MTV3: Suomalaiskirjailija: Adoptioprosessi Suomessa oli helvetillinen ja epäreilu

by , under All categories, Enrique

Comment: Umayya Abu-Hanna is a Palestinian-born Finn who lives today in Holland. If you look at her career and thirty years of residence in Finland, she is a “model” citizen who has excelled in many areas. She is a journalist, writer and was voted to the Helsinki city council in 1988 (Green League).  

Like many Finns with international backgrounds, Abu-Hanna is a good example of how difficult it may be for people like herself to be accepted in Finland. 

On the MTV3 story below, where she criticizes the Finnish adoption system,  Abu-Hanna tells about the racism she and her daughter Reema from South Africa encountered . “Skin color was the problem,” she said. “Even grandmothers shouted at my dark child on the tram.”

It is sad that Abu-Hanna’s experiences in Finland sound like so many others in this country. What is even sadder is that such cases fall on deaf ears. 

_____________

Niko Ranta

Suomalaiskirjailija- ja toimittaja Umayya Abu-Hanna muistelee kauhulla yli neljä vuotta sitten päättynyttä adoptioprosessia Suomessa. Abu-Hanna onkin muuttanut Hollantiin, jossa hänen mukaansa adoptioperheen on parempi olla kuin Suomessa. – Adoptioprosessi Suomessa oli helvetillinen ja epäreilu. Toiminta ei ole yhtään läpinäkyvää. Adoption perustelut eivät ole ollenkaan tiedossa, Abu-Hanna kertoo MTV3 Uutisille.

Read whole story.

  1. Allan

    She has lived a year in Holland and doesn’t speak a word of the language. No wonder she doesn’t know what the old ladies there are saying!

  2. justicedemon

    Allan

    She has lived a year in Holland and doesn’t speak a word of the language. No wonder she doesn’t know what the old ladies there are saying!

    You would clearly be better occupied improving your Finnish reading comprehension than criticising the language skills of others, Allan.

  3. Allan

    I was thinking long how to describe this woman to people who for their fortune have never heard or seen her or read her books. Umayya Abu-hanna is the female equivalent of Enrique Tessieri, except Enrique is by far like a lazy farting bulldog when compared to the rabid poodle Umayya is in Finland-bashing. Now that I can’t see Finnish tv so much Enrique could go on having his own show, last time I saw Umayya I nearly got an aneurysm. She is… she is… read her books those of you who can, she just is…

  4. justicedemon

    Allan

    Firstly, the article refers to racist remarks made, even by old ladies, on public transport in Finland, not in the Netherlands.

    * This would be a typical spoiler in a multiple choice test for grade 3 Finnish reading comprehension. That’s the standard required for Finnish citizenship.

    Secondly, there is an obvious element of rhetorical puffery in the expression en osaa sanaakaan hollantia, which is why this view is attributed to others and not stated directly. The main point is to underline the respect shown by the Dutch towards recent immigrants and single parents. Substantially the same content could be conveyed without this rhetorical device by saying something like “Dutch people respect the dignity of single parents and their children, even when they cannot speak the Dutch language.”

    However, the clear intention here is to stress the contrast with how the mother and child were treated by strangers in Finland, and this rhetorical device must also be read in that context. In other words ihmiset tietävät is not intended to state a fact that strangers somehow magically know about Abu-Hanna and her daughter.

    ** This is the kind of question that is designed to separate advanced and near-native standards of Finnish reading comprehension.

  5. Klay_Immigrant

    Good riddance, let’s hope she stays in Holland for another 30 years and may all fellow delusional multiculturalists follow suit out of magnificent Finland. Never understood why people would want to gain a nationality they clearly despise unless out of convenience. The same reason they moved into Finland in the first place welfare shopping.

    • Enrique

      –fellow delusional multiculturalists follow suit out of magnificent Finland.

      I think we have had this discussion before: what does multiculturalism mean to you?

      –The same reason they moved into Finland in the first place welfare shopping.

      Klay, you are sounding more than the far right than ever before. “Welfare shopping” is a classic.

  6. Klay_Immigrant

    Justicestupid what has that got to do with anything? I’ve legally changed it anyway, and was never called by it even by my family.

