Archive for March, 2010

Bridging the Gap

The book Three Cups of Tea was an especially interesting read due to the way that it presents being in a foreign land.  In many cases, people joke about learning foreign customs, like bowing to other people in Japan, and how odd it seems.  However, the lack of consideration about other cultures is often what leads to the kinds of problems that Greg Mortensen is trying to tackle in this book. Read more

Reflection on “Three Cups of Tea”

While reading the book ‘Three Cups of Tea” I couldn’t help but reflect on my own experiences distributing foreign aid to Muslims in the Middle East. The story was written in the most flattering manner when referring to Greg’s work abroad, but I wonder if it also glossed over many of the facts regarding the public works themselves and the use that they receive. In northern Iraq I have seen an amazing library that had been constructed using foreign aid funds, but I never once saw anyone venture to go and try and use it.

While in Afghanistan we were constantly befuddled when trying to get the locals to work on local construction projects that would benefit their own village. I wonder if it was due to the fact that we were military and unable to create the lasting bonds using Pashtunwali that Greg was able to acheive.

If this is the case, then what hope would the U.S. government have?  In “Three Cups of Tea”, Greg rails against the U.S. governments misappropriation of foreign aid to Afghanistan. I will be the first to admit that the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan was far from perfect, but Greg then goes on to say that if his company had accepted funds from the United States government, he would be completely cut off from all of his resources in Pakistan. Then how could the United States give foreign aid directly, if even Greg (a trusted Infidel) could not distribute U.S. funds?

Three Cups of Tea and Important Lessons

Three Cups of Tea chronicles the life and work of mountaineer-turned-humanitarian Greg Mortenson. After failing to reach the summit of K2 and stumbling upon a Baltistan village named Korphe, Mortenson observes the dire conditions the people live in and promises the people that he will return to build a school for them…
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PenPal Conversation One

During my introduction of Idyli to the blog, I mentioned that her father is a war correspondent for Greece’s largest national newspaper. One of the terrorist organizations that Idyli’s father covers is called 17 Noembri. According to Idyli,

“17 Noembri is one of the most terrible organizations in Greece. They have killed many people and mostly those in power. Read more

Jasper on Dutch Media After 9/11

Jasper was 16 on September 11th, 2001 and like many of the authors of this blog, he was in school when he first heard of the attacks.

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A Grecian’s View

Since February, a Greek student named Ilias Kiritsis and I have corresponded, talking on various topics related to terrorism. Ilias has provided some surprising accounts of common views in Greece.

Here is our conversation concerning the event known as Bloody Sunday(note: the conversation does diverge back to the USA topic because this is only an excerpt from a more broad conversation): Read more

Introducing Jasper Bergink

Jasper is a Dutch masters student. He got his Bachelor’s in Political Science and is currently working on a Master’s in Law and Politics of International Security. Read more

Vietnamese media and terrorism–Conversation with Pen Pal

During one of my recent conversation with my pen pal from Vietnam, we were talking about the media and how it portraits terrorism in Vietnam.

Here in the U.S., we have CNN, ABC, etc. all day long talking about what is going on inside the country, as well as outside of the continent. Some people don’t have cables; there is newspaper everywhere with different covers on the hottest news, including terrorism news. Generally speaking, Americans have unlimited access to news whenever and wherever. Read more

A Tunisian’s Viewpoint on Terrorism and Intelligence

During my two months teaching English in Tunisia, I developed a strong friendship with a fellow university student named Aladin. Unlike most of us in class, I had the lucky opportunity to sit in the cafe at least once a week with my friend and others to discuss a wide range of topics,including politics, terrorism, US foreign policy, Israel, Palestine, etc. Now, with Aladin as my pen pal, I once again am lucky enough to to continue those discussions… Read more

My Penpal and Conversations: George Tsopanakis

Let me introduce my penpal to the rest of the class.  George Tsopanakis is a communications student, Junior, at the American College of Greece.  He was also kind enough to send a few photos around the university a few other

Soccer Stadium outside the University


he took an interest in.  We got off to a somewhat slow start since like many students at Arizona State, but things have picked up after several weeks.  We have talked about a number of subjects including the including the terror events on September 11, 2001, how culture may affect what terrorism shows up, and local issues of both Greece and the United States. Read more

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Terrorism and the Press

This blog is an integral part of a special section of Honors 394 Spring 2010, Arizona State University. Rather than a routine history course this dynamic, interactive seminar explores the interplay between terrorism and television, and other media sources on-line and in print. 26 students and their global pen pals comprise the bloggers. We welcome all to share their opinions, pertinent observations, insights, comments, feedback. Please post in a responsible manner.