Haji Ali: "The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you share tea with a Balti, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family, and for our family, we are prepared to do anything, even die...Doctor Greg, you must take time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated. But we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time."
Greg Mortenson: "That day, Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I've ever learned in my life...We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly. We're the country of thirty-minute power lunches and two-minute football drills...Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects. He taught me that I had more to learn from the people I work with than I could ever hope to teach them."
-Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin