Saturday, May 10, 2008

Three cups of tea

Picked up this book "Three cups of tea" from my aunt's bookshelf. Its the most amazing story ever told about a man waging his own war against terror by means of education. It is the story of Greg Mortenson, a mountaineer, an ex US marine and a nurse who tries to scale K2, probably the most challenging peak for a mountaineer, as a tribute to his late sister. A mishap involving another teammate and the rescue mission takes a toll on Greg physically as well as mentally and they have to abort the climb a few hundreds of metres from the summit. A degected Mortenson loses his way on the descent and ends up in a poverty struck village in Pakistan where he's taken care of wonderfully by the villagers. Mortenson vows to build a school for the local kids who have to take school lessons on any icy floor in the village. Mortenson, himself broke, puts in all his willpower to test and manages to build around 50 schools in Pakistan against many obstacles created by a few greedy Mullahs, the Taliban and and continues the work in post 9/11 Afghanistan. It is an incredible story of how one man has dared to change the history of the world through the most powerful tool of them all, education.

The book is an eye-opener to the western world an even probably to a lot of Indians. It shows how misdirected America's war against terrorism is, they are just killing people, be it the Taliban or in Iraq; and not the thought that is spreading across the poorer Islamic countries like a virus and in the process killing thousands of civilians. It also shows how misguided are the statements regarding the relief work in Afghanistan and how less has the world done to bring back Afghanistan to their feet.

Greg Mortenson will surely win the Nobel prize someday for his work. He's trying to fight terror by fighting poverty, by creating employment for the poor in Pakistan and Afghanistan and empowering women with education and he's doing all of that by embracing Islam and the people's way of life and not forcing the western culture in their simple lives. He has his concerns about the fundamentalist teachings in the Wahabbi Madarassas which are spreading like a virus in Pakistan, thanks to the billions pumped in by the businessmen from Saudi Arabia and is battling this by starting his own schools funded by his organisation the Central Asia Insitute (CAI). The right way to fight terror will be supporting causes such as the CAI's and funding them appropriately so that they manage to continue their work in these extremely volatile regions. More about the CAI can be learnt at this address. I recommend all readers of this blog to pick up a copy of this book online as 7% of the sales is donated to this organisation or make a small contribution to this worthy cause. Terrorism is affecting all of us, lets fight it together!

1 comment:

E = mc^2 said...

Hey....great to read about this.....will defi buy a copy now.....any particular site one needs to order it from? I am on a book-buying spree anyway, these days...