The Guardian: Could Beirut soon become the new cat capital of the Middle East?

Istanbul is the cat capital of the Middle East, but could Beirut be competing for the throne?

As you probably know, street cats are everywhere in Beirut! In trash cans, in front of butcher shops, on college campuses, you name it!

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The American University of Beirut is home to many stray cats! A man named Muhammad is in charge to make sure the cats are safe, vaccinated, and fed. The campus’ trees make a great playground for them!

The cats are not only great companion during breaks, but they also make people laugh with they way they behave. One cat even dropped in on a concert!

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A cat café is coming soon to Mar Mikhael! The café will look like a typical coffee shop except that there will be cats walking around! The furry pets will be available for adoption! The customers will be able to hang out with the cats, pet them, and play with them.

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Cats have been domesticated for 10,000 years in the Middle East in the Fertile Crescent around the time of the development of agriculture. In ancient Egypt, cats were sacred animals. Bast was the goddess of protection and cats. Killing a cat was absolutely forbidden.

Angela Attarian, a resident of Beirut, is a famous cat lover. “They laugh at me because I feed the cats. People like to make other people suffer. Animals, they don’t do that,” she said.