Study Guide

Three Cups of Tea Chapter 16

By Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Chapter 16

Red Velvet Box

  • After a mullah interviews a few people about Greg Mortenson (does he drink alcohol? Seduce women? Swindle charities?), he sends his verdict on the fatwa to him in a red velvet box.
  • Mortenson and Co. open the red velvet box… and find the fatwa is lifted. Yay.
  • Syed Abbas lets Mortenson know that many communities need clean water. And since if the kids are dead from thirst, they can't go to school, Mortenson starts working on getting spring water to remote villages.
  • In spring of 1997, a man named Mohammed Aslam Khan travels to Skardu to invite Greg Mortenson to his village.
  • He "[falls] in love with his personality" (16.54), and Mortenson helps him to build a school.
  • Aslam's eldest daughter, Shakeela, becomes the first girl in the Hushe Valley to get a higher education—"For these blessings, I thank Almighty Allah," Aslam says, "and Mister Greg Mortenson" (16.65).
  • Meanwhile, Mortenson's omnipotent omnipresent god complex grows as he funds free eye surgery, builds waterways, turns water into wine, walks on giant bodies of wine, and cures cholera. Okay, some of that's not true.

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