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Blessing the Barbecue

An Islamic Butcher Shop Becomes A Destination For People Of All Faiths

People in a butcher shop The employees at Pak Halal chat with a customer. Many are drawn to the Lenexa-based butcher shop and grocery for meat prepared in the halal way. (Photo: Lara Shipley | Flatland)
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At around 2:30 Thursday afternoon a long line begins to form in the back of Pak Halal, a local Middle Eastern grocery store in the heart of Lenexa. One by one, customers who had driven from “as far as Omaha” await their turn at the butcher counter to place their order.

Most people are in line for the store’s traditional Islamic preparation of the freshly delivered goat, chicken and lamb, known as “halal.”

Owner Munir Yameen, who is Muslim, said it’s not only Muslims who come through the door every Thursday when the shipment arrives. The store is a destination for people of all faiths and nationalities.

“We cater to everyone, Turkish, Pakistanis, Persians, Middle Easterners, and Americans,” said Yameen, “goat meat has become very popular, and Americans come here for the goat meat to barbecue. They come back.”

Yameen explains that halal prepared proteins are drained of blood, and are gaining attention as a healthier option for non-Muslims.

Pak Halal has been in operation for 25 years; Yameen, an Army veteran, bought the store in 2003.

This week the Islamic community begins Ramadan, a month of fasting and prayer. It is the store’s busiest month of the year.

Photojournalist Lara Shipley captured sights from the store, and Flatland brings you Yameen in his own words about what Ramadan means to him, and how halal meat is prepared.





To learn more about Yameen’s life and service in the military, read Flatland’s in-depth profile here.

This story is part of the KCPT and Hale Center for Journalism project Beyond Belief, a series of stories and discussions about faith in our city. The project is part of Localore: Finding America, created by AIR, a Boston-based network of independent public media producers. Principle funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Daniel Boothe is a reporter for Kansas City Public Television. To reach Boothe email him at dboothe@kcpt.org

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