with the need to discuss these issues more, there needs to be more first person information gathering by Americans. Stop looking at one news channel. Stop reading just one newspaper. Read both liberal and conservative information. Seek opposing points of view. This will help strengthen your own beliefs.

Thank, Jack. My wife and I both intend to read this book soon.

Sam McClung

TED said...

I was trying to locate Greg Morrison (of MGM/UA) today & stumbled across this link,
via google.

Since I am currently reading the book (3 cups of tea) I was shocked to find the author "Greg Mortenson"
listed in this BLOG as "Greg Morrison."

A crazy bit of luck, for sure.

Tip: please check your spelling in future blogs. People really appreciate 'effort over laziness.'

Just saying....