Three Cups of Tea is an amazing and an inspiring first person narrative written by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. The book portrays Mortenson's transition from a real-life mountain-climber to a humanitarian campaigner committed to reducing poverty and educating girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mortenson uses education to combat terrorism in the Taliban’s backyard.
In 1992, the author, in his pursuit to climb the world’s second highest mountain, K2, accidently comes across a small village, Korphe which was built on a shelf jutting out from a canyon. There he was welcomed by Haji Ali, the chief elder of Korphe. In-order to repay the Korphe community for their excellent hospitality, Mortenson promised to build a school for them, especially for girl children.
Initially, the author faced a lot of difficulties in raising capital, but soon he was introduced to Jean Hoemi, a Silicon Valley pioneer who promised to donate money for raising the schools. Jean Hoemi became a co-founder of Central Asia Institute (CAI) and then later died of Leukemia.
Mortenson came across more demoralizing challenges in his mission for building of more than 55 schools in Taliban territory, including death threats from Islamic mullahs, long periods of separation from his family, and being kidnapped by Taliban supporter.
Mortenson agrees that educating girls has more of a lasting benefit for the community as educated girls tend to remain in the community and pass their enhanced knowledge to the next generation and educated boys tend to move to the cities to find jobs, and seldom return. Thus through Three Cups of Tea the author combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit.