Shaping their lives according to Islamic rulings while living in a secular society and respecting its legal system is a strongly pronounced tendency among modern Muslims. Ukrainian Muslims are a numerous group, containing both of aborigines and foreigners (who come for personal, business and educational purposes).
Need for halal food can be a serious problem for every Muslim. As well, there’s a need for places to go with family and friends, hold a business meeting and a celebration without coming into contradictions with one’s religious views. Odessa has developed its Halal sphere impressively.
The “AlNauras” Store (see the guide) is situated in the historical centre of Odessa on 76 Ekaterininskaya Str. It was opened in 2010 and received the deserved recognition in a very short time. Its owner, Abdallah, is proud that the city people like his business, which is prosperous due to a high demand for eco-products in the city.
Abdallah, when asked why he chose the halal food related business, said “I like being useful and selling goods that I enjoy myself”.
The shoppers appreciate high quality products and flawless service. Besides, there is a comfortable car parking nearby.
Another small store named “Assalam” (see the guide) is situated near the Noviy Rinok (“New Market”) on 37 Torgovaya Str. It got famous among Odessa Muslims as the first store that started selling halal meat and halal-marked production.
Despite its small size, the store offers a variety of products including such traditional eastern fast food as shaurma, kebab and grill. Many non-Muslims come to the store, as the products here are always fresh and of a high quality.
"Beit Almandi" Restaurant
"Beit Almandi" Restaurant (see the guide) is situated on 1 Shevchenko Ave and offers both European and Oriental Cuisine. The interior is decorated in ethnic style.
As the owner originates from Afghanistan, dishes of Afghan cuisine are served along with European, Arab, Turkish, Uzbek dishes.
The restaurant meets the halal standard not only with its food, which is cooked according to Shariah, but also with commodities for family rest and Muslim female rest. Such guests can station themselves at the private rest zones with sofas and curtains that shelter from prying eyes.
At the customer's’ demand one of the VIP-zones is covered with thick carpets and turned into the kids zone. The little ones are provided with lots of toys so they could have fun while their parents have their meal.
A large variety of high-quality products by Turkish manufacturers is a sartorial statement "HajiBey" Store (see the guide), which is situated in the Malinovskiy District. This is no wonder, as the owner, Mustafa Erdogan, is a native Turk. He is always organized and businesslike, but at the same time smiling and gentle.
Mustafa’s halal business is new (the store was opened in 2011), but seemingly prosperous, as there are always many clients, so sometimes they make lines.
It were the friends who gave Mustafa the idea of opening a halal food-related business, as city district with a rather large Muslim population didn’t have places like this. Today the "HajiBey" Store occupied its rightful place in Odessa halal infrastructure.
These places are only a part of “halal life” of Ukrainian Muslims. Halal Certification And Research Center “Alraid” did a great job and now halal products are available for Muslims in most Ukrainian large cities.
by Irina Cherkasova, Odessa