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My friend, Saido My friend, Saido
by Thanos Kalamidas
2012-10-24 03:45:47
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saido01_400The first time I met Saido it was more or less nine years ago in a dull and tensed office in one of the NGOs based in Helsinki. The project was huge and the campaign was going to be long and painful, the theme was women circumcision. The aim was to inform and help women but most importantly to prevent them from going though this illegal and unethical procedure. Saido was the calm force in the room. A much focused activist who knew exactly what she was doing and how to do it. She had all the arguments and the methodology to get their. Most importantly he Somali roots made her an insider.

That was what I saw the first day. After a few more meetings and long discussions Saido became a friend, a very close friend and I had the chance to meet and get to know the person beyond the activist. A friend that was there in my daughter’s first birthday and when I gave my personal battles. A sweet person with huge understanding and most importantly the capacity to listen. A girl that came from Somalia in a very young age escaping a war that had taken family and friends from her and had become a woman with strong will and wish to help. And help beyond gender, ethnicity, colour and religion.

For eight years I follow this wonderful woman, this wonderful friend fighting, battling always with a smile and always optimist and I have to admit that the news for her candidacy in the local elections for the Helsinki city council didn’t come as a surprise. Saido is a fighter and she’s fighting for justice, for equality and democracy and Saido is not just a democrat; for her democracy is a life style, a choice practiced even in the smaller parts of life.

So in her own words.

I am Saido Mohamed. I have moved to Finland 20 years ago from Somalia due to the civil war. I have integrated well in the Finnish society. I qualified as a Nurse in 2001 from Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences and during my studies I also worked as a cleaner, waitress and interpreter. Since the beginning of my csaido03_400areer I have been working in many positions in the health care system.

At the moment I am working as an expert-consultant in The Finnish League for Human Rights (Ihmisoikeusliitto ry). My expertise in human rights consists of work experience, my education and cultural knowledge especially on matters of immigration and acculturation.

I am known in Finland for my contribution on defending girls' and women's rights. I have volunteered in several organizations of immigrants in Finland in order to promote children's and young people's rights and acted as a bridge-builder between authorities and immigrants. Due to my experience in voluntary work I was awarded the Refugee Woman award for The Year in 2011.

Being courageous and true to myself accompanied with an active attitude to life have been my keys to progress in life. It has been important for me both to hold on to my own identity and to be a member of Finnish society. I care for the freedom and independence of young girls and women. I believe that these themes come true through education.

I am very interested in participating and having an influence in the society. The most important themes to me are the rights of women and children, work and education. My background gives me the understanding needed on issues of immigration and integration. I believe that immigrants have a lot to give in the Finnish society.

Saido stands for:

saido02_400_01An equal and democratic society. One that gives everyone a chance to integrate, study and work. A society where strong attention should be paid to the possibility for everybody to work including part-time jobs. A society that promotes and helps private enterprise.

For a society with the guidance of the municipality immigrant women have equal opportunities to education, equal employment and can become active and productive members of the society

The prevention of the young people’s social exclusion is urgent and necessary and it can be avoided only supported by the combining forces of parents, schools, nonprofit-organizations and municipality. Youths correspond to contemporary problems – recession, unemployment - and contemporary life management must be recognized as an important factor counteracting social exclusion. And this moment the voice of young people is not enough presented in the public decision-making process.

An occupation equivalent to one's education, experience and training should be possible for everyone; even for those with immigrant or refugee backgrounds. The process of residence and work permits has problems that should be acknowledged. People educated and trained in Finland should have the chance to work in Finland and not re-educate over and over again, it is a waste of common resources.

Health and well-being, very important elements to wellbeing. Prevention should be overrun remembering that health and well-being are crucial factors in promoting equality in the society.

Saido vision in municipal politics is:

I want in the future my Helsinki to become the capital of diverse people who share not only the common land but the feeling of a welcome and tolerant place. Helsinki can be an international, tolerant and comfortable place and the residency of Helsinki should offer to everyone a strong feeling of belonginess, regardless cultural background. I want a Helsinki that values urban lifestyle, multiculturalism, joy and care for others. A Helsinki that gives to the young people the chance to participate actively in their own city.



Saido Mohamed’s electoral number is 229

Saido Mohamed’s internet page: http://saidomohamed.net/

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/saidomohamed.kok?ref=ts&fref=ts

And of course you can always hear talking about everything in Ovi’s radio show: http://www.ovimagazine.com/radio/music03.mp3





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Leah Sellers2012-10-24 20:57:20
Inspiring story, Brother Thanos, about a very Inspiring and Courageous Human Spirit.

The World Needs more Ms.

In some Native American legends the Doe is representative of Gentleness of Spirit.

When a terrible Brown Giant invaded the Forests and began Cannibalizing all of the Living Inhabitants who unfortunately passed its way, all of the Animals gathered to decide who would confront and destroy the Monster.

Everyone talked a Big Game, but no one, not even Brother Bear volunteered for the perilous Mission.

None, but the Gentle Doe stepped forward to confront the Brown Giant.

None of the Animals had Faith in the Doe's survival.

When the Doe walked into the Brown Giant's Cave. She found it stinking and filled with the bones of her Animal Brothers and Sisters.

Tremblingly, she walked up to Brown Giant and softly said, "I am here to offer my Life in Sacrifice that the other Animals of the Forest may live in peace and harmony with you Brown Giant from this day forward."

The Brown Giant laughed, growled and roared at the Gentle Doe wanting to drive Fear deep within her so that she would run and he could give chase, and dishonorably devour her.

But the Gentle Doe, stood her ground speaking to him with kind and reassuring Words of Love and Understanding.

As the Doe spoke, the Brown Giant began to shrink, and his roars and bellows began to lessen. When his shrinking ceased, he was transformed into a Human Being who spared the Doe's Life, and greatly Honored the Courage and Strength the Gentle Spirited Doe embodied.

From that day forward the Human Being became the Guardian of the Forest, and lived in Peace and Harmony with all of the Animals of the Forest.

Ms. Saido, and other Gentle Spirits like her, are the Courageous Does and Guardian Creators of Our Living Earth.

We are Blessed to have them Walking amongst Us.

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