To all cat lovers in Beirut, I have quite the good news for you.
Beirut Cat Cafe launched a crowdfunding campaign to gather funds for the cafe’s launch on Thursday, March 1, on Zoomaal at MRQT, Mar Mikhael.
Founder of the Cat Cafe, Lynn Alkhouri, posted on the cafe’s Facebook page inviting followers to tune in at 7:30 PM for an announcement. Invites to the event were specifically tailored to board members of the Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, select journalists and bloggers, as well as close friends and family of the founder.
In addition to having plant-based and ethical food options, the animals at the cafe will all be rescued stray cats, fostered from the BETA’s shelter, and up for adoption. The cafe will also have a cat-themed gift shop section.
Alkhouri began the announcement with a short speech about the campaign, followed by a video highlighting the motivation behind it. The founder informed Beirut Today that she decided to launch it through a video first instead of sharing a link to the campaign.
The Zoomaal page, tailored specifically for this cafe, provides a comprehensive explanation of how people can become partners in the cafe, and other benefits, such as discounts on beverage or custom merchandise or even owning shares in the cafe, they receive upon donation underneath the rewards section.
The cafe was originally set to open in December 2017, but was never opened due to setbacks. Due to regional instabilities with neighboring countries, many partners who had invested in the cafe had later pulled out, postponing its opening.
As it now stands, there is not a scheduled time for the opening. Alkhouri says she hopes it happens soon, and she is set on opening the cafe despite the financial difficulties she is facing.
“I want people to understand that it’s hard,” she added, underscoring the struggle she is experiencing in finding donations.
Should Alkhouri succeed in securing the funds, the Beirut Cat Cafe would be the first pet cafe to open in Lebanon, and the second ever in the Middle East. Its location is set to be on the Beirut Waterfront, as part of a compound that is currently being built, with multiple restaurants and cafes.