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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 25, 2010 9:00pm-10:15pm EST

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i represent the 11th district of virginia, where you are right now. thank you. [applause] gosh, remand for the vote, november 2. [laughter] it is great to be with you. last time i was here doing this was for a book called the kite runner by khalid hosseini. [applause] the first time you share tea with a bounty, you are a stranger. the second time you take tea,
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you are an honored guest. the third time you've share a cup of tea, you become family. this is the 12th annual fall for the book festival here at george mason university, what started as a two-day today literary event in 1990 -- 1999 has grown into a weeklong celebration spending weeks instead of days and it is all about wonderful things called looks. [applause] one of the highlights of the presentation of the mason awards named after one of our founders, george mason. he recognized achievement and extending freedom of speech as well as the advancement of literature and really was in many ways the father of the bill of rights. this year's award is being given to greg mortenson, author of "three cups of tea" one man's mission to promote school at a time. one school at a time, "stones
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into schools" promoting peace with books, not bombs, in afghanistan and pakistan. there is a thought, isn't there? [applause] greg's work focuses on a grassroots approach to assist developing nations one community at a time and is essential to sharing democracy abroad. equally important to his work is advancing equality for women. gender equity is a multidimensional -- social economic, medical and political. my work in the foreign affairs committee makes me particularly appreciative of mr. mortensen's work. in order to achieve peace and promote equality it is necessary to capture the hearts of people and cultures from around the world. beyond promoting literature greg's work has influenced you and foreign-policy. afghanistan his books have become required reading for our military in the field.
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positive engagement is the key to success. i can think of nothing more positive than bringing education to children in need. that out to be the american lasting legacy in afghanistan. [applause] i wanted thank george mason university for the fall for the book festival who is done a great job hosting this event and i want to thank chapter of amnesty international the pakistani student association, and the afghan student union for cosponsoring with the mortensen appearance here tonight and now, please give a warm welcome to the sarah faragalla from george mason chapter of amnesty. come on, sarah. at thank you amnesty. [applause]
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>> thank you congressman connolly. good evening. on behalf of the amnesty international chapter of george mason university i would like to welcome you to the mason awards presentation. my name is sarah faragalla and i'm the co-president of amnesty international. last winter i started reading "stones into schools." being a huge human rights activists it was a perfect reading choice for me. part of being on the executive board of amnesty each of the officers is to plan an event of their choice that pertains to human rights and has an education awareness component. halfway through the book i decided to bring greg mortenson to mason. the student organizations have sets limited resources, i decided hey it least it is worth a try. and here we are, six months later, getting ready for the mason awards, mr. greg mortenson. [applause]
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this event wouldn't have been possible without the support of many students, faculty and staff first and foremost i would like to thank fall for the book for cosponsoring the event, although their support in having a message in promoting reading. special thank you to the center for the arts. i am sorry, for the center for the arts as well as the center for leadership and community encasement, for being able to come up with the last bit of funding that i so desperately needed. advice to thank the college of humanities and social sciences and the office of diversity programs and services for supporting the "three cups of tea" fund-raiser in which we were able to raise $300 for pennies for peace. [applause] thank you to the dance studio that i work in alexandria for helping me raise money for pennies for peace as well. thank you to the pakistani students association and the
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afghan student union for helping advertising the offense and thank you river one else whose name i might have missed. and last but not least thank you all the students involved in amnesty international on campus for your dedication to humanize and enthusiasm for activism. greg story is inspiring for many reasons but there is one that trumps all the rest. recent newspaper headlines revealed religious and ethnic -- however greg's orders carried out in a manner that is respect all of the culture surrounds him which is why i have realized the best battle intolerance is not merely with tolerance but with mutual respect. it is my pleasure and honor to introduce the 2010 recipient of the mason award and my personal hero, please join me in welcoming greg mortenson. [applause] [applause]
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[applause] >> peace be with you, and thank you so much for having me here. there is also a lot of -- my wife and family and friends. i would like to send a thank you from my family. i also would like to thank the george mason university and sarah for her great introduction. i got to spend sometime with some of the students today and spent a wonderful day today here on the campus. i would also like to thank the masons chapter of amnesty international and i would like to thank congressman connolly and also you mentioned a pakistani association and the afghan student union.
