With the tinkling of cups, warm aroma of cardamom, and the meaningful silence that follows each sip, chai has a creative and powerful way of generating space for dialogue and conversation. It melt's the ice and softens the air, allowing people to see each other as they truly are. Humans. Without their shields, and without prejudice.
When David and I fell in love in 2013, we started on an epic journey just to be together. Our worlds were so different that no one could fathom our union possible. David belongs to an Italian-American family in Los Angeles, and I am from a small tribal village in the Balochistan region of Pakistan. We both decided that despite the challenges, we would fight to make our marriage a reality, while bringing our worlds together in the process.
That started a two-year battle for us to get our parents onboard, erase the stereotypes, fear, and even hate. In these two years, we saw our loved ones extremely afraid and opposed to even the possibilty of our marriage.
In those days, sharing chai at meetings between our two families served as a creative and powerful way to generate space for dialogue and connection. We came to realize that the process of reducing fear and bias often feels like an insurmountable challenge, but not a hopeless one. Certain beliefs have been ingrained in our societies which create unfair bias and judgment about each other, long before we even get to know each other. Both of our families had many assumptions and prejudices which were hard to erase. Through persistence, empathy, many tears, and much care, we brought them to together.
What is The Chai Spot?
The Chai Spot is a social enterprise focused on peace-building between the East and West, as well as the socio economic empowerment of women and education of children in Pakistan. We currently have cafes in Manhattan, and Sedona, Arizona.
Each location of The Chai Spot is designed to transport our guests to Pakistan with colors, textures, stories and flavors. Our chais are made from scratch with fresh spices, traditional recipes, and love. We proudly bring an exlusive menu to our guests limited to only chais we have tried and loved for their magical power to transport our guests with each sip.
The Chai Spot also works with women in a dozen different villages of the Sindh and Balochistan provinces of Pakistan. These women have beautifully crafted modern styles with ancient embroidery. The Chai Spot is proud to bring a marketplace of these goods to our guests at both our flagship location in the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village (Sedona) as well as at our new location in the heart of Manhattan.
Our core values
Peacebuilding is at the core of what we do at The Chai Spot. The world today is united by technology, and yet divided by opinions. We strive to melt those barriers by bringing diverse people together over a healing cup of chai
Peace is not possible without love and empathy. We at The Chai Spot strive to be a gathering place for strangers. A safe space where we can meet, leave our fears and prejudices at the door, and fall in love with each other's differences.
We pride ourselves on brewing only the best chais for our guests. Our menu is limited because we only serve the chais we have tasted and love. We know you will love them too!
Watch Khalida's recent TED TALK
Read Khalida's Book
are handmade by rural women and men
Read Khalida's Memoir I SHOULD HAVE HONOR to learn about her life in growing up in the mountains of Balochsitan and her meeting David. Their journey to fighting for true love and their success in bringing their worlds together.