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Three Cups of Tea - Overview

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace, One School at a Time.

The book recounts the journey that led Mortenson from a failed 1993 attempt to climb Pakistan's K2, the world's second highest mountain, to successfully establishing schools in some of the most remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. By replacing guns with pencils, rhetoric with reading, Mortenson combines his unique background with his intimate knowledge of the developing world to promote peace with books, not bombs, and successfully bring education and hope to remote communities in central Asia.

Three Cups of Tea
is at once an unforgettable adventure and the inspiring true story of how one man really is changing the world-one school at a time. While recovering from the climb in a village called Korphe, Mortenson met a group of children sitting in the dirt writing with sticks in the sand, and made a promise to help them build a school.  From that rash promise, grew a remarkable humanitarian campaign, in which Mortenson has dedicated his life to promote education, especially for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.  As of 2009, Mortenson has established or significantly supports 131 schools in rural and often volatile regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, which provide education to over 58,000 children, including 44,000 girls, where few education opportunities existed before.

His work has not been without difficulty. In 1996, he survived an eight day armed kidnapping by the Taliban in Pakistan' Northwest Frontier Province tribal areas, escaped a 2003 firefight with feuding Afghan warlords by hiding for eight hours under putrid animal hides in a truck going to a leather-tanning factory. He has overcome fatwehs from enraged Islamic mullahs, endured CIA investigations, and also received threats from fellow Americans after 9/11, for helping Muslim children with education.

Mortenson is a living hero to rural communities of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he has gained the trust of Islamic leaders, military commanders, government officials and tribal chiefs from his tireless effort to champion education, especially for girls.

Three Cups of Tea has also been adapted and updated for young readers of all ages.

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Journey to Change the World---One Child at a Time
The Young Readers edition, includes new photos and illustrations, as well as a special interview by Greg's twelve-year-old daughter, Amira, who has traveled with her father as an advocate for the Pennies for Peace program.



Listen to the Wind, the children's book, is told in the voice of Korphe's children, and illuminates the humanity and culture of a relevant and distant part of the world while sharing a riveting example of how one person can change thousands of lives.




Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan was released on December 1, 2009. In this dramatic first-person narrative, Greg Mortenson picks up where Three Cups of Tea left off in 2003, recounting his relentless, ongoing efforts to establish schools for girls in Afghanistan; his extensive work in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan after a massive earthquake hit the region in 2005; and the unique ways he has built relationships with Islamic clerics, militia commanders, and tribal leaders even as he was dodging shootouts with feuding Afghan warlords and surviving an eight-day armed abduction by the Taliban. He shares for the first time his broader vision to promote peace through education and literacy, as well as touching on military matters, Islam, and women-all woven together with the many rich personal stories of the people who have been involved in this remarkable two-decade humanitarian effort.


Last Modified: June 18, 2010