2021 The Monk of sale lowest Mokha sale

2021 The Monk of sale lowest Mokha sale

2021 The Monk of sale lowest Mokha sale

Description

Product Description

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 beleagured 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.

Review

“Exquisitely interesting… This is about the human capacity to dream—here, there, everywhere.” —Gabriel Thompson, San Francisco Chronicle
 
“A cracking tale of intrigue and bravery… A gripping, triumphant adventure story.” — Paul Constant, Los Angeles Times

"I wish someone had asked me to blurb  The Monk of Mokha so I could have said, ''I couldn’t put it down,'' because I couldn’t put it down."  —Ann Patchett, Parnassas Bookstore blog
 
“A true account of a scrappy underdog, told in a lively, accessible style... Absolutely as gripping and cinematically dramatic as any fictional cliffhanger.” —Michael Lindgren, The Washington Post

“Remarkable… offers hope in the age of Trump… Ends as a kind of breathless thriller as Mokhtar braves militia roadblocks, kidnappings and multiple mortal dangers.” —Tim Adams, The Guardian
 
“A heady brew… Plainspoken but gripping Dives deep into a crisis but delivers a jolt of uplift as well.” —Mark Athitakis, USA Today
 

"A vibrant depiction of courage and passion, interwoven with a detailed history of Yemeni coffee and a timely exploration of Muslim American identity."  —David Canfield,  Entertainment Weekly

The Monk of Mokha is not merely about ‘coming to America,’ it is a thrilling chronicle of one man’s coming-and-going between two beloved homelands—a brilliant mirror on the global community we have become.”  —Marie Arana, author of  American Chica  and  Bolivar: American Liberator

“This American coming of age story reminds us all of how much our country is enriched by all who call it home.”  —Dalia Mogahed, author of  Who Speaks For Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think
 
“Here’s a story for our time: filled with ethos and pathos. You’ll laugh, cry, and discover worlds unknown to most. From scamming in the Tenderloin to dodging bombs in Yemen, Mokhtar and Eggers take us on a worthwhile ride through the postmodern topography of our times.”  —Hamza Hanson Yusuf

Like many great works, Eggers’ book is multifaceted. It combines, in a single moving narrative, history, politics, biography, psychology, adventure, drama, despair, hope, triumph and the irrepressible, indomitable nature of the human spirit –at its best.”  —Imam Zaid Shakir
 
“In telling Mokhtar’s story with such clarity, honesty, and humor, Eggers allows readers to consider Yemen and Yemenis – long invisible, side-lined, or maligned in the American imagination – in their wonderful and complicated fullness.”  —Alia Malek, author of  The Home That Was Our Country: A Memoir of Syria   and  A Country Called Amreeka: Arab Roots, American Stories 

About the Author

Dave Eggers is the author of eleven books, including: The Circle; Heroes of the Frontier, longlisted for the International DUBLIN Literary Award; 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, Best American Travel Writing, and Best American Essays. He is the founder of McSweeney''s, the publishing company that distributes the Voice of Witness series of books, which use oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. He is the cofounder of 826 National, a network of youth writing and tutoring centers with locations around the country, 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. He lives in Northern California with his family.

www.daveeggers.net; www.826national.org; www.scholarmatch.org; www.voiceofwitness.org; www.valentinoachakdeng.org; www.mcsweeneys.net

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

PROLOGUE

Mokhtar Alkhanshali and I agree to meet in Oakland. He has just returned from Yemen, having narrowly escaped with his life. An American citizen, Mokhtar was abandoned by his government and left to evade Saudi bombs and Houthi rebels. He had no means to leave the country. The airports had been destroyed and the roads out of the country were impassable. There were no evacuations planned, no assistance provided. The United States State Department had stranded thousands of Yemeni Americans, who were forced to devise their own means of fleeing a blitzkrieg—tens of thousands of U.S.-made bombs dropped on Yemen by the Saudi air force.

I wait for Mokhtar (pronounced MŌKH-tar) outside Blue Bottle Coffee in Jack London Square. Elsewhere in the United States, there is a trial under way in Boston, where two young brothers have been charged with setting off a series of bombs during the Boston Marathon, killing nine and wounding hundreds. High above Oakland, a police helicopter hovers, monitoring a dockworkers’ strike going on at the Port of Oakland. This is 2015, fourteen years after 9/11, and seven years into the administration of President Barack Obama. As a nation we had progressed from the high paranoia of the Bush years; the active harassment of Muslim Americans had eased somewhat, but any crime perpetrated by any Muslim American fanned the flames of Islamophobia for another few months.

