Al ha keifak!Overpriced coffee transcends politics

Starbucks has recently started operating in Jordan, marking its arrival with the opening of a three-story flagship store in the chi chi Abdoun neighbourhood of Aman. Of course, given that the company chairman Howard Schultz is both Jewish and a vocal supporter of Israel, there was some controversy. Schultz’s chairmanship of Starbucks led the Higher Committee for Protecting the Nation and Anti-Normalisation, made up of unspecified professional associations and political activists, to demand that the government revoke Starbucks license.

Starbucks Jordanian partners responded that:

We are not here to comment on Howard Schultz as an individual, those are his personal circumstances. As a corporation we are a nonpolitical organisation and what is unanimous for both Starbucks and Howard Schultz is that any form of violence in the world is upsetting, particularly when there may be a personal connection to the region.

Looks like Starbucks is in Jordan to stay. Oddly enough, Starbucks shut down operations in Israel in April 2003 citing “operational challenges,” so if you want a grande latte whilst in the Holy Land, you may have to pop off to the inevitable Petra Starbucks. Oh well.

Tip o’ the kippah to Jordanian Blogger Mental Mayhem (trackback). By the way, Mental Mayhem is a nominee for the Baba 2004 Best Arab Blog award. Nominations end on Jan. 16th. Odd coincidence, eh? Anyhow, she totally has my vote.

About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • ….or maybe we’ll just buy decent coffee instead at one of the numerous Israeli chains!!


  • Gilly: I was being a bit sarcastic. I don’t even like coffee. But if I did, it’s less than likely that I would shlepp off to Aman of all places to get it. Nothing beats Doda Channa’s nana tea or tea with sheba while sitting on her porch in Moshav Tirosh. Either Doda Chana in fact (I have two on the same Moshav).

    Great friggin blog you got there by the way. I’m adding it to our list.

  • I agree with ck,
    I’ll be trying out gilly.

    The only profitable branch was in Raanana, but you can’t operate a chain based on one bright spot. Well, good for Jordan and yashir koach to the King. His aim at taming his Palestinian’ masses with pop culture and ‘posing’ is usually a proven idea. Doing miluim recently at the Mousa Alame/east Jericho checkpoint means only listening to Radio Jordan with it’s top 20 hits and retro dj’s that are more professional now then when I used to listen to them regularly about seven years ago.

  • I: I’m afraid so. Have you been? I’ve never seen a three story Starbucks. Is it cool? What do I care anyway. I don’t drink coffee. Tea with mint though… Mmmmm.

  • I think a dog’s piss would taste better than a coffee that is related to israel.

  • Omar, I would like to encourage you to conduct a taste test comparing dog’s piss and Israeli coffee. When you are done, I recommend a similar test with Israeli beer and cat urine.

  • Why does everything have to be turned into Politics, hate and what one group of people thinks about another. Why couldn’t you people look at this as someone taking advantage of a business opportunity? Whether Shultz is a supporter of Israel or not, Starbucks is in fact open and the only deciding factor as to whether it should stay is how many Latte’s they are able to sell.

    As for the other Omar… commenting on dog piss & coffee related to israel, why don’t you wake up and smell the coffee… no pun intended! Are you trying to tell me that you will boycot any and every product that is in any way related to Israel or any of it’s supporters? I do see your point, I respect it and I do support it… in a way, but in this day and age, and if that is your mentality… then you must bea hungry homeless, “car”less man who has nothing to his name… Face it!

    As for the response you received… Well, you deserved it.

  • i need everything about starbucks in amman..& i need many pictures for it too:)

  • First of all as a jordanian it doesn’t pride me at all to have “your” degrading establishments in my country, i’m sure all of you would like to think of yourselves as proud isreali citizens that will one day grow up and do nothing but destroy the world of the “morality” it has left since oh yeah “gay pride” only came from isreal and umm was it ariel sharon that said something like everything we do in isreal that seems degrading be bring into the states to degrade the country further, remember before Belfore you were people without a country and people who were unwelcomed into any land, what goes around comes around it won’t be long before what’s temporarily in your control comes back to us, what’s even funnier to me is that you try to make comments that couldn’t be more random about jordan as if you would be given the pleasure of breathing amman’s air knowing you probably don’t have a dime to your names, remember children what you can’t afford you can never have, stay to the tea and mint maybe one day you’ll save enough money and gain enough strength to come to amman its then i’m sure i’d be willing to give you all a warm welcome into my beautiful jordan..LiVe On OmAr! yo u rock, as for the rest of you suckas go lay on the bed that you made for yourselves and dream of a world outside of the lil one u’ve made in your minds, till then take care all..:D

