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App Developed by Indonesian Students at Taiwan Tech Gathers Information on Halal Restaurants and Prayer Rooms in Taiwan

 

Muslim students at Taiwan Tech developed the app “Halal Taiwan,” which gathers information on Halal restaurants and prayer rooms all over Taiwan. From left: Ma Jun-An, Nur Najman Ade Putra, Hadziq Fabroyir, Intan Dzikria. (Image: Taiwan Tech)

 

The team which developed “Halal Taiwan” has collected information from around Taiwan on over 300 Halal restaurants, shops, hotels and prayer rooms. (Image: Taiwan Tech)

 

 

Seizing Islamic business opportunities! Among the nearly two billion Muslims in the world, more than 300,000 of them work and study in Taiwan, and about 200,000 tourists from Southeast Asia came to Taiwan last year. What can Muslims do if they  have difficulty finding halal restaurants and prayer rooms? A group of Taiwan Tech Muslim students from Indonesia and Taiwan have developed an app called "Halal Taiwan,” which gathers information on halal restaurants, hotels, prayer rooms and shops all over the island so that Halal-friendly spaces near the user can be easily accessed.

 

Islam is one of the three major religions in the world. Those who believe in Islam are called Muslims and are required to abide by a strict set of rules on food preparation and worship. Pork is not allowed in the Muslim diet, and the name of Allah must be invoked before animals such as cows, chickens and sheep are slaughtered. Besides, the meat cannot be cooked with lard or alcohol. In addition, Muslims must pray five times a day facing towards Mecca.

 

President of Taiwan Tech Liao Ching-Jong stated that Taiwan Tech is the university with the largest number of Indonesian students in Taiwan. Since there are many Muslim students, there are prayer rooms on campus as well as prayer mats and Wudhu facilities. Also, there are two restaurants with Halal certification on campus. The Muslim-friendly environment of Taiwan Tech provides convenience for Muslim students to pray and dine on campus.

 

 “Halal Taiwan” is being developed by Indonesian Ph.D. student Hadziq Fabroyir of the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering together with other Indonesian and Taiwanese Muslim students. This app gathers useful information such as the locations and contact numbers of more than 300 Halal restaurants, shops, hotels and prayer rooms in Taiwan. The app, which has been downloaded over six thousand times, provides Chinese, English and Indonesian for the user interface.

 

Hadziq Fabroyir said that when he just arrived in Taiwan, due to a lack of convenient channels to search for Halal-friendly facilities, he had trouble finding restaurants that provided Halal food. It was also difficult for him to find prayer rooms and mosques. In order to solve this problem and help those in need, he developed the application “Halal Taiwan” with his expertise in information engineering and looked for like-minded classmates to found the business together, so that Muslims who come to Taiwan can lead a more convenient life.

 

Hadziq Fabroyir mentioned that many Halal restaurants have not applied for Halal certification. As a result, the team members have to discover these "hidden" restaurants by themselves. The members make use of their leisure time to explore around the city from time to time. Whenever they find a delicious restaurant which is compliant with Halal principles, they would feel a sense of accomplishment.

 

Nur Najman Ade Putra, a third-year student from Indonesia in the Department of Industrial Management at Taiwan Tech, came to Taiwan with his parents and has studied in Taiwan since junior high. He said that a lot of Muslims from Indonesia and Malaysia did not know that there are plenty of Halal-friendly places in Taiwan. The app “Halal Taiwan” has made it possible for them to see that Taiwan is friendly toward Muslims, and it has therefore attracted many Muslims to travel to Taiwan.

 

Nur Najman Ade Putra noted that Taiwanese society has become more familiar with Muslim culture. Once he participated in a tour to climb Xue Mountain (雪山). Learning that he is  Muslim, the travel agency bought food from a Halal restaurant in Taipei for him to eat in the mountains. He was very touched by this thoughtful service and exclaimed that Taiwanese people are indeed very friendly. Nur Najman Ade Putra said that he loves Taiwan very much and plans to stay after graduation to promote Taiwan tourism to Muslims.

 

Ma Jun-An, whose family are all devoted Muslims, is a third-year student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Taiwan Tech. Ma stated that he never thought about starting his own business. It was by chance that he participated in the development of “Halal Taiwan”. To him, it is not difficult to find restaurants or prayer rooms since he has lived in Taipei for several years. However, this could be quite tricky for foreigners, which is why he hopes to provide assistance to those in need. He mentioned happily that his parents found “Halal Taiwan” very useful, and that they affirmed his efforts and encouraged him in his start-up business.

 

In the future, the team of “Halal Taiwan” will continue to optimise its software functions, an Arabic interface will be added, and its search engine will be improved. The team also plans to incorporate an e-business platform so that Muslim users can purchase commodities through the application.

 

 (Wanted Daily)

 

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