When Mokhtar arrives, he looks older and more self-possessed than the last time I’d seen him. The man who gets out of the car this day is wearing khakis and a purple sweater-vest. His hair is short and gelled, and his goatee is neatly trimmed. He walks with a preternatural calm, his torso barely moving as his legs carry him across the street and to our table on the sidewalk. We shake hands, and on his right hand, I see that he wears a large silver ring, spiderwebbed with detailed markings, a great ruby-red stone set into it.

He ducks into Blue Bottle to say hello to friends working inside, and to bring me a cup of coffee from Ethiopia. He insists I wait till it cools to drink it. Coffee should not be enjoyed too hot, he says; it masks the flavor, and taste buds retreat from the heat. When we’re finally settled and the coffee has cooled, he begins to tell his story of entrapment and liberation in Yemen, and of how he grew up in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco—in many ways the city’s most
troubled neighborhood—how, while working as a doorman at a high-end apartment building downtown, he found his calling in coffee.

Mokhtar speaks quickly. He is very funny and deeply sincere, and illustrates his stories with photos he’s taken on his smartphone. Sometimes he plays the music he listened to during a particular episode of his story. Sometimes he sighs. Sometimes he wonders at his existence, his good fortune, being a poor kid from the Tenderloin who now has found some significant success as a coffee importer. Sometimes he laughs, amazed that he is not dead, given he lived through a Saudi bombing of Sana’a, and was held hostage by two different factions in Yemen after the country fell to civil war. But primarily he wants to talk about coffee. To show me pictures of coffee plants and coffee farmers. To talk about the history of coffee, the overlapping tales of adventure and derring-do that brought coffee to its current status as fuel for much of the world’s productivity, and a seventy-billion-dollar global commodity. The only time he slows down is when he describes the worry he caused his friends and family when he was trapped in Yemen. His large eyes well up and he pauses, staring at the photos on his phone for a moment before he can compose himself and continue.
 
Now, as I finish this book, it’s been three years since our meeting that day in Oakland. Before embarking on this project, I was a casual coffee drinker and a great skeptic of specialty coffee. I thought it was too expensive, and that anyone who cared so much about how coffee was brewed, or where it came from, or waited in line for certain coffees made certain ways, was pretentious and a fool.

But visiting coffee farms and farmers around the world, from Costa Rica to Ethiopia, has educated me. Mokhtar educated me. We visited his family in California’s Central Valley, and we picked coffee cherries in Santa Barbara—at North America’s only coffee farm. We chewed qat in Harar, and in the hills above the city we walked amid some of the oldest coffee plants on earth. In retracing his steps in Djibouti, we visited a dusty and hopeless refugee camp near the coastal outpost of Obock, and I watched as Mokhtar fought to recover the passport of a young Yemeni dental student who had fled the civil war and had nothing—not even his identity. In the most remote hills of Yemen, Mokhtar and I drank sugary tea with botanists and sheiks, and heard the laments of those who had no stake in the civil war and only wanted peace.

After all this, American voters elected—or the electoral college made possible—the presidency of a man who had promised to exclude all Muslims from entering the country—“until we figure out what’s going on,” he said. After inauguration, he made two efforts to ban travel to the United States by citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations. On this list was Yemen, a country more misunderstood than perhaps any other. “I hope they have wifi in the camps,” Mokhtar said to me after the election. It was a grim joke making the rounds in the Muslim American community, based on the presumption that Trump will, at the first opportunity—if there is a domestic terror incident propagated by a Muslim, for instance—propose the registry or even internment of Muslims in America. When he made the joke, Mokhtar was wearing a T-shirt that read MAKE COFFEE, NOT WAR.

