*RESCHEDULED FROM JANUARY 30*
Dave Eggers (The Circle, What Is the What) and Mokhtar Alkhanshali come together for an evening of conversation about entrepreneurship, community development, civil war, and coffee. Alkhanshali is the subject of Eggers’ heart-pounding, bestselling book, The Monk of Mokha, which weaves together the history of coffee, the ongoing Yemeni civil war, and the courageous journey of a young man following the most American of dreams.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The Monk of Mokha is the exhilarating true story of a young Yemeni American man, raised in San Francisco, who dreams of resurrecting the ancient art of Yemeni coffee but finds himself trapped in Sana’a by civil war.
Mokhtar Alkhanshali is twenty-four 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 and Saudi bombs rain down, Mokhtar has to find a way out of Yemen without sacrificing his dreams or abandoning his people.
Dave Eggers is the author of many books, including: The Circle; Heroes of the Frontier; A Hologram for the King, a finalist for the National Book Award; and What Is the What, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and winner of France's Prix Médicis Etranger and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. His nonfiction and journalism has appeared in the Guardian, the New Yorker, the Best American Travel Writing and the Best American Essays. He is the founder of McSweeney's, the independent publishing company, and cofounder of 826 Valencia, a youth writing and tutoring center that inspired similar endeavors around the world, and ScholarMatch, which connects donors with students to make college accessible. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and his work has been translated into forty-two languages.
Historian, community organizer, and coffee innovator, Mokhtar Alkhanshali envisions a world where industry empowers rather than exploits, uplifts rather than represses.
Following his studies, he worked with some of the most respected civil rights and community organizations including the ACLU and Asian Law Caucus. On several occasions he’s been requested to partner with the city of San Francisco in working on initiatives regarding civil liberties.
In 2013 Mokhtar shifted his focus towards 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. 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. Best-selling author Dave Eggers’ forthcoming title “The Monk of Mokha” traces Mokhtar’s journey as a social entrepreneur and his harrowing escape from war torn Yemen with his first coffee samples.
Mokhtar can be found amongst his coffee farmers in remote villages or speaking around the world on topics of social entrepreneurship, community development and, of course, coffee.