Location: Princes Taghreed Street, Amman, Jordan
Opened: November 2003
Closed: When a male journalist tried to visit the Sabaya Cafe in July 2005, he reported that "the pioneering cafe had long since shuttered its doors."
When Jordan's first coffee shop for women-only opened in the fall of 2003, the news went viral; it even got picked up by CNN. But we'll pick up an earlier version of the story, one from Middle East Online:
But when male journalist Stephen Knipp tried to visit the Sabaya Cafe some sixteen months later, he found that "the pioneering cafe had long since shuttered its doors." Knipp argues that the Sabaya Cafe had closed down because it failed to meet an actual market need. Jordanian women, he insists, are so liberated that "none had felt the need or even the interest to visit the segregated Sabaya." And how does he know this? Because Jordanian women live longer than men, and because they have the right to vote, travel abroad, marry whomever they please, and dress as they like--even in "brand-name blue jeans and trendy T-shirts." Oh, and did we mention that the women of the royal family are for equal rights? Because they are! Okay, there are those pesky "honour killings." But the Jordanian authorities take those very, very seriously. And besides, the media is "willfully exposing and shaming the perpetrators"!
I am so relieved to hear that! Meanwhile, I'd take Knipp's argument more seriously if he had quoted even one Jordanian woman by name. But I suppose that wasn't necessary, since Knipp assures us that he had personally questioned "scores of Jordanian women, from flight attendants to senior government figures." Guess we'll have to take your word on that, dude.
Meanwhile, I found one patron review online. And that apparently translates as "Out of this world."