January 15, 2010
American humanitarian Greg Mortenson's first book THREE CUPS OF TEA has sold over 3.5 million copies around the world. It tells the remarkable story about his efforts to build schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. When in 2008 the JOURNAL asked viewers what books should be priority reading for the next President
, THREE CUPS OF TEA was among the top ten suggestions. Now, the book has become required reading for our senior military commanders and Special Forces in Afghanistan.
Greg Mortenson is the co-founder of the nonprofit Central Asia Institute
. His charity arm, Pennies For Peace
, helps raise money for his school-building efforts in Central Asia. THREE CUPS OF TEA
has been on the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list for over three years, and was named a TIME Magazine "Asia Book of The Year."
Mortenson's new book is called STONES INTO SCHOOLS: PROMOTING PEACE WITH BOOKS NOT BOMBS, IN AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN.
As of 2009, Mortenson has established over 131 schools in rural and often violent regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, where few educational opportunities existed before. These schools have provided education to over 58,000 children, including 44,000 girls.
In Pakistan, most of Mortenson's schools are in that country's two volatile border regions – one being its border with India, and the other its border with Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, Mortenson's schools are located in seven different provinces, including some that are Taliban strongholds.
In 2009, Mortenson received Pakistan's highest civil award, Sitara-e-Pakistan ("Star of Pakistan") for his humanitarian effort to promote girls education in rural areas for 15 years.
In 2009, Mortenson received Pakistan's highest civil award the Sitara-e-Pakistan ("Star of Pakistan") for his humanitarian effort to promote girls education.
Several bi-partisan U.S. Congressional representatives have nominated Mortenson for the Nobel Peace Prize, in 2009 and 2010.
Mortenson was born in 1957, and grew up on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. His father Dempsey, founded Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC),
his mother, Jerene, founded the International School Moshi.
In the late 70s, he served in the U.S. Army in Germany, where he received the Army Commendation Medal, and he later graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1983.
Rory Stewart, director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, lays out an alternate strategy for the international community in Afghanistan. (September 25, 2009)
Kavita Ramdas, president and CEO of Global Fund for Women, the largest grant-making foundation focused exclusively on women's rights issues talks about human rights initiatives around the world. (September 25, 2009)
Shahan Mufti and Juan Cole
As the world follows the violence and unrest in Pakistan, Bill Moyers speaks with historian Juan Cole and journalist Shahan Mufti about the U.S. relationship with Pakistan, how it relates to the war in Afghanistan, and why they think Pakistan is not likely to become a failed state anytime soon. (May 15, 2009)
As a new administration is set to take over in the White House, Bill Moyers checks in with author Sarah Chayes on the state of affairs in America's other war in Afghanistan. An author and journalist, Chayes has lived the last eight years in Afghanistan helping to rebuild the country. (December 19, 2008)
Is an imperial presidency destroying what America stands for? Bill Moyers interviews history and international relations expert and former US Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich who identifies three major problems facing our democracy: the crises of economy, government and militarism, and calls for a redefinition of the American way of life. (August 15, 2008)
Guest photo by Robin Holland
Central Asia Institute
Central Asia Institute is a non-profit organization with the mission to promote and support community-based education, especially for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.Pennies For Peace
The Pennies for Peace service-learning program includes: a K-12 curriculum, linked to standards with an assessment tool; an implementation guide; fact sheets; printable maps, postcards, stickers & poster components; and videos.
THREE CUPS OF TEA
The Web site for Mortenson's book includes a reading guide
"Fighting Terrorism with Schools
Article and slideshow by Mortenson in the November 22, 2009 issue of PARADE magazine.
Updates on Afghanistan
"Afghanistan: What Could Work"
JOURNAL guest Rory Stewart's
January 14, 2010 article in THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS.
"Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan
Major General Michael T. Flynn, Captain Matt Pottinger, Paul D. Batchelor, Center for a New American Security, January 10, 2010.
"U.S. Spy Effort In Afghanistan 'Ignorant' - U.S. Report
NEW YORK TIMES coverage of Major General Michael Flynn's report on intelligence in Afghanistan.
"US spies in Afghanistan are clueless, says intelligence chief
Jenny Booth, THE TIMES OF LONDON, January 5, 2010.
National Priorities Project
The National Priorities Project is a not-for-profit advocacy group which focuses on the impacts of federal tax and spending policies at the community level. The group's Web site has several interactive features that propose alternatives to federal defense spending and keeps a constant tally of Iraq and Afghanistan war costs
>View also THE JOURNAL ON AFGHANISTAN