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i had the chance to meet them and doing some great stuff and they have some upcoming fund-raisers to help build, they want to set up some schools in afghanistan so it is really exciting to see that. and, to the fall for the book festival. it is just a great honor to be here. i thought i would, everybody wants to talk about current affairs and politics and all that stuff so i thought i would get all that stuff out of the way really first so we can talk about the real important issues, but education and about tolerance and peace and everything, so there is a very devastating flood in pakistan recently, over 20 million people displaced, about 3 million homes destroyed, 6000 schools and it goes on and on. it is very catastrophic in one of the concerns that bothered me a little bit is that the usaid
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appropriated to pakistan was first based on how it relates to our security. the crisis is so devastating and so catastrophic that i think sometimes we need to rise above that. what it is really about is about compassion, about helping millions of people who are suffering, not just trying to justify in terms of helping or the amount of money and how it is going to relate to our security or terrorism or other things. in afghanistan, i was going to talk a little bit about the issues of polling the troops and the surges on all of that stuff. last year, president obama doubled in the last 18 months, doubled the amount of troops in afghanistan from 15 to 100,000 troops. the operation enduring freedom budget or afghanistan, this is a military dod budget, with
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$72 billion in recently congress appropriated 30 million -- 30 billion more dollars otis about $100 billion, about $1 million per soldier per year. i spoke recently to minister farouk the minister for higher education in afghanistan. and i asked him, what would be your dream budget to fund the entire higher education in afghanistan? how much do you need to fund these 24 universities in our country? so he said about $274 million. he told me he was only going to get about $50 million. he has got to figure out how to do this with $50 million so an idea i had is to pull 274 troops and have a big press conference and give him a 274 million-dollar check for education. [applause] also there is a trillion dollars of mineral resources in
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afghanistan be it copper or lithium so what is and the usn $59 to set up a school in technology. half of the states in this country have a school of mines and technology. we can help train afghan mining engineers so in 20 years, they wouldn't be exploited by iran, russia and china and even the u.s.. they would have their own mining engineers. it would cost about $5 million. the other thing, in "three cups of tea" those of you who have read it, after 9/11 i went to the pentagon a couple of times and i was actually fairly critical of the military. i am a veteran. i was in the army but there are no boots on the ground. nobody speaks pashto or urdu or dari or anything else. i can tell you today, in many ways the u.s. military really gets it.
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many of our soldiers have been in afghanistan iraq, three, four or even five times. i was at ft. drum on my fifth deployment and what they understand is it is about building relationships. is about empowering the shura, the elders and also about really working with the people. the example i would like to share with you is last year, because of the surge, the general public, you want something to happen. you double troops in the country you expect something should happen, right? so there was a massive military power outreach of plants in southern afghanistan from kandahar all the way to pakistan to drive a -- and bring more government there. this operation was called operation omit in pashto and it means hope. there was a lot of planning involved and then there was the
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time for the mcchrystal report etc. but when general mcchrystal first came, became the commander in afghanistan, he asked me another person to set up meetings between the shura. these are the elders and himself and he would like to -- and just to explain. in afghanistan there are certain provinces and every province has 50 to 200 shura. these are elders. they are leaders, they are poety are businessmen and their there are even a few women there on the shura and over the course of the year we facilitated three dozen meetings. and the shura were sometimes very emphatic about issues like civilians. some of them said we want weapons. some of them said we don't want weapons but the other thing they really insisted on his they be involved in decision-making. they told mcchrystal, if you do this operation, you are going to
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take a high amount of casualties. is not going to succeed because you don't have relationships and you don't have networking. you have not consolidated support of the people before you do this, so we think this is really not a good idea. so general mcchrystal contacted somebody in d.c. appear on capitol hill and he said, we need to delay this operation. and i really think it is wonderful that general petraeus when he came into power, master master -- after general mcchrystal was relieved he decided to cancel the operation. was the first time in the last nine years at of the elder and the shura have been involved in a decision of that proportion and it was really great that they were being listened to. in june, president obama summoned a meeting in the white house for a couple of hours and he wanted to know what are the elders thing in afghanistan? at the irony is he asked the
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military to advise them. i would have suggested to skype the elders. [laughter] so they had a meeting, and then president hamid karzai said i had better do the same thing, so july 22 the fifth, 14,000 elders came to kabul and they had a meeting. i think there is an important lesson about do we really work with the people we entrust, the elders and believe in them? i can all -- also tell you having several meetings with many of our military commanders, admiral mike mullen, chairman joint chiefs of staff general petraeus, general mcchrystal, eric olson commander special forces, they will all tell you there is no military solution in afghanistan. now they are not admitting victory or defeat. what they are saying is the solution is a much broader solution. i think us, the general public,
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we are putting far too much emphasis and pressure on our military to solve all of our problems. and it is really unrealistic to send a soldier to be a diplomatic, humanitarian, a warrior. i am just a humanitarian and i can even handle my own job. imagine some 18-year-old kid who has to have culture and savvy. then but i will get into later on, there's actually a lot of good things happening in pakistan and afghanistan. i would really like to highlight that. we read about all the negative things in the disasters and the casualties and everything, so i'm going to amplify that. before i start europe would like to share a ten-minute dvd with you and it is called "stones into schools." we just got it done but it is about kind of the complicated role but also what is the difference between from a
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villager's perspective of a difference between security and education. in the story education won out over security in a little village in afghanistan. [laughter] c-span is here today. let's give a big welcome to c-span. [applause] ♪ ♪
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♪ >> afghanistan is different than pakistan. i see it more as a warrior culture. 2000 years, the mongols, genghis khan, the greek, the ottoman, british, the u.s. so that people have had to be warriors for a long time. even in a warrior culture, they are sick and tired and worn out. what they want is peace and they want peace through education.
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march 12, kabul in afghanistan. we are going to the lander village south of kabul to see the project with what he'll. >> it is 30 minutes from kabul. [inaudible] >> they went into afghanistan with this commitment to seeking out the most remote communities. the communities were far away from the capital city. when he first raised the idea with great at building a school
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and the lander greg immediately kind of rejected it out of hand simply based on the notion that anything within 30 kilometers of kabul was not by definition remote. >> as we are driving along, there were about eight track containers. inside each of them was 60 to 80 boys with a teacher doing a school lesson. i walked up to this armored personnel carrier painted green, soviet era, quite shelled out a pc, and the white lettering, big letters on the outside said approved project. then i stuck my head inside the apc and there were 12 9th-graders with a teacher, learning english. may the seventh grade english.
