Thursday, October 29, 2009

Schools for Afghanistan

Greg Mortenson's visit to Decatur in January has remained one of the highlights of this year.  His publisher, Penguin, asked if we were interested in hosting him when his new children's books were being released.  Agnes Scott was gracious enough to co-host and to offer the use of Presser Hall.  Despite the fact that he visited us in the early afternoon of a very rainy weekday, about 1,000 showed up to listen to Greg speak about his work in Afghanistan and Pakistan, building schools in remote villages.

Mr. Mortenson's work has continued.  According to Nick Kristof of the New York Times, Greg's Central Asian Institute has now constructed 39 schools in Afghanistan and 92 in Pakistan.  (In an op-ed piece today, Kristof argues the importance of this approach.)

Three Cups of Tea, the Young Readers Edition of that book, and Listen to the Wind (a picture book), each reside prominently on the New York Times bestsellers lists.  In fact, Three Cups of Tea has been on the paperback nonfiction list for 142 consecutive weeks.

A publishing success.  A blueprint for hope.

- Dave

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