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Credit: Sandy Huffaker
Alt: Muslim families in tent-draped restaurant (Sandy Huffaker)
Like Muslims all over the world, U.S. Muslims often visit halal restaurants — which prepare food in accordance with Islamic dietary laws — for iftar with family and friends after observing the Ramadan fast from dawn to sundown.
In this photo, iftar customers order Mediterranean food at the Ali Baba restaurant in El Cajon, California, near San Diego. Ali Baba has a tented interior that evokes the feeling of old Baghdad, and owner Othman Kalasho employs an Iraqi chef.
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Credit: Glenn Kulbako
Alt tag: Ant Gozkaya holding platter of food (Glenn Kulbako)
Saray, a Turkish restaurant in Boston, offers a mix of dishes from the Ottoman area and the Mediterranean rim, along with low-fat vegetarian dishes. Located near the Boston University campus, Saray — owned by Erol Yildirim — attracts local families, young professionals and students for iftar and throughout the year. Kebabs, stuffed grape leaves and red lentil soup are popular menu items.
Saray staffer Sakir Kaya (shown here) performs as a rock musician in his native Turkey and says he currently has an album on the Turkish music charts.
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Credit: Brian Widdis
Alt tag: Young Muslims seated at restaurant table (Brian Widdis)
Habib’s Cuisine is a very busy restaurant in Dearborn, Michigan, a city with a large population of Arab Americans. Owned by its Lebanese-American chef, Habib Bazzi, the restaurant served about 400 iftar patrons on the night this photo was taken. Here, two of Bazzi’s customers — Ghadir and Zeinab (in foreground, left to right) — enjoy their meal and one another’s company.
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Alt tag: Zia Usmani with two hookahs (Becky Stein)
Credit: Becky Stein
Borage Grill — located in Conyers, Georgia, just east of Atlanta — is said to be the first halal restaurant serving Conyers and nearby Lithonia and Covington. The grill is known for its Mediterranean fare and gourmet pizza. Owner Zia Usmani is shown here in the restaurant’s Hookah Lounge, a room with an elegant Middle Eastern ambience.
At Ramadan and throughout the year, patrons enjoy baba ghanoush (an eggplant dip served with fresh bread), shawarma (beef or chicken garnished with red onions), falafel (fried mixed-vegetable patties) and more.
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Credit: Clifford DesPeaux
Alt: Muslim mother and two children dining at informal café-style restaurant (Clifford DesPeaux)
At the Shalimar Café in Redmond, Washington, near Seattle, a mother and her children enjoy a relaxed iftar. Khalid Hafeez, who manages the informal café-style restaurant, says the menu revolves around traditional Pakistani dishes with fresh ingredients and authentic spices. Shalimar Café is a popular destination for local residents — including many immigrants — who savor South Asian specialties such as chicken tikka masala and goat curry, along with the restaurant’s vegetarian offerings.
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Credit: State Dept.
Alt: Man serving himself from restaurant buffet (State Dept.)
At Tarbouch, a Mediterranean restaurant in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Virginia, an iftar customer helps himself to the buffet.
During Ramadan, Tarbouch’s Lebanese-American owner, Ramzi Iskandar, uses Islamic motifs to decorate the buffet area, as seen here. The restaurant serves 150–200 dinners per night, drawing a lively crowd that mostly eats outdoors when the weather permits.
PHOTO: G:\Press\FEATURES group\PHOTOS\Iftar-Tarbouch2-ArlingtonVA.jpg
Credit: State Dept.
Alt: Nighttime scene at restaurant with dinner patrons outdoors (State Dept.)
The red fez on the illuminated sign above Tarbouch restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, adds a touch of Middle Eastern flair to the restaurant’s facade. On this August evening, most customers are seated outdoors. Tarbouch’s owner, Ramzi Iskandar, offers authentic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, and the kitchen is supervised by his mother, Leila. The restaurant, a neighborhood favorite for relaxed dining, has been serving iftar for five years.