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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 03:49 PM
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Halal grocer opens in Anchorage

Alaska's first Muslim Halal grocery opens in Midtown
ISLAMIC DIETARY LAW: Butchers follow strict Quaranic guidelines.

On an icy winter day when the sun barely rose higher than the peaks of the Chugach Mountains, one store in a strip mall near the airport was abuzz with activity. The hand-lettered cardboard sign outside told the story: Alaska's First Halal Grocery.

Inside, owner Lamin Jobarteh was pricing bottles of bright orange palm oil, a product he was sure would fly off the shelves as soon as he called the Nigerians in town to let them know it had arrived. A group of Somali women in brightly colored head scarves looked through a gleaming white freezer for cubed bone-in goat meat.

Anchorage is now home to nearly 4,000 Muslims, up from a hundred or so when Jobarteh, who hails from the West African nation of Gambia, arrived in Alaska to attend graduate school in the 1990s.

For years, he watched as the growing community ordered bulk shipments of Halal meat and specialty groceries from Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, the nearest cities where they were available.

"I've seen the demand for a long time," he said. "Muslim people cannot live without Halal food, and it's expensive to ship it up."


In 2007, the community paid $600,000 for a 70-acre parcel in South Anchorage on which they plan to build the state's first mosque. They raised nearly $1 million from their own community and other U.S. groups -- some were surprised to hear there were any Muslims in Alaska.

They plan to break ground on the first phase of the planned mosque, school and educational center this summer, an effort that received attention on international news network Al-Jazeera.

Boisclair says the Halal grocery store and the planned mosque "will solidify the community."


ADN had to turn off the comments because of the mouth-breathers coming out to trash the Muslims, although comments were running about two to one favorable. I'm pretty excited about this myself - now when my daughter and Muslim son-in-law come up to visit I can make Halal food. Yea!!
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 09:26 PM
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1. Yea!!!
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-24-10 02:02 PM
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2. We went and bought some stuff from him the other day.
Edited on Sun Jan-24-10 02:04 PM by Blue_In_AK
I hope he's really successful. We have a zillion little Chinese and Korean grocers here, but a scarcity of Middle Eastern/Indian, etc., which is sad for me because that's what I like to cook the most and sometimes I have trouble finding ingredients. The new grocer has all the dals and spices, bottled tikka masalas, etc., and most surprising to me, he had frozen fenugreek leaves. I know he's the only store in Anchorage with those. I bought some and made a really delicious curry, half fenugreek, half spinach. It was outstanding.
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