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we turned around, and there upon the hill were another 300 girls going to school. they were outdoors in the dirt. i told them, we will help you build a school, and it wasn't until 2009 that they built the girls high school on the same plot. going there for the first time i realized this was quite a remote area, a very isolated valley. it is also the alternative path to all the mujahedin used to fight the russians and later the taliban. when you get to the lander you can see it was bombed relentlessly by the russians time and time again even after there was nothing left to bomb. >> been getting to wilander and
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seeing the repercussions of a war that ended 20 years ago with the soviets and all the landmines. >> so than as we are driving there i said okay where are we going to put a school? what keel, he quickly said well we are going to let the community decide, so i've realized this man already knew some things that i was a proponent of. >> i think they should make education committee. we asked the jirga, what do you want? the important thing what we need is schools. we need schools. we need education for our children. different shura have, in the control education committees.
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education committee. but, i don't know, this other place, education. no wakil, know me, no commandant on the education position. >> once we started to wilander there was wakil who managed everything along with the elders of the shura of wilander. they worked very hard for studiously. they worked every day, 12, 14 hours. also, i was a little bit surprised at how beefy your strong wakil made the school. he told me this is going to be bombproof from the taliban or american bombs, no one can ruin our school. >> there are landmines all over that area and anywhere you would build a school in that village you wouldn't be far from that.
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>> we look up to the hilt. we will see all of the small white marks. these are all the places where landmines have been or have been removed. >> there you have two of the most powerful values in afghanistan juxtaposed against one another. the desire for education and the desire for security. education won out in wilander. you know there are kids in wilander. all of them were looking forward to attending this new school. no one's enthusiasm for the ideas being able to attend classes and learn how to read and write exceeded the enthusiasm of this one little boy. i met him in 2003. what i remember about him is he was a very bright student, very intelligent. >> he was so excited about the possibility of going to the school that he would hurt its goes up to the construction site
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every day to kind of monitor what was going on. >> when will you finish school? i want to come to read and write with a teacher. i told them maybe in six months, when the building of the school was finished you can with your friends, reading the school. >> at that time it was very big explosion. >> less than 100 meters from the school, he was walking and there was a loud bang, a boom that resonated through the valley. the sounds ricocheted, echoed through this area. i race down there and he was there. he was in very severe shock.
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he was not killed or dead yet, but there was no functioning vehicle and the community at the time, so they wrapped up a turn a kid and tried to take him by walking and by bicycle, and he died a few hours later. [speaking in native tongue] >> the first thing you notice
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and the thing that really stays with you are his eyes. they are deep, they are said. what he did with his wife was go and learn how to remove those mind so that other children and other fathers and mothers would not have to go through that same thing. but there is something about his face, almost like the whole story as there, that the beauty and the pain. >> when he was killed in 2006, he was buried and they had a big pile of stone on his grave, which we have now turned into a memorial, tribute with a grave and big flags and the built in memorial trail that goes about
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60 meters, all the way to wilander's school. >> things will move on. things are improving. never forget, it is important to remember the people who paid the ultimate sacrifice and that is part of their education. >> it is part of history, all of the death for two reasons-- for safety and to honor his death. >> the title "stones into schools" comes from an experience i had with the commandant, militia commander. we were sitting on the road, and he looked up in the mountains and he said, do you see those stones in the mountains and boulders? every one of those are a martyr
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who died fighting our enemies, the taliban. we must turn those "stones into schools." >> we now have a computer center. we continue to build schools in afghanistan, but they need never seems to end. ♪ [applause] [applause]
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>> i visited a lot of schools. every year ago to about 120 to 150 schools a year in the u.s. and canada and also overseas. this is kindergarten all the way to the air force academy. i also go to public schools and private schools in urban schools and rural schools. the first question that i always ask students is how many of you have spent a lot of time in this day of nanoseconds and twittering and texting, it is like 10 hours is a long time so i asked the students, how many of you spent more than 10 hours talking to your elders or your grandparents about the depression or world war ii or the vietnam war or the civil rights movement? do you know what the average here in the u.s. is very consistently? do you want to guess? five to 10%. doesn't matter whether it is public school or private school or urban arra school. i was down in mississippi
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yesterday in the deep south. 40% of students in mississippi in the real poor area said they spent time with her grandparents so i'm going to go back down to mississippi to see what is going on down there. they spend a lot more time with their elders. fif the same exact question though and rural pakistan or afghanistan, 90 or 100% of the hands. i think it is one of the greatest tragedies to our country that we have lost that unocal tradition where we can learn from our elders. what do we learn from or second-generation elders? we learn about her heritage and our culture, our tradition, our folklore, our faith are many of the important lessons we have been so one of the things we do in our schools in afghanistan and pakistan also in many of the 5000 schools here in the u.s. with our pennies for peace program is we encourage them to spend more time with their elders and it has been really exciting to see that kids are spending time from their elders
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and cleaning from them important lessons that we learned in history. perhaps one of the greatest challenges we have, at least i think, next generation is the fact that there are about 118 million children in the world today who are deprived of education and about 70 alien of those are girls. there are hundreds of thousands of kids in west africa who have to harvest cocoa. coca grows on ipod in a tree. you hit it with a stick and a fault them. you crack it open with a machete and gingerly opened up the pot to get the cocoa extract out. about three millions of tons have to be harvested every year to manufacture all of the chocolate that everybody needs. and his kids, kids fingers are much more dexterous than adults so kids do a lot of the manual labor. in congo, just briefly, i'm not sure how many of you are aware of this but in the last five to six years 3 million people have
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been killed in congo in the conflict. let me just ask how many of you were aware of that? that is pretty good. five to 10%. to me it is amazing that the most, one of the most violent conflicts in history and nobody is really even aware of it. so, it was previously in sierra leone and burundi, angola and also are wanda and siberia. tens of thousands of children are forced at a very young age to become child soldiers. they are taught to do very horrific rings. if you teach a child how to kill before they mature, their conscience doesn't understand the difference between death and life. the next time you pick up a soccer ball or a football, look at it and it will probably say made in pakistan. if you look at it very closely, you will see a small leather patch sewn together by tiny stitches. guess who makes most of the soccer? of his children.
