The Somali Association of Western Finland held yesterday its 7th Somali students graduation ceremony at Turun Normaalikoulu. The event was attended nearly 200 people from all walks of the community. The chairman of the Somali community Abdishakur Ali gave the opening keynote speech.
Several other distinguished guests and community members also addressed the audience with opening remarks. The theme of the ceremony was the importance of Life-long learning. Some of the important highlights of the ceremony included an inspirational short video by journalist Wali Hashi comparing education and its access between Finland and Somalia.
”I urge all students to be truthful for themselves and always think of the opportunities and access they have for education here in Finland, that others struggle for or don’t have” said Wali Hashi.
Naima Farah, graduate student of class 2014 who addressed too to the audience stressed the importance of positive attitude and motivation both for students and parents.
”There is nothing impossible, it is important that we particularly students don’t underestimate ourselves and our potential. Every one of us can be a force for positive change. We must be attentive custodians of the future for us to reach the unreachable and live with dignity” said Farah.
The ceremony also included the ”Awards of the Year” program in which each year is recognized three most outstanding individuals for their exceptional achievement, excellence and performance in various areas. This year, award recipients were Abdirizak Ibrahim , Ismail Ahmed Isse , Arab Abdinasir, Mohamed Muktar Abdi and Abdifitah Mohamed whom was announced as the ”Persons of the Year”. Omar Abdikadir Dirir was announced as the ”Father of the Year” and Seynab Hussein Isse was announced as the ”Woman of the year”.
The 3rd Somali Book Fair held in Turku was also concluded alongside the graduation ceremony. Authors and organizers of the book fair who spoke at the ceremony encouraged the Somali community to play an important role in the promotion and development of the Somali language and culture. Author Mohammed Sh. Hassan’s recitations had youngsters challenged to catch every word. Both authors Mohammed Sh. Hassan and Abshir Abdulkadir were awarded for their exceptional commitment in promoting and developing Somali literature and culture.