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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Three Cups of Tea One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations...One School at Time by Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin, 2006 * * * *

Three Cups of Tea is one of the most remarkable true-life adventure stories ever written. In 1993 Greg Mortenson was the exhausted survivor of a failed attempt to ascend K2, the world's second tallest mountain, an American climbing bum wandering emaciated and lost through Pakistan's Karakoram Himalaya. After he was taken in and nursed back to health for seven weeks, by the people of the impoverished Pakistani village of Korphe, Mortenson promised to return one day and build them a school . From that rash, earnest promise grew one of the most incredible humanitarian campaigns of our time — Greg Mortenson's one-man mission to counteract extremism by building schools, especially for girls, throughout the breeding ground of the Taliban. Mortenson's struggle to fulfill that promise, and then committing himself to fundraising and building many more schools, is the central subject of the story. Although Mortenson's promise was rash and he had no idea how to achieve his goal, the project has since grown into the Central Asia Institute, which has constructed more than 55 schools across rural Pakistan and Afghanistan. Co-author Relin recounts Mortenson's efforts in fascinating detail, presenting compelling portraits of the village elders, con artists, philanthropists, mujahideen, Taliban officials, and ambitious school girls. An inspirational story of one man's efforts to address poverty, educate girls, and overcome cultural divides, Greg Mortenson provides proof that one ordinary person, with the right combination of character and deterination, can really change the world.

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