November 11, 2008

Three Cups of Tea - Philanthropy with a difference.

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

"The first cup of tea, you're a stranger; the second cup, a friend; and the third cup, you're family," Mortenson says. "And for the family, they're prepared to do anything, even die."

The Karzais , the Musharrafs, and the Bushes may want to borrow a page from Mortenson's book Three Cups of Tea to see what it really takes to forge inroads into human hearts so apparently different in terms of their color, gender, nationality, language, and religion.

I have my friend Liz to thank for gifting me this novel before she set out on her undefined travels across Central America; what an apt book choice Liz. I'm sure Mortenson's pursuit for peace-without-borders will color your travels as well.

Three Cups of Tea is a popular buy at almost all major book stores across the USA as it has been on the NYT best seller list for the last 16 weeks and is currently heading that list. The novel has grabbed various literary awards in the last two years like the 2007 Kiriyama Prize and Time magazines Asia Book of the Year. It has also been called a publishing phenomenon because of its soaring sales in record time. The two authors, David Oliver Relin and Greg Mortenson, have their individual websites that provide interesting and accurate information about their adventurous work in various parts of Asia.I enjoyed this work of non-fiction as it unraveled some mysteries and misunderstandings that existed in my mind about people living in the so called Taliban- friendly area on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Misconceptions such as these, ones we often carry for a lifetime, filter down into our next generation, and the next, and thus borders are drawn and walls built. Human beings who essentially are the same, in that they care about their families and feel pain when they get hurt, end up perceiving each other as foreigners, with unbridgeable differences that are frequently negotiated with ammunition and deception. A novel such as this provides an alternative to the use of force to bridge this gap of misunderstanding.

Greg Mortenson, the narrator and the main character in this piece of non-fiction, is an ordinary man who takes upon himself to do the extraordinary; build grounds for peace in a 'foreign land' in the most unusual way: by providing education to the female child in a male dominated society, and in an area torn apart by violence and ethnic strife.

Three Cups of Tea speaks volumes for the indomitable human spirit, and is a must read for those of us who seek the silver lining to our 'clouded' world.

November 09, 2008

Bloggers Unite for Refugee Rights

Snow in October!

An unlikely fall

that bothered one'n all:

"Never happened before"
"Frozen down to skin"
"What! A white Halloween!"

How some 'firsts' bother us!


there are those we don't remember:
The Holocaust that needn't have happened
except that all those eyes had not opened

Look what happened in Darfur:

while world leaders humanity feigned

hell broke loose and barbarity reigned.

Will this be another shameful 'first':
The Congo nation's pitiful plight;

a people pleading in fearful flight.

How many 'firsts' will History reap?

How many 'firsts' until we see
that one man's home

can't be anothers to keep?

Is our planet to become a graveyard of displaced refugees?

November 04, 2008

Barack Obama - "A Change we Believe in"

the ultimate hope!

fears gone

tempers calmed

visions cleared
obstacles removed

threat disarmed
innocence harbored

poverty checked
hunger lessened

faith instilled
suspicions cleared

gunfire silenced
peace established

change is but a phase.

What will it take
in order to sustain
a '
change we believe in'?

Vote Obama
is the claim!