Mokhtar’s sense of humor pervades everything he does and says, and in these pages I hope to have captured it and how it informs the way he sees the world, even at its most perilous. At one point during the Yemeni civil war, Mokhtar was captured and held in prison by a militia in Aden. Because he was raised in the United States and is steeped in American pop culture, it occurred to him that one of his captors looked like the Karate Kid; when Mokhtar recounted the episode to me, he called the captor the Karate Kid and nothing else. By using this nickname, I don’t mean to understate the danger Mokhtar was in, but feel it’s important to reflect the outlook of a man who is uniquely difficult to rattle, and who sees most dangers as only temporary impediments to more crucial concerns—the finding, roasting and importing of Yemeni coffee, and the progress of the farmers for whom he fights. And my guess is that this captor did look like the Ralph Macchio of the early 1980s.

Mokhtar is both humble before the history he inhabits and irreverent about his place in it. But his story is an old-fashioned one. It’s chiefly about the American Dream, which is very much alive and very much under threat. His story is also about coffee, and about how he tried to improve coffee production in Yemen, where coffee cultivation was first undertaken five hundred years ago. It’s also about the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, a valley of desperation in a city
of towering wealth, about the families that live there and struggle to live there safely and with dignity. It’s about the strange preponderance of Yemenis in the liquor-store trade of California, and the unexpected history of Yemenis in the Central Valley. And how their work in California echoes their long history of farming in Yemen. And how direct trade can change the lives of farmers, giving them agency and standing. And about how Americans like Mokhtar Alkhanshali—U.S. citizens who maintain strong ties to the countries of their ancestors and who, through entrepreneurial zeal and dogged labor, create indispensable bridges between the developed and developing worlds, between nations that produce and those that consume. And how these bridgemakers exquisitely and bravely embody this nation’s reason for being, a place of radical opportunity and ceaseless welcome. And how when we forget that this is central to all that is best about this country, we forget ourselves—a blended people united not by stasis and cowardice and fear, but by irrational exuberance, by global enterprise on a human scale, by the inherent rightness of pressing forward, always forward, driven by courage unfettered and unyielding.



BOOK I

CHAPTER I

The Satchel

Miriam gave things to Mokhtar. Usually books. She gave him  Das Kapital. She gave him Noam Chomsky. She fed his mind. She fueled his aspirations. They dated for a year or so, but the odds were long. He was a Muslim Yemeni American, and she was half-Palestinian, half-Greek and a Christian. But she was beautiful, and fierce, and she fought harder for Mokhtar than he fought for himself. When he said he wanted to finally get his undergraduate degree and go to law school, she bought him a satchel. It was a lawyerly valise, made in Granada, painstakingly crafted from the softest leather, with brass rivets and buckles and elegant compartments within. Maybe, Miriam thought, the object would drive the dream.

Things were clicking into place, Mokhtar thought. He had finally saved enough money to enroll at City College of San Francisco and would start in the fall. After two years at City, he’d do two more at San Francisco State, then three years of law school. He’d be thirty when he finished. Not ideal, but it was a time line he could act on. For the first time in his academic life, there was something like clarity and momentum.
 
He needed a laptop for college, so he asked his brother Wallead for a loan. Wallead was less than a year younger—Irish twins, they called each other—but Wallead had things figured out. After years working as a doorman at a residential high-rise called the Infinity, Wallead had enrolled at the University of California, Davis. And he had enough money saved to pay for Mokhtar’s laptop. Wallead charged the new MacBook Air to his credit card, and Mokhtar promised to pay back the eleven hundred dollars in installments. Mokhtar put the laptop in Miriam’s satchel; it fit perfectly and looked lawyerly.

Mokhtar brought the satchel to the Somali fund-raiser. This was 2012, and he and a group of friends had organized an event in San Francisco to raise money for Somalis affected by the famine that had already taken the lives of hundreds of thousands. The benefit was during Ramadan, so everyone ate well and heard Somali American speakers talk about the plight of their countrymen. Three thousand dollars were raised, most of it in cash. Mokhtar put the money in the satchel and, wearing a suit and carrying a leather satchel containing a new laptop and a stack of dollars of every denomination, he felt like a man of action and purpose.

Because he was galvanized, and because by nature he was impulsive, he convinced one of the other organizers, Sayed Darwoush, to drive the funds an hour south, to Santa Clara, that night—immediately after the event. In Santa Clara they’d go to the mosque and give the money to a representative of Islamic Relief, the global nonprofit distributing aid in Somalia. One of the organizers asked Mokhtar to bring a large cooler full of leftover  rooh afza, a pink Pakistani drink made with milk and rose water. “You sure you have to go tonight?” Jeremy asked. Jeremy often thought Mokhtar was taking on too much and too soon.

