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Greg Mortenson quotes (showing 1-30 of 62)

“Once you educate the boys, they tend to leave the villages and go search for work in the cities, but the girls stay home, become leaders in the community, and pass on what they’ve learned. If you really want to change a culture, to empower women, improve basic hygiene and health care, and fight high rates of infant mortality, the answer is to educate girls.”
Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
“When you take the time to actually listen, with humility, to what people have to say, it's amazing what you can learn. Especially if the people who are doing the talking also happen to be children.”
Greg Mortenson, Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan
“You can hand out condoms, drop bombs, build roads, or put in electricity, but until the girls are educated a society won’t change.”
Greg Mortenson
“In times of war, you often hear leaders—Christian, Jewish, and Muslim—saying, ‘God is on our side.’ But that isn’t true. In war, God is on the side of refugees, widows, and orphans.”
Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
“Osama, baah!" Bashir roared.

"Osama is not a product of Pakistan or Afghanistan. He is a creation of America. Thanks to America, Osama is in every home. As a military man, I know you can never fight and win against someone who can shoot at you once and then run off and hide while you have to remain eternally on guard. You have to attack the source of your enemy's strength. In America's case, that's not Osama or Saddam or anyone else. The enemy is ignorance. That only way to defeat it is to build relationships with these people, to draw them into the modern world with education and business. Otherwise the fight will go on forever.”
Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
“If we try to resolve terrorism with military might and nothing else, then we will be no safer than we were before 9/11. If we truly want a legacy of peace for our children, we need to understand that this is a war that will ultimately be won with books, not with bombs.”
Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
“I've learned that terror doesn't happen because some group of people somewhere like Pakistan or Afghanistan simply decide to hate us. It happens because children aren't being offered a bright enough future that they have a reason to choose life over death.”
Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
“Haji Ali spoke. ‘If you want to thrive in Baltistan, you must respect our ways. The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family, and for our family, we are prepared to do anything, even die. Doctor Greg, you must take time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated but we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time.’ That day, Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I’ve ever learned in my life. We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly…Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects. He taught me that I had more to learn from the people I work with than I could ever hope to teach them.”
Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
“Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I've ever learned in my life...We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly. We're the country of thirty-minute power lunches and two-minute football drills. Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects.”
Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
“If you teach a boy, you educate an individual; but if you teach a girl, you educate a community.”
Greg Mortenson, Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan
“What we are trying to do may be just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
“Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel.' Sign in Skardu”
Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
“And they did it with something that is basicly worthless in our society - pennies. But overseas, pennies can move mountains”
Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
“When your kids accomplish something it means much more than anything you've done.”
Greg Mortenson
“Bashir paused to watch a live CNN feed... Bashir was struck silent by the images of wailing Iraqi women carrying children's bodies out of the rubble of a bombed building.

As he studied the screen, Bashir's bullish shoulders slumped. "People like me are America's best friends in the region," Bashir said at last shaking his head ruefully, "I'm a moderate Msulim, an educated man. But watching this, even I could become a jihadi. How can Americans say they are making themselves safer?" Bashir asked, struggling not to direct his anger toward the large American target on the other side of the desk. "Your president Bush had done a wonderful job of uniting one billion Muslims against America for the next two hundred years.”
Greg Mortenson, Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea, Bridging the Gap: College Reading
“We all sat there laughing and sipping tea peacefully, an infidel and representatives from three warring sects of Islam. And I thought if we can get along this well, we can accomplish anything. The British policy was ‘divide and conquer.’ But I say ‘unite and conquer.”
Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
“The older I get, the more I appreciate my childhood. It was paradise.”
Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
“If you really want to change a culture to empower women improve basic hygiene and health care and fight high rates of infant mortality the answer is to educate girls.”
Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
“. . . hope resides in the future, while perspective and wisdom are almost always found by looking to the past.”
Greg Mortenson, Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan
“I'm no military expert, and these figures might not be exactly right,' I said. 'But as best I can tell, we've launched 114 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Afghanistan so far. Now take the cost of one of those missiles, tipped with a Raytheon guidance system, which I think is about $840,000. For that much money, you could build dozens of schools that could provide tens of thousands of students with a balanced, non extremist education over the course of a generation. Which do you think will make us more secure?”
Greg Mortenson, Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan
“In Muslim societies, a person who has been manipulated unto believing in extremist violence or terrorism often seeks the permission of his mother before he may join a militant jihad and educated women as a rule, tend to withhold their blessings from such things.”
Greg Mortenson, Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan
“In times of war, you often hear leaders - Christian, Jewish, and Muslim - saying, 'God is on our side.' But that isn't true. In war, God is on the side of refugees, widows, and orphans.”
Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
“You have to attack the source of your enemy’s strength. In America’s case, that’s not Osama or Saddam or anyone else. The enemy is ignorance. The only way to defeat it is to build relationships with those people, to draw them into the modern world with education and business. Otherwise the fight will go on forever.”
Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
“I’m no military expert, and these figures might not be exactly right. But as best as I can tell, we’ve launched 114 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Afghanistan so far. Now take the cost of one of those missiles tipped with a Raytheon guidance system, which I think is about $840,000. For that much money, you could build dozens of schools that could provide tens of thousands of students with a balanced nonextremist education over the course of a generation. Which do you think will make us more secure?” (295)”
Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
“They are a testament not only to the Afghans' hunger for literacy, but also to their willingness to pour scarce resources into this effort, even during a time of war. I have seen children studying in classrooms set up inside animal sheds, windowless basements, garages, and even an abandoned public toilet. We ourselves have run schools out of refugee tents, shipping containers, and the shells of bombed-out Soviet armored personnel carriers. The thirst for education over there is limitless. The Afghans want their children to go to school because literacy represents what neither we not anyone else has so far managed to offer them: hope, progress, and the possibility of controlling their own destiny.”
Greg Mortenson, Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan
“A wise man from my home once told me that these mountains have seen far too much suffering and killing, and that each rock and every boulder you see represents a mujahadeen who died fighting either the Russians or the Taliban. Then the man went on to say that now that the fighting is finished, it is time to build a new era of peace-and the first step in that process is to take up the stones and start turning them into schools.”
Greg Mortenson, Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan
“Because most of the girls were still in mourning and all of them had lost their textbooks, even pencils and pens, Shaukat Ali began the first classes by reading to them from poetry and religious texts. "Reading, literature, and spirituality are good for the soul," he told them. "So we will start with these studies.”
Greg Mortenson, Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan
“Terror doesn't happen because some group of people somewhere . . . simply decide to hate [others]. It happens because children aren't being offered a bright enough future that they have a reason to choose life over death.”
Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time
“the people who live in the last places - the people who are most neglected and least valued by the larger world - often represent the best of who we are and the finest standard of what we are meant to become. This is the power that last places hold over me, and why I have found it impossible to resist their pull.”
Greg Mortenson, Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan
“He was a man who understood the virtue of small things.”
Greg Mortenson

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