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there's an area of pakistan. there are tens of thousands of children who are forced to work all day using tiny stitches to make soccer. harvesting rice is very difficult. they are working 10 or 12 hours a day and workers don't want to buy them a 4-dollar pair of boots so they get foot rot and fund this. perhaps, i don't even know the word for it, the most tragic thing is more than anytime in history, there are more modern day slaves and especially children, child slaves. so i would like to introduce you to a modern-day slave. his name is abdul and abdul is in afghanistan. i met him in 2005. we were driving down the road. a radiator blew up so we pulled
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into a local gas station. i asked for and it candid and out outjumped subtle. into our see effectively fix a radiator. i started talking to a pill and i asked him, how come you are not in school? and he explained to me that he was an orphan and he was a slave. he had gotten bought and sold and forced into this life. he doesn't get paid and all the gifts for all his work is to get some food and he gets to sleep underneath the truck at night unmolested or disturbed for his labor. i told abdul, we will be back in about a month. we would love to help you out. we came back a month later and abdul had disappeared. we spent two days with their staff looking for abdul abdul but he had vanished off the radar screen. so i have come every time i go through their we look for abdul but we haven't had any success. i have his picture on my laptop and my desktop to remind me that you know today there is a huge challenge with slavery.
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there is absolutely no reason why there should not be in a child slave -- in the world. since i'm on a roll of little but i would like to talk about landmines also. every day in afghanistan, one, two, three, four, 10 kids die from landmines. there was a treaty signed in ottawa to banish the usage and production of landmines. most countries in the world have signed this treaty. the u.s. is one of very few countries that has not signed this treaty. last year present obama refused to sign the anti-mining treaty because of a clarification over the cluster bomb. a cluster bomb about 200 are put in a big bomb called bomblets so when they fall on the ground they become landmines, so we don't agree that a cluster bomb is a landmines. so my son who was in pakistan several times, has seen kids
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maimed by landmines. he started a campaign. is it twitter site, ban landmines and he thinks adults can do this but the kids can get together we can ban landmines forever from this planet. [applause] also i talked to some military commanders. they told me we don't need landmines anymore. we have many other ways to do surveillance. motion detectors and satellite imagery and lasers overly land mines in some ways are obsolete. i wrote this book, "three cups of tea" and the title -- told me with "three cups of tea" means. my 14-year-old daughter, she does a very good rap information on what "three cups of tea" means. the first puppy or a stranger, second cup a friend and a third cup you become family.
