Stories from the Crannog – Finishing the Roundhouse Thatch: Ehsan’s Last Day

Ehsan is originally from Iran, and has a background in cabinet making, fencing, decking, and decorating. When he came to us, thatching was entirely new to him. (You wouldn’t believe it from how good it looks!)

Working at the Scottish Crannog Centre has been far more than just a job for him, he has learned so many new skills and met so many friendly people. He even wants to do a small bit of thatching in his own garden!

There’s a misconception about the intelligence of those who came before us, when in actuality, their engineering skills and knowledge is highly advanced. He said that although people believe if it’s modern, then it must be the best way to do it, but that’s not necessarily true. Thatching takes time, and precision, and if done correctly can last for decades. He comments on how things are worked around here, for example, due to the volume of rain there is in Scotland, people would take clay from the land and use it to cover the tops of their homes, ensuring that it is waterproof.

He wants to come back to the Crannog Centre to further help with the build and even has plans to install an interactive birdhouse on site!

“There’s good people here,” he told me. “Nobody treats you like a stranger. Now I have found my family.”

Ehsan came to us through our work with UNESCO RILA and the Maryhill Integration Network. We have been working closely with Pinar Aksu to support the Lift the Ban campaign – giving people seeking asylum the right to work. “Pinar is like a key,” Ehsan describes. She gets you where you want to be, takes into account your background and finds places in which you can thrive.

For us at the Scottish Crannog Centre, working with Ehsan has been incredible, it has gifted us with skills, talent, knowledge, creativity and fun, someone who we would not have been able to work with before he got the Right to Work.

Ehsan is not only crafty with wood and thatching, but he is a tattoo artist! If you would like to support him further, find him on Instagram: @Esmtoo.