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Cups of tea at Loyola Marymount on Tuesday

Greg MortensonStones into SchoolsThree Cups of Tea


Author Greg Mortenson visits Southern California on Tuesday. His bestselling book, "Three Cups of Tea," and its sequel, "Stones Into Schools," chronicle his experiences building schools for girls in the remote mountainous regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In addition to writing, Mortenson, who began his fundraising efforts by working double shifts as a nurse and with one $100 check from Tom Brokaw, is heavily involved in two nonprofits: Pennies for Peace and the Central Asia Institute. Since opening his first school in 1997, Mortenson has been involved with establishing hundreds of schools in some of Afghanistan's and Pakistan's most remote regions. He has worked with tribal leaders, Islamic clerics and militia commanders, and survived an eight-day abduction by the Taliban.

Mortenson will speak about his experiences, with a focus on his humanitarian work Tuesday night at 7:15 p.m. at Loyola Marymount University's Gersten Pavilion.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Students at the July 2009 opening of the Pushghar Village Girls School, built by "Three Cups of Tea" author Greg Mortenson in Panjshir Valley, Afghanistan. Credit: Department of Defense via Flickr

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Anyone who has done even half of what Mortenson claims is bound to get ensnared in controversy sooner or later. Further, it is always hard for writers to draw a strict line between "truth" and "fiction". I would advocate tolerance
and give it a not-to-worry except if there was misuse of contributed money. In that case, things should be investigated and if Mortenson and his Asian Institute
are even halfway efficient, all should be well in the end. There are, no doubt,
forces on all sides eager to discredit him for a variety of partisan reasons.


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