Mokhtar Alkhanshali is 24 and working as a doorman when he discovers the astonishing history of coffee and Yemen’s central place in it. He leaves San Francisco and travels deep into his ancestral homeland to tour terraced farms high in the country’s rugged mountains and meet beleaguered but determined farmers. But when war engulfs the country, Mokhtar has to find a way out of Yemen without sacrificing his dreams or abandoning his people. In The Monk of Mokha, bestselling author Dave Eggers brings this astonishing, courageous tale to life.
Dave Eggers is the author of ten books, including most recently Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?, The Circle and A Hologram for the King, which was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award. He is the founder of McSweeney's, an independent publishing company based in San Francisco that produces books, a quarterly journal of new writing (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern), and a monthly magazine, The Believer. McSweeney's also publishes Voice of Witness, a nonprofit book series that uses oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. Eggers is the co-founder of 826 National, a network of eight tutoring centers around the country and ScholarMatch, a nonprofit organization that connects students with resources, schools and donors to make college possible.
Historian, community organizer, and coffee innovator, Mokhtar Alkhanshali envisions a world where industry empowers rather than exploits, uplifts rather than represses. Growing up between Brooklyn, San Francisco and Yemen, Mokhtar comes from an ancient lineage of coffee farmers, that traces back to when the world’s first coffee was cultivated in his home province of Ibb over five centuries ago. In 2013 Mokhtar began focusing on his family’s roots as coffee farmers in Yemen. Seeking to reverse Yemen’s nearly lost art of coffee cultivation, he founded Port of Mokha, a specialty coffee company. Combining his knowledge of specialty coffee production, progressive infrastructure strategy and community organizing, Mokhtar has helped to reverse the declining quality of Yemeni coffee and re-establish it as the one of industries most treasured origins.
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