The Daily Telescope

Houston-Local brothers Hasan and Hussain Rangwala have launched Al-Zahra, an innovative coffee startup with a charitable mission at its heart. Al-Zahra was created after the brothers learned about a farming crisis while visiting Yemen a few years back. The company plans to target Yemen’s narcotic production by supporting its coffee production instead, a move that would directly support Yemeni farmers while introducing American consumers to gourmet coffee.

Both brothers are still in school and have started the company with the support of their parents. All of Al-Zahra’s coffee beans are hand-picked and sun-dried. The beans are medium-roasted, sold whole, and offer a rich, robust taste with underlying hints of sweetness.

Hasan and Hussain came up with the idea for Al-Zahra while on a family trip to Yemen a few years back. During their visit, the Rangwala brothers saw the effects that widespread poverty and an ongoing civil war have had on the country. They also learned about the Khat shrub, a plant that produces the narcotic cathinone. The Khat shrub is one of the most commonly grown crops in Yemen, and has contributed to widespread narcotic addiction in the country, with an estimated 90% of men and 25% of women using cathinone. Because of the Khat shrub’s production, farmers are often trapped in a constant cycle of poverty and drug addiction.

Since now these two brothers have support, they created Al-Zahra to give these farmers another option. Yemeni coffee is world-renowned, yet still virtually unknown in America. Yemen’s geography makes it ideal for coffee production, and the country’s coffee history spans over a century. By distributing this coffee in the US, Al-Zahra is able to give Yemeni farmers a fair, living wage while supporting the country’s agriculture-based economy. The ultimate goal is to motivate these farmers to replace their Khat shrubs with coffee plants instead, which would combat both the Yemeni narcotic crisis as well as the economic crisis. Moreover, the company would introduce Americans to a new flavor of coffee and help to support a fair, sustainable coffee industry in both countries. https://www.yemencoffeeonline.com/

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