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Muslim-friendly Meat Debuts

By Yingzhen Zhang, Contributing Writer

A steamy platter of tender Halal meat tucked inside crisp, golden pastry prepared by Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) debuted at the Harvard Islamic Society (HIS) Dinner Table in Adams House last night.

“I’m thankful that HUDS is so open to the idea, so efficient and so incredibly accommodating,” said Noaman N. Vaidya ’03, who had never before eaten meat prepared by HUDS.

Only meats that undergo a slaughtering process sanctioned by the Quran, which includes minimizing cruelty to animals, are qualified as Halal meats for consumption by Muslims. Some Muslims do not eat meat unless it is prepared in that manner.

Vaidya said he was pleased that the addition to the menu came only three weeks after he first contacted Assistant Director of Dining Services Rudolf Gautschi about serving Halal meat.

Others echo Vaidya’s enthusiasm at the enlarged diet options.

“Mmm...meat,” said HIS President Wasim Quadir ’03. “I wanted to do things with a consciousness, and eating Halal meat is my form of worship.”

Some non-Muslim students also showed up to taste HUDS’s newest culinary debut.

Constantin C. Crachilov ’04 enjoyed Halal meat for the first time last night.

“Judging from my gourmet perspective, its quality is outstanding,” Crachilov said. “In a word, come here to taste the flavors of the world.”

HIS member Noor A. Al-Dabbagh ’06 added that serving Halal meat helps create a bonding experience among students.

“More than the delicious meat, this is a great opportunity to meet fellow Muslim students and everyone interested in learning more about Islam,” she said.

The Halal meat program is still in its trial period after a four-year absence from the Harvard dining scene.

Halal meat was offered daily from 1994 to 1998 in three of the residential dining halls. Vaidya said the program faded due to both student and HUDS staff turnover.

Hot Halal meat entrees will tentatively be offered every Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Adams House Brower Room. In addition, all the dining hall refrigerators will stock frozen Halal patties and hot dogs, according to Vaidya.

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