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for family we are prepared to do anything, even die. some of you don't know the subtitle. when i admitted the -- submitted they told me the subtitle would be one man's mission to fight terrorism. though i'm a military veteran i was opposed to that because they said their respective this is to promote peace. ali disagreed with me, and they said greg, you need to be aware of the fact that only one out out of eight nonfiction books makes a profit and two-thirds of all bestsellers are pre-chosen by the publisher so we would like to promote your book that you need to be fighting terrorism and then your book will do well. finally i conceded. actually, i went to new york. my first time in manhattan -- matcher guy is a tribal conference and it was a whole leaders of the penguin putnam publishing empire. [laughter] the ceo -- i explained why one
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of the subtitle but they said no we are going to have fighting terrorism on school time. finally i said if the subtitle doesn't do very well after a year, please change the subtitle of the book to promoting peace with books, not bombs, in afghanistan and pakistan. the hardcover came out, fighting terrorism subtitle in 2006. it didn't do very well so penguin change the subtitle in january 2007 to 1 man's vision to promote peace one school at a time and now for 190 weeks in a row to spend a "new york times" bestseller. [applause] fighting terrorism or defend those who promote terrorism, that is based in fear by promoting peace is based in hope. and the real enemy we all face in america, afghanistan,
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pakistan, africa, the real enemy is ignorance. ignorance breeds hatred and to overcome ignorance, we need compassion. we need courage. we need tolerance but most of all they think it is based in education. "three cups of tea" is also become the military is very just and precocity. again i had never planned this. my wife said, it to write a book because i was leaving home a lot to talk about it, so i wrote a book and then i was gone even more. it didn't quite work. [laughter] this is general david petraeus. he is the commander in afghanistan. he previously was the centcom commander in two years ago he read "three cups of tea." i may talk about a couple of general snyder but they didn't told me that i found a recently as their wives read the book first and said, you ought to check this out. let's give a hand to all the --
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for the real reason. [applause] poly- petraeus read "three cups of tea" and then she put it on his desk and said this is their next book you are going to read. he read "three cups of tea" and he asked me to come to fort mcdill and talk to some commanders and general petraeus told me that he had cleaned three important lessons from the book that he wanted to impart with the troops. being a military general he summarized in three bullet points to make it easy for us. number one, listen. and by listening, general petraeus and that we look at a situation from the other person's perspective, not from our own myopic lens. number two, respect. is general petraeus what do you mean by respect? he said it needs humility. we are there to serve the good people of the country and number three, we have to build relationships. so today, for admiral mike mullen, and joint chiefs of
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staff "three cups of tea" is mandatory for all military commanders for the special forces deployed to afghanistan. [applause] also senator lugar and kerry have made it mandatory reading for the foreign relations committee on capitol hill. [applause] i was born in minnesota and 57 but when i was three months old, my parents decided to go to africa to tanzania to teach in a girls school. that is where i grew up for 15 years. my father who decided to start a hospital in mountain kilimanjaro. my father worked hard to get to the kilimanjaro medical center set up. the one for -- thing my father insisted on was to have local people in charge, africans to run the show. sometimes that didn't go very well with the americans europeans because they said you
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need a qualified westerners he want to get this hospital working. but my father always had an african in charge. in 1971 the hospital opened up. my father along with julius -- gave the opening talk. my father said first to congratulate a people and that he said, i predict that in one decade, it all the department has will be from tanzania. basically my father got fired and laid off within two months for saying that and having the audacity to believe this hospital could be run by africans and 10 years. we came back to the states and unfortunately my father died from cancer in his mid-40s, but 10 years later in 1981 because the annual report from the hospital and all the department had from tanzania and 40 years later all the department has at the hospital are from tanzania. [applause]
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and the lesson is there that all of us, we have the innate desire to help people. sometimes it is because of our conscience or intuition or sometimes out of guilt or fate faith or whatever it is, but if we really want to help people, we have to do another -- is called empower. we have to empower people. there is a big difference between helping and empowering. that is kind of what the essence of what i tried to do, having learned this from my father in the people in africa. in africa it learned of proverbs the gentleman can bear with me for one second here, it says if we educated boy, we educated individual but to educate a girl, we educated community. so how does the gentleman feel about it? out of the women feel about it? [applause] gentleman we are a little bit outnumbered here.
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"three cups of tea" starts out with my younger sister, christa. she is a very special. she has severe up of sand and 1992 she sought a movie called field of dreams though she was going to go to dyersville iowa to see where the movie was filmed. she packed her bags and when my mother went to wake up krista july 24, 1992 christa died in her sleep from a very massive seizure. we were very devastated by that in the face time i was aggressive school studying neurophysiology and starting about epilepsy. i was working as a trauma nurse. decided to climb the world's second highest mountain and put this amber necklace on top to honor her memory. i went to pakistan to the mountain range and in ancient turkey, 64 peaks above 23,000 feet high in the area. this is k2, the world second
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highest mountain. 84 matterhorn can be put inside of k2 to fill it up. just to give you a scale of the size of a mountain here is an avalanche and if you look way down in the right foreground you can see for little blue -- be a magnifying glass you could see for -- running out. fortunately nobody was killed as outlined. here we are going to the k2 and 70 days later i didn't quite make it to the top of my felt very disappointed because i have made it quite to the top of k2. anybody here who read "three cups of tea," i have talked earlier, so keep your hands down. can anybody here remember what the first chapter is called? very good. very good, good job. [applause] failure. when i submitted the original
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manuscript to new york they said greg and the usa never start a manuscript with the word failure. will make states and we all fail. some of us fail in our relationships. some of us fail in our jobs. some of us at george mason won't fail, but i was on wall street esther and i mentioned some of us failed in their investments but nobody left there. [laughter] so the next time you fail or i fail, when it is starkey can see the stars. so we let k2 and had to walk for five days, that 80 miles. i stumbled into a village. when i got there there was a very elderly, stout, squat man with a silver beard. you can see them on the left-hand side. he is the village chief. first he met me and he greeted me. peace be with you. then he looked at me and he shook his head and he said -- being from the best the best thing i could think of was what the heck?
