Hello. Mr. Mortenson is definitely one of my heroes.
In 2012 I wrote the following note on Ismailimail in response to an article by Safida Begum (from Gilgit), in which she defended Mr. Mortenson against the accusations by 60-Minutes and J. Krakauer:
"Thank you for this inspiring article on Greg Mortenson’s work. Like you I was shocked by the accusations against him. I very much enjoyed the book Three Cups of Tea when I read it a few years ago and I don’t care so much whether or not every part of the story happened as it is told. It is an inspiring story even if some of it was changed to make it flow better in the book and in the reader’s mind. Greg Mortenson’s work has very special meaning to me because he is basically fulfilling a dream I had for years after I observed the work of the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in Baltistan for two weeks at the end of 1987 and wrote about it for the Middle East Times. That time I interviewed Kulsoom Farman, one of only a handful Balti women who were educated and knew English. She was working in the villages trying to help the women there – and she was in fact the only Balti woman I was able to see during that time since they keep their older girls and women hidden. – For several years I kept thinking that I had to return to Baltistan in order to help the people cope with the many problems they face, but I could not come up with ideas on what I could really do there with my very limited abilities and resources. When I read Three Cups of Tea I felt extremely grateful to see that Greg Mortenson had taken up the challenge and truly realized the goal of helping the people in that area — more so than I could have imagined at the time. ...."