    • Enrique

      Klay, I have a friend in LA who changed his name and now calls himself Carl Urbin. He said that would promote greater acceptance and better chances in business. Fortunately I haven’t had to follow his example. My byline, Enrique Tessieri, has even been in the Financial Times many times. It’s my name and I love it. If you changed your name, that’s cool as well.

  7. justicedemon

    Why are you afraid to pursue it?

    Someone in your family obviously did give you that name in a very formal way. You took the trouble of pursuing a legal procedure to change it. What were you ashamed of? Were you trying to hide something about your background?

  8. Klay_Immigrant

    The answer to your questions are far too complicated and complex for the pea sized brain of yours to comprehend as shown on numerous occasions on this blog. The fact that in your world there is no existence of immigrants who are burdens and that instead ALL IMMIGRANTS are as good as falling into a gold mine or oil field means that any debate of that nature will inevitably be a fruitless exercise. Enlighten me if I’m wrong on your stance.

  9. justicedemon

    So you changed your name to avoid some burden that you would otherwise impose or at least appear to impose? That definitely sounds like being ashamed of your background.

    It’s also certain to get you on a Supo watchlist, probably for life.

    • Enrique

      –So you changed your name to avoid some burden that you would otherwise impose or at least appear to impose?

      Yes, and to hit others and claim they are “welfare shoppers” is as lowly as erasing who you are to attack those who you are. You will never rise in the that totem poll no matter how many you bash under you.

  10. Klay_Immigrant

    You can speculate all you want but you will never know the real reason. What I don’t understand is why someone would move to Finland in the 80’s when they prefer and actively promote cultural diversity? Why not stay or move to a country that had already achieved that to a large scale?

  11. justicedemon

    Klay

    You can speculate all you want but you will never know the real reason.

    Well I think we already have the reason right there. Your sensitivity on this point reveals a deep-seated cultural insecurity that goes a long way to explaining the views that you repeatedly express here. All quite consistent with your rant when we identified you as an Uncle Tom after only a couple of contributions.

    Umayya Abu-Hanna has not changed her name or tried to hide her Arab identity. Perhaps that’s part of the reason for your silly outburst about her above.

  12. Klay_Immigrant

    -‘Yes, and to hit others and claim they are “welfare shoppers” is as lowly as erasing who you are to attack those who you are.’

    How did you come up with that conclusion? That implies that I’m a refugee/asylum seeker or come from that background, which I most certainly am not. Have had a European passport all my life through the ethnic origin and nationality of my mother not birth or naturalisation.

    If welfare shoppers are a fickle of my imagination then unless they are Russian, Swedish or Estonian they surely must have passed through ‘safe’ countries in order to reach Finland?

    Another example is why are potential refugee/asylum seekers clambering into lorries to cross the channel into the U.K.? Is it because France is such an awful unstable poor dangerous country that happens to also be the most visited country in the world by tourists? Or is it because the U.K. welfare is much more generous to people of that sort? That my friend is shopping around for the best deal, nothing to do with safety or running away from persecution. And if their case was so solid then it would be of irrelevance at the ease of which European countries give refugee/asylum residence as their application would be granted.

  13. Klay_Immigrant

    -‘All quite consistent with your rant when we identified you as an Uncle Tom after only a couple of contributions.’

    You will find that because I volunteered to divulge that I’m mixed race you automatically called me an ‘Uncle Tom’ because I’m sticking up for ‘white’ Finland despite being a visible immigrant. It’s a shame that others are so blinded by their race, identity or religion that they cannot formulate an impartial, non-bias view point of their own and see matters from the other side of the argument unlike myself.

  14. Question

    Why i she now living in a country in which the Dutch populist party have a greater influence in politics than PS

    Surely if she moved to get way form “Racism” Holland may not have been the best choice

  15. Allan

    JD – go back peeling your bananas.

    Abu-hanna can not compare the actions or comments of the Dutch of being any better in accepting her, if she can’t understand the language. The old ladies can be saying anything at her. If she had not understood Finnish, there would not have been any racism in Finland either. I bet she gets abused in Holland, shes just too dumb to realise it – Or then she uses it as a safety mechanism.

  16. Mark

    Klay_immigrant

    Another example is why are potential refugee/asylum seekers clambering into lorries to cross the channel into the U.K.? Is it because France is such an awful unstable poor dangerous country that happens to also be the most visited country in the world by tourists?

