I recently read Three Cups of Tea. (I actually finished it on Saturday but wanted to take my time and write about this book.)
This is a wonderful book. I think it really shows the true Muslim teachings instead of those believed by the Muslim extremists like Al Quaeda and Osama Bin Laden. It shows that there are Muslims who believe in educating their children, even girls.
This book talks a lot about the belief that if you teach a population’s girls, then you can save an entire population. The book illustrates that when women are educated, the infant mortality rates go down, the death rate of deaths caused by hygiene related issues decrease, and those women teach there children.
Greg Mortenson is an amazing person and I hope that one day the whole world will live by his philosophy.
There is one point in the book when he is addressing representatives from Washington and he points out that the children of Pakistan and Afghanistan have no future without education but if you educate them and give them a future, you will wipe out terrorism. Essentially, it says that these young kids turn to terrorism because it gives them some sort of future but if you give them another path, they will choose it.
There are times that Greg Mortensen suffers for his passion for educating these children. He has sleepless nights, he receives death threats, he feels lost, but he keeps going.
This book also puts 9/11 in a different perspective. Greg Mortensen was in a small village on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border when 9/11 happened. This book shows 9/11 from another side of the world. It shows the worry that Mortensen’s friends had for his safety after 9/11, especially being that close to the border. But it also shows the systematic approach that Al Quaeda used in carrying out the 9/11 attacks. (I won’t say too much more because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone else.)
I think every person should read this book. It is truly inspiring and amazing but it also teaches so much about the Middle East and the Muslim faith. I think that every soldier deploying to the Middle East should read this book and I think that all children should read this book or the young adult version or the children’s version, Listen to the Wind, so that the prejudices that have grown since the war in Afghanistan and Iraq can be erased. Our children need to know that not all Muslims are terrorists. This book will help.
For more info or to purchase the book (a portion of the price goes to CAI), please visit www.threecupsoftea.com