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my pants were ripped and i hadn't taken a bath and 84 days. he said if you want to come to my village, he you do need to wash up. that is what i did. so i went to his village. i have now spent 17 years, about 75 committee months in the field, working arra afghanistan and pakistan and i've learned several things. one out of three to four children dies before the age of one. the maternal mortality rates, women who die in childbirth is staggering and further pakistan and afghanistan. 1900 deaths per 100,000 live births. in the usa the 17th. you figure the average woman has 10 kids. one out of six to eight women is going to die in childbirth after she gets married. the men leave the village and leave behind a women so there are a lot of problems in the village. one day an incredible hospitality, one day i walked by
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the village and i saw about 80 kids sitting in the third doing their school lessons. some of them are writing with a stick in the sand and i looked around and there was no teacher there. can you imagine there are some kids here, imagine going to your school with 80 kids, no teacher because they couldn't afford the teachers. the teachers wanted the salary so have the week they went to another village. when a young girl came up to me and said could you help build the school, he made a promise that day and i said i promise i'm going to have to get a school built. it changed my life forever. today we are trying to solve and grapple with something called poverty. now we haven't done a poverty bailout yet. we are still waiting for that one. but you know the only way we can solve poverty is that we have to touch poverty. and we have to taste poverty and we have to smell poverty. we have to hear poverty. and we have to be with property. we can never solve poverty from a think-tank in washington d.c..
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[applause] and to me, that is also the essence. there is actually a revolution going on in this country in the last few decades. some of you are probably quite aware of it, but i've read a u.s. news reports that he does his 1990, 18% of college graduates said i want to go out and make the world a better place. that was the me generation. everybody want to go out and make a buck. today, 20 years later, one generation later 50% of college graduates say i want to go out and make the world a better place. if you go into the high schools and junior high schools and elementary is even higher than that. i was in mississippi state university yesterday. i talked to a whole bunch of kids and i asked how many are involved in any kind of community service? nearly all the hands came up and then i asked the old people, how many of you are involved in community service? about five to 10%.
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so i think we also can think of ourselves not as individuals but as part of a collective community. so i came back to the states. i had no clue how to fund raise and that got a lot of -- but what i did was i went to the local library. my ghetto is that if you need help, go to the library. [applause] are there any librarians in here? let's give them all a big round. [applause] so the library and said well, let's get some names and you write some letters, so we looked up the name of celebrities and movie stars. i did know how to use the computer so i have typed the letters over weeks dear michael jordan. [laughter] dear sylvester stallone. dear oprah. anyways, nothing happened. and then i wrote 16 grants and
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they all got turned down, with my typewriter and then i got a check during the holidays from tom brokaw for 100 bucks. the check came back in time originally moved to montana. we have got together a couple of times. tom told me he said i'm really embarrassed because i wrote you a 100-dollar check and you -- the check in the book. [laughter] i didn't quite have the guts to say tom you can still write another check and we will stick it in the next book. he inspired lots of people so thank you. finally i sold my car and i sold my books. i love books so it was very painful selling my books at the bookstore in berkeley. by springtime i raised $3400. my mother was in elementary school fanciful and invited me to talk to the kids. is the first time i've spoken to anybody about my dream to build a school. heaven forbid you go to an
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elementary school to get any help. when i got done a fourth-grader came up to me and said i had a bank at home and i'm going to help you. i thought, what can a fourth-grader do? anyway six weeks later west side school raised 62,340 pennies. [applause] when you think about it did was an adult. it wasn't celebrities. it wasn't the wealthy or poor people. it was kids reaching out to children halfway around the world and pakistan said they had no clue of who they really wear. today from that program we, from the pennies for peace we have a program. for lack of better word it is kind of going bananas lately. three years ago within 280 schools in right now it is in 5400 schools around the u.s.. [applause] when i go to business school they say what is insures dishy chick marketing plan? we don't have any. is totally run by kids in just
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one person. but seriously though we worked with the nea, national education association for two years and we came up with a quick and that has been approved as it could be integrated into the elementary junior high and high school curriculum. in the creek them children learn about books, libraries, reading. they learn about culture and learn about math. they also learn about philanthropy. they also know that they can decide what they want to support on their own. to think that is most exciting, is not hard the curriculum is that it inspires kids to go out into their own thing so i'm just going to give you one example. this young man's name is -- and he is from tampa florida. so zach started the pennies for peace for five years ago. after a couple of years, he was founded by the fact that he saw homeless kids in the tampa area. he was also bothered because his best friend had trouble learning how to read and write and kids used to taunt and make fun of his friends. says that decided to start, to
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do something and he said set up a foundation called the little red wagon foundation. last year, zach walked, he walked from tampa to washington d.c. and he raised $74,000 bringing awareness to it vigorously and homeless kids in the u.s.. [applause] we are not done yet. this summer, zach walked from tampa to los angeles. we just got into santa monica last week, and i think he said he has raised or he will be raising about $1 million to bring awareness to letter he and homeless kids in the u.s.. [applause] gives academic round. [applause] i have hundreds of examples. he is just one of them. i could go on all night about these. when zach set at this nonprofit he called me up because he was concerned about or stretchers. birdies board people are adults?