    I think you made a valid point about ‘welfare shoppers’, though the wording only represents a tiny part of the context of people trying to enter Europe. My first point though is that if governments start competing to make their own laws on immigration tougher, then this only increases the momentum behind ‘welfare shopping’. Then we are in a spiral where countries become more and more bellicose in dealing with the whole issue of immigration.

    Second, whenever an immigrant or asylum seeker first enters a country, the chances are that they will need resources before they can become productive, whether that is retraining, acquiring totally new skills, literacy, or just maintaining an minimum livelihood until they can find work. That’s a given. But as we are already doing this kind of support for hundreds of millions upon millions of children in Europe without batting an eye, it shouldn’t be too much of stretch to extend that development framework to include refugees.

    Third, while ‘welfare shopping’ might be one perfectly understandable factor in looking at asylum seeking, there are several others that are more significant, such as an already existing community within that country and also whether any family members or persons known to them already living in the country. Also, the treatment they are likely to receive when the arrive is also a factor, whether it is humane, whether there is an acceptance / tolerance of their cultural, their right to their own ethnicity etc.

    The problem with anti-immigrationists is that they want to make our countries as uninviting as possible as a way to deter immigration, but in the process of doing that, they are quite happy to create a society that forfeits all sorts of typically western values. Funny that, isn’t it, given that they also crow about how much better the West is, all the while working to completely undermine the rights framework that supports Western democracies. Maybe it’s a case of diminishing our social system to the point where it mimics the state of chaos or persecutions in their own country, and then there would be no incentive for immigrants to come to Western shores and we can all sleep easy in our beds!!!! Yeah, right…….

  17. Allan

    Why should we tolerate their culture if their culture is making them seek asylum? Why is their own government not providing training, acquiring skills, literacy, or just maintaining an minimum livelihood?

  18. justicedemon

    Allan

    So now that’s twice I’ve had to mark you down for poor reading comprehension in Finnish.

    Your gloss on the story is precisely that: a gloss. The referenced article says no such thing and you know it.

    Even assuming that she chose to move to the Netherlands on an entirely random whim and unprepared, how much Dutch do you think Umayya Abu-Hanna has learned in a year?

  19. Allan

    JD – to a clueless foreigner it may come as a surprise to you that Abu-hanna has been interviewed several times in the newspaper regarding her move to Amsterdam.

    “how much Dutch do you think Umayya Abu-Hanna has learned in a year?”

    None – as she herself states – and because she won’t – as she also has stated. She has what I call an “attitude problem”, or what you call “multiculturalism”. Try finding HS kuukausiliite from last year, Feb or March, before the elections anyways. She gives a very good reason as to why shes moving and why she won’t learn Dutch. A bit sad case.

  20. Mark

    Allan

    “Why should we tolerate their culture if their culture is making them seek asylum?

    Do you have marbles in your mouth or what?! This isn’t English Allan. There is no coherence here at all. I don’t mean to be mean, but your thinking is just so vague and woolly, that it’s like wading through cotton wool. JD had you nailed with the Gish Gallop!

    First, you seem to assume that the culture asylum seekers bring to Finland is the culture that made them seek asylum. Can you see the contradiction in this? Second, it is not a ‘culture’ that makes me seek asylum, it is typically the behaviour and actions of state or local officials. You want to throw the whole edifice of government, citizens and society into a bag and call it ‘culture’, by all means go ahead. It’s a rather wasted exercise. We might as well rename all nouns nin, and all adjectives non, and all verbs ‘nan’: then we can talk along the lines of, ‘what a non nin you nan, nanning about the non nins and their nanning. See, making perfect sense, aren’t we!

    Why is their own government not providing training, acquiring skills, literacy, or just maintaining an minimum livelihood?”

    Good question. Go and ask them. But don’t ask Western governments to give up that support that helps individuals become productive within society. That’s nuts. That’s just casting them adrift and will only make the problems of immigrants, which you are so disgusted by, even worse.

    You have to come down on something in this issue eventually Allan. Either you hate anyone with a different skin colour or ethnic background, or you embrace the fact that the world is made up of ‘different’ people. Once you’ve made that basic leap to accept other human beings on the planet, then you have to turn your attention to giving people every opportunity to be successful and productive. That’s what integration means. Not giving up your ethnicity, or your history or even your cultural traditions.

