AK Voices: Al-Hajj Frederick H Minshall

Al-Hajj Frederick H Minshall is a US Navy veteran with a degree in fisheries biology who has lived in Alaska since 2004. He is an Ithna-Ashari ("Twelver") Shi'a Muslim whose chief hobby is overindulging his four grandchildren. "Al-Hajj" (Arabic root "Hijr"—"journey") means "the Pilgrim," and is a traditional title for one who has made pilgrimage to Mecca.

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Welcome Carolina!

Bismillahir-Rah’manir Rahiim

This is to announce the arrival on-planet of Ms Carolina (pronounced Caro-LEEN-a) Minshall, daughter and first child of Michael and Helena, on July 2nd at 18:27 PST. Once in earth-normal gravity Carolina weighed-in at 8 lbs 15oz (a half-oz bigger than my huge grandson when he was born last August!). She is 91.5cm long.

My little brother observed that his new daughter has squinty, mean-looking, beady little eyes that seem fixed in a perpetual “Clint Eastwood”-type glare. Maybe Carolina is impatiently waiting to be introduced to whoever is in charge of this planet so she can tell them off.

Actually, the eye-type and facial expression are genetic heritage from her late Grandfather (rah’matullahi alayhi), and probably is an indication—based on my memories of seeing that expression on our father’s face on a regular basis—that brother Mike is probably in for it, and for a very long time.

Add to that the fact that Carolina’s mom hails from Madrid—where folks are generally known to maintain placid, docile dispositions even during hotly-disputed soccer-games—and that her paternal great-grandparents emigrated from Northern Italy. And so once again the fun begins!

Incidentally, all the above also means that her old Uncle will fall in love with her at first sight. A small Dutch Harbor “pirate” hoodie will be in the mail first thing tomorrow morning, inshaa-Allah…

Bienvenidos a nuestra familia, ya’Carolina—estamos muy felices por conocerte

(GRACIAS ESPECIALMENTE to my wife Zaynab for correcting my Spanish)

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