Apr 18, 2011

"Three Cups of Tea" Spilled Over Dirt

I just opened up my twitter account and tweeted Greg Mortenson, the author of the well-known book “Three Cups of Tea”: “What's up Greg? It seems your Three Cups of Tea spilled over dirt. I never heard of your schools in Afghanistan. Why is that?”

Last night, the 60 minutes report, raised questions on the accuracy of the Three Cups of Tea. According to CBS, the show "also checked on schools that Central Asia Institute claims to have built in Pakistan and Afghanistan and found that some of them were empty, built by somebody else, or simply didn't exist at all. The principals of a number of schools said they had not received any money from Central Asia Institute in years."

CBS also said that the dramatic stories in the best-selling "Three Cups of Tea" have become the source of speeches Mortenson is paid to make and the partial basis of nearly $60 million in donations to the charity he founded.

In 2009, while I was at Duke University on a media fellowship program, I was invited to talk on the situation of Afghan children to Carolina Friend School students in Durham. In the end, one of the teachers gave the “Three Cups of Tea” as a gift. I heard about the book before but never read it. I later on read the book, although the book encompasses fascinating stories and sometimes inspiring on humanitarian efforts, I found something different compare to what I had been hearing from others. I thought the book a fiction not based on personal experience of the writer.
It was hard for me to believe that he made schools for girls in a very dangerous and volatile zone like Kunar province. When last night I watched 60 minutes report, it made sense to me to understand the book that the story is really fabricated.

Here the 60 minutes report on the fraud book called Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson.