The following presentation was prepared by EAL student Nihal Doğan about Ebru – a traditional Turkish marbling art technique.

Nihal describes the different materials used to create ebru, the technique to create the marbling effect, and shares examples of the many beautiful varieties of ebru which can be created.

Find Nihal’s presentation below, we hope it inspires you as much as it did for us!

Joanna Tempowski, a retired scientist who previously worked for the World Health Organization (WHO), delivered a fascinating presentation to EAL learners, sharing interesting information about the establishment and role of the WHO.

Joanna Tempowski has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology of Man in his Environment and Russian, a Masters degree in Information Science, and a Diploma in Medical Toxicology. She worked as a specialist in poisons information at the National Poisons Information Service (London Centre) for eight years then as deputy manager of the centre for nine years. In 2001 she moved to Geneva, Switzerland to work as a scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Unit for Chemical Safety and Health, within the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health.  

While at WHO Joanna worked in the following areas: establishment and strengthening of poisons centres in low and middle-income countries (LMIC); providing technical support to LMIC for response to chemical accidents and investigation of disease outbreaks of possible chemical origin; prevention and management of poisoning, particularly lead poisoning; supporting the work of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint and production of multilingual international chemical safety cards. Joanna retired from WHO in July 2020.   

This presentation was created by Tomomi who, despite having returned to live in Japan after three years in the UK, has remained a very enthusiastic and loyal participant at our weekly zoom sessions. She has contributed several fascinating presentations, apart from this one, and has given us a window into life in Tokyo which we couldn’t get from reading books or watching TV programmes.

We look forward to more wonderful presentations from our lovely Tomomi!

akemashite omedetô (gozaimasu) (明けましておめでとう (ございます) )

We had a delightful and most informative talk today from Jacqui Degnan who is a Park Ranger and actually lives in the Coach House within Marble Hill Park.

The five learners who braved the cold – but gloriously sunny – weather were: Nurcan, Berrin (2), Kezban, Nihal, Eylem

We learned a lot about the history and management of Marble Hill Park and about opportunities for volunteering. We look forward to our next session with another representative of English Heritage next month!

After our trip, Jacqui Degnan kindly sent us the 4 photos below showing some historic views of the buildings in the park.

Marble Hill. Illustration for The Illustrated London News, 1 June 1901.

We were delighted to receive a visit from our local Twickenham MP, Munira Wilson and her colleague Mike.

When one of our local councillors, Roger Crouch, gave us a useful and informative Zoom presentation last term, we asked him to find out whether Munira would be willing to come and talk to us at one of our EAL classes. She was kind enough to give us more than an hour of her valuable time answering questions from our EAL learners.

See Munira’s tweet about joining us here:

Those who took part in this event were speakers of the following home languages:

Turkish, Italian, French, Arabic, Quechua and Albanian and came from: Honduras, Cuba, Peru, Lebanon, Albania, Turkey, Italy and France.

A variety of topics were covered including visa queries, requests for more school buses for school students to ease crowding for the general public on public transport at the beginning and end of each school day, heartfelt pleas for a change in government policy with regard to employment for people awaiting permanent UK citizenship and concern for the Afghan refugees who have been promised accommodation in the borough but are still being held in temporary hotel accommodation.

It was lovely to meet Munira and we hope to see her again soon – perhaps at our EAL Family Party taking place at the ETNA centre on the 23rd April which Munira is of course invited to attend!

The following presentation was prepared by Serdar Ozturk. We visited the Hive on our trip to Kew Gardens in December 2021. During this trip, Serdar promised to share his knowledge about beekeeping. He shared this wonderful presentation with us as a guest of our EAL class.

Thank you very much, Serdar!

On the 15th December, a small group of EAL learners, charity trustees, family members and a four-legged friend got together to take part in the Rotary Club of Teddington and Hampton Santa sleigh collections.

The weather was warm and we had fun shaking buckets to raise money for our charity. We are thankful to the Rotary and all those that volunteered their time.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy festive period!

A large group of Turkish EAL learners from our classes, together with their families, participated in the Remembrance Sunday ceremony held at Marble Hill Park. One of the learners, Azize, movingly read the translation of the famous letter which Mustafa Kemal Ataturk wrote to the mothers of the Anzac soldiers who fell in the Gallipoli Campaign.

It should be noted that the equivalent day of remembrance for Turkish people is the 18th March which commemorates and mourns all those who died nearby at Çanakkale.

The learners then sang the traditional song of commemoration which every Turkish child learns by heart at a very young age.

The Marble Hill Park ceremony was organised by Rachel Morrison together with local volunteers, school children and a local councillor (Roger Crouch). Rachel is the Audience Development Manager for English Heritage at the park and she will be delivering monthly outdoor workshops to our EAL learners on a regular basis.

EAL Turkish learners at Marble Hill Park

A video of the group’s song can be viewed here.

The below photo shows a monument from the area with a summary of the letter sent to Anzak mothers:

You can find the letters and translations below: 

Atatürk’ün Anzak Annelerine Yazdığı Mektup


“Bu memleketin topraklarında kanlarını döken kahramanlar!
Burada, dost bir vatanın toprağındasınız. Huzur ve sükun içinde uyuyunuz. Sizler, Mehmetçiklerle
yanyana koyun koyunasınız. Uzak diyarlardan evlatlarını harbe gönderen analar! Gözyaşlarınızı
dindiriniz. Evlatlarınız bizim bağrımızdadır. Huzur içindedirler ve rahat uyuyacaklardır. Onlar bu
topraklarda canlarını verdikten sonra, artık bizim evlatlarımız olmuşlardır.”

Atatürk, 1934


“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives … you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”

Atatürk, 1934 

Avustralyalı Bir Annenin Mektubu


“Gelibolu topraklarında yitirdiğimiz evlatlarımızın acısını, alicenap sözleriniz hafifletti. Gözyaşlarımız dindi.
Bir ana olarak bana, bir güzelim teselli bahşetti. Yavrularımızın sonsuz uykularında, huzur içinde
dinlendiklerinden hiç kuşkumuz kalmadı. Majesteleri kabul buyururlarsa bizler de kendilerine Ata
demek istiyoruz. Çünkü, yavrularımızın mezarları başında söylediğiniz sözler, ancak bir öz babanın
sözleri gibi yüce, ilahi. Evlatlarımızı bir baba gibi kucaklayan büyük Ata’ya tüm analar adına şükran, sevgi, saygıyla…”

Avustralyalı bir anne


A response by an Anzac’s mother to Atatürk’s words:

“The warmth of your words eased our sorrow for our sons who vanished in Gallipoli, and our tears ended. Your words are a consolation to me as a mother. Now we are sure that our sons rest in peace in their eternal rest. If your Excellency accepts, we would like to call you ‘Ata’, too. Because what you have said at the graves of our sons could only be said by their own fathers. In the name of all mothers, our respects to the Great Ata who embraced our children with the love of a father.”

An Australian mother