Abdirahim “Husu” Hussein is intent on creating a positive relationship between Finns and immigrants.

HAVING arrived here as a teenager in the mid-‘90s from Mogadishu, the environment Abdirahim “Husu” Hussein was greeted with was vastly different to the one he lives in now. This was a Finland that had rarely opened its doors to immigrants since gaining independence from Russia in 1917. This was a Finland that had no immigration policy, no concern over their aging population; there was no fear from the fringes about losing their jobs, women or culture to a wave of newcomers.

Risking it all to have a voice.

I was apprehensive to meet this mysterious man who 16 years ago had fled Iraq in fear of his life. Before we met I wondered if there would be many difficult walls to break down when we tried to have a conversation together. Would he be as dark as his gruesome stories, with no such thing as a happy ending?

Canadian André Noël Chaker likes to keep busy. Since arriving in Finland in 1992 from Montréal, he has worked as a teacher, lawyer, singer, Senior Advisor to the President at the Finnish lottery and author.

Recent years have seen him add more feathers to his crowded cap. After his book, The Finnish Miracle, a theory about Finnishness and success, was released in 2011, its positive response saw him set out on the speakers’ circuit. And so, last year Speakers Forum’s Speaker of the Year award would make itself comfortable on his mantelpiece.

Gyöngyi Kovács is helping Finland lead the way in the research and implementation of humanitarian aid logistics.

Most foreigners who come to Finland do so out of work, out of love or out of looking for a better life. Gyöngyi Kovács came after tossing a coin. After it landed on the side that favoured a holiday in Finland over New Zealand, in 2000 Kovács toured around the country from top to bottom, quickly realised she liked it and decided to live here.

This trio finds nothing to fear (and plenty to smile about) After Dark with the local lingo.

SITTING with David Brown, Mimmu Takalo and Juan Hernández, stories and jokes flow thick and fast. Language trainers in English (Brown) and Finnish (Takalo), two thirds of the trio are responsible for 6D’s ongoing Finnish After Dark column for the past few years. Now it’s time to unleash their alternative dictionary to the masses, with Hernández providing visual interpretation for their new book, which compiles a number of their more memorable entries.