I’m sorry Nordic; but Finland won my heart.

In 24 hours, I will be heading back home to Lebanon after three weeks in Finland, the land of Sisu, Saunas & freedom of expression, and I would be lying if I said I had enough.

Few months ago, I read a caption on the Foreign correspondent’s programme, It said: Get a chance to become a lifelong friend of Finland. I paused and wondered back then: What does this even mean? How can one build a ...  (continue reading)

Finnish women too are not satisfied with their bodies. National broadcasting company Yle will cover this story!

It is the third week since the Foreign Correspondents‘ Program began. Time flies. I never thought that we would go through all the subjects so quickly. We were just getting to know each other and in few more days it would be time to say goodbye.

Today we were divided into small groups to see how big Finnish medias tell their news or stories. I was assigned to a group which will go to Yle, ...  (continue reading)

What Almost Being Attacked at a Neo-Nazi Rally Taught Me About Finland

With a bottle of fine French wine at hand and the refreshing breeze of the Aura river on that particularly fresh summer-ish day tingling my face, it felt like my day to Finland’s oldest city, Turku, couldn’t get any better. I had arrived a couple of hours earlier with the father of Finnish family which is hosting me for the weekend. He had planned to run the marathon that day while I ...  (continue reading)

Espoo: A city using its past to move to the future

So, after a long weekend of homestays and some of us recuperating from sickness (well, maybe just me), we had an early day heading out to the city of Espoo.

I’m not much of a morning person. But don’t worry, I caught up on some sleep on the boat-ride over.

In my sleepy state, I didn’t yet realize our entire day would be examining a city that could be a case-study for much of Finland. Like much ...  (continue reading)

Finland Through My Kenyan Eyes

For a country that was ranked the happiest in the world (though there have been mixed reactions about this) I was curious to know what makes them happy. I must say being in Finland has exposed me to the typical Finnish way of life, one that combines a serene environment albeit thanks to the beautiful summer around here, appreciating the little things, freedom of speech and respect for one another. How ...  (continue reading)

Finland and it’s kind way to prove me wrong

Finland is not as cold as I thought it was, and I don’t mean it only in centigrades.

First thing that I learned about this country is that feeling safe is one of the most important things Finns value, and it is noticed in the fact that contrary to what might be thought, seeing a lot of law enforcement officers does not make you feel safe but the opposite. In my ...  (continue reading)

Education in Finland: Like Winning the Lottery

A young lady in a pink running suit jogged down the street towards the group of journalists gathered on the sidewalk. She stopped right in front of me, and asked: “You are the FCP participants?” We all mumbled, yes, wondering who she was and why she was asking. She must have noticed the looks on our faces because she rushed to introduce herself, “My name is Sanni, I’m the Education ...  (continue reading)

Finland: a country of re-invention

Like many young people, I grew up with a piece of Finland in my pocket in the form of a Nokia mobile phone. So what happened after other companies like Apple and Google surged ahead?

We had the opportunity to hear from Lauri Oksanen, vice-president of research & technology at Nokia about where the company is now in its new phase of re-invention after it sold its business to Microsoft. Nokia is ...  (continue reading)

Lappeenranta and its lake of silence and peace

Funded in 1649, the city of Lappeenranta is beside one of the biggest and most beautiful lakes in Europe, and worldwide also. The lake Saimaa, the biggest in Finland, and the fifth in Europe, is a complex system of channels, little lakes, rivers, and islands in the south-east of Finland. The water of the lake is so clean that the people usually drink its water directly.

Surrounded by a beautiful ...  (continue reading)

Finland: A Sisu Society

What is sisu? I don’t really know. I have heard this term for the first time last week when I and my journalist friends were lectured about the history of Finland. Professor Maiju Wuokko from the University of Helsinki told us that ‘sisu’ represents the character of Finnish people. To put it in English vocabularies, the closest meaning to this term might be grit or gut.

It was also last week ...  (continue reading)