Halal and the City

When: Thursday, November 17, 2022, 6:30pm
Price: General Admission $30 | Members $25
A plate of cooked halal meat on top of lettuce on the sides. The meat is sprinkled with chopped chili peppers and sesame seeds. On the bottom, a row of 3 headshots from left to right: Mohamed Attia, Sameen Choudhry, and Krishnendu Ray.
Background: Photo by @FaisalDada on Unsplash. Headshots from left to right: Courtesy Mohamed Attia, Sameen Choudhry, Krishnendu Ray.

Where does halal food fit into the context of New York City dining? And how do issues of religion, class, and bureaucracy impact the halal food that’s available and who is able to sell it? 

In an evening led by Krishnendu Ray, author of The Migrant’s Table and The Ethnic Restauranteur, we’ll learn the answers to questions such as these and more as we hear from a New York City halal food street vendor (to be announced soon!) and Mohamed Attia, director of the Street Vendor Project. Additionally, we’ll go beyond the street cart with Sameen Choudhry of Muslim Foodies, a NYC halal restaurant blog run by three women who are seeking to bridge the gap between the mainstream restaurant and halal restaurants.

After the discussion, we’ll taste halal chicken over rice and falafel over rice, two of the classic halal dishes you’ll find sold by New York City’s halal food street vending community. 

Part of our Eat Your Heart Out series co-presented by MOFAD (Museum of Food and Drink) and accompanying our new exhibition, Food in New York: Bigger Than the Plate.

This program is also presented in conjunction with our upcoming exhibition City of Faith: Religion, Activism and Urban Space (opens Nov. 18).


About the Speakers:
Mohamed Attia is the Managing Director of the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center, a 2,800+ member-strong organization that champions the rights of street vendors as small businesses to earn a living and contribute to the culture and life of New York City. Attia migrated to the US from Alexandria, Egypt, in 2008 working as a street vendor for nearly ten years selling hot dogs, halal chicken over rice, and smoothies in Times Square. He joined as a member of the Street Vendor Project in 2012 and was an elected member leader of the organization until 2018, when he joined SVP's staff as Managing Director. Attia championed legislation passed in 2021 by the New York City Council that expanded the number of permits available to street vendors for the first time in nearly 40 years. He has been profiled for his advocacy work on behalf of the street vendor community by The New York Times, Crain's New York, and was recognized on City & State's Community Engagement Power 50 List. Through direct legal representation, small business development training, grassroots organizing, leadership development, and strategic legislative advocacy, the Street Vendor Project builds power and community among vendors. streetvendor.org/.

Sameen Choudhry is a Muslim Pakistani-American who works as a Physician Assistant. She grew up in Queens and just recently moved to Boston. Sameen is an administrator of the social media food blog MuslimFoodies, where she and her friends visit and review halal restaurants around NYC for the Muslim community.

Krishnendu Ray is a faculty member in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University. He was the Chair of the department from 2012-2021. He is the author of The Migrant’s Table (2004) and The Ethnic Restaurateur (2016) and the co-editor of Curried Cultures: Globalization, Food and South Asia (2012). He is an Editorial Collective Member of the Food Studies journal Gastronomica. He was formerly a faculty member and the Associate Dean of Liberal Arts at The Culinary Institute of America (1996-2005) and the President of The Association for the Study of Food and Society from 2014-2018.

Event Logistics (subject to changed based on NYC regulations):

  • Please contact programs@mcny.org with any questions or ticketing issues.
  • All sales are final; refunds not permitted. Exchanges and credit for future programs only. Programs and dates may be subject to change. The Museum of the City of New York reserves the right to refuse admission to latecomers. 


General Admission $30 | MCNY and MOFAD members $25

MCNY members: To receive your discount, click on the "Register" button above, then sign in to your account on the ticketing page.

MOFAD members: To receive your discount, click on the "Register" button above, and enter the number of General Admission tickets you would like to purchase. Then, enter your discount code in the discount code field, which will be available on the NEXT page, after you've submitted your registrant information and clicked "Add to Cart."

Accessibility: Assistive listening devices are available and our auditorium wheelchair lift can accommodate manual and motorized wheelchairs (max. capacity 500 lbs). Please contact the Museum at 917.492.3333 or info@mcny.org with any questions.


This program is co-presented with MOFAD


Join MCNY!

Want free or discounted tickets, special event invites, and more?