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i said no it is a moral compass and fiduciary responsibility. zach said can i put some kids on my board? i said check the law in florida. there is no law against it in florida. all directors have to be under 18 years of age to be on a foundation board. [applause] does anybody want in their love story? september 95 over 38 years old. is a veteran a grad student in physiology. i was trying to give the school built in pakistan and i was doing fundraising. was getting late and i walked to the back and there was a beautiful woman. she have had him dressed in black combat boots. now that is the key. i started talking to her and six weeks later we got married. we live happily ever after with her to get to montana. people get concerned in the u.s. about marriage but in pakistan and afghanistan there is something called a fixed marriage. they got together and it was a
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marriage made in heaven. the reason i can do this is because of my wife and my family and their our extended family and friends. kara has been so pivotal in everything i do and i have told, get a lot of criticism people say how can you get married, had have kids and you are off traipsing around the world? my response to that is my daughter who is 14 when she has a lap belt in tae kwon do, she says how dare you say my father is not committed to his family and that we support them. she said there are hundreds of thousands of kids whose parents are serving in the military and serving in aid work and serving in humanitarian work and how dare they say that. it is kids and families who are paying the greatest sacrifice, who make the greatest sacrifice so if any of you have a problem you'll have to talk to a mare with a black belt. i kept working to give the school built. you can see we have a lot of set backs, physical opticals and
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hadn't gotten very far. if you really want to get a school built you have to sit down and be quiet. vinny took my receipt, he took my records, anti-lock them up and came back and said don't you worry everything will be fine. i was horrified. guess what happened six weeks later? the school got till. and there is a very important lesson about letting go and empowering the communities. that is the essence of all of our schools today. first of all, we provide the teachers support and training and really, educators and teachers are the heartbeat of education. i would just like to -- let's give a big round to all of the educators and teachers. [applause] probably the most underappreciated profession in our country. we have got to get that change.
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[applause] and then we provide the skilled labor. we provide the material but the community has to match what they call 50/50. the committees guest to give three -- freeland, free wood and free manual labor, so we match that together that is how we can get a school built. i think that is one of the reasons when the community has invested and they have committed, they will protect it because it is one of the reasons also none of our schools have been shut down by militant groups. also care, also local groups. when they involve the community and participation. this is on a micro-scale but also applied on a macroscale and one of my criticisms after 9/11, when 2000 countries got together in bonn germany in september 2001, is called the bonn conference and they decided had to rebuild afghanistan a committed pledges.
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only 32% of the pledge money actually was ever given. but they set it up as a very centralized provincial type of system. some of you here, actually a few of you you were around after world war ii and you remember something called the marshall plan. i study the marshall plan. the marshall plan was a brilliant thing. they are texted techs who designed it for genius but the main component of the marshall plan was that it was provincial bike and decentralized. in afghanistan we completely flip that around. it only last three or four years. a more bottoms-up type of development. the more i do this, i am convinced education has to be our top international and national priorities. and especially education for girls. we can drop bombs they said before we can put in chips, build roads and electricity but unless girls are educated as society will never ever change.
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.. it's the first time that woman can get information on what's going on in the world abound here. very powerful for women to understand and read the news. number two, i think it's very important that population explosion. we have so many problems in the world today. we have environmental degradation, disasters, we have for us, we have financial
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crises. i think one of the number of columns as there is simply too many people on this planet, especially if you look in three to five generations. it's pretty scary. the number one way to reduce population without doing anything else, nothing controversial, nothing political, simply female literacy. and the best example in a country of bangladesh, southeast asia, the 1970s after the pakistan until the war bangladesh's adage but 6% 3% of gdp into education. pakistan come until last year only but less than 2% of gdp in education. and in bangladesh, 1970, 40 years ago, female literacy with less than 20% and today it's triple. the average woman of bangladesh 40 years ago had nine live births. the average today only as 2.9 live births. if you look at the population, it's just not reaching an apex. and pakistan, pakistan, female
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literacy rate is about 35%. the government said that 60%, but they say would've literacy? pakistan is going to double in population in the next 27 years from 175 million to 350 million people. and now we think there's a problem there is now in the country is grappling with these things, just think of one generation what could have been. and the only thing that pakistan is never really done until recently is to make that initiative is guaranteed in the constitution that every single child should be old to go to school and put more funds, effort and initiative into that attack. i guess i'm fortunate bad news. in the last three and half years, tolerance and other groups have bombed and destroyed, shot down over 2400 schools in afghanistan and pakistan. it's interesting though is about two thirds or three three
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fourths are girls schools coming up with schools. bury group of big bad men so terrified of a little girl going to school? i mean, with the big deal about a little girl walking to school? way she poisoned? white issue battery acid thrown in her face? whitish headstones are under? way she taunted and kirsten denied privilege? because i think that the greatest fear from the militant groups is it's not a bullet, but a pen. what they fear the most is that girl grows up, gets her education, becomes the mother, the vow of education will go in the community and made lots of ideological ways to control society. in idea, which is a part of the teachings of islam, it says the ink of a scholar is holier or greater than the blood of a martyr. it means the pen is more powerful than the sword. this comes directly from the teaching of islam. here's the good news he saw earlier in the video. ten years ago -- or say in 2000,
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there were about a hundred thousand children in afghanistan, mostly boys, aged five to 15. today they are merely 8.6 to nine including 2.9 females. how many of you knew about this before i told you tonight? ready to read about it? >> i have 83 copies of your book because i want everyone to know you came from rotary international in her keynote speaker and you were awesome. [laughter] [applause] >> she knows all about. thank you. as admiral mike mullen, boss of the u.s. military. his wife, deborah mullan read the book and she put it on top of his nightstand and said you have to read this book before all those other military manuals. so he did that. and he asked me to come and
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invite them into the pentagon for three cups of tea, which i did. and we talked and he said it like to come and visit one of your school spirit is at the altar is a, then you're most welcome. and they were thrilled to have admiral mullen as their guest. and he came to passcard girls school in july last year. i have great respect for admiral mullen. it's because of his understanding about tolerance and about the real scope of what global pieces about. he gave a speech at the american bigot national convention in louisville, kentucky in august. this is an excerpt from and giving a speech. he said historically, we have been far too arrogant in the world and we need to go out and serve with humility. the muslim committee community, which we don't always attempt to understand, only to a shared appreciation of the people's cultures companies in hopes that we ourselves hope to supplant extremist narratives.