  21. Allan

    “Either you hate anyone with a different skin colour or ethnic background, or you embrace the fact that the world is made up of ‘different’ people. ”

    Yes, the world is made up of “different” people. Different people have different societies where they live at. If they want to live in another society, then they must go live in that society with that societys rules.

    I moved to the UK, so I live like in the UK, I do not live like in Finland. I don’t speak Finnish, I don’t watch Finnish tv on the satellite, I dont have kossuparty naked in a sauna, I dont demand respect or whatever shit I should be doing as an immigrant…yeah benefits that was, I am not on benefits either but have a job. And I dont whine about racism even I’ve been told to piss off fucking polack by some drunks or called a septic or a colonial or greeted with a nazi salute in the pub. Actually, now that I think of it I haven’t seen a Finn but once, and even then I just noted someone disciplining their kid on the street. And I don’t dress in a swishy track suit wearing sandals and sock either. See now I am not needing any of those things you say an immigrant “needs” to get integrated. And if I’ll whine about something I might do about the bloody Royal Mail office opening hours or the bin collection.

    So my existance alone proves you wrong. You are just a bunch of miserable whiney losers who can not cope with the realities of life. Ask not what Finland can do for you, but what you can do for Finland.

  22. Mark

    Allan

    Yes, the world is made up of “different” people. Different people have different societies where they live at. If they want to live in another society, then they must go live in that society with that societys rules.

    Fair enough. Now, is it within the rules in Finland for small interest groups to campaign socially and politically for particular rights and favours? Is it against the rules in Finland to criticize certain elements of social policy or even to call for more services for people with particular needs? A yes or no will do. 🙂 Though I know the temptation to spew more garbage will probably be too strong.

  23. Mark

    Allan

    See now I am not needing any of those things you say an immigrant “needs” to get integrated.

    You obviously don’t have kids, do you Allan. 🙂 I say this kindly, because certain things will change for you when you do. First, you’ll probably want to speak your mother tongue to them. Second, you’ll want to tell them a little bit about the country you came from. Chances are you will also find yourself talking up the things you like about Finland and perhaps even talking down a little bit about things in the UK. No surprises there. Fact of the matter is, that while you have adapted well to cosmopolitan life in London, there is a very good chance that one day, you will feel a much stronger pull back to your homeland, and your homeland’s customs. But let’s see. That’s speculation.

    So my existance alone proves you wrong. You are just a bunch of miserable whiney losers who can not cope with the realities of life. Ask not what Finland can do for you, but what you can do for Finland.

    And what exactly does it prove that’s wrong? All you’ve demonstrated is that you don’t really have a strong national identity, and that you don’t speak your native language in your adopted country. You are perhaps lucky in having studied English since your days in school, an investment that the country made in you, not something you decided to invest in yourself. But you’ll reap the benefit. And then complain when immigrants who have had no such opportunity to learn Finnish have not been able to acquire the language in breakneck speed.

    What do you think I’m trying to prove to you, Allan?

  24. Allan

    “Now, is it within the rules in Finland for small interest groups to campaign socially and politically for particular rights and favours? Is it against the rules in Finland to criticize certain elements of social policy or even to call for more services for people with particular needs? A yes or no will do.”

    Yes, if you know what you are talking about. No, if you are a stupid foreigner who doesn’t know anything about Finland.

  25. justicedemon

    Allan

    Yet despite all of that alleged separation from Finland and Finnishness, you spend hours here every day sharing your views on political and social issues in Finland, and you refer to an article published last spring exclusively in a Finnish monthly colour supplement. All typical examples of living like in UK, where everybody reads Hesari.

    Your inconsistency sounds to me like a classic case of migrant anomie.

    A word from the wise: find some emotionally stable Finnish adult immigrants in the UK and check out how many of them followed your approach to adaptation.

    I wonder if your job would even exist without a Finnish connection. The smart money says no, given the number of times that you have verified the observations of my grandmother regarding cerebral matter, intestinal gas and a 10:15:75 blend of sulphur, charcoal and saltpetre.

  26. Allan

    Sorry mate, I’m not living even near cosmopolitan London. I’m half the time offshor and half the time in a small town where you are not “local” unless your family has headstones at the church that was blown up by Cromwell or something like that.

