Between the beaches of Somalia and the waters of Dutch Harbor lie thousands of miles and an ocean of cultural differences.
Mountain View sits somewhere in between.
Mukhtar, 25, came to Alaska a year ago. The Last Frontier held safety and opportunity. His journey took him out of a refugee camp, halfway around the globe, through Arizona and Washington and finally to the M/V Gordon Jensen, a processing boat operated by Icicle Seafoods out of Dutch Harbor. He met people from all over the world in the Unalaska fishing community.
The hours were long. The work was hard. But the money was good.
When the season ended, he moved back to Anchorage and settled down in Mountain View. It began to feel like home.
He has no family here: His mother and younger brother still live in Somalia. Providing for them is his top priority, he said. A job on a fishing boat brings in enough money to do that. So at the end of the month, Mukhtar plans to head back out for another summer on the water.
“It’s where my heart is,” he said.