Next Year – Final Selection

Posted By admin on April 19, 2010

This year the Book of the Year committees at College of the Redwoods and Humboldt State University have chosen Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet by James Mackinnon & Alisa Smith as the title for 2010-11.  The book presents the voices and experiences of a young Northwest couple grappling with issues of food production, sustainability and globalization in a year-long adventure spent in attempting to eat a fully local diet.  In the process they reconnect with the people and places that produce food in their region, and enable the reader to grasp the extent to which food
production and eating habits of North Americans have changed over the
last century.

The choice highlights campus interest in sustainability and local
farming, dovetails with current community interest in highlighting
local specialty food production, and offers accessible and appealing
reading for incoming freshmen.  The committees are working on bringing
the authors to the area in the fall for presentations.

Plenty by J.B. Mackinnon: Book Cover

More on Next Year

Posted By admin on January 29, 2010

The list is tightening after further discussion.  We are looking hard at the  following titles:

Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario
Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith, J. B. MacKinnon
When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka

Your comments are very welcome!

Next Year

Posted By admin on November 3, 2009

The HSU Book of the Year Committee has met and identified a short list of titles to consider for the 2010-11 title:

The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World by Jacqueline Novogratz

Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario

Flight or Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Southland by Nina Revoyr

Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka

Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith and J. B. MacKinnon

We’d love to have any comments!

Women of Pakistan Presentation

Posted By admin on October 26, 2009

If you would like to learn more about life in Northern Pakistan, another opportunity is coming up next week.

Rebia Sher, Arcata resident and founder of the Roshni Centre for Women, will speak on educational and economic opportunities for women in Northern Pakistan, November 3 at 9:30-10:50 and at 12:30-1:50 in the Library Fishbowl Room, L209. For questions, contact Prof. Laura Hahn at 826-3948.  These talks are free and open to the public.

Further Reading & Viewing

Posted By admin on October 19, 2009

Throughout Three Cups of Tea are references to names and writings that might have piqued your interest.  Here are some tips to help you  look a little deeper:

  • Warrior Song of King Gezar (Gesar). Called  Gling Ge sar gye sgrung in Tibetan, this ancient and massive epic poem relates the heroic deeds of the divine king, Gesar.  It was translated and written down for the first time in 1716, and several regional versions exist.  You can read more about this work on the web at where several short articles are linked or in the New World Encyclopedia article HSU Library has ordered a modern popular translation by Douglas Penick of selections from the epic.  The book should be here soon.   A more scholarly version was undertaken by Robin Kornman for Penguin, and an 800 page volume is due to be published in 2010.  More about this…
  • Barry Bishop.  Greg Mortensen’s father-in-law was an important National Geographic photographer and official.  He summitted Mt. Everest in 1963 as the Society’s official photographer and contributed to publications and maps on the region.  His thesis became the foundation for a book:  Bishop, Barry C. 1990. Karnali under stress: livelihood strategies and seasonal rhythms in a changing Nepal Himalaya. Chicago, Ill: University of Chicago. NY Times ObituaryHow we climbed Everest” from National Geographic, May, 2003.  His thesis became the foundation for a book,  Bishop, Barry C. 1990. Karnali under stress: livelihood strategies and seasonal rhythms in a changing Nepal Himalaya. Chicago, Ill: University of Chicago.
  • Helena Norberg-Hodge.  The HSU Library has books and videos highlighting this ecological activist and author.  Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh , published by the Sierra Club, is available under call number HN690.L33 N67 1991 A video based on the book is available at HSU as Video 5115 and on the web . The summary: “Ladakh, in the western Himalayas, is a place of few resources and an extreme climate. After centuries of living in harmony with the environment, recent trends in development and modernization threaten to disrupt traditions of ecological balance and social harmony. Examines the root causes of environmental, social, and psychological problems, and provides valuable guidelines for the future Ladākh as well as the West”  She also appears in a collection on Buddhism such as  Buddhism and Ecology (call number BQ4570.N3 B38 1994 ) with an essay called “May a hundred plants grow from one seed : the ecological tradition of Ladakh meets the future”.  She is highlighted in another volume: Breton, Mary Joy. 1998. Women pioneers for the environment. Boston: Northeastern University Press.  (HSU Call number GE55 .B74 1998) You can find more essays by her using keyword searching in the HSU Catalog or the WorldCat database.  You can also find quite a bit of information on Norberg-Hodge on the open web in such sources as Wikipedia and videos of talks by her such as: Helena Norberg-Hodge “Bringing food economy home” 1st IFOAM International Conference on Marketing of Organic and Regional Values.
  • Ahmed Rashid.  This well-known author of many books and essays on modern Central Asia wrote Taliban : militant Islam, oil, and fundamentalism in Central Asia published in 2000 by Yale University Press (HSU call number DS371.2 .R367 2000). The book is referenced in Chapter 19 of Three Cups of Tea, as a source of information on the Madrassas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Mortenson’s HSU Appearance

Posted By admin on September 14, 2009

Greg Mortenson will be on campus October 20 at 2-3:30 PM for a Book Talk and Book Signing in the Kate Buchanan Room in the University Center. Take your HSU ID to the Bookstore ticket office to receive your free ticket to the even

Due to space limitations, the afternoon event is limited to the HSU community, but the evening event is free and open to all.