    There is a “community” of Finns maybe in the big city, they seem to have some kind of a saturday school for kids. So why yes, if I had a kid I’d probably try to teach them the language – or actually made sure they knew at least 5 or 6 and weren’t self-centered wankers.

    I have a “strong national identity” – it doesn’t mean I need to run around town dressed in a bedsheet. Yes, I do miss rye bread, but do I go whining about it? Do I?

  27. Allan

    “A word from the wise: find some emotionally stable Finnish adult immigrants in the UK and check out how many of them followed your approach to adaptation.”

    Sorry my simian friend, I do not want to go meet with the expat bubble. The reason I do follow Finnish news and politics is basically to keep in contact of what happens. I have seen so many returning expats go totally bolloxed when the country they left isn’t preserved in a bottle. Believe me it isn’t “hours” compared to other literary stuff.

    “I wonder if your job would even exist without a Finnish connection.”

    Unlike you who moved to Finland because you had a job waiting? Sorry, no connection except I think the elevator is made by Kone.

  28. justicedemon

    Allan

    I do not want to go meet with the expat bubble.

    That you would even say this indicates that you did not begin to understand my advice to you in terms of emotional stability and migrant anomie.

    The reason I do follow Finnish news and politics is basically to keep in contact of what happens. I have seen so many returning expats go totally bolloxed when the country they left isn’t preserved in a bottle.

    And now you are denying that you are an immigrant at all. You view your migration as something temporary, even though you have no idea when it will end. That is a highly dangerous approach. Of course by warning you I make it worse in the end, but that can’t be helped.

    Unlike you who moved to Finland because you had a job waiting?

    Actually I had two jobs waiting (one of them was replacing Ricky after he left Neste Oy) and I had already completed the first two volumes of Aaltio.

  29. Allan

    “And now you are denying that you are an immigrant at all. You view your migration as something temporary, even though you have no idea when it will end.”

    When did I say that? I am talking of when I get too much money and come over for a visit. Maybe I will do what old people do when they get a bout of nostalgia and come back once I retire, buy a cottage by the lake and all that jive. I’ve seen people do that who moved to Oz in the 50’s… talk about culture shock… No, I don’t want to end up that way.

    And my temporary migration is continuous – I have a travelling job. Want to buy a caravan?

    .

  30. justicedemon

    Allan

    The term expat already implies temporary displacement. I don’t buy your explanation that your interest is solely for the purpose of an occasional visit, but whatever you say…

    My own perception is that the politics of selfishness are far more advanced in the UK than in Finland and likely to remain so. Whether you are in the right place largely depends on the extent to which you want to live in a place where you have plenty of scope to complain about a lack of individual and collective selfishness. The post-Thatcher generations in Britain are far more comfortable with the ideal of progressing personally by treading on the faces of others, even when society as a whole is impoverished in the process. Such thinking remains marginal in Finland.

    A travelling job? Like Nick Griffin’s great grandfather, you mean? Perhaps this explains why you support the BNP.

  31. Allan

    Yeah, JD, indeed I get quite well along with the “hippie” crowd here for some odd reason. I even joined the co-op by jove. Theres expats and expats… theres some people I meet that are here for a “set time” and have definite plans. Then theres the ones lingering on trying to decide if they stay or go. I find “going native” anyplace is the best approach. You do need to rewire your brain, but as a cultural experience you then see it from the “inside” (also fucks with peoples heads, that.) Cultural chameleon someone said… comfort zones are there to be broken.

  32. justicedemon

    Hannu

    Halla-Aho somehow knows all this? Why doesn’t he just ask Abu-Hanna to explain herself? It’s not as if she’s the most uncommunicative person in the world.

    Why, indeed, doesn’t he take the advice of President Ahtisaari and invite her round for coffee? Why instead engage in amateur psychoanalysis on a public website?

    I think I can tell you why. All of that neurotic introspection described in the bullet points at the end arises entirely from Halla-Aho’s own personality. This is where the need arises to second-guess people (“Tapaus on luultavasti elänyt hänen päässään…”) instead of simply asking them. It’s a mentality that develops from spending too many hours engaging with online personality constructs instead of real people.

    • Enrique

      If you want to read about what is in Jussi Halla-aho’s mind, here is a list of past quotations. Now, the question: …what would we call a politician, who appears to have a head on his or her shoulder, but uses racism to get more votes and popularity?

      Any suggestions?

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