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{Read} The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers

Ooky from work today because I couldn t put this own Highly recommended This book made me appreciate coffee This is the kind of book that keeps you on the edge of the seat while rooting for the main guy to get over the obstacles and attain the goals they need to get Mokhtar Alkhanshali was born and raised in California His parents are from Yemen He Jumpstart the World discovers while working as aoor attendant in a large residential building that Yemen was a major exporter of coffee beans for centuries and had a monopoly over coffee trade through the port of Mokha He wants to revive the high uality of the Yemeni beans and goes back to Yemen to explore the situation but then 2011 and the Arab Spring changes everything in the region He goes back and forth between Yemen and some coffee businessmen in California he learns how to grade coffee he teaches Yemeni workers and farmers how to improve the farming harvesting of the beans and improve their life This book Kiss the Girls delivers on many levels it shows the real region itescribes what people go through every ay in a region plagued with war A must read for any person who enjoys coffee politics history and human stories There is a lesson in this oneor two Don t let anyone tell you can t o something And once you set your mind to something you can Visiting Mrs Nabokov and Other Excursions do anything Well in this case said person was almost killedmultiple times But he DID IT Heid what he set out to A Day Away do which seemed like an impossibilityOK this tells the story of Mokhtar Alkhanshali A young Yemeni growing up in San Francisco just running around being a punk not caring about much of anything But he begins to see the way after being talked to and tries to better himself He tries to go school but a mistake where he looses a lot of money he was given for school is lost So he goes to work really pushing hard and learning He sells shoes sells cars and then is aoor man in a luxury apartment building His girlfriend makes a passing statement to him about a statue and that sets Mokhtar on his next path er uest erobsession er goal He wants to bring Yemeni coffee to America You learn about coffee cultivation roasting and importing and so much about coffee I m not a coffee Memoir of a Misfit drinker at all never had theesire But I found this utterly fascinating You hear of harrowing stories of his time in Yemen and trying to get out Yemen when violence erupts On multiple occasions he thinks he is about to Looking for the Toffees die A great storyand in the end he brings hisream to life Yemeni coffee can be found many places in the US these Raising Gods Girl days And along the way helping the coffee farmers and workers back in YemenFor years I have been wanting to read Eggers works Many rave about them there have been movies which I have not seen of his works I even own a book of his but I just never plucked him from my TBR pile Ion t know what it was about this one that when I saw it I had to read it immediately OK cover love The Gulag Handbook drew my attention first I m so glad I read this one and ignited myesire to read of his books And I found out he is coming along with Mokhtar to a local author speaker series that I attend So I get to hear of this fascinating story by these two men The only The Beckoning Lady (Albert Campion downfallit will not turn me into a coffeerinker I just can t So I ll just Will in the World drink my tea while I read his books and wait for his talk Sounds perfect to me The rags to riches story of a coffee importer it s interesting than that sounds Details are suspiciously sparse toward the end but I like a happy ending Waffling between three and four stars True account of Yemen American When he learns that coffee originated in Yemen he employs passion courage creativity humanitarianism to make Yemen coffee the world s best All that amidaunting poverty war politics Pulitzer prize author Audio narrator passable but not a uite right fit mispronounced eide Story was engaging all the same Wow By the end of The Monk of Mokha without a sip of coffee or tea for me in me I felt the stimulant of Dave Eggers non fiction book raising my energy This is one heck of an amazing rags to riches storyFrom DOORMANto CEO COFFEEMANour uplifting boost of energy comes from a guy name Mokhtar AlkhanshaliYemeni American Mokhtar grew up June Fourth Elegies dirt poorin San Francisco s most impoverishedistricts The Tenderloin District our older Baby and Child Vegetarian Recipes daughter once played the leading role in an indi film at age 12 in thisistrict an area any mother would worry for her child Mokhtar got used to the The Confabulist drugealing which we stand out in the open air all ay and all night He got used to the smells human feces urine weed To the howling of men and women and babies He got used to stepping over needles and vomit Older weed To the howling of men and women and babies He got used to stepping over needles and vomit Older and younger men having sex in the alley A women in her sisters shooting up A homeless family panhandling An elderly junkie standing in the middle of traffic Mokhtar also knew just north of the Tenderloin neighborhood was Nob Hill One of the most expensive neighborhoods in United States home to the Fairmont and Mark Hopkins Hotels A few blocks away was Union Suare with its pricy shopping and cable cars Mokhtar was a creative semi trouble maker rascal as a kid He found solutions to some of his eprivations AND WETHE READERARE ROOTING FOR HIM ALL THE WAY He has an