Saido Mohamed’s inspiring human rights advocacy has earned her the title of Finland’s Refugee Woman of the Year.  SixDegrees caught up with her this month to hear more about her life, work and thoughts on her new title.

Somali-born special nurse Saido Mohamed has been nominated Refugee Woman of the Year for 2011 by the Finnish Refugee Council.

The 36-year-old, who was awarded the title in recognition of her extensive voluntary work with the Somali community and Finnish health professionals, came to Finland in 1992, training as a nurse and later working with a host of NGOs including the Finnish Somali Association.

Karri Miettinen, aka Paleface, is without a doubt the most talked about Finnish hip-hop artist of our time. His latest album Helsinki Shangri-La was nominated for the Nordic Music Prize and has been praised amongst domestic and international music critics. He won three Emma awards in the spring: Etno Emma, Male Artist of the Year and Hip-hop/Electronic/Reggae Album of the Year.

On top of being a talented musician, Miettinen has a lot to say. He’s known for sharp and challenging lyrics that point out the defects of society, for standing behind his beliefs and as the man who brought meaning back into Finnish hip-hop.

LIFE sometimes seems like it moves in a straight line, until one day it doesn’t. Just ask Ali Elkharam, 20, a consumer electronics salesman from Mikkeli, whose life turned upside down when he appeared as a contestant this spring on the popular television programme Idols, Finland’s version of the Pop Idol format pioneered in Britain. He ended up finishing in second place on the show, which wrapped in May, but turned heads across the country with his deep, expressive voice and – in the midst of an unprecedented electoral season where xenophobic rhetoric ran high – multiracial background. He spoke with SixDegrees about growing up in Mikkeli, his Libyan father, and leaving the sales floor behind to pursue a singing career full-time.

JAMES THOMPSON is on a roll. He has just published his fourth book in four years, and reviews are glowing.

Thompson’s first book published internationally, Snow Angels, received an Edgar nomination for Best First Novel. It was also nominated for Best First Novel in the Strand Magazine Critics Award. In it, detective Kari Vaara investigates the murder of a beautiful Somali actress in Lapland.

Lucifer’s Tears, or Kylmä kuolema in Finnish, is the second in the Inspector Vaara series. Detective Kari Vaara is now in Helsinki with his American wife Kate. Her unemployed brother and right-wing fanatic sister come to visit, threatening Vaara’s domestic bliss.

Salvation Army commander Dick Krommenhoek responds to the need of the world.

FACT ONE: The Salvation Army is a Church in its own right, not just the international charity organisation it’s renowned for being. Fact Two: The Salvation Army’s ranks mirror its military counterpart’s. Fact Three: Salvation Army commanders are transferred across the globe at the command of the General with only three months’ notice. That’s how Dick Krommenhoek came to live in Finland – he was appointed The Salvation Army’s Territorial Commander of Finland and Estonia in 2008.