Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Read The World - Pakistan - Three Cups Of Tea

Book: Three Cups of Tea
Author: Greg Mortenson
Pages: 349
Book takes place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: NO
I have visited: no

I read this book in 2017 as part of my reading challenge.  It was under a category "A Book In A Country I Know Little About".  I have not read a lot about Pakistan, so when my mom recommended this book, I wanted to try it.  I fell in love with this true story immediately.  However, it has gotten some negative press lately (there are rumors that some of it isn't true).  And when I brought it up to the reading groups that this was my Pakistan group, they agreed I should continue to hunt for something else to read for this country.  But for now, because I did love the story, I am keeping it.

This is the story of Greg Mortenson who has built over 100 schools in Pakistan.  He was a climber who was climbing K2 and failed.  He became very ill, and ended up in the village of Korphe where they cared for him until he was well.  While he was there, he got to know the people and their need for a school.  Inspired and outraged, he went home to figure out how he could raise the $12,000 needed to build a school.  As a single, registered nurse, he didn't have any money to do this himself.  He wrote over 500 letters, but finally one person offered to fund the school in its entirety.  He returned and built the school.  When his generous giver died, he left Greg 1 million dollars to start a foundation to build more schools and help the people of Pakistan.  The need for good schools - especially for girls - was large.  So were bridges and running water.  Great set out to do all of those things and succeeded.  Girls are not going to school and going on to college because of what he did.  He set out to prove that knowledge is power and it can change a society.

This was a great book.  I was fascinated by the Pakistan culture and also by the kindness the people showed a white man from America.  I learned more about the true meaning of what it means to be a Muslim (kindness and giving and brotherhood) and the different between those who are truly religious and those who are not.  It was interesting to see how what we would consider cheaply built schools could change the lives of 1000s and 1000s of children and change their futures.

Great book.  I encourage you to read it.

Stars: 5


  1. This sounds really nice! I work with a lot of Muslims from all over the Middle East and I can attest they are some of the sweetest people ever!

  2. Oh this sounds interesting! I don't know much about Pakistan either, but I would love to learn more about the culture. I think it's important to improve the lives of others if you have lots yourself, but if you don't, and you still devote yourself to helping others, that's really inspiring

  3. I've also read some objections to the "white savior" narrative (e.g., a white man brings education and resources to a less "civilized" society, implying that Westernization is better than the society's own traditions) on top of the allegations that it's untrue, but I haven't read the book myself so obviously I can't say whether I agree with them. Glad you enjoyed it, and great review!