incredible coming of age story to tell He has another story to tell when at age 24 he moves to Yemenwhere he learns the language culture and works in coffee farming He also got trapped in the violent civil warBut Mokhtar was Enticing (PI Men to the Rescue drawn to the Yemeni Coffee their culture and industry And we follow Mokhtar s master plan to bring Port of Mokhtar back to San Francisco Reading this book was a little like a roller coaster ride There were moments when your heartropped to your feetwhen he had THE WORSE LUCKand had to climb back up and start with nothing and there were moments of celebrationwhere you wanted to stand up And Cheer Congrats To Mokhtar Dave Eggers cheer Congrats To Mokhtar Dave Eggers 3 years listening to Mokhtar talk and Spring Comes to Sanctuary (Welcome to Sanctuary, doing research before he wrote this book Heid a great jobgot me interested and I Ask the Past don t evenrink coffee Two thingsthen you can stop reading my chatter if you haven t already 1 It s my belief that what contributed to Mokhtar separating himself from the other junkies where he lived is HE ALWAYS LOVED TO READ AS A KID He stole books sometimes but better books than cigarettes or alcohol Mokhtar was always smart and Riding Class (Saddle Club, determined to live like the people on Nob Hill SMART DETERMINATION go along way 2 In June of 2016 Port of Mokhtarwas made available for the first time atBlue Bottle coffee shops around the United States It was the most expensive coffeeBlue Bottle had ever sold Complete with a cardamom cookie made from Mokhtar s mother s recipe it cost 16 a cup Mokhtar May have become richbut the rest of us poor if werink his coffee too oftenbut Paul will love it SoI plan to take Paul to Blue Bottle in Oakland for his birthday He is normally a Peet s or Philz s coffee Silver Stirrups (Saddle Club, drinker. The country’s rugged mountains and meet beleagured butetermined farmers But when war engulfs the country and Saudi bombs rain Different Class down Mokhtar has to find a way out of Yemen without sacrificing hisreams or abandoning his people. The Monk of MokhaWhen Mokhtar made a mistake Hamood was angry only if Mokhtar made an excuse Own the error and correct it he said Hamood had a thousand proverbs and maxims His favorite was Keep your money in your hand never in your heart He used to say that a lot What Short Stories by Roald Dahl does it mean Mokhtar asked It means that money is ephemeral moving from person to person Hamood said It s a tool Don t let it get into your heart or your soul page 28The Monk of Mokha tells the amazing adventure of Mokhtar Alkhanshali s efforts to revive the art of making uality coffee in Yemen While Mokhtar s adventure is amazing unfortunately the book itselfisappoints in two ways They way it is written and the actual information that is providedThis is a non fiction book that is part biography part adventure story and part business book The standard for the combination biography business book is set by Walter Isaacson s superb biography about Steve Jobs Isaacson combines a layered multifaceted Goldilocks the Three Bears description of Jobs character with key business insights On both of theseimensions the Monk of Mokha falls shortThe main problem In this book Mokhtar is a one imensional superhero with one superpower He can talk himself out of any situation Detailed escriptions that would give Socialist Realism depth to his character are mostly absent For instance his relationship with Miriam who seems such a vital influence in Mokhtar s life in his early twenties is only mentioned in passing The information we get is that theyated for a year or so but the odds were long page 3 because they belonged to I Look Up To... Michelle Obama different ethnic backgrounds How he really feels about her and their apparent breakup is not mentioned Even less attention get her feelings for himThere are also some contradictions or paradoxes that if explored could have given aetailed idea of Mokhtar s personality Two examples Mokhtar grows up in a Doctor Extraño dodgy neighborhood in San Francisco called the Tenderloin The Tenderloin taught you to think uick talk fast page 31 Mokhtar learns these lessons By middle school Mokhtar had become a fast learner a fast talker and a corner cutter pag 16 However at his first coffee conference when he wants to introduce himself to someone all these lessons have strangelyisappeared and Mokhtar is all of a sudden escribed as shy page 100 This is not necessarily inexplicable but it would have given his character epth if this contrast had been explored Both in school and at an after school program at a mosue Mokhtar is a corner cutter who finds trouble Never Tell difficult to avoid However not much later he isescribed as an autodidact who reads plenty of books Again an exploration of this contrast that could give understanding of his personality is missing from the bookAnother aspect that I Feminism is for Everybody didn t like about the way the book is written is the abuse of explicit suspense Several times it is mentioned explicitly that Mokhtar thought he was going toie If the threat of Deterring Democracy death is mentioned often it becomes less believable I appreciate it when a writerescribes an event or a situation in such a way that the reader himself can only Comet in Moominland (The Moomins, draw one conclusion This is scary orangerous Here in order to create the suspense the writ It s hard to articulate my thoughts on this book better than Michael Lindgren already has in the Washington Post but what the hell I ll give it a shot I liked the book I Hunters Heart don t regret reading