Gahwa Championships 2019 Judges

Abdulla Al Mheiri

Judge, Sensory
United Arab Emirates

Abdulla Al Mheiri has been a coffee enthusiast for more than a decade and is a passionate entrepreneur. He is a member of the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) and won the Dubai 2019 UAE AeroPress Championship.

Al Mheiri is the co-founder and CEO of 202; a UAE-based project management company that specialises in establishing coffee shops and providing coffee services. In addition to helping the of launch several cafes, he developed the 2018 Latte Art Throwdown. Al Mheiri has been a great advocate for specialty coffee and continues to contribute to the advancement of the specialty coffee scene in the UAE by establishing coffee shops in the country.

Abdulla Almheiri

Abdulla Khalfan Al Yammahi

Judge, Heritage
United Arab Emirates

Abdulla Al Yammahi, also known as Abdullah Al Hamour, is a researcher, author and heritage expert in the United Arab Emirates. Among his most notable works is Etiquette of Gahwa Serving in the UAE. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and a Diploma in Cultural Heritage and has published many articles in the Dirasat Magazine of the Emirate’s Writers Union.

Al Yammahi is a General Supervisor in the Department of Majalis and Community Development Projects in the Emirate of Fujairah. His knowledge and expertise were integral in the inscription of Arabic Coffee (Gahwa) on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2015. Al Yammahi has been a guest heritage lecturer and speaker at several government entities, universities and schools in the UAE, as well as a guest speaker on television and radio shows, talking about Emirati customs and traditions. He also has a monthly column in Marawed Magazine, an initiative from Sharjah Institute for Heritage.

Abdulla Alyammahi

Abdullah Bin Kulayb

Judge, Heritage
Kigndom Of Saudi Arabia

Abdullah Bin Kulayb’s passion lies in heritage and coffee. He travelled across the world to discover sources of coffee and its associated cultural heritage, to countries such as Rwanda, Ethiopia, Panama, Costa Rica, Mauritius and Jizan city in Saudi Arabia. 

Bin Kulayb undertook training in roasting, and he is also the co-founder of Knoll Coffee Roasters and Kooz Al Qahwa Café in Saudi Arabia. 

Bin Kulayb brings with him his knowledge of Gahwa traditions from central Arabia with the understanding of regional differences.

Abdullah Bin Kulayb 1

Fatima Al Mughanni

Judge, Heritage
United Arab Emirates

Fatima Al Mughanni is a certified instructor in the United Arab Emirates Sane Programme, an initiative focussed on traditional etiquette of the Council of Ministers under the management of the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, and the Ministry of Community Development. Al Mughanni has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in education and psychology and has served as a judge at the Dubai World Hospitality Championships. She has also delivered many training courses and lectures on traditional etiquette and hospitality. 

Al Mughanni is member of more than 50 social and charitable societies, both inside and outside the United Arab Emirates, and has served as a founder and member of many community associations including: Rewaq Ousha bint Hussein Cultural Centre; the Emirates Association for Volunteer; and Emirates Red Crescent.

Fatma Al Mughanni Pic

Khaled Al Saadi

Judge, Sensory
United Arab Emirates

Khaled Al Saadi is a young entrepreneurial Emirati chef who is passionate about crafting new culinary experiences. Al Saadi was trained in several five-star restaurants and has collaborated with chefs from around the world. He is the co-owner of Micro by PappaRoti and in 2019 also opened his own restaurant called Fa’e, inspired by the Ghaf tree. It has a menu featuring local agricultural and farm produce.



Khaled Alsaadi photo

Mohammed Al Sharhan

Judge, Heritage
Kigndom Of Saudi Arabia

Mohammed Al Sharhan is an oral historian, narrator, and heritage expert. He collected his knowledge on majlis heritage, poetry and genealogy through studying elders of the region in the majalis

Al Sharhan has written three books on local oral history and heritage, and has served in judging panels for poetry initiatives. He is most known as a TV personality in Saudi Arabia for his majlis-based TV programmes that explore local heritage and story-telling. Al Sharhan received national recognition for his contribution to the safeguarding of national historical sources, and is well regarded as the treasury of his regional heritage.

Mohammed Al Sharhan pic for permit use only

Osamah Al-Awwam

Judge, Roasting
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Osamah Al Awwam is the founder and manager of one of Saudi Arabia’s first speciality coffee roasters, The Roasting House. His passion and interest in coffee turned into a business and it has quickly become one of the region’s leading coffee roasteries. He is a certified professional coffee roaster, an SCA certified cupper and has spoken at many coffee events to share his knowledge and experience in the field, including the Producer and Roaster Forum: Guatemala 2019. 

Al-Awwam hosted, co-organised and presented several local and regional competitions including at the 2018 Saudi Barista Championship, 2019 Saudi AeroPress Championship and the 2019 Saudi Cup Tasters Championship.

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Sara Al-Ali

Judge, Sensory
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Sara Al-Ali was a finalist in the 2017 World Cezve/Ibrik Championship and was awarded second place at the 2017 MENA Cezve/Ibrik Championship. Al-Ali’s passion for coffee began in 2013 and she is the founder and co-owner of THAT Coffeeshop in Riyadh, the co-owner of OOSH café in Abu Dhabi and a quality manager at a roastery in Saudi Arabia.  

Al-Ali is a certified SCA Barista Trainer and was a judge in the 2018 Saudi Latte Art Championship, the Saudi 2018 Barista Championship and the 2018 Saudi AeroPress Championship.  

She has earned certifications in sensory skills, roasting, coffee chemistry, and brewing. Al-Ali has more than 30 hours of Advanced Barista Training and has played a vital role in the growth of the specialty coffee industry in Saudi Arabia and the MENA region.

Sara Alali - Latest Image- Only use this one

Tim Sturk

Judge, Sensory
Canada/ UK

Tim Sturk’s passion for coffee education and development has been recognised with numerous awards, including the Outstanding Contribution to European Coffee award (Istanbul, 2014); the BaxterStorey Award for Outstanding Contribution to Business (2016); the Costa Partner Award for Outstanding Contribution to Business Relationships (2017); and the Foodservice Cateys UK Training Award (2016). Sturk founded the Cherry Coffee Training Ltd. in 2019.

Sturk has acted both as a Sensory Judge and as Head Judge for the Barista Championships in the UK, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Korea, United States of America and Saudi Arabia. He is a certified Sensory Judge for World Coffee Events and a certified and licensed Q Grader with the Coffee Quality Institute. 

Sturk has lectured around the world on topics that include water for coffee, training, and SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) Brewing and Barista education. He continues to play a pivotal role in global coffee education development through his SCA Education Advisory Council role.

Tim Sturk image

Yaser Al Neyadi

Master of Ceremony / Host
United Arab Emirates

Yaser Al Neyadi is an actor, filmmaker, presenter and writer. He studied mass communication (television and film) and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities from United Arab Emirates University (UAEU). He has taken part in many theatrical, television and cinematic productions, and has participated in several programmes on Abu Dhabi TV focusing on youth, culture, arts and technology. 

Al Neyadi has written and directed award-winning films (both long and short) that have been featured in local and international festivals. 

He currently works at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi as a specialist in cultural and arts programming for the public and for specialists covering topics such as cinema, theatre, music and debates on culture, heritage and society. He has published a literary work titled Friday is Another Scene and continues to act and produce films, cultural and artistic programmes.

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