Halal Hotdogs was created around the premise that food could be a tool for community engagement and cultural acceptance. One of the most outward symbols of the Somali community is the word Halal which can be found on scores of shops in the Twin Cities. Halal is the practice of slaughtering meat according to Islamic Law. Although Halal meat is no different in practice than Kosher meat, the word Halal is frequently misunderstood by the Midwestern community. By combining the Halal practice with one of the most American foods, the hot dog, it’s aim was to act as an easily accessible tool to explain and celebrate Somali culture within the Midwest.
Through collaboration with Ahmed Hirsi and Mohamud Mumin, the Halal Hotdog cart functions in the community to celebrate Somali culture in the Midwest and at the same time create a sustainable source of income for newly-arrived immigrants.
Halal Hotdogs recently won the Design Ignites Change Idea Award and currently is partnering with the American Refugee Committee and Ka Joog to search for funding. It is hoped that 3 carts will be fully-functional by the middle of summer of 2014.