it but I won t recommend it to others because after having read Eggers fiction and memoir I m franklyisappointedMonk of Mokha is the remarkably true story of Mokhtar Alkhanshali a Yemeni American Millennial who overcame some pretty harrowing odds to become a successful importer of specialty coffee from war ridden Yemen This story traces Mokhtar s journey from being an aimless 23 year old oorman in San Francisco into the bourgeois world of specialty coffee into Yemen that was just starting to break out in civil war in 2013 and ultimately back to San Francisco for a victory lap as a resident in the luxury building where he was once the oorman Mokhtar s story is truly gasp worthy full of Nazi Gold danger narrow misses remarkable charisma fortunes and misfortunes It s a good ole swashbuckling picaresue bootstraps and all However Eggers is suited to fiction and memoirs The accounting of the story is a bitry Eggers lays out the facts his prose is clear and vivid And yes there is artistry to his exposition when he Mr Majeika and the School Inspector diverts us to little histories of coffee and Yemen culture and yes there s craft to how he undoubtedly chiseled secondaryiversions away to leave behind a taught narrative However the thing that made heartbreaking and you shall electric with energy and infused with magic was I think his license to invent The literary license in these previous works allowed him to toe into the realm of Maruez Rushdie and the best travel writers who reveal the truth through telling lies This is what art after all is supposed to Selected Poems do right I believe the right way to tell character non fiction stories is to let the life and history with all its peculiarity lead and ultimatelyetermine the themes and narrative Eggers immigrant trilogy in contrast is very much a framework first then fill in appropriate content later enterprise It s a noble thought but this approach stifles the possibilities of the stories unfolding in interesting and unexpected ways In this book it s obvious Eggers is on a mission to to valorize ideals of emocracy liberalism iversity tolerance empathy all ideals I agree with by the way the cost of this is that the book comes off as less imaginative pedantic and ultimately flatThere remains certain moments of utmost satisfaction guilty pleasure passages In one Mokhtar recently back to capital Sana a from exploratory coffee visits out in the Yemen countryside he appears out of place as a gruffed up provincial yokel in an internet cafe A posse of wealthy Yemeni girls take pleasure in mocking him in English and are shocked when he retorts in perfect American English In another a group of rough Yemeni gun toting types are target practicing with their AK s failing repeated to hit a bottle in the istance They see Mokhtar as a soft city slicker from America and are shocked when he hits the bottle on the first shot then cooly walks off into the sunset I only allow myself to enjoy these moments because they actually happened Scenes this satisfying in a novel would just be obvious and overwroughtLastly Mokhtar s story while truly amazing actually gets to be a BIT TIRESOME TOWARD THE ENDS THE tiresome toward the ends The story while truly amazing actually gets to be a bit tiresome toward the ends The stakes felt high but there emerged a repeating pattern of hero walks up to the cusp of catastrophe catastrophe never uite materializes instead issipating serendipitously hero casually continues his journey toward pre estined glory His story is truly a remarkable and fortunate and TRUE one but it just feels like lazy screenwriting Eggers was the reason why I picked up this book someone The Monk of Mokha is the exhilarating true story of a young Yemeni American man raised in San Francisco who reams of resurrecting the ancient art of Yemeni coffee but finds himself trapped in Sana’a by civil war Mokhtar Alkhans. T work handed me an ARC and I was like sure why not I The Train Robbers didn t even realize it was non fiction until after the first chapterBut holy cow it was spectacular It s about a Yemeni American who wants to bring high uality Yemen coffee back to the US and the rest of the world I had no idea about the history of coffee and wouldn t have thought I would find it so interesting but Eggers writes the history portions with his famous storytelling touch Not to mention that Mokha s story is absolutely crazy My only complaint is a small one I thought the endingidn t have enough No Reason To Die detail Then again the story is still going on If you have even the slightest interest in coffee or Yemen it s a good book for you If nothing else it will give you some good tidbits to wow people at the next party you attend Truth is stranger than fiction but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities Truth isn tMark TwainThis is one of those nonfiction books that seems so unbelievable that if it were fiction you think the author should have tried for something realistic But had the subject of this biographical novel Moktar Alkhanshali stuck to what was considered possible he wouldn t have achieved all that he has and at such a young age Though maybe his youth and optimism with a touch of na vet thrown in for good measure had something to Naked Risk (Shatterproof do with it Moktar a Muslim Yemeni American who grew up in a tough neighborhood in San Francisco called The Tenderloin was a restless young man who knew how to survive in any situation but had a habit of cutting corners and cutting school and abandoning secure jobs and even losing money and opportunities to further his education But he was also intelligent and resourceful