“I’m fine,” Mokhtar said.  It has to be tonight, he thought.

So Sayed drove, and all the way down Highway 101 they reflected on the generosity evident that night, and Mokhtar thought how good it felt to conjure an idea and see it realized. He thought, too, about what it would be like to have a law degree, to be the first of the Alkhanshalis in America with a JD. How eventually he’d graduate and represent asylum seekers, other Arab Americans with immigration issues. Maybe someday run for office.

Halfway to Santa Clara, Mokhtar was overcome with exhaustion. Getting the event together had taken weeks; now his body wanted rest. He set his head against the window. “Just closing my eyes,” he said.

When he woke, they were parked in the lot of the Santa Clara mosque. Sayed shook his shoulder. “Get up,” he said. Prayers were beginning in a few minutes.

Mokhtar got out of the car, half-asleep. They grabbed the  rooh afza out of the trunk and hustled into the mosque.

It was only after prayers that Mokhtar realized he’d left the satchel outside. On the ground, next to the car. He’d left the satchel, containing the three thousand dollars and his new eleven-hundred-dollar laptop, in the parking lot, at midnight.

He ran to the car. The satchel was gone. 

They searched the parking lot. Nothing.

No one in the mosque had seen anything. Mokhtar and Sayed searched all night. Mokhtar didn’t sleep. Sayed went home in the morning. Mokhtar stayed in Santa Clara.

It made no sense to stay, but going home was impossible.

He called Jeremy. “I lost the satchel. I lost three thousand dollars and a laptop because of that damned pink milk. What do I tell people?”

Mokhtar couldn’t tell the hundreds of people who had donated to Somali famine relief that their money was gone. He couldn’t tell Miriam. He didn’t want to think of what she’d paid for the satchel, what she would think of him—losing all that he had, all at once. He couldn’t tell his parents. He couldn’t tell Wallead that they’d be paying off eleven hundred dollars for a laptop Mokhtar would never use.

The second day after he lost the satchel, another friend of Mokhtar’s, Ibrahim Ahmed Ibrahim, was flying to Egypt, to see what had become of the Arab Spring. Mokhtar caught a ride with him to the airport—it was halfway back to his parents’ house. Ibrahim was finishing at UC Berkeley; he’d have his degree in months. He didn’t know what to say to Mokhtar.  Don’t worry didn’t seem sufficient. He disappeared in the security line and flew to Cairo.

Mokhtar settled into one of the black leather chairs in the atrium of the airport, and sat for hours. He watched the people go. The families leaving and coming home. The businesspeople with their portfolios and plans. In the International Terminal, a monument to movement, he sat, vibrating, going nowhere.

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4.5 out of 54.5 out of 5
715 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Jodi
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This is a wonderful read about an amazing journey for one Yemeni American
Reviewed in the United States on February 12, 2018
This is a wonderful read about an amazing journey for one Yemeni American. This book has come out at a timely manner. I want to address the critic that stopped reading the book because of facts regarding Treasure Island. Both Dave Eggers and the critic are correct with... See more
This is a wonderful read about an amazing journey for one Yemeni American. This book has come out at a timely manner. I want to address the critic that stopped reading the book because of facts regarding Treasure Island. Both Dave Eggers and the critic are correct with dates: Treasure Island started to be built in 1936 (Dave’s date in the book) but wasn’t complete until later (critic’s date in the review). Please if you are going to write such a negative review and discourage people from reading, please be more careful in your facts as well. In any case, the story is amazing and this one area of the book should not stop anyone from reading it.
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AA
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Meet the Indiana Jones of Coffee!
Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2018
In ''The Monk of Mokha'', Dave Eggers takes us on a modern-day swashbuckling adventure that starts almost uneventfully, in one of the roughest neighborhoods of San Francisco, before taking us to Yemen and the chaos that ensues therein. Our hero, aspiring coffee entrepreneur... See more
In ''The Monk of Mokha'', Dave Eggers takes us on a modern-day swashbuckling adventure that starts almost uneventfully, in one of the roughest neighborhoods of San Francisco, before taking us to Yemen and the chaos that ensues therein. Our hero, aspiring coffee entrepreneur Mokhtar Alkhanshali, is a real-life Indiana Jones, always taking on his next task with gusto and bravado but ultimately getting backed into a corner at every turn. Like Indy, he uses his wits and sheer willpower (and a lot of luck!) to overcome every obstacle put in front of him.

