Updated: Jul 6
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT, Mediha Nami de Martinez
Dear Shom Members, Dear Friends, I am kindly inviting you to read our last Newsletter that covers our main activities during our last months. As you already know, Shom Group was formed since October 2009 for the spouses of Heads of Mission establishing the practice of a monthly Coffee Morning for members in order to get to know each other better and to learn more about each other country. Today Shom Group counts 70 full paid members. This year, Shom Board organized nine Coffee Mornings: Italy in September, Zimbabwe in October, United States of America in November, Chile in December, Ireland in January, February was cancelled because of the Earthquake, Mexico in March, Norway in April, Algeria Spring Festival in May and in June Korea together with 8 Asian countries. I would like to thank sincerely all the spouses of the Heads of Missions of those countries who organized very special SCM presenting us their country, culture and their delicious cuisine. Important speakers were invited giving us talks on current topics. Among our special guests, Members of the DMEDD Executive Board, Painters, Musicians, Turkish Friends were invited to share with us those moments. Shom Green Group was founded in November 2021. With more than 60 participants and an active independent Board of coordinators: Sharmila, Karin, Loriana, Mandana, Hwa, Ross, Sarah, Margarita and recently Mediha have prepared for us Bokashi,conferences on Zero Waste, Eco Fashion Shows, and more, creating an environmental consciousness. Thank you, GG for this huge legacy that you are leaving behind you. Shom’s aim is also to initiate charitable activities that will directly benefit people residing in Türkiye. Three days after the devasting earthquake on February 9, Shom sent 20.000 TL to AFAD and 15.000 TL to Kizilay, the two main Turkish humanitarian organizations. Later, we found out that many victims of the earthquake were seeking refuge in Ankara. For that reason, we decided to help IGAM Foundation in charge of more than 60 refugee children in Ankara victoms of the February Earthquake. During the month of Ramadan, we agreed to give in cash 23.000 TL to IGAM for the purchase of 100 market cards. For the Şheker Bayram, 100 bags of sweets were distributed among the refugee children. We are very grateful to the Spanish Ambassador Don Javier Hergueta who donated those sweets. We prepared a Booklet called - Salads of the World - By Shom. 150 pieces were printed by the end of January 2023. We asked 300 TL per booklet and thanks to Shom Members and Friends we could reach our goal. With this money and the money of the Charity Box, the Board decided in May, to continue to support IGAM Foundation until the end of our term. On June 8, at the Korean Residence, the President of IGAM, Metin Corabatir received from us a donation of 27.000 TK, to support a plan of activities for the children during the month of July. He said that “Such a support will have a great impact on the psychology of the kids and their long-term integration to the Turkish community”. Thank you all for your kind generosity. Zeynep Munzur, Contemporary Artist in Ankara, graduated from TED Ankara College, completed her Bachelor’s degree at Ankara University English language and donated 1 painting to Shom Charity. A donor from Milan Dal Lago Flavio, very impressed by IGAM Foundation work and Zeynep paintings, donated 1600 Euros for 2 paintings. Very generously Zeynep accepted to give the whole amount to IGAM supporting Shom Charity Project as well. Thank for your donations dear Zeynep and Dal Lago Flavio. The proceeds from those paintings will help to realise the summer activities for 30 refugee children housed in Ankara by IGAM during July and August 2023. I would like also to thank Celestina Diaz and Beatriz Garlaschi in the Charity group, the Book Club under Selina Sager and the Cooking Club under Hala Hraiz for their amazing contributions in their respective groups. Before ending this Newsletter, I would like to express my gratitude to the Shom Board, Louma, Gabriela, Anita and Hala for their kind support. To all Shom Board regional group Coordinators Sharmila, Yasmina, Melisa, Zohal, for their excellent cooperation with the Board; to our Shom advisers, Sarah and Celestina; to our Treasurer Hala for keeping the accounts in perfect order and to all Shom Members for their trust.
Sadly, we had to say goodbyes to 13 departing Shom Members on June 8, who will be leaving Ankara during this summer 2023. Each of them received a Pin with our Tulip Logo. We will miss each of them very much. A special welcome to the new Shom Board September 2023/24 with a new dynamic President: Louma Kabala from Lebanon. It was an honour for me to be in Shom as Vice President and President. This volunteering gave me a positive outlook on my life. Wishing you a nice holiday with your family in Türkiye or in your home country. Thank you for your kind attention.
Mediha. July 2023.
