It was five years ago when, Rana Khaled from Cairo, was surfing on the Internet, when she came across a Newsweek article about the world's best country, Finland. Her interest towards that exotic country from Egypt's point of view arose immediately. In August Rana will take part to a program for young correspondents in Finland.
"Finland is the least corrupted country in the world and everything there is so different from Egypt!" Rana tells excitedly, "It is interesting to see how people go on with their daily lives in such a country." While finishing her Master's studies on Journalism in Cairo University, Rana also works for an English language newspaper Daily News Egypt. On top of her studies and work she still has time to teach journalism three days a week.
Rana believes that journalistically she will improve a lot during the program. "It is important for a journalist to be interested about everything around her. The topics covered on the program seem really wide." She thinks that the program, which will cover different aspects of Finnish society, will help her in her teaching as well. Rana hopes that she could disseminate to her students what she will learn about Finland and Finnish culture. Also making new contacts around the globe is very important to her.
Nowadays Rana's writing focuses mostly on culture and art. She has a weekly page for her to write on her newspaper. When beginning her career Rana was writing about harder topics like corruption and politics. "I understood that art and culture as topics can be as serious as corruption. When you dig deep enough in the culture you will reveal something essential about humanity" Rana philosophizes. "I don’t want to write just easy entertainment, but rather bend the boundaries. I want that my readers will experience something new while reading my articles."
When discussing the Finnish culture Rana admits that she does not know much more than the Finnish heavy metal bands. Being a curious person she promises to addend one of the concerts arranged for the 150th anniversary of the most famous Finnish composer Jean Sibelius at Cairo Opera. She tells that she has read about the Finnish cuisine online. "Finns drink lots of coffee and milk! I really don't like coffee, but for sure I'll try some when I'm in Finland!" Rana promises with a great smile.
Rana dreams of writing one day for a big international newspaper. As a Muslim woman she feels that she has to work twice as hard to get her voice heard in the international media. Rana believes that getting familiar with the practices of the Finnish media will help her in her career. "I believe I'll learn a lot from this adventure, both professionally and culturally" she sums up her expectations.
Follow the program blog on http://fcp.finland.fi/