There were parts of this book that I just laughed out loud at and had to pause to regain my composure, and other parts where I just couldn''t put the book down, wanting to know what happened next. Throughout I learned a lot about coffee but what I loved most is that the entire motivation of Mokhtar''s journey is quite selfless - he wants a better life for Yemeni farmers, and Yemen in general. Like Mokhtar, I am a product of mixed identities, caught between East and West, and I appreciated how he leveraged his advantages and privilege to help people - his people - in Yemen.

I think one of the great lessons of ''The Monk of Mokha'' is not to be afraid to dream big, and not to give up on your dreams when things aren''t going your way. In Mokhtar''s story, you''ll find a protagonist who is charming, determined, but ultimately, (and I hope he forgives me for saying this!) a little crazy. Not bad crazy. Good crazy. The kind of crazy that can change people''s lives for the better. I believe that the people - like Mokhtar - who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who eventually do.

In ''The Monk of Mokha'', you''ll find several cups of crazy. And it will leave you wanting more.
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Mal Warwick
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Another outstanding work of nonfiction from Dave Eggers
Reviewed in the United States on February 21, 2018
Dave Eggers has struck gold once again with the extraordinary story of the Yemeni-American entrepreneur Mokhtar Alkhanshali, "a poor kid from [San Francisco''s] Tenderloin who now has found some significant success as a coffee importer." But that description barely... See more
Dave Eggers has struck gold once again with the extraordinary story of the Yemeni-American entrepreneur Mokhtar Alkhanshali, "a poor kid from [San Francisco''s] Tenderloin who now has found some significant success as a coffee importer." But that description barely scratches the surface. Mokhtar is the man who introduced now-highly-praised coffee from Yemen to the American market. And he did so after surviving an odyssey through war-torn territory worthy of Ulysses himself.

A civil war few outsiders can understand
Few Americans can locate Yemen on a map, even though the country is frequently in the news. (It''s located at the southern end of the Arabian peninsula across a narrow strait from the tiny African nation of Djibouti. Yemen lies just south of the much larger and richer nation of Saudi Arabia.) A brutal civil war has been underway in the country since 2014. The war pits an ethnic group called the Houthis, who back the ousted former president, against those who opposed him, backed by Saudi Arabia. Saudi warplanes (purchased from the USA) have been dropping bombs (also purchased from the USA) on Houthis and anyone in their vicinity for nearly four years. This has resulted in a massive famine and other deprivations affecting three-quarters of the nation''s 28 million people, not to mention thousands of deaths. The already desperately poor country is a shambles. And as if civil war and famine aren''t enough, Yemen is host to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the most powerful remnant of Osama bin Laden''s terrorist network, and ISIS. Despite all this, Mokhtar Alkhanshali has managed to grow, process, and export many tons of high-quality coffee from Yemen to the United States.

The history of coffee began in Yemen
Ethiopia, the huge country across the Red Sea from Yemen, lays claim to having originated coffee production in the 9th century based on a flimsy legend of a goatherd who chewed on the beans and got high. But the historical evidence is stronger for Yemen''s contention that the industry was launched five hundred years ago by "the Monk of Mokha." Mokha (or Mocha) is a port on the Red Sea coast of Yemen. There, according to legend, a Sufi holy man named Ali Ibn Omar al-Shadhili "first brewed the bean into a semblance of what we now recognize as coffee." Over the centuries, cultivation of the coffee plant moved (mostly by outright theft) from Yemen to many other countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Meanwhile, coffee production steadily declined in Yemen both in quantity and quality. When Mokhtar became animated by the obsession to import "specialty" (high-quality) coffee from Yemen, the country''s output had gained a reputation for highly uneven quality and often simply bad taste. Coffee farmers there had been abandoning the crop in droves.

"I will resurrect the art of Yemeni coffee and restore it to prominence throughout the world," Mokhtar had confided to a friend. Astonishingly, that is exactly what he achieved. Fleeing Yemen with a colleague, he personally carried "the first coffee to leave the port of Mokha in eighty years. . . . By July 2017, Port of Mokha coffee was available . . . all over North America, Japan, Paris and Brazil . . . [and] the Coffee Review awarded" one variety of Yemeni coffee "the highest score issued in the publication''s twenty-year history."

