Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin

about an american who builds schools (and relations) in northern Pakistan and Afghanistan. lost count of how many times i have to fight back my tears while reading on the trains.. Mortenson believes that poverty, high mortality, poor hygiene and many more problems can be overcome by education. Even terrorism can be fought if the children are brought up in a moderate muslim education. this guy is a true hero. highly recommended book!


Monday, August 4, 2008

Afghanistan, A New History, Martin Ewans

Just finished a book on the history of afghanistan! the first real history book that i've ever read (minus the textbooks in secondary school of course!). turns out to be very readable, not as dry as i thought a history text will be. maybe its becos of the way it was being written, rather fast pace. was inspired to know more about afghanistan after reading a national geographic article on the Hazaras and the book "Kite Runner". Really a very sad history, full of wars and misfortunes. Been thru 3 anglo-afghan wars, stuck in between superpowers during the cold war, russian invasion and occupation, civil war during mujahidin rule, taliban regime and the most recent war on terrorism led by US. so much happennings but not what one will associate the words colourful nor exciting with. leaves me thinking if guerilla tactics are born under western oppression, turning "Afghan's earlier traditions of tolerance towards non-Muslims" to a "much intensified hostility within their own society"... ...