InterviewsMarketsSocial MediaWeb Exclusive

What happened with I’m Halal

(In late 2011 I’mHalal had to close its search service due to lack of funding. This page has been set up to keep the memories and great achievements of I’mHalal alive.)

Raza Sardahe
Raza Sardahe

Raza Sardahe I’ CEO interview by Danish Reyaz

Q: First, can you give me some background on yourself, and AZS Media Group? Where are you from, how long have you been leading the company, and how long has the company been around? Is the company a for-profit entity or is it operating on private funding right now?

Ans: I’m a 20 year old student living and studying in Amsterdam. AZS Media Group is the company that runs and manages the I’mHalal search engine. I’mHalal is AZS Media Groups first project and AZS Media Group was founded about one year ago. My brother Ali is the other partner. He is the COO of the company.

We’re a commercial search engine that will launch an advertising platform in the near future to fund our growth.

The need of a internet portal that would allow Muslims to be able to initiate online activities in a safe and clean environment has inspired us to launch this search engine. A lot of people in the Middle East for example are avoiding the internet simply because their afraid to bump into explicit content. We believe that it’s essential for everyone to inform themselves and gather information and since the world wide web is a great source of information we want to provide Muslims this search solution.

We can’t make public how much we have invested in this search engine ;). All I can say is that running a search engine isn’t cheap.

i m hala

Q: What inspired you to make Do you consider yourself an observant Muslim, perhaps a conservative, or how would you describe yourself?

A lot of Muslims are avoiding the internet because their afraid that they or their children will bump into explicit content and that’s really a shame since everyone should inform theirselves about various subjects on the Net. This has inspired us to provide Muslims such a portal.

The leading three search engines (Google, Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing) make use of a algorithm which is based on Western standards. Our algorithm is based more on the culture, mindset and lifestyle of Muslims. With our algorithm we can return more relevant results than Google to our target group located mostly in the Middle East and Asia.

I would describe myself as the average Muslim.

Q: Give me some background on the site itself. How long as it been in development, how many people are working on it? Can you describe how it actually works, with some technical detail? Can you explain the three-tiered filtering system?

Ans: We have launched I’mHalal back in September 2009 but it took us 8 months to develop the first version. Six people have worked 8 full months to realize I’mHalal version 1.0 but in about 7 days we will launch version 3.0 already.

Our three tier filtering system will be disabled in version 3.0 because our service is matured significantly so that we don’t need to filter keywords anymore.

We analyze the content of each website and if a website contains inappropriate content we fetch any results from that website.

Q: Are you concerned that the site will block things of a political or artistic nature? How do you plan to deal with any complaints that the site is too restrictive?

Ans: So far we haven’t received any comments that we’re too restrictive simply because the only thing we filter out perfectly is explicit content like pornography. We don’t and will never block or filter any political subject. We’re an open search engine which goal is to provide Muslims the best search experience possible.

We’re already planning to opensource a part of our search engine by introducing an API which will allow developers to develop innovative search products for the I’mHalal platform.

Related Articles

Back to top button