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and then he said, we cannot capture hearts and minds. we must engage them. we must listen to them one heart, one mind at a time. admiral mike mullen, joint chiefs of staff. [applause] this is also chris kirkland and from nebraska, history major. he's also got four kids. he is serving the u.s. military. in 2008, he was the commander of fort operating base in kumar province, one of the most dangerous times. several men died in combat. he sent me an e-mail at 2008. we been in touch ever since then. he was the chief adviser to general mcchrystal and now is working with general petraeus. and he said in his e-mail, this is almost three years ago. he said i am convinced that the long-term solution to terrorism is education. this is a conflict will not be
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won with bombs and bullets, but with hooks and ideas and pencils that excite the imagination towards peace, tolerance and prosperity. but there is for education is palpable and it is education that makes the difference, whether the next generation goes out to be educated patriots or illiterate fighters. the stakes could not be higher. and these are some afghan militia commanders, except me, you see the scared white guy without the beard. [laughter] they pretty much to say the same thing. in 1979, the soviet union invaded their country and they were forced at at a very young age to become mujahedin at 12 or 14 and defend their honor and their communities and their families. and they regret the fact they were never able to get their education. sometimes if you sit, they'll take you to the road, service and green tea with carter bomb or a sprig of mint in it. and then bill amend as they look
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up in the mountains, do you see those stones that they are. everyone of those stones is a sheet or a martyr who died fighting our enemies. now we must turn those stones into school and make the sacrifice as well. even on behalf of the coffin on, their plea we want most is education. i learned from my father and major holly, but it's important to listen. so i ask women in rural afghanistan or pakistan, what do you want? i would love to help you, but what do you want? lehner survey. i want to help you. you think most of them would say well, i want a big house. i want a good husband, i want prosperity. but you know most what tommy? simply two things. they say, we don't want our babies to die and they want our children to go to school. if i could bring those women here, first of all, they make a
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sit in a big circle, take her shoes off and have tea. but then they would say, you know, that's what they would say, what we want most are children to go to school and their kids don't die. i think the women here, especially the mothers can say that appeared women bring life into the world. that's women that are the promoters of education of society. in 2001, the spring, how jelly's wife died. so we very painfully walked to her grave and she was buried in a simple grave facing the west towards mecca to where we set our prayers. [inaudible] i need an elder. [laughter] looks like that way. okay, thank you. maybe the security in the back.
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okay, so as we stood there by the grave, we said something that's very rare for a male. i am nothing. and then he says something we never forgot. he kind of chocolate and didn't think it was very funny because i left my father and my sister. and all of us here have lost somebody and never get over the last one. when that happens come as you stand you're here looking up in the ground, just do one thing. listen to the wind. and so, in october 2001, how jelly had passed away. so what took to his grave, very simple grave facing the west towards the sunset, towards america. and i thought, how can i go on? this man has become my mentor, my surrogate father. he got me many ways things.
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sit down and be quiet and drink your cups of tea. and i remember you said this into the wind. so i listened to the wind and i heard the voices of the children in the school. i realized his legacy of vision had come true of education of children. and i fought back instead they are to the times and eating them how jelly he sat down on a sharp voice or rickety bed and read. get a little carried same lantern. but how jelly only read two books. he read the holy, and persian poet tree. and often as he read, he was sadder had to turn aside. so one day said, why are you sad when you read? who said craig, actually i don't know how to read. i am illiterate. it's my life -- and that he would flip pages and set up my latest greatest sadness that i never learned how to read and write. they said it's my latest greatest hope that my children
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and grandchildren can learn to read and write. and then, in his exact words, he said, these words caught in these bugs, make the stories that make waves of fools. and by faulty meant illiteracy and ignorance. this man in his entire 85 years on and left his village once to go on a pilgrimage. he didn't have a phone. he didn't have a newspaper. he didn't have a post office. he didn't have a tv. he didn't have to explain. sixteen is twittering and texting. yet he knew that was for all these people is education. that is his real legacy and message to the universe through education there is hope. life goes on today in pakistan where we're focusing on education, you know, temporary schools in refugee camps were doing scholarships. future training and more new
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schools. and afghanistan were still primarily focused on getting children in school and establishing schools for kids and education. while we are in a very serendipitous way, whenever groseclose got established a place called first on providence. our staff met two years ago. and they were kind of joking, but they said in 20 years, we're going to put a girls school in mullah omar's home village. we'll are more as the leader of the taliban. he said 20 years and i thought in 20 years, that's maybe realistic. only a few months later the elders contacted us and they said we want to put a girls school in our community. and i thought they were kind of pulling our leg, so we invited them to come to tersely up or we have girls school and check it out first to make sure. well, in july last year, the elders came to


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