As larger coffee and restaurant chains take over the streets of Beirut and other Lebanese cities, smaller, local cafes are abandoning their businesses as they are faced with too much competition. Walking away from the scene is not only a coffee shop or a local eatery but also a tradition, a culture, art and in some cases sustainability.
Zakaria café is the dream of Layal Boustany, her father, George Boustany, sister, Yara Boustany, and boyfriend, Jawad Taher. Opened in March 2013, they are in the process of creating a relatively novice idea in Lebanon by pushing the “green aspect” at the center of their café culture.
Zakaria café tries to counter this “corporate café culture” in Lebanon by creating a place where all ages, nationalities, and backgrounds feel at home; a place where artists, activists, environmentalists and musicians can meet and share their ideas and art.
“We created Zakaria in the hope that many more small, local cafes will open as well. We want Beirut to be for the people and to keep the Lebanese culture alive. Zakaria will merge environmental awareness and sustainability, art, literature, music, poetry, story-telling and debates,” says Layal Boustany.
Aside from recycling and locally sourcing their produce, Zakaria will also host environmental workshops to get the Lebanese civil society and local NGOs involved as much as possible.
To get involved visit facebook or call: 009613097372; Location: Hamra, Estral Center
Images of Zakaria cafe from Layal Boustany