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Reply #4: Hope this helps... [View All]

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haikugal Donating Member (476 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-18-11 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Hope this helps...
This is from the letter...

Sunday, April 17, 2011
Asalaam-o-Alaikum (Peace Be With You). Greetings from Montana and on behalf of the dear children and communities we serve in rural Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Thank you (Tashakur and Shukuria) for the overwhelming response to the news in recent days, for the outpouring of support, prayers and the confidence that you, our supporters, have showered upon Central Asia Institute, Pennies For Peace and my family. In the midst of these difficult and challenging days, I keep thinking about the Persian proverb, "When it is darkest you can see the stars." You are all shining lights and we are grateful for your compassion.

Although we would like the world to be linear, orderly and peaceful, the reality is that our world is a dynamic, fluid place, often filled with chaos and confusion. In that space, I thrive and get the courage to help bring change and empower people. I also feel great pride that you have chosen to support those who live in the 'Last Best Places', where other organizations or governments offer few or no services.

I welcome and am used to facing criticism, which sometimes even turns into hostility and threats, over the important work we do in Pakistan and Afghanistan. As an introvert and shy person, it is also not easy to have to enter an arena of a media circus at the drop of a heartbeat. But, as those of you who know me and have supported my work over the years will recognize, the story being framed by "60 Minutes" to air in a few hours today - as far as we can tell -- paints a distorted picture using inaccurate information, innuendo and a microscopic focus on one year's (2009) IRS 990 financial, and a few points in the book "Three Cups of Tea" that occurred almost 18 years ago. Apparently, the CBS program is to be followed in the near future by a similar negative piece by Jon Krakauer in an unknown magazine, which I only recently heard about last week.

The Board of Directors and I made the very difficult decision to not engage with "60 Minutes" on camera, after they attempted an eleventh hour aggressive approach to reach me, including an ambush in front of children at a book signing at a community service leadership convention in Atlanta. It was clear that the program's disrespectful approach would not result in a fair, balanced or objective representation of our work, my books or our vital mission. We also turned down a last minute request for an interview with Jon Krakauer.

The "60 Minutes" program may appear to ask simple questions, but the answers are often complex, not easily encapsulated in 10-second sound bites. Working in isolated areas, in communities that are not on any map, and often in areas of turmoil, religious extremism or natural disasters where education is still relatively rare and ancient codes of conduct and social hierarchies still dominate - all these things demand constant adjustment, accommodation and patience.

We have always maintained that our work is about investing in relationships, respecting elders, and listening over a time span that stretches generations, not in one that lasts just a few minutes on prime time television.

So although I did not do an on-camera interview, CAI's Board of Directors and I have duly responded to questions provided us late last week by "60 Minutes" with both statements and answers. And as always we pride ourselves to be transparent with our financials and IRS 990 forms.

All of this can be found on our website, www.ikat.org, and more information will be added in coming days.

Because of a medical condition mentioned below, I have spoken with our hometown newspaper, The Bozeman Daily Chronicle, about this attack, and the newsroom is closely following developments on this story:

Mortenson under fire from '60 Minutes' - Bozeman philanthropist denies allegations (Friday, April 15, 2011)

CAI responds to Mortenson allegations (Sunday, April 17, 2011)

Statements

http://www.ikat.org/wp-includes/documents/boardstatemen...

Answers

http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/11...

Website

http://www.ikat.org /

Mortenson under fire from 60 Minutes Bozeman philanthropist denies allegations

CBS News "60 Minutes" on Friday alleged that Bozeman philanthropist Greg Mortenson fabricated some of the most dramatic and inspiring stories in his bestselling book "Three Cups of Tea" and one year spent more money promoting his book than building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Mortenson, 53, founder and executive director of the Central Asia Institute, defended his work building schools for children, especially girls, in remote Islamic villages.

"I hope these allegations and attacks, the people doing these things, know this could be devastating for tens of thousands of girls, for the sake of Nielsen ratings and Emmys," Mortenson told the Chronicle in a phone interview Friday.

"I stand by the information conveyed in my book," he wrote in a statement, "and by the value of CAI's work in empowering local communities to build and operate schools that have educated more than 60,000 students."

Mortenson said CAI's success in fundraising - last year it raised $23.7 million - means it can build 63 new schools this year, in addition to more than 170 already established.
He denied several "60 Minutes" allegations, and defended his financial dealings, but appeared to concede that one key story in his book was not literally true.
The investigation by correspondent Steve Kroft, to be broadcast Sunday night, quotes "Into Thin Air" author and mountaineer Jon Krakauer as saying he learned from one of Mortenson's companions that the tale of how Mortenson got started was "a beautiful story" but "a lie."

The book told how Mortenson got lost on a 1993 climb of K2, the world's second highest peak, and then stumbled exhausted into the remote village of Korphe, was cared for by villagers, and promised to return and build a school.

"I stand by the story of Three Cups of Tea,'" Mortenson said in a written statement, but added, "The time about our final days on K2 and ongoing journey to Korphe village and Skardu is a compressed version of events that took place in the fall of 1993.
<snip>
http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/article_4d312...

CAI responds to Mortenson allegations
http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/article_4837c...

I agree with what has been posted here by others. I have recommended his book, website and work often. I'm glad to see I'm not alone in this.

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