Something you might not know about me: I've read more in the past 2.5 years than in my whole life. Most recently I finished an awesome book that you all probably heard of before I did... Three Cups of Tea.
My coworker gave this to me months & months ago, & now I'm kicking myself for putting it off so long. I absolutely fell in love with this book... the kind of love where you think about skipping activities to have more time to read.
In a nutshell:
Greg Mortenson builds schools in remote villages in Pakistan &, later, Afghanistan that educate both boys & girls. He gets into this accidentally & isn't some rich tycoon that throws money at problems, he's just a real dude who works his tail off.
On a More Personal Note:
I loved so many different things in this book that it's hard to sum up. I love how relationships are the core of everything... he meets people & build bonds, & THAT's what gets things done. I love that he looks at education as more than a human right, but as a way to change the cycles of terrorism & extremism. I love that he, as an American, is the one to adapt & he doesn't require people to become "westernized". I really really love that.
Mostly... I love the faith of these Muslims. It's a real shame how certain circles *ahem* make Muslim seems like a bad word, it's a shame how we've villanized that religion & made it synonymous with terrorism. Sure a lot of us either resisted or came away from that knee-jerk reaction, but we can't act like people don't think that way. I feel like I've learned more about my faith as a Christian from reading about their faith as Muslims... afterall, Allah & my God are supposed to be the same thing, but with different understandings about Jesus & Mohamed. In everything they did it was "Allah be praised" or "if Allah allows" or "Allah in his wisdom didn't allow". They thanked him for literally everything that did or didn't happen. I don't thank God when I don't get what I wanted, I pray & tell him to change it... I clearly have a lot to learn. The one guy even made a statement along the line of "I wish I could go on working but I'm aging & Allah in his infinite wisdom has seen fit to slow me down, so I'll rest." Wow... I'd like to relate to God more like that.
The faith stuff is actually a minor part of the book, so if you're not religious you'll still think it's pretty kick-ass... that's just what hit me hard.