Afghanistan Peace Corps Presentation October 21

Posted By admin on September 3, 2009

Jan West, Peace Corps Alumna and Arcata resident, will be joined by Jennifer Clowers from the San Francisco Peace Corps office at 6-7:30 PM on October 21, 2009 in the HSU Library Fishbowl Room (L209).  Jan West will talk about her experiences in Afghanistan as a Peace Corps volunteer.  Jennifer Clowers will present information on contemporary opportunities in the Peace Corps, and both will answer questions.  Come one, come all!

HSU Library Video Titles on Pakistan and Afghanistan

Posted By admin on August 17, 2009

HSU Library owns a number of videos which provide in depth coverage of topics relating to the area where Three Cups of Tea is set.  These can be checked out by faculty or students.  Or, use viewing stations on the second floor of the library.

Frontline World. stories from a small planet

(VIDEO 6996) 2008 DVD 60min

An episode originally aired on February 26, 2008. First segment is about Pakistan titled State of Emergency – it follows the Pakistani army into the Swat Valley as they fight Taliban insurgents.

Democracy Now!

(VIDEO 7165) 2008 DVD 59min

Senators John McCain and Barack Obama debate Iraq, Pakistan, Russia during first debate. Air date: September 29, 2008.

Afghan Stories

(VIDEO 6029) 2006 DVD 60min

This documentary takes us on a daring journey through Afghanistan in the midst of the US invasion.


(VIDEO 6028) 2005 DVD 85min

Story about an Afghan-born Canadian journalist who returns to her homeland in a desperate attempt to reach her sister.

Sonali Kolhatkar at HSU, April 15, 2006

(VIDEO 5986) 2006 DVD 102min

Lecture presented at Humboldt State University on April 15th, 2006 by Sonali Kolhatkar, as part of Take Back the Night 2006. Hosted by the HSU Women’s Resource Center.

Balancing Acts

(VIDEO 7227) 2005 DVD 23min

In Pakistan, 17year-old Hina is challenging tradition to complete her education. In Afghanistan, returning refugees like Maa Gul want the government to honor their right to shelter.

Beyond the Frame: Alternative Perspectives on the War on Terrorism

(VIDEO 5652) 2004 DVDS 146min

In 23 interviews, using a question and answer format, experts from academia, the media, government, and non-governmental organizations, place the causes leading to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in historical context. Issues surrounding the War on Terrorism are also discussed. Chapter 3: Women and the Afghan War (12min.)

The Oil Factor Behind the War on Terror

(VIDEO 5765) 2004 DVD 60min

Gerard Ungerman and Audrey Brohy assess the results of the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq and the connection to world wide oil production.

Afghanistan Year 1380: Collateral Damages

(VIDEO 4844) 2002 VHS 54min

“Filmed in Afghanistan in October through December 2001, the film follows the continuing challenges for surgeon Gino Strada and medical coordinator Kate Rowlands from the human rights group “Emergency”. Having joined forces to set up a hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, they saw it shut down by the Taliban. In October, 2001, they decided to re-open the hospital while the city was still under heavy attacks in order to guarantee medical and humanitarian support to civilian war victims.”

Campaign Against Terror

(VIDEO 4811) 2002 VHS

“On the one-year anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, Frontline tells the behind-the-scenes story of the U.S. and world response. The first hour of “Campaign Against Terror” chronicles, through interviews with key players, how complex diplomatic maneuvering led to the formation of an international coalition against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. It also details how the White House, Pentagon, and the CIA moved quickly to develop a plan for fighting a new kind of war. The second hour of this documentary focuses on how this first war of the 21st century was fought.”

Jung (War) : In the Land of the Mujaheddin

(VIDEO 4851) 2001 VHS 84min

In 1999, a surgeon and a war correspondent join forces to found a hospital in Afghanistan, a country that has been devastated by civil and border wars for the last twenty years.