Another superior example of Dave Eggers nonfiction
Eggers'' account of Mokhtar''s experience reads like an adventure story. His description of the history of coffee and of its cultivation and processing is equally fascinating. This book is, in truth, another outstanding example of Dave Eggers nonfiction.
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KasaC
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Latest Masterwork from Dave Eggers
Reviewed in the United States on January 31, 2018
I love the way Dave Eggers tells a larger story through a personal lens. As with Valentino Dent (What is the What) and Abdulrahman Zeitoun, he has taken the life of Mokhtar Alkhanshali and crafted it into a book so readable and yet so informative and true it becomes a real... See more
I love the way Dave Eggers tells a larger story through a personal lens. As with Valentino Dent (What is the What) and Abdulrahman Zeitoun, he has taken the life of Mokhtar Alkhanshali and crafted it into a book so readable and yet so informative and true it becomes a real page turner. His books are proof of his extraordinary empathy, and this one is no exception. Mokhtar is a young man of Yemeni heritage, who grew up on the mean streets of San Francisco''s Tenderloin, but his family was supportive if puzzled by some of his choices. He held many low paying jobs, never giving up hope that he would discover his calling even when at his lowest. It was a chance text from a friend that sent him across the street from where he was a doorman (lobby ambassador) to the Hills Bros. building on the Embarcadero, where he saw the twenty-foot statue of a man in full Yemeni dress grasping a cup of coffee to his lips. Despite the flowers on the statue''s thobe (no self respecting native would ever wear that), he was struck by the relationship to the coffee cup, which led him to study about the origin of history of coffee and the role Yemen played in its manufacture. I''m not giving anything away by revealing that he eventually finds success as an importer of coffee from Yemen, but it is that history, his experiences in discovery and marketing, and his reasons for developing the industry in his native land that make this book a real Eggers work. High recommend.
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Neamah
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A gripping reality for a fellow Yemeni.
Reviewed in the United States on February 14, 2018
I felt like I was part of the entire journey because every place mentioned and every incident narrated have been my experiences too. Being a Yemeni, raised In a foreign land I have seen yemen thru similar visions. Crude but yet warm; lush but yet barren; warmm people but... See more
I felt like I was part of the entire journey because every place mentioned and every incident narrated have been my experiences too. Being a Yemeni, raised In a foreign land I have seen yemen thru similar visions. Crude but yet warm; lush but yet barren; warmm people but yet vulnerably dangerous......
The book left me thinking that in every adversity there can be a golden opportunity- just has to be identified and pursued relentlessly with 100% conviction.
Well narrated with emotions being depicted very realistically and honestly!
Superb!
10 people found this helpful
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Big C
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A caffeinated delight
Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2018
What an exquisite, muscular tale! Eggers writes with confidence, empathy, and a lovely clean rhythm. It’s the first book I’ve gotten traction on in a long time, and I hate that I’ve finished it—but it’s whetted my appetite to read his other books. I read Heartbreaking... See more
What an exquisite, muscular tale! Eggers writes with confidence, empathy, and a lovely clean rhythm. It’s the first book I’ve gotten traction on in a long time, and I hate that I’ve finished it—but it’s whetted my appetite to read his other books. I read Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius when it came out and envied his acrobatic prose, which has only gotten leaner. But this book! It takes you around the world, into the adventurous, dangerous struggle of the third world and their hardworking American immigrants, and into the world of coffee. Swashbuckling and educational. I loved it.
8 people found this helpful
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James P. Patuto
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Horatio Alger for the age of Trump
Reviewed in the United States on February 25, 2018
I usually don''t try nonfiction books of this type, but being a coffee lover and given the rave reviews I took a chance. What a great book. Despite the fact that you pretty much know the general ending, it reads like a thriller. What a great protagonist, a Horatio Alger for... See more
I usually don''t try nonfiction books of this type, but being a coffee lover and given the rave reviews I took a chance. What a great book. Despite the fact that you pretty much know the general ending, it reads like a thriller. What a great protagonist, a Horatio Alger for the age of Trump. A young Muslim immigrant determined to be a success and do right by the world. What a great story. Wars, guns, terrorists and coffee.
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Anne Phillips
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It seemed unwise
Reviewed in the United States on November 1, 2018
As soon as I read about Mokhtar seeing the freighter carrying his precious Yemeni coffee beans under the Golden Gate Bridge, I ordered some to find out for myself how the taste compares. I am waiting for delivery! This book was an amazing education about what it takes to... See more
As soon as I read about Mokhtar seeing the freighter carrying his precious Yemeni coffee beans under the Golden Gate Bridge, I ordered some to find out for myself how the taste compares. I am waiting for delivery! This book was an amazing education about what it takes to make/grow coffee - how to grow, to prune to bushes, to harvest, to sort, to roast, to prepare; about the farmers who grow the coffee, the loan sharks and many middlemen, the long supply chain before the beans reach the consumer. All that is interwoven with the story of Mokhtar Alkhanshali. raised in a poor immigrant Jemeni family in San Francisco. After several forays into a sales career as well as a disastrous loss of a laptop and several thousand dollars in cash, Mokhthar decides to become a coffee importer. Well, why not? Jemeni coffee is good, the best, traditional. Connections in Jemen should/could help. And off he goes with only a rudimentary understanding of complicated grading and tasting rituals. There are many stops and helpers and he finally finds dependable sources. willing to honor his promises . Then war breaks out and Mokhtar is stranded in Jemen. It is a desperate trip from Sana''a and Aden and back and then finally California. After reading the book, I am willing to pay extra for a cup!
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Top reviews from other countries