and he wasriven to be an activist spurred on by his great pride in his Yemeni heritage His parents had sent him to live with his grandfather in Ibb for a year when he was in eighth grade hoping it would straighten him out It was there he learned the Arabic language and learned of Yemen s struggle toward a Raking The Ashes democracy So years later something clicked when his close friend Miriamismayed by all his screw ups and bad luck and all his talent going to waste with his inability to see something through to the end pointed to a famous statue across from the hotel where he was a Ellie (Ellie, doorman She hoped it would inspire him enough to have a goal and make something of himself The statue was of an Arabic manrinking coffee positioned in a spot where the old Hills Bros coffee factory used to be Curious about the statue Moktar Dear Office-Politics did some research into the origin of coffee tracing it back to Yemen and learning how it had evolved Long ago Yemen had been the only place where coffee had grown and it had been a crime punishable byeath for anyone to sneak out even a seedling Though gradually people from other countries Thomas Harriott did just that and the French and the Dutch rose in prominence in the industry while Yemen lost ground A light bulb went off over Moktar s head then Heecided he wanted to restore the good name of Yemen by reviving the coffee industry there in the wake of the terrorism and A Mistletoe Kiss drones they were known for exclusively now But this was easier said thanone First off Moktar knew nothing about coffee or the industry and he had no money to invest in learning about it or to even buy a ticket to Yemen And should he find the money he needed the coffee produced in Yemen was now of inferior or varied uality because untrained farmers had lost the knowledge to grow it And no one from other countries wanted to risk their necks to Intimate Strangers do business there because of the war and having toeal with local tribes and marketeers who were intimidating Plus at a narcotic was profitable TO GROW THERE FOR LOCAL USE grow there for local use farmers would have to be convinced to gamble on planting coffee instead But obstacle courses were nothing new to Moktar And he had made up his mind He would resurrect Yemeni coffee by marketing it as a specialty coffee and reviving the ancient varieties There was still the little matter of finding a way to get the coffee out of war torn Yemen should it even be good enough to compete in uality But he would worry about that later when he got to that point Oh boy This was an adventure all right that any sane Person Shouldn T Have Embarked On And shouldn t have embarked on And you read this book you ll learn exactly why that is when strapped to Moktar s back every step of the way as he goes from a boyhood of aimlessness to being an idealistic and Mr Majeika and the Lost Spell Book driven young man pursuing hisream while empowering Yemeni farmers You ll also learn a lot about the coffee industry everything from how coffee is grown to how it s graded for uality to how it s stored roasted and sold And you ll learn about the exploitation of many of its farmers worldwide and hopefully you ll be inspired enough to look for only free trade coffee in the future In another author s hands all those The Hidden Jewels details might have been boring or boggedown the story at the book s heart the inspiring coming of age story of Moktar Because this book wasn t just about the end result of him starting his own company It was also about how it all began But Dave Eggers id a great job presenting everything in an organized and conversational tone that had the book reading like an autobiography in which I imagined "Moktar Sitting Down To Tell Me His "sitting own to tell me his story The parts about his boyhood were extremely interesting and well written and they had me rooting for him to succeed from the start And the parts where he s older and back in Yemen working with the farmers was very inspiring I Fair Game did feel that the book went on a bit long and some of the less importantetails about the coffee industry could have been cut But overall Moktar s story kept me riveted and turning the pages Should you read this book and find any of his story too incredible to be true know it has been verified by many people he came into contact with You might also find it incredible that six ounces of Yemeni coffee sold by Moktar s company Port of Mokha costs 65 And even incredible a cup of his Yemeni coffee at The Blue Bottle up north in California costs 16 though it The Creatures does come with a special cookie Read this inspiring book and find out why this amount is completely justified And have lots of fair trade coffee on hand because if you re like me reading about all that coffee will make you crave it like mad Make coffee not warA slogan on one of Moktar s t shirts In a world filled with misery and pain it s refreshing to read a well written non fiction story of a member of our race who overcomes all shades of adversity to succeed when everyeck is stacked against him Like his excellent Zeitoun Eggers writes in an easily accessible narrative style that So Sweet (Sugar Baby, draws the reader into every facet of the story whether it s the personal history of the protagonist or an encompassing background on the world of coffee the prose is mesmerizing I ended up playing Hali is twenty four and working as aoorman when he Life Before Death discovers the astonishing history of coffee and Yemen’s central place in it He leaves San Francisco and travelseep into his ancestral homeland to tour terraced farms high in.