The first-ever halal lifestyle event of its kind in the United States is taking place at the iconic Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois on April 13-15, 2018. I Heart Halal™ is the premier event for Muslim American consumers looking to embrace both modernity and faith in their lives and in the products and services they buy today. Focusing on more than food, this three-day festival will showcase a broad range of halal experiences across the food, fashion, beauty, travel, health, and finance sectors.

I Heart Halal kicks off with an opening night party on Thursday night for media and VIP guests to get a sneak peek at the weekend’s activities. The action revs up Friday when attendees fill the 100,000 square foot hall, and visit the food court, Grand Bazaar, kids play area, lounge, and attend the shows on the main stage and specialty areas.

In the food court, attendees will find traditional halal restaurants as well as restaurants going “halal for the weekend.” In the Grand Bazaar they will find halal products in every category: food, fashion, beauty, health and wellness, sports and fitness, banking and finance, and travel. The main stage will feature different events including entertainment and a fashion show, while other areas will offer interactive session, including cooking demonstrations, health and fitness demonstrations, and a Beauty Masterclass.

“The Muslim consumer in North America today is like every other person,” said Asma Ahad, one of the event’s board of directors and IFANCA’s Director of Halal Market Development. “They want everything; they’re not limited to traditional ethnic cuisine.”

In particular, modern Muslim millennials are growing more conscious about their lifestyle choices, and are celebrating who they are without apology. They want to live a life that is “halal,” that is good, healthy, and wholesome, a concept not limited to Muslims.

The interactive sessions feature cooking demonstrations by popular chefs such as My Halal Kitchen’s Yvonne Maffei; two Chicago modest fashion shows showcasing the top styles in modest fashion; a Beauty Masterclass by leading make-up artist and CoverGirl’s first Muslim ambassador, Nura Afia; and health and fitness demonstrations by nutritionist and fitness professional, Zainab Ismail. The main stage will be the venue for a comedy night with well-renowned Muslim American comedians and several panel sessions with popular Muslim Americans who have redefined what it means to be Muslim in today’s America.

This inaugural I Heart Halal festival is produced by the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA®) and is supported by sponsors including Organic Valley, Saffron Road, and Abbott Nutrition. The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois is also a Festival partner. For more information visit or send an email to

Shahzmeen Hussain is IFANCA Social Media Associate and a journalism graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She enjoys telling compelling, human stories through digital media forms. She also enjoys traveling, reading, and writing prose and poetry in her free time.