CHICAGO – Chicago’s Navy Pier will host America’s first “I Heart Halal Festival” between April 13 and 15is ex, an event expected to attract around 20,000 attendees.
“We’ve been working on this expo for full six months. We’re very excited to present this first halal lifestyle event in America,” Asma Ahad, the festival’s co-managing director with Salman Chaudry told The Times of Northwest Indiana.
The fest is organized by the non-profit Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America and co-presented by illMuslims.
Food won’t be the only focus at the event since it will also feature global Muslim trendsetters, makeup artists, and standup comedians. Furthermore, a “Proud to Be Me” modest fashion shows will also take place.
The event’s speakers include Amanda Saab, the first veiled female Muslim chef, in addition to Yvonne Maffei, a food writer and the creator of “My Halal Kitchen”.
Moreover, the food YouTuber Sameer Sarmast and chef Demetrios Haralambatos of the New Jersey-based food service company “Kontos Foods” will also participate.
Visitors will enjoy a wide variety of Chicago-style halal food vendors and cooking demos. The lineup includes several suburban restaurants in addition to the famous franchise “The Halal Guys”.
“It’s a dynamic expo highlighting the different facets of the Halal economy and lifestyle,” Ahad explained.
She further clarified that “the food, fashion, travel and beauty facets of the economy are extremely healthy and lucrative. Through the expo, we want to showcase the richness of the halal way of life.”
Halal in Arabic means “permissible”. The term is commonly used for meat, but it’s also applied to other food products, cosmetics, personal care products and pharmaceuticals which mustn’t be derived from non-halal sources like pork.
Halal also applies to any other consumed and edible materials which mustn’t be harmful to human health. For example, Islam considers wines, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, E-cigs, hookah and other unhealthy things to be non-halal.
For something to be considered halal, the animal from which it came from must be well-treated, raised in a humane and healthy way, and slaughtered according to Shari’ah for hygiene reasons.