Archive for Thursday, March 31, 2011

‘Three Cups of Tea’ author Greg Mortenson kicks off KU’s outreach week

March 31, 2011


Greg Mortenson, author of "Three Cups of Tea," speaks at the Lied Center on Wednesday. Mortenson said his grandmother gave him the advice to “do a good deed every day and make it a habit.”

Greg Mortenson, author of "Three Cups of Tea," speaks at the Lied Center on Wednesday. Mortenson said his grandmother gave him the advice to “do a good deed every day and make it a habit.”

Applause was commonplace Wednesday evening in the Lied Center while author and philanthropist Greg Mortenson spoke.

His story about promoting peace through education in the countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan evoked emotion from a number of the hundreds in attendance. Kathi Firns-Hubert admitted to shedding a few tears.

“I started to a few times,” she said. “It’s just so powerful and so amazing.”

Mortenson’s story began with a failed attempt to climb K2 in Pakistan. From there he found himself in a remote village, where he promised to build a school for children.

Years later, Mortenson is the co-founder of Central Asia Institute and the author of a New York Times best selling book, “Three Cups of Tea,” as well as “Stones into Schools,” which address his experiences bringing schools to the area.

“We have an innate desire to help people,” said Mortenson, who’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize multiple times. “If we want to help people, we have to empower them, and empowering starts with education.”

Megan Watson, a co-coordinator of the event that kicked off Into the Streets Week at Kansas University with the Center for Community Outreach, was pleased the lengthy process ended successfully.

“It’s been completely worth it, seeing where we are tonight,” she said.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

Was this event publicized at all? I certainly saw no notice of it in the JW.

TikiLee 5 years, 7 months ago

There were posters all over campus, and an email sent out, but I don't know if anything was up around town.

hedshrinker 5 years, 7 months ago

I was impressed with the links Mortensen has with the military who are trying to use his philosophy of building alliances on the ground in Afghanistan and Pakistan thru listening and respect, as well as his understanding that promoting education for women is the surest path to cultural transformation (means they are less susceptible to the demagoguery put out by hate groups). It was great to see the Lied completely full of people appreciative of his messages.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 7 months ago

Good man; great books and a wonderful message. The answers to all social problems are the same: more education. If we can educate a generation of women in these wild parts of the world, they can probably tame the sad and silly men who use violence and perversions of religion to terrorize and maintain power. The military is figuring this out, but much more needs to be done. I just wish the American Taliban understood this as well, particularly here in KochKansas where the billionaires, unicorn and education budget slashers play.

Senge 5 years, 6 months ago

Please visit to learn more about the region where Mortenson started his school projects. We the natives of Gilgit-Baltistan, a region of former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir do have lot of respect for him for providing education to girls in that area. The region has one of the lowest per capita incomes and one of the lowest literacy rates and without support of NGOs like CAI and AKDN, education would be a dream for the majority as more than half of the locals live below the poverty line. Since Pakistan government has failed to provide for the educational needs of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, it is people like Mortenson who became the hope for us

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