Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Three Cups of Tea -- a Book Review

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin is a fantastic story about Greg Mortenson and how he tries to change the world. After reading the book, I have the utmost respect for this man. The way that he was able to put aside his own life, forge bonds with people far more unlike than like him, and find success in a country rife with war and corruption is astounding. I know this sounds like hyperbole, but I really am impressed with the man and what he has done.

David Relin worked very hard to get an unbiased look into the world and the work of Greg Mortenson and I feel like he did a good job of keeping the story even-keeled. The beauty in this book is not with the most refined writing, but with the story.

One of the parts I loved was when Mortenson found out that there was a fatwa against him. A fatwa is a legal pronouncement by a religious cleric. There were some in Pakistan who were very much against a Christian building schools in their country and believed that he was trying to indoctrinate their children. On the contrary, he was trying to educate them to fight against the indoctrination going on by the Taliban in the madrassas that they were building. At any rate, Mortenson had built a strong network of allies by showing great respect for the Muslim people and their religion. As a result of the way he lived and the example he set, the higher ruling bodies overturned the fatwas against his school building.

The lesson that I took from this is that he was successful because of his integrity. He loved the people and their war-torn country, respected their differences, and lived what he believed even at great personal sacrifice. I have great respect for such a man.

All in all, I highly recommend the book and think it's an important read for people who want to learn more about a part of the world that we generally have very little knowledge of.

1 comment:

Dan said...

This looks like a great book to read.