Photographer: Aleksi Kokora – Editor: Sems Erik
From what is known, the Somali community has made great strides in the integration process in Finland, Especially, they were considered the most important in terms of census immigrant community in the 1990s. Which makes it an essential contributor to the cultural and social diversity of Finland.
Throughout this article, we wanted to shed light on one of Finland’s most famous models in terms of community activism, whether socially, politically, or culturally. Suldaan Said Ahmed is a Finnish politician and an activist from the capital of Finland, Helsinki. He brings a refreshing angle that contrasts with what had already been discussed.
Suldaan is pursuing a profession in safety and security while finishing his studies at the open university in Helsinki. He has served as a Helsinki city councilor for the past two terms in addition to his first time in the Finnish Parliament. He moved to Finland from Somalia with his family when he was a teenager. At that time, he lived in Eastern Finland in a small city called Kontiolahti. He shares this: “During my free time, I like to read books and spend my time with family and friends. I also like watching movies”.
What family means to me
Despite the fact that I now have my own life in Finland, I remain in daily contact with my family. My mother has supported me continuously throughout my entire career and it has meant everything to me.
Work-life & Integration Supports
Over the years, I have held numerous jobs. I have been active in different organizations and worked with young people as a part-time entrepreneur, and have been working as a security officer in the private sector and a community service worker in a Finnish organization.
After being elected as an MP in 2021, I was able to advance a number of significant reforms in the Legal Affairs Committee and Parliament as a whole. Following that, I intend to continue working every day in Finland for a better society and a better world.
Recently, I have become the Foreign Minister’s Special Representative on Peace Mediation in the Horn of Africa.
A successful integration process can be summarized in one sentence: a person is integrated into society if they have found their place in society and feel confident in their ability to influence their surroundings. Employment and learning the local language are important factors, as they allow the person to truly integrate into society.
Decision-making as a politician or an entrepreneur?
These two don’t mix. Values are what distinguish a good decision-maker.
A New Version of Me
Over the past ten years, I’ve experienced significant growth. In my early years, I had a black-and-white mindset and used to view the world more in absolutes. I grew up and met different individuals as a result of my involvement in society. I now have an incredible chance to speak for all Finns.
For me, political success entails at least partially achieving one’s objectives. Success comes when you can see how you are improving the lives of others daily.
I have encountered several problems throughout my profession, some of them have been challenging. All of them have taught me valuable lessons, and I’ve learned there is no fast buck available in politics. Politics necessitates perseverance and concentration.
Active listening and communicating with people who disagree with me have been two of the most important skills I’ve learned along the way.
Vision and Effect
Influencing people requires commitment and dedicated work. Passion for changing the world is at the core of everything! Influencing others is difficult, but I think it’s important that we all find our way to make the world a better place.
For me, absolutely. Finland is considered a country of possibilities and opportunities, which makes it a fertile ground for achieving the aspirations of many.
As a Finnish MP, Finland is considered a great place to influence my surroundings. It is important to keep your goals clear and bravely try again if you fail. Especially when these projects or objectives relate to the public interest.
This season we have been working on the Parliament law that helps people when they are on the blacklist. This December onwards, when someone pays their debts in a single month, they are cleared from the blacklist. They can then resume their financial lives without any penalties and restrictions, which will contribute to the development of their future.
Such matters or bills are very important and have a social and economic impact on society and individuals, which reflects our determination and seriousness to have a positive impact on the future of individuals within Finnish society.
On a private level, I am proud to have made such contributions and community involvement, especially in decision-making sites.
My life experiences are very different from the other Finnish politicians. I have experienced many things since I was a child, and I can only appreciate what I have now, like our public health and our peace. Finland has given so much to me & my family, and I strongly believe it is now my responsibility to give back by helping others as best I can.