Archive for March, 2010

Americans in the World (Three Cups of Tea)

As  read the book Three Cups of Tea, I couldn’t help but notice that Greg Mortenson is an exceptional person.  Also an exceptional American.  This is, I suppose, part of the point of the book, but a related aspect gnawed on me:

Greg Mortenson showed the people of northern Pakistan a very positive example of America and Americans.  Thanks to his efforts, they most likely have a fairly positive view of America.  For instance, Fatima Batool remarks, “I’ve heard some people say that Americans are bad.  But we love Americans.  They are the most kind people for us.  They are the only ones who cared to help us.” (Page 224)

But… I feel that since Mr. Mortenson is not representative of the American people, the views he is spreading are disingenuous. Read more

Wake up and smell the tea

“Three Cups of Tea” effectively displayed a Westerners effort toward combating terrorism through education. In my opinion, this seems to be an effective way of reaching out to new generations. I believe that increased levels of education, both personally and globally would develop a better overall understanding of people of the world.

            Education initially begins with one’s self, through personal knowledge about people’s differences around the world. Understanding the mindset of the terrorists and their actions, would help combat the desire to solve these issues. This was shown in “Three Cups of Tea” when the main character was described as using the westerners’ methodology, which was ineffective in Pakistan. By educating himself of the local culture, his success was obtained. In this course, Terrorism and the Press, this approach is also taken through the education of attempting to interpret and understand the mind and motives of terrorists, in order to combat the concept and potentially have our own “Three Cups of Tea” at ASU.

            In terms of the development of the schools, the curriculum should not consist solely of the teachings of one faith, ideology, or culture. Multiple ideas should be presented to the younger generations in an effort to seed the concept of tolerance and worldwide understanding. The concept of global focus would lessen the biases and prejudices that arise from schools that have curriculum based on one particular point of view that is embedded in these children at such a young age. This will also broaden students’ knowledge of the world, and increase tolerance in a preventative way.

            It is important to recognize that the lack of education is not the sole reason behind acts of terrorism and violence. However, if the concept of “the world is everybody’s playground” was enforced in school systems worldwide, it may increase the level of understanding amongst communities and in turn prevent the amount of violence that exists. Roaming in a world of diversity with both eyes shut, we see nothing but what one side of the story. I believe in the concept of educating ourselves of our surroundings and varying beliefs, the world needs to wake up and smell the tea.

Teaching Tolerance and Maintaining Purity

The ambition of Greg Mortenson to educate the children of northern Pakistan is a formidable task. An additional benefit that he realized after building numerous schools is that they provide an opportunity for the impoverished to receive a balanced education. This is important considering the extremist education being taught at the Wahhabi madrassas to teenage boys. Read more

My Cup of Tea

Although my intention is not to be pessimistic, the overly positive theme of 3 Cups of Tea was a little hard for me to handle. My opinion is not to dismiss the works of Mortenson as useless, but I feel the book could have used less objectivity (despite the difficulty the author claimed in this task). The building of schools could prove useful in alleviating international conflicts, but the real effects of the school have yet to be seen. At this time, it is still too hasty to count Mortenson’s efforts as a success. He is certainly to be commended as unique and understanding, but not yet successful. Read more

Cultural Networking: More Cups of Tea

I believe the biggest obstacle to understanding and tolerance in any situation is communication. When you consider the international factor that is generally present in areas marked by terrorism, the language barrier makes it especially difficult to communicate in a meaningful way. Read more

My cup of tea (even though I don’t drink tea very often)

The book “Three Cups of Tea” was a good read for me.  Being a person that rarely reads a whole book, I couldn’t drop it once I started reading.  The inspirational story was very interesting to me, even though I could practically touch the bias towards Greg Mortenson while I was reading.  Was there anyone that could have objectively written about a man like Mortenson? Read more

My own cup of American tea: Bridging the cultural differences is a two way process

Three Cups of Tea is an inspiring book of the passion to change the world with education. It is a powerful truth that as an ordinary person, it is possible to create an impact globally in a positive way by persistence and enduring zeal. Read more

Three Cups of E-Tea

Amidst the somber international view of the United States with 9-11 at the pinnacle, the selfless devotion to providing education to those who might otherwise fall into a whirlpool of extremist indoctrination certainly qualifies Greg Mortenson to receive considerable praise and admiration. However, many would find it extremely difficult to assume the same responsibility that guided Mortenson to devote so much of his time to these strangers despite having a family to support. Mortenson believed, though, that his approach was the only way to truly combat terrorism because as General Bashir Baz told Mortenson, “The enemy is ignorance. The only way to defeat it is to build relationships with these people, to draw them into the modern world with education and business.”(Mortenson 310) However, it seems that Bashir neglected a crucial aspect of modernization—technology. Read more

My Cups of Tea

I would have to say my cup of tea is computer system security; I know that seems like a relatively unimportant place at the moment, but everything points an increasing and deadly role.

He want you for HIS army.

Already, modern
systems rely so heavily that allow on outside access with the power grid being the most widely quoted example by the media.  In actuality, the possibility of actual terrorism through the internet would be seen as substantially more instructive.  Therefore, my first cup of tea, the tea of the stranger, is to explain why this is important.  Can you imagine your entire country disconnected electronically from the world?

Read more

My Tea: The Value of Education

After reading Three Cups of Tea, I’d like to evaluate the notion that education is the key to better society. Greg Mortenson embarks on his mission to promote peace by building schools for underprivileged Pakistani children. Mortenson believes that if these children are educated, they will be able to help themselves to better their community. In theory, this sounds like a good idea. However, I don’t believe that education is the instant solution. Though it plays a key role, other factors, such as the economic conditions, subject matter, and personal motivation are essential co-components. 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.