SHOM COFFEE MORNINGS
18 April at the Residence of the Ambassador of Norway
Our hostess Astrid Skjonsberg invited Prof. Dr. Gamze Ozçürümez Bilgili, from the Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Baskent University, to speak about "Primary Helplessness: The Key Individual and Social Traumatic Effect of the February 6 Earthquakes".
Another special guest was the Director of the NGO IQAM, Metin Corabatir, who reported on the donation that SHOM gave on 10 April (details under Charity section).
Thank you Astrid for this thoughtful and joyful session!
12 May, SPRING TEA at the residence of Algeria
More then 60 members of SHOM and special guests attended our annual Spring Tea hosted by Yasmina Mimouni at the residence of Algeria.
It was wonderful to see so many friends together, and get to meet the new Board of DMEDD. The lunch served in the beautiful garden of the residence was unforgettable. Thank you Yasmina for hosting us so generously!
8 June, Coffee morning at the Residence of the Republic of Korea
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia and Thailand joined forces to prepare a special Asian buffet on the occasion of the last gathering before summer. On this occasion, DMEDD Bazaar coordinator made a presentation about their Christmas bazaar and invited all embassies in Ankara to take part on 3rd December 2023. Thank you Hwa Kyung Sah for hosting and to all 8 ladies for sharing your best recipes with us!
We welcomed three new arrivals this Spring: the spouse of the Ambassador of Malaysia, Guinea and Kirghizistan.
We sadly had to say goodbye to a much larger group of spouses.
Harly Jalakas from Estonia returned home on April, then Karen Herrstrom from Sweden left in May.
Then at the last Coffee morning in June, we bid farewell to our dear friends from:
Singapore, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Norway, Luxemburg, Austria, France, Portugal
As was mentioned in many of the speeches, this period of stay in Ankara will be remembered as the time of Covid, which contributed to strengthen unique ties among us.
Other Members news
We wish a good recovery to Carlos Martins, Ambassador of Brazil, following his accident last April.
We send our condolences to Anita Robert, spouse of UNHCR Representative, who lost her mother in May.
PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
Music life around us
On 7 April, SHOM was invited to the Presidential Symphony Orchestra Concert Rehearsal-5 with conductor Rengim Gökmen.
Experience India, 15 May
Indian food, dance, fashion show and henna design, it was all there at the residence of India to experience this wonderful culture together! Thank you to the spouse of the Ambassador, Racheline Booth, for inviting us!
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spouses Solidarity Association (DMEDD) invited SHOM members to its cultural events.
It was a wonderful opportunity to visit the exhibition "Beyaz Zamani shirt collection", and visit the Ankara Maturation Workshops in embroidery, jewellery technology and marbling; practice yoga at the Indian Embassy; learn about the "Journey of Coffee" directly from the founder of Roast'N'Berry coffee chains.
Clearly the most active group this Spring, the Green group organised many events.
17 April, at the Austrian residence
Lecture by Corina Weidinger Sosdean on "The EU, sustainable finance and the Green transition"
22 May, at the French residence
Paul Hemar, Head of the administration section, explained the "Green Embassy" project, followed by a visit of the embassy garden, and a workshop with the association Zero Waste.
31 May, Italian residence
"Upcycled Fashion show"
A very successful event was hosted by Loriana Marrapodi, spouse of the Italian Ambassador. The coordinators of the Eco Fashion Group, Madana and Hwakyung, had the brilliant idea to use traditional old Korean costumes to recreate new outfits. The Korean Cultural Institute was happy to donate the old costumes. The highlight of the event was of course the catwalk!
6 June, Residence of Spain
Online presentation by Andrea Ruzo from Ecoalf Foundation.
We were amazed to learn about the efforts of Ecoalf in transforming ocean waste into trendy fashion wear.
16 June, New-Zealand residence
Our dear expert on environment issues and spouse of the New-Zealand ambassador, Ross Sinclair, gave a fascinating lecture on "One health, a new approach to preventing future pandemic by integrating environmental , livestock and human health".
The book club continued to meet once a month and this time discussed a book by Albanian writer Ismael Kadaré, a book by Ukrainian journalist Tamara Duda, and shared it's list of best readings for the summer.
SAVE THE DATE
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spouses Solidarity Association DMEDD Christmas Fair will take place next December, and all SHOM members are invited to participate with a stand. If you are going back to your home country, you might want to plan ahead if you want to bring special products!
With best wishes for the Summer 2023!
SHOM Co-secretary General