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It's easy to be seen in Tampere

Ibrahim Al-Rashid has found his home in Tampere, Finland. Finland is also the country where the marketing and export manager of Pikotec Oy has lived longer than anywhere else.

- My parents are from Iraq, but I was born in Austria. Because of my father's work, we lived in various countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Italy and Jordan.

Ibrahim first came to Finland on business.

- I arrived here in May 2004. I was not very impressed during the first couple of days. Then something happened, and I began to enjoy my stay.

Ibrahim decided to stay in Finland. After a few months, he moved to Tampere.

- Tampere is the best place for immigrants in Finland. It is easy to be seen here, and people are friendly and trustworthy. Tampere is also one of the safest cities I have ever been to.

Work integrates into society

Ibrahim, who had worked in the commercial sector, soon found a job in Finland. He is currently the marketing and export manager of Pikotec Oy, a Tampere-based company operating in the electronics sector.

- My boss is a great man who understands the strengths of a multicultural workplace. And, thanks to him, I am also an ardent supporter of Ilves, the local hockey team.

Even greater support for him is at home: a Finnish wife and two young daughters.

- This is where I live. I don't have a satellite aerial to watch programmes from the Middle East, and I don't recommend one for anybody. You have to stay grounded where your life is.

Apart from work and family, Ibrahim says learning Finnish makes you feel more at home.

- I have taken Finnish courses, but there is still much to learn. My children are now teaching me Finnish, he laughs.

Winter is a matter of attitude

Ibrahim does not even shun away from the Finnish winter.

- The first serious frost and having to wear a hat were initially a shock, but I have grown to like winter. It is down to your attitude: you can decide to like winter the same way you decide to like spring.

But Ibrahim has also discovered two things he dislikes about Finland.

- Having to dress the kids in winter clothes and quadricycles. I would get rid of them.

Ibrahim Al-Rashid believes that the greatest single factor to his success in Finland is his wife's fantastic support.

Ibrahim Al-Rashid is the marketing and export manager of Pikotec Oy. In his freetime he is an ardent supporter of Ilves, one of the local ice hockey teams.​
Ibrahim Al-Rashid is the marketing and export manager of Pikotec Oy. In his freetime he is an ardent supporter of Ilves, one of the local ice hockey teams.​