This page was created to help people of all faith groups working with Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS and other refugee resettlement organizations in CT find Islamic/Arabic resources to better prepare them for refugees from Muslim countries.

Refugee food preparation and handling:
Muslims eat Halal food. Halal food is free of pig or alcohol ingredients in any amount. If it is meat, than the animal is slaughtered in the name of God. facing the Kabbah (Makkah). One must look for the halal symbol before purchasing meat and check ingredients in common products such as cheese. Often Muslims will look for the kosher symbol but this is not a guarantee for halal. All products should be checked before purchasing, as both alcohol and pig as well as other non-halal ingredients have become prevalent. Two websites for halal ingredients and foods can be found here: or or

Common ingredients and foods are forbidden for Muslims such as:

Gelatin – Gelatin is a pig derived ingredients found in Marshmallows, Gummy vitamins/worms and many candies
Coke – due to presence of alcohol
Cheese – due to presence of pig in the processing
Cereal – due to vanilla extract
Yogurt – due to alcohol

Scan Halal is a phone app which allows scanning of products at the grocery store to easily determine if it is halal. When food is being prepared it should not be cooked in a pan that has not been cleaned from alcohol or pig residue.

Refugee places of worship, halal/ethnic stores and halal/ethnic restaurants:
All of these can be found on through ones zip code. Zabihah is also an application on the Blackberry, Iphone, Android and Windows store.

Translators can usually be found at your local Mosque (Masjid). Please look up the closest Masjid on After identifying the closest Masjids please call and email the Masjid with your needs. It is usually best to contact 2-3 Masjids for best result. It is also a good idea to visit on friday between 12:30-1:30 for the main service. At this service one can meet the Imam and Board members.

Translators and Volunteers:
Translators: We need translators in the following languages: Arabic, Swahili, Dari, Farsi, French, Tigrinya, or Amharic. Please fill out the volunteer form below as soon as possible. Translators are our life blood for a successful refugee resettlement program. 

General Volunteers: If you are not part of a Refugee Resettlement group please fill out the form below. We need volunteers for: English teaching, driving lessons, driving in general, furniture, employment, resume, housing and much much more. Any help is appreciated.

Refugee Cultural Training:
We have a 2-5 hour training available to be conducted at your location depending on your need and schedule which can be arranged with Imam Sami Abdul Aziz. This training provides cultural competency, understanding of Islamic culture, understanding of Arab culture, norms, culture shock and much more. Please fill out this form to schedule training or ask for any other resources: