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Three-Day Halal Fair Kicks off in Bosnia

SARAJEVO – The Bosnian capital city Sarajevo hosts today, September 27, an international halal industry exhibition with the participation of 100 exhibitors from 36 countries, Anadolu Agency reports.

“90 firms have halal food certificates in Bosnia, while more than 130 producers and over 7,000 products have halal food certificates in the region,” Damir Alihodzic, the head of Agency for Halal Quality Certification, informed.

The official opening of the fair will include keynote speeches by Denis Zvizdic, President of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Muslim European country’s top mufti Husein Kavazovic.

Moreover, the Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, is expected to deliver a speech via video conference. The Sarajevo Halal Fair (SHF) is sponsored by Bosna Bank International (BBI).

On the second day, chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic will visit the fair. And on the last third day of the fair, an award will be given to the most successful participants.

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The Grand Mufti, Kavazovic, is the leader of the ‘Islamic Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina’, a religious organization of Muslims in Bosnia and it’s also recognized as the highest representative body of Muslims in the Bosnian region of Sandžak, as well as Bosniak communities in Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Hungary.

Today’s halal fair will enable the participants from the Balkan countries, including Serbia, Slovenia, and Albania, as well as from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Malaysia, and the EU countries to introduce halal food products.

Halal is an Arabic word that means “permissible.” The term is commonly used for meat, but it also applies 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.

Since independence in 1992, Bosnia has become one of the most frequently visited countries in the Balkans region, projected to have the third highest tourism growth rate in the world until 2020.

According to the 2013 census, Islam is the majority faith in Bosnia, making up 51% of the population. There are eight muftis located in the major municipalities: Sarajevo, Bihać, Travnik, Tuzla, Goražde, Zenica, Mostar, and Banja Luka.

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