First Vegan Cafeteria Opens in Palestine

The country’s first plant-based eatery is on-campus at Al-Quds University.

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Palestine’s first vegan eatery, Sudfeh, opened recently at the Al-Quds University in Abu Dis, Jerusalem. Sudfeh—which translates to “serendipity”—serves cruelty-free meals to students in an effort to promote animal-rights and veganism on campus. “We decided to open this cafeteria, which will be the first of its kind, offering vegan meals free from any animal products,” the university’s president Abu Kishek said, “to be a part of the global system and to contribute in raising awareness about animal welfare.” The cafe menu consists of already vegan Palestinian dishes—such as grape leaf rolls, hummus, and falafel—in addition to veganized traditional dishes such as maqluba (or “upside-down rice”). Local animal-rights organization, Palestinian Animal League (PAL), launched a successful crowdfunding campaign last year to help pay for the costs of building the cafe. Sudfeh is part of PAL’s “Youth for Change” program that gives young people a platform to present their ideas about social responsibility and animal welfare. The cafe was conceptualized by a group of 14-year-old girls from the al-Awael School in Ramallah, and is currently the only vegan cafe in any Arabic-speaking university.