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Defying everyone’s advice, armed only with her
rudimentary knowledge of Chinese and Tibetan, Sabriye Tenberken set out
to do something about the appalling condition of the Tibetan blind, who
she learned had been abandoned by society and left to die. Traveling on
horseback throughout the country, she sought them out, devised a
alphabet in Tibetan, equipped her charges with canes for the first
and set up a school for the blind. Her efforts were crowned with such
that hundreds of young blind Tibetans, instilled with a newfound pride
education, have now become self-supporting. A tale that will leave no
unmoved, it demonstrates anew the power of the positive spirit to
the most daunting odds.
Vivid, brisk account of a young German woman's efforts
a school for the blind in Tibet. Diagnosed with retinal disease in
childhood and completely blind by 13 the author retains visual memories
help her navigate sightlessly. Tenberken still sees colors in her mind
uses them as a mnemonic device to remember phone numbers and formulas
to visualize landscapes and her surroundings. She also has remarkable
who have encouraged her independence and sense of adventureat one point
mother even helped out at the school in Lhasa. Tenberken, who did
work in Asian studies, describes how her obsession with Tibetan
led her to devise a Tibetan Braille alphabet so she could read texts
In the late 1990s, needing more freedom and tired of being reminded of
supposed limitations she flew alone to China and then traveled by road
exhausting experience) to Lhasa, where she was determined to found a
There were no training facilities for blind children; if their families
poor, they were left on the street or alone in their rooms without any
diversions, or stimulation. An accomplished horsewoman, the author
often hazardous journeys on horseback over some of the most mountainous
in the world to find pupils. She describes her efforts to raise funds,
get official Chinese permission for her school, and to find suitable
and staff. None of it was easy, but the school eventually opened and
an instant success. Then the funding dried up due to bureaucratic
back in Germany, her venal landlords evicted her, and the government
she leave the country immediately. Though discouraged, Tenberken
her forces and, after a torturous overland journey to Nepal and a visit
Germany, found ways to continue her work. Impressive, moving, and
free of sentimentality and self-pity. (First printing of 50,000; author
November 1, 2002
"This brilliant and courageous blind woman not only has
an extraordinary story to tellof how, alone, she entered Tibet, devised
a Tibetan Braille, and single-handedly established schools for the
blind and altered the traditional attitude to blind people (who had for
centuries been seen as cursed, and treated as lepers or worse)but tells
it with extraordinary grace, candor, modesty, and humor. My Path Leads
to Tibet is as delightful as it is enthralling, and carries one along,
in a sort of wonder, from the first word to the last."
author of Awakenings &
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
"How can we use the power of high technology to narrow
the gap between rich and poor rather than widen it? This is the great
problem that our politicians and scientists and entrepreneurs have
failed to solve. And here is Sabriye Tenberken, a young woman with
courage and imagination, showing us how to solve it "
author of Disturbing the Universe,
Origins of Life, and Infinite in All Directions
"If you only read one book this year, read this one.
Sabriye Tenberken's life is a light to all of us, and her story is its
"ray".By turns courageously honest, genuinely heartwarming, and
uniquely inspiring. She takes us on an extraordinary journey where we
witness firsthand the miracles that can happen when one person is truly
determined to make a difference. As an
emerging leader in the fields of international public health
and blind rehabilitation, Tenberken will be in the news for years to
come. But it will always be this story that stays with us."
Lylas G. Mogk, M.D.,
author of Macular Degeneration:
The Complete Guide to Saving and Maximizing Your Sight
The Inspiring Story of How One Young Blind Woman Brought
Hope to the Blind Children of Tibet Sabriye Tenberken. When Tenberken,
whose battle with retinal disease left her blind at age 13, was in her
20s, she studied Tibetan culture at the University of Bonn. Frustrated
by the awkward character-recognition machinery she had to use to read
Tibetan materials, she devised a Tibetan braille alphabet, so that once
could be directly readable by the blind. What followed seemed natural
her: she'd go to Tibet and start a school to teach this braille to
children. Traveling on horseback over treacherous mountain passes,
in rat-infested huts and dealing with self-interested charitable
Tenberken managed to keep her humor and courage. She succeeded in
a school, and her organization, "Braille Without Borders" continues the
mission in other countries. While stories of triumph over adversity are
compelling, Tenberken gives something more: her own point of view on
as a blind person. Why does she go out of her way to visit stunning
Why are colors meaningful to her? "I consider myself a very visual
Tenberken explains, aware that not all blind people - or "sighted"
for that matter - have "visual imaginations" "Besides, why wouldn't a
informed and described by one's imagination be better than reality?"
Publishers weekly review
|ISBN - Nr.
Chemin mène au Tibet"
mia strada porta in Tibet
|"Yolum Tibet´e Düstü"
|Fuunsha Co. Ltd
|"Vejen til Tibet"
|Billesoe & Baltzer
|"Mijn weg leidt naar Tibet"
|"My path leads to Tibet"
|Arcade Publishing House
Weg fuehrt nach Tibet"