  • its astonishing to me how you all make comments about something you know nothing of..just goes to prove how even in a modern technological world there can still be people that still say 1+1=3, noone of you could afford the starbucks in palestine and your tryin to hate on jordan? could someone explain to me the logic in gilly’s remarks or even the comments of everyone else’s b/c sadly being a college student as i’m sure the rest of you are i draw conclusions based on a strong theory and strong experiment but you people still seem to be at the hypothesis..if you need help you can seek help at your many pyschiatrists and pyschologists there in “isreal” because god knows we don’t have palestinian pyschos.. i’m glad you all have strong morales and such strong love for the cheapest and most common types of beverages..

    And for everyone reading i want to thank Omar S. for his outstanding and peace making remarks on trying to spilt the diffrence between business and politics i have to commend you for the unphilosphical uncommon most absurd comment that i had to waste time out of my life to read, oh and when you say “then you must bea hungry homeless, “car”less man who has nothing to his name… Face it!” i want to remind you that all the oil you get is from Saudia Arabia, and the water you get is from Jordan, and almost 40% of your gold is from Kuwait so take a rest, if you as a country have any money its because we have Leaders that are traitors that support your spend-thrift country.. and i’m sure babe that the poorest man in amman could live a king in your part of the area, but i guess it would take someone like you to know how it feels like to be a carless homeless man right? you’ve been through that i strongly encourage you to get a job, get a life, and maybe read a lil to aquire a lil bit of common sense..

  • Arabian princess, eh? your name alone causes me to cringe. “as a college student,” you draw conclusions based on filthy prejudices and pathetic assumptions about people based on nationality, economic background, and other such englightened classifications. fortunately, about 99% of what you say is absurd and completely illogical. since your time is so precious to you, it puzzles me that you took 13 minutes to write the second half of your diatribe alone. and i have had the “pleasure” of breathing amman’s air. it’s a shithole. but i’m sure since you’re a princess you probably live in your daddy’s big house looking down on all those poor people you seem to have so little regard for. fortunately most of the jordanians i met were very gracious, and you seem to be the exception to the rule.

  • O Arabian Princess. You sadden me so. Please realize, we’re not going anywhere. We are your neighbours, please get used to that fact. Also please get used to the fact that your leaders and ours get along just fine. Although I’ve never personally had the pleasure, several of my friends have dined with the dearly departed King Hussein at his palace as well as with your current King Abdallah. Queen Rania I am told is as gracious as she is beautiful and would never countenance your decidedly ungracious words. I’ve been to Jordan and found the people to be extremely kind and hospitable. I look forward to my next trip. I’m less than 2 hours away from Aman. If you like, I’d love e really not that awful. And wha’s wrongwith mint tea???

  • The main point is, you guys must realize, that there is no such thing as Israel, see the Mafia in Russia for example has enough resources and armed men as that of a nation, and has enough political power as much, should the Mafia in Russia or anywhere else announce itself as a state, would that mean it exists? Israel is amde up of a group of former terrorist militias, current war criminals and fighters, that does not make it a country, of course many stinking jews disagree with me, until we agree, Muslims will eventually, sooner or later, correct that historical mistake and remove “Israel” from the world’s map, so they will remove 56 names of muslim nations and call them all Muslim Land, did I mention Malta, Greece, and Spain are Muslim land that will join the soon to be born Muslim state. Time will show you, until then, keep drinking Starbucks urine

  • until then, keep drinking Starbucks urine

    Israel does NOT exist, October 29th, 2006 at 5:26 am

    I’d have Starbucks urine anytime rather than the camel urine that stimulates your neurons.

  • Well I see what people mean about not drinking anything related to Israel. I understand it because if someone supports Israel they will most likely donate some funds to them. I am a Palestinian Canadian and to be honest, I do not hate Jews, that is just naive pathetic and gay, islam is not about hating Jews and muslims who do are faggots. Its those muslims who make the nation of islam look like shit, and they sit there and wonder why many people hate us. Well I dont judge people by their religion, I look at who they are as a person. Yes I am against the fact that Jews and Muslims cant live in peace. I am against the fact that Israel gets like 90% of the holy land while Palestinians only get like 10%. I wish they would live together in all of Palestine/Israel, that would solve a lot of problems. I dont know why i said any of this, but its just frustrating to see people stooping down so low and saying starbucks tastes like urine, it obviously doesnt. Grow up.

  • Can anyone please send me the telephone number of Starbucks in Amman Jordan – thank you.