BookWorm
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Incredible true story, better than fiction
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 25, 2019
This is an extraordinary true story that is more compelling and incredible than most fiction. I really thought it was a novel - and if it was, it would be an excellent one. Eggers'' writing is so good and entertaining that the reading experience is much closer to a novel,...See more
This is an extraordinary true story that is more compelling and incredible than most fiction. I really thought it was a novel - and if it was, it would be an excellent one. Eggers'' writing is so good and entertaining that the reading experience is much closer to a novel, although some parts are more fact-heavy than others. The subject of the book is Mokhtar, a young American who finds his calling in reviving the fortunes of Yemeni coffee. Unfortunately he chooses a time of great politic unrest to start his project, and finds himself caught up in the civil war. However despite his life being at risk, he remains determined to improve the lot of coffee farmers in the wartorn country and goes to unbelievable lengths to set up his export business. It would make a fantastic film - it''s got all the excitement, and Hollywood would love the rags to riches story. Mokhtar is a wonderful character - both ordinary and extraordinary, and shows how an average person can achieve incredible things in the right circumstances. It''s an inspiring story that shows sometimes real life can be better and stranger than fiction, and that happy endings can occur. Even in the midst of war and despair, hope and improvement are possible - and can be achieved by ordinary people. It''s the most uplifting thing I''ve read in a long time, and I have nothing but admiration for the young man who set out to do something worthwhile, and wouldn''t let anything stand in his way. I''d highly recommend this book, which is as pleasurable a read as any novel due to its fiction-like excitement and good writing,, especially if you''re feeling down.
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Caitlin Cockcroft
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Gripped me throughout
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 19, 2018
Having lived and worked in Yemen and experienced about a millionth of what Mokhtar must have, from a very different perspective, i found this book extremely convincing and authentic in its storytelling. It told a truth for many, and a reality that so many could never...See more
Having lived and worked in Yemen and experienced about a millionth of what Mokhtar must have, from a very different perspective, i found this book extremely convincing and authentic in its storytelling. It told a truth for many, and a reality that so many could never imagine, but showed the connectedness we all have through one thing or another. Really beautiful flow, read the whole book in a day, literally didn’t put it down except for lunch. Would recommend to anyone interested in Yemen, history, travel, culture or coffee :)
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Peter Jarman
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It''s about coffee rather than the people of the Yemen
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 11, 2020
Little of the book describes the peoples of the Yemen or the troubles of the coffee dealer travelling amongst them. The book is not written by the traveller, but by an American who writes a lot of books.
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christelallison Haddon
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An education in Coffee and Yemen
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 27, 2019
This wasn''t the easiest of reads bit worth persevering. How amazing what one man''s vision can achieve. One man who has with the help of others helped the life of so many. I''m enlightened and encouraged.
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F L C Wade
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fascinating and Entertaining!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 12, 2021
Loved this book as it took you on a journey from San Francisco to Yemen and back. Follow the scent of coffee. Rich is every way!
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