By: Hyacinth Mascarenhas
Have you ever walked into a restaurant and asked the waiter, even before looking at the menu, “Do you serve halal meat?” You wait with baited breath and hopeful expectations only to be met with a courteous smile and a disappointing “No.”
This is often the frustrating reality for many Muslims in the Western world. Halal, which means “permissible” in Arabic, is a religious diet observed by Muslims that forbids the consumption of alcohol, even in cooking, pigs and any meat that has not been slaughtered according to Islamic law.
NaanMap.com, however, is one of the few websites that strive to make the search for halal restaurants and stores a simple click away.
Conceived in 2005, NaanMap.com was created by M. Mudassir Azeemi and Arjumand Azeemi as a ‘hassle-free halal food locator site with a clean, simple design.’
“I came to US around 2002, and then around 2003 my friend introduced me to a website used as a local halal restaurant/store finder. I looked at their website and, as a simple aficionado, I noticed it lacked usability from the ground-up,” said Mudassir Azeemi, Experience Director for NaanMap website and apps built under Qurtaba LLC banner.
Using friends, family and Yellow Pages to define and verify the parameters of these restaurants and stores, they began to sketch the simplest user-friendly interface to search for halal restaurants in their own local vicinity.
According to Vendy Award Winner Sammy’s Halal Food, NaanMap is ‘an excellent tool for customers to use to locate our restaurant chains. Not only is it easy to use, but now with its iPhone application, it’s a quick and convenient way to find us on the map!’
With limited advertisements and new social media features, NaanMap.com is certainly a popular tool for many. The iPhone and Windows 7 apps, launched in March 2011, even work without using the data-connection!
“I think it would be a great tool if ever in a new city and not in a GPS zone, I think it would be golden,” says Rika Prodhan, New York.
NaanMap is continually evolving and working towards a mobile initiative. This includes incorporating Canadian data, launching v1.2 next week and having world data available within a couple of months.
“We are here to provide users with the best and easiest way to find halal restaurants and stores,” says Arjumand Azeemi, IT Business Analyst for NaanMap. “We are experimenting with tons of things and introduce them to the user when the time is right.”
To visit: www.naanmap.com
To follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/naanmap