Sudfeh, Palestine’s first ever vegan cafeteria opened its doors on the 10th October 2016.
“SUDFEH UPDATE: We have temporarily closed the doors of Sudfeh and have plans to reopen in a more effective location in the city of Ramallah.
To read more about the important lessons we learned in opening our first vegan restaurant, please click here.”
What is Sudfeh?
Sudfeh is the name of the very first vegan cafeteria in Palestine and was established in the thriving Al Quds University Campus in Abu Dis, Jerusalem in late 2016. There are over 13,000 students studying at Al Quds University at present. All of them can now benefit from access to healthy, animal friendly, plant-based foods on their campus. The start-up costs for the cafe were raised via a crowdfunding campaign which saw donations totalling over £10,000 being pledged from around the world.
Not only is Sudfeh be the first vegan cafeteria in Palestine, it is also the first vegan cafeteria in any Arabic university in the world! Even better, Sudfeh is a completely not-for-profit initiative, with all proceeds being split equally between support for animal protection projects and providing scholarships for struggling students. Oh, and did we mention that the initiative to establish Sudfeh was masterminded by a group of Palestinian schoolchildren?! Pretty impressive, right?! Find out more about the group behind Sudfeh in our video as well as in the information below.
“Sudfeh” means “Serendipity” in Arabic. The name represents, luck, hope and being in the right place at the right time.
Why Sudfeh Matters
PAL is the only locally-run animal protection charity in Palestine, where life for both animals and people is extremely challenging. Despite dealing daily with the impact of the ongoing military occupation of Palestine, the PAL team have worked to develop a number of far-reaching projects; such as spay and neuter schemes for street dogs, programmes to improve life for working horses and donkeys and effective humane educational projects with young people.
By encouraging kindness and compassion towards people and animals, PAL’s work is focused upon supporting people, and particularly young people, to channel their frustrations at day-to-day life into positive action for animals. From this ethos, the idea for Sudfeh grew as one group of 14-year-old schoolchildren taking part in PAL’s “Youth for Change” programme came up with the idea for a vegan cafeteria at the university that they aspire to attend in the coming years. The group negotiated with the University’s president to secure the promise of a space in which to establish the cafeteria, as well as the commitment to split the income between PAL and scholarships.
The Youth for Change programme carries a simple message: the young people of today are not just “future” leaders, they can lead right now. The programme teaches young people to embrace their ability to make positive change in their own community. Sudfeh is the perfect representation of this ability in action. Sudfeh is more than just a vegan cafeteria; it is about healthy eating, kindness to animals and providing educational opportunities now and in the future for students who might otherwise be denied the chance of higher education.
A Taste of Sudfeh in your Own Home
To help to bring the taste of Sudfeh for those of you who cannot make it to Palestine, we have collated a number of delicious, vegan, Palestinian recipes as part of the “Sudfeh Kitchen”. This way, you can experience Sudfeh in the comfort of your own home! If you would like to share your culinary successes (or disasters!) with us, you can post to our Facebook wall, tweet us or share on Instagram.
How the Dream for Sudfeh was Born
The Sudfeh initiative is run in partnership between the Palestinian Animal League (PAL) and Al Quds University, Jerusalem. Donations are administrated via UK charity, Palestinian Animal League Solidarity (PALS).
Sincere thanks to Kelly Geurin and Helen Pateman for allowing the use of their photographs, videos and illustrations as part of this campaign. We are very grateful.