Markela has not read “Three Cups of Tea” but agrees with the message the story promotes. She said the following regarding my reaction:

“Education is presented as a synonym to open-mindedness, which is very important in the countries of the Middle East where fanaticism appears to be a way of life. Moreover, exchange of opinions & cultural values is yet another vital aspect of how human relationships should function.

From what I know & what I learn from you, the propaganda of the American media & the ignorance regarding other cultures is an issue in USA. Thus, you made a really good connection with the fact that other cultures could help combat American prejudices & help them realize other viewpoints.”

This exchange made me realize how ironic it is that in one of the most educated countries in the world, the “open-mindedness” synonymous with education hardly exists. Perhaps we need not only to educate others, but also to continue to educate ourselves, and work to challenge propaganda that has infiltrated our media.