Why Muslims travel to New Orleans is no mystery. I’ve traveled to simply jaw-dropping cities all over the world and NOLA is among one of the most interesting places in the world. Some of the historic landmarks are history rich with lots of spicy flavor.
However, there are people who are not as free as I to travel or to take part in common activities due to 45’s Muslims travel ban.
“If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise.” Apostle of Allah
The Prophet Muhammad encouraged travel. Muhammad wanted Muslims to travel to learn various customs and religious practices by navigating their way around the nation. He felt it was an excellent way to gain knowledge about other cultures and even grow closer to God.
Muslims Travel to New Orleans
Muslims traveling to America to gain an understanding of the troubles we face but more so that we may have an awareness of their culture and empathize with them. At the same token, it’s difficult to find resorts, restaurants and activities to accommodate their values, beliefs, and traditions such as halal foods and an alcohol-free environment. So, where do Muslims go so they are comfortable? Let’s start by taking a look at the things to do in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The City of New Orleans
The Uptown area of New Orleans continues to be a heavily populated portion of the Islamic community. Some believe the Islamic culture doesn’t exist but rather the traditions are a lifestyle. During the ’60s and ’70s, Muslims came to New Orleans as students, but then chose not to leave. Instead, Muslims established new businesses which extended opportunities to family members.
Muslims travel to New Orleans for its authenticity. It’s a place that welcomes everyone, including the Muslim community! Just outside of the city is Jefferson Parish, a diverse suburban area adorned with a multifaceted artistry. Jefferson Parish, predominantly consisting of Muslim residents is rich and colourful. However, New Orleans has its own flavor unique to anywhere else in the world.
The French Quarter has an old charm that draws people to it. The area is perhaps one of the most talked about municipalities in Louisiana to date. Muslim travel groups come to explore the boutiques, sidewalk shops and museums but they don’t miss the opportunity to try a specialty seafood dish made by the famous Chef Emeril Lagasee.
Emeril’s is in the New Orleans’ Warehouse District and has been a full-bodied fixture since 1990. The renowned restaurant is one of the driving forces of the city and it continues to earn exceptional culinary reviews for its savory cuisine. Emeril’s offers an alcohol-free private dining area for groups of 10 or more and can offer a halal menu to suit the discerning Muslim traveller. The establishment is open Monday–Friday from 11:30 am–2:00 pm and re-opens for dinner at 6 pm.
Mr. B’s Bistro is an affordable upscale but casual eatery where Executive Chef McRaney prepares distinctive lunches and dinners for those who love the unquestionable spirit of New Orleans Monday through Saturday. Brunch, infused with live jazz music, starts around 10:30 and goes until 2:00 that afternoon.
The Vintage Room meets the needs of special guests such as Muslim travellers and it seats up to 42 ravenous individuals privately. The mouthwatering menus are easily made-to-order making your dining experience totally fabulous.
Cultural Events and Festivities
Muslims travel to New Orleans if they are looking for soul food and fun. The city celebrates a multitude of multicultural social occasions year round. However, Bastille Day is one of the most renowned recreational activities in New Orleans during the month of July. It’s a vast block party taking place in the Faubourg St. John community.
Congo Square is where the native people and tourists gather to show off their hand-crafted novelties and flamboyant recipes. They dance to the traditional sounds of the African drums and to the music officially known as Jazz. This event pays tribute to former slaves in observance of a day of rest and relaxation. The family event is open to the public at no charge.
New Orleans hosts several exciting sporting events throughout the year if you’re ready for some action. Sports fans down south are incredibly loyal and proud of their NFL and AFL football teams as well as their professional basketball and minor baseball leagues.
If you’re not intoxicated with these muscular games, how about a quiet game of golf? An alternative to ball games is thoroughbred racing. The racecourse at the Fair Grounds is one of the oldest tracks in the US.
A knowledgable Muslim travel agent will tell you about Storyland Park located in New Orleans City Park. Storyland Park is one of the largest and most sought after catering venues in the Greater New Orleans area.
It’s an attraction every child, big and small, will talk about for years to come. You’ll find stacks of fairyland adventures aboard Captain Hook’s pirate ship or make your way up Jack and Jill’s Hill in this life-sized storybook playground. Muslims travel to New Orleans with their families to have the time of their lives with the characters they know and love.
The park is open for private events like weddings, birthday parties, and any other occasion you may want to celebrate. If you’re looking to score big with your child and give them the best birthday present ever, City Park is available to take reservations for this memorable event.
Of course, there are plenty of other French Quarter attractions for the family to enjoy such as the Audubon Zoo, the Mississippi River, New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Aquarium of the Americas.
When It’s Time to Pray
Muslim travel prayer is necessary no matter where Islamic people go. During prayer times, you may find Muslims kneeling on a piece of carpet inside a clean mosque. Fortunately, New Orleans has a generous amount of mosques around town, including the Islamic Center of New Orleans, New Orleans Masjid Al-Islam, Masjid ar-Rahmah, and the Muhammad Mosque to name a few.
The Jefferson Muslim Association is happy to invite you and your family for prayer at the Masjid. This is where you’ll also find various services and resources for Muslims.
The Association holds a Sunday school program and offers to the community Quran classes, free health care and guidance programs for those who are thinking about marriage or to married couples.
Having these services help when Muslims travel to New Orleans to maintain their lifestyles. In a time where a division is evident, we all should take note of he who kneels and perhaps join them.
Note: Muslims traveling by air should read a copy of trumps Muslims travel ban policy before deciding on a place to vacation.