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One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time

"We breathed an air of utter satisfaction, of eternal peace, he continued. All this gives rise to a question. Isn't it better to live in ignorance of everything- asphalt and macadam, vehicles, telephones, television- to live in bliss without knowing it?" (p.30)

"After the last note of the anthemn had faded, the chilren sat in a neat circle and began copying their multiplication tables. Most strachted in the dirt with sticks they'd brought for that purpose. The more fortunate, like Jahan, had slate boards they wrote on with sticks dipped in a mixture of mud and water. Can you imagine a fourth-grade class in America, alone, without a teacher, sitting there quietly and working on  their lessons? Mortenson asks. I felt like my heart was beaing torn out. There was a fierceness in their desire to learn, despite how mightly everything was stacked against them, that reminded me of Christa. I knew I had to do something." (p.32)
  
"Norberg-Hodge continues to argue not only that Western development workers should not bindly impose modern improvements on ancient cultures, but that industralized countries had lessons to learn from people like Ladakhis about building sustainable societies. I have seen, she writes, that community and a close relationship with the land can enrich human life beyond all comparison with material wealth or tehnological sophistication. I have learned that another way is possible." (p.112)

"Long after all those rams are dead and eaten this school will still stand. Haji Mehdi has food today. Now our children have education forever." (p.153)

"I can't read anything. This is the greatest sadness in my life. I'll do anything so the children of my village never have to know this feeling. I'll pay any price so they have the education they deserve." (p.153)

"It was the most exciting day of my life, says schoolmaster Husein's daughter, Tahira. Mr. Parvi handed each of us new books and I didn't dare to open them, they were so beautiful. I'd never had my own books before." (p.194)

"I couldn't take my eyes off al the foreign ladies, says Jahan, who, along with Tahira, would one day become the first educated women in the long history of the Braldu Valley. They seemed so dignified. Whenever I'd seen people from downside before, I'd run away, ashamed of my dirty clothes. But that day I held the first set of clean, new clothes I'd ever owned, Jahan says. And I remember thinking, Maybe I shouldn't feel so ashamed. Maybe, one day, Allah willing, I can become a great lady, too." (p.195)

"The time of arithemtic and poetry is past. Nowadays, my brothers, take your lessons from the Kalashnikov and rocket-propelled grenade." (Graffiti spray-painted on the courtyard wall of the Korphe School) (p.241)

"I request America to look into our hearts, Abbas continued, his voice straining with emotion, and see that the great majority of us are not terrorists, but good and simple pople. Our land is stricken with poverty because we are without education. But today, another candle of knowledge has been lit. In the name of Allah the Almighy, may it light our way out of the darkness we find ourselves in." (p.257)

"As the U.S confrunts Saddam Husein's regime in Iraq, Greg Mortenson, 45, is quietly waging his own campaign against Islamic fundamentalists, who often recruit members through religious schools called madrassas. Mortenson's approach hinges on a simple idea: that by building secular schools and helping to promote education- particulary for girls- in the world's most volatile war zone, support for the Taliban and other extremist sects eventually will dry up." (Kevin Fadarko, Parade cover story, April, 6, 2004) (p.297)

"It is my vision that we all will dedicate the next decade to achieve universal literacy and education for all the children, especially for girls. More than 145 million of the world's children are deprived of education due to poverty, exploitation, slaverly, gender discrimination, religious extremism and corrupt governments. May Three Cups of Tea be a catalyst to bring the gift of literacy to each of those children who deserves a chance to go to school." (p.333)

(Three Cups of Tea. One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time. Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, 2006)


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