Monday, December 04, 2006


The Majlis Cafe

The Majlis Cafe is something that I've been dreaming about for a while... one day, insha'Allah, in between studying Islam, being involved in Islamic social work and activism, and dabbling in politics, I want to own and operate a cafe.

But not any old cafe, oh no! It would be an Islamic cafe. It would be a wonderful little place, not too big and not too small, but cozy and roomy at the same time. The theme would be medieval Middle-Eastern, reflecting the beautiful architecture and decor of the past, like the stuff you see in Orientalist paintings.

Being an Islamic cafe, of course there will be two sides - one for the men, one for the women. For the men's side, I'm thinking that the colour themes should be rich crimsons and purples with delicate gold filigree. There will not be tables and chairs, but instead there will be large cushions scattered around (particularly against the walls) and some low tables (the type you sit cross-legged at) upon which to dine.

For the women's side, I was thinking of pastel colours, as well as hanging up gauzy silks and sheer fabrics on the walls and from the ceiling... I know, it sounds so stereotypical and Orientalist, but I have a weakness for that sort of thing.

Food would be mainly Arab things, sweets and snacks and beverages... baclawah, stuffed grape leaves (my absolute FAVOURITE food ever!), qahwah and shai... that sort of thing, y'know?

My favourite part, however (besides the decor), is what I have planned in terms of an intellectually and artistically stimulating environment. I want scholars, poets, writers, and artists to grace the floors of my majlis. Duroos, halaqas, Qur'an recitation, poetry readings, book readings, art displays (100% halaal art, of course!), and political discussions shall be sustenance for our souls and morsels for our minds just as the delicious food whipped up by my amazing chefs (what do you call a chef in Arabic?) shall appease our appetites.

Hmmmmmm... anyone ready to invest in advance? ;) :P

11 comments:

Julaybib said...

I have a similar dream - but without the gender segregation.

DA said...

How'd you get a pic of my living room?!

AnonyMouse said...

LOL, da, I just Googled 'Majlis'!

meee said...

dude that's freaky. my dad wanted to do that =O
but then he decided to open a garage lol

Muslimah said...

Assalaamu alaikum,

You're Islamic cafe sounds wonderful, maybe one day when I'm not just another poor student I'll be able to invest in that sort of initiative ;)

As for your Inspiring Teenagers post- check out www.shabab.ca/forums
--> Under National Projects --> you'll find a post for Youth Mentorship

There's another sister from BC who's helping to organise the project, she posted her e-mail in the thread, so why don't you post and tell her that you'll email her, insha Allah

shabab means 'youth' in Arabic, and the organisation is wonderful!

this past summer they organised an umrah trip for about 100 active (volunteer-wise) Canadian Muslim youth who applied to reward them for their hard work

i would definitely encourage you to think bigger, and even if you are a teenager- you can definitely make a profound difference if you work with like-minded people!

sincerely,
your sister

Faraz said...

Masha-Allah, I'll be a customer!

Actually, I've been to a café very similar to this in France, with a nice mix of North African and Turkish Muslims. There were no duroos or halaqahs, but there were a few Turkish brothers who used to write and recite poetry. Unfortunately, there was a lot of shisha-smoking going on, which I personally dislike tremendously.

All the best, insha-Allah!

Anonymous said...

Not sure about the gender segregation-

but the food sounds great, actually too great-

I'm now hungry.

AnonyMouse said...

Yay, I have supporters! Now let me go check my piggy bank and see if I have enough money to start this thing up... :P

Sister Muslimah:
Wa 'alaikumus-salaam!
Shukran jazeelan for your kind comments... as for the Shabaab, my dad was actually involved with the 'Umra thing... he didn't go with them, but he helped organize things... :)

Insha'Allah I'll see you around more! :)

Anonymous said...

I suggest you read Said's 'orientalism' its not exactly the sort o thing that you would want to post if you are so pro-islam, as it casts the religion (moreover region) in a 'fantasy' lime-light. Food-for-thought, rethink your word choice

Anonymous said...

I used to want to open a halal cafe.

It seems to be a dream for young muslimahs like us because we crave some halal entertainment!

The phrase "letting your hair down" is more applicable to us than any other group of woman on the planet!!!

I'd be a customer/partner if i wasn't also a student, and more importantly, if i wasn't based on the other side of the Atlantic! Oh well... you can set up a chain and i'll be your London manager. hehe

Anonymous said...

Nice - would you allow a non-muslim to visit (if we respected the rules) - I love the food :-)