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.
Beginning as a community organizer in San Francisco, Mokhtar both led and contributed to programs and initiatives involving Yemeni, Muslim and Arab Communities. He’s worked with the ACLU, Asian Law Caucus, and the Council on American Islamic Relations on civil rights and community civic engagement. Mokhtar was a key activist involved in passing the Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance which sought to end the the San Francisco Police Departments’s agreement with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which unjustly targeted, profiled, and harassed Muslim and Arab communities in San Francisco.
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. 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. His work has been profiled in GQ, FastCompany, Vanity Fair, and New York Times, among others.
Acclaimed author Dave Eggers’ best-selling book, 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 strives to empower coffee farmers with the knowledge and tools to bring about radical improvements in the quality of their coffees and lives.