Don’t Ask Why

(VIDEO 4498) 1999 VHS 58min

The award winning director Sabiha Sumar gives us an intimate look at the life of Ayesha who shares her dreams of education as well as her conflicts with her Muslim religion and her father.

My Son the Fanatic

(VIDEO 4604) 1999 VHS 87min

Parvez, a cab driver who left Pakistan in search of a better life must choose between his friendship with a woman not his wife and his son, who has adopted increasingly traditional beliefs.

It Takes a Child: Craig Kielburger Story

(VIDEO 5059) 1998 VHS 56min

Craig Kielburger was 12 years old when child labor activist Iqbal Massih was killed in Pakistan. That event changed Craig’s life forever. He went on a seven-week trip to South Asia to find out everything he could about the lives of child laborers. What he learned has turned him into a passionate, articulate, and incredibly effective advocate on their behalf. With a group of his peers Craig has founded “Free the Children,” a children’s organization that now has 10,000 members in 20 countries. Following in the footsteps of the Civil Rights and Women’s movements, the Children’s Crusade has just begun.

Partition of Pakistan: Legacy of Blood

(VIDEO 3499) 1998 VHS 51min

Looks at the Partition of Pakistan and uses extensive original film footage of the partition period to illustrate the conflict and the political situation.

President Jimmy Carter

(VIDEO 1424) 1991 VHS 60min

President Carter discusses the presidency from the perspective of a Washington outsider who sought to make human rights a centerpiece of his administration. Carter reflects upon the nature of presidential leadership, illustrated by the Camp David accords, the Iran hostage crisis, the Panama Canal Treaty, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the energy crisis.

The Taliban Legacy

(VIDEO 4406) 2001 VHS 35min

A report on current conditions in Afghanistan. The program focuses on the havoc created by the Taliban regime, which has resulted in two million Afghans fleeing the country.

Bob Bovier, Working with Afghan Refugees in Pakistan

(VIDEO 1910) 1991 VHS 28min

An HSU alumnus presents film footage of his work with the International Rescue Committee Rehabilitation Program involving irrigation, public health, innoculation programs, agriculture, and training for administrative management. Constraint factors such as civil war, refugees, tribal feuds, and environmental disaster are discussed.

The Birth of Pakistan

(VIDEO 3498) 1973 VHS 20min

On August 15, 1947, Pakistan was born. As the former Indian provinces debated whether to be part of India or Pakistan, religious differences flared into full-scale rioting, which led to large-scale migration; millions moved from India to Pakistan, and vice versa. This program documents the birth of the new country; the death of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, leader of the Moslem League; the economic and political problems of the new country; the Indus Water Treaty; the war in Kashmir; the independence of Bangladesh and the resulting war with India; the rise and fall of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto; Zia’s assumption of power and adoption of strict Islamic rules; the impact of the war in Afghanistan; the death of Zia and the election of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s daughter, Benazir.

The Kirghiz of Afghanistan

(VIDEO 4531) 1975 VHS 60min

The Kirghiz, who are skilled at herd management, have adapted well to a cold and difficult environment on the “Roof of the world.” In working, celebrating, interacting with each other, and adapting to new ways in a new environment, the Kirghiz demonstrate the dignity and purpose of their lives.

Three Cups of Tea on YouTube

Posted By admin on June 29, 2009

There are numerous short videos on YouTube relating to Greg Mortenson and his work with the Central Asia Institute and Pennies for Peace programs in the Karakoram region of Pakistan and Afghanistan.   Some notable examples:

Mortenson’s daughter, Amira narrates  a 10 minute video on the Pennies for Peace program which helps American children directly assist children of the Karakoram.

Amira sings to accompany a video montage illustrating the Pennies for Peace program and the lives of the children it enriches: Pennies for Peace: Three Cups of Tea Music Video .

Greg Mortenson talks about his work in an interview at the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library.

Bloomberg interview with Greg Mortenson on Night Talk (pt. 1),  Night Talk(pt. 2) , Night Talk (pt. 3) on September 18, 2008 (6, 8, 7 minutes).  Part 1 summarizes his work and part 2-3  covers regional, political and cultural questions.

Plus many more!

Author Appearances in the Fall

Posted By admin on June 29, 2009

Greg Mortenson, author of the HSU/CR Book of the Year for 2009-10, will be making an appearance on the HSU campus, at CR, and in Eureka this fall.  On October 20, 2009, he will appear at a CR reception in the morning, and make an author appearance with a Question and Answer format in the Kate Buchanan Room from 2-3:30 pm.   That evening, he will present his major address in the Eureka High School Auditorium at 7-8, and sign books 8-9.

This will be a wonderful chance to hear from a man who has worked tirelessly to bring change through education to an incredibly poor and isolated region of the world.