Umnis, the Zakiir
Umnis was born in the northern town of Tanooreen, Fineekia, some forty miles away from Byblos. Son of Aminobaal and the brother of Hayat, Ahiram's mother, Umnis is a Zakiir, a trained person who consigns information to memory for faithful retrieval as binding contract. At age ten, Umnis was a head taller than his peers, who dubbed him Maradaite---Little Giant---and as his growth continued, his parents grew concerned that he may be under a curse by an envious neighbor, so they took him to the Temple of Baal, where Shinar, the Shogol, examined the youngster and reassured his parents.
"The boy is not under a curse. You see, Aminobaal is tall, and your son will probably end up taller than his father. There is nothing to worry about, but I have this to say: the boy's memory is astounding and he would make a great Zakiir. You should take him to Urais, the Zakiir in Byblos, for training. Height may be important for appearances, but memory? Now there lies a treasure!"
Six months later, at age 11, Umnis went to live with Urais and began his training as a Zakiir. He would go back and visit Tanooreen twice a year, and his parents would come and see him whenever they could. Even though he grew away from the rest of his siblings, he kept a deep affection for his sister Hayat, and later on, introduced her to Jabbar, her future husband, and even helped the newlywed couple secure a comfortable home in Baher-Ghafé. As with most Zakiruun, Umnis never married, and when his master Urais passed away, Umnis inherited the property and remained in the same house he had lived in since he was eleven.
In years to come, Umnis would play an indirect but critical role in the fate of his nephew, Ahiram.