When Mokhtar Alkhanshali was 24 years old, he learned of his family’s heritage as coffee farmers in Yemen. As he dug deeper, he learned that Yemen actually has a deep role in global coffee culture. That’s when he decided to leave home in San Francisco to discover Yemen’s coffee firsthand.
While he was in the capital Sana’a, he found himself caught in one of the biggest civil wars of this century. U.S.-backed Saudi forces bombed areas close to Alkhanshali, and even though he was a U.S. citizen, he was not offered any protection.
Today, Yemen is still home to one of the greatest humanitarian crises in the world. But that didn’t stop Mokhtar. He founded Port of Mokha coffee, set on bringing Yemeni coffee to America. It can sell for up to $16 a cup in some coffee shops. His story is the subject of Dave Eggers’ newest book, The Monk of Mokha. Mokhtar Alkhanshali and Dave Eggers join Worldview to discuss Yemeni coffee and the war there.