Muslim directory 2nd edition may be last
AN Auckland man has put most of his savings into producing a free guide to help Muslim Kiwis adjust to life in New Zealand.
Naveed Ahmed’s Kiwi Muslim Directory is into its second edition, but he now fears it will be the last.
A Muslim, Mr Ahmed says he may not be able to fund printing a third edition himself.
“If I am not able to get support from the community or from the companies and advertisers, I won’t be able to do it,” he says.
Mr Ahmed, who migrated from India in 1998, decided to set up the Kiwi Muslim Directory last year after finding there were no services or publications in New Zealand that provided Muslims with essential information about Islamic information and Muslim businesses.
The law requires Muslims to follow regulations regarding what food can be eaten, as certain products (such as animal fat, pork, alcohol and other non-halal items) are regarded as harmful.
Methods for slaughtering animals for consumption are being covered by the law and restaurants can gain a certification from a halal-certifying authority that allows them to offer halal-food.
The Kiwi Muslim Directory lists food services and restaurants that follow these standards.
It is available online and at Islamic centres throughout the country and lists Muslim businesses and food services for halal-certified products.
It also includes background information about the religion, prayer times, a Ramadan timetable, a list of events and activities and a section with information for migrants.
Mr Ahmed says this will be particularly helpful to international students new to the country.
He and his wife, Farzana, started collecting addresses and contact details of Muslim businesses throughout New Zealand and began last year to put them onto a website, before publishing the first printed edition of the directory in May.
“We did 5000 copies last year and now we’re working on the second edition,” he says.
Most of the printing costs had been covered by Mr Ahmed’s private savings, despite the fact he was made redundant for his job as an information officer late last year.
“We got some support from advertisers. Helping the community was the main thought behind the project.”
Extending the directory and including a residential listing (similar to the White Pages) is one of the next steps he has planned.
“We think about putting in names, how people want to be called and how they are known within the community.”
Some people only knew him by his surname, while others called him Naveed, so it would be important to develop a system that allows people to search by either version.
Sultan Eusoff, executive manager of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, says the Kiwi Muslim Directory was useful for the community.
“There was quite a number of people who were searching for halal-products, halal-food and all that,” he says.