Honorable Ruben Diaz Jr.,
I feel very honoured by your act of appreciation in the name of more than 1.4 million citizens of Borough Bronx, NYC, where also resides the Albanian-American Community, for which you have done so much.
America has always been and will remain a Country of Hope, also for the Albanians.
I have had special ties with America a long time ago.
My grandfather, Mr. Gane Shyti, during the early years of the twentieth century, when he was a teen, emigrated to America. Like many Albanians of his times, he started working in one of Ford’s factories in Detroit and after more than a Decade, he returned to Albania to marry an Albanian girl, my grandmother, with the intention to return right after to the USA.
His wish to return to the States remained unfulfilled, for he died young and left my grandmother a widow. My grandmother loved America without ever having been there, affected by my grandfather’s love for it.
When Albania was isolated under a cruel dictature and the communist regime had nothing but curses left for America, my grandmother and my mom secretly were speaking to me of America as the place where dreams come true. While the Albanian communist regime cursed, my grandmother blessed America. My grandmother would have ended up in prison, if someone were to spy on her. I’ve grown up between this cursing and blessing. As a child I imagined America being like a fairy tale. When the dictatorial regime convicted my father also, I started, in secret, to yearn for America too.
I’ve inherited my sympathy for America from my paternal grandfather too, who sent my uncle to the Harry Fultz’s American school. A major part of the school’s students were imprisoned or executed, as soon as the communist dictature came to power.
But regardless of the dictature’s aggressive propaganda, in the psyche of Albanians, America was envisaged after the lines of the poet, translator and orthodox priest, Fan Noli: “Be brave Mother (Mother means Albania- Motherland – my explanation E.B.), don’t fret, for your sons are in America”, as the saviour of the country, because there lived the best sons of Albania, ready to save their native land from every kind of evil.
Poets are prophets and Fan Noli’s prophecy came true: America was and will remain Albania’s Saviour.
America became my grandfather’s haven in the early twentieth century;
America became also the haven of the family of your friend Esad A. Rizai in the middle of the twentieth century, when his family, like many other Albanians, fled from the terrors of communism in Albania.
America has also become the haven of thousands and thousands of emigrants from Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia in the end of the twentieth century and during the two decades in the beginning of twenty-first century.
And the “Sons of the Mother” who were prophesied by Fan Noli, came to the USA and became a bridge between America and Albania, between America and ethnic Albanians, in some states of the Balkan.
Without this uniting bridge, it wouldn’t have been possible to overthrow the dictature regime in Albania;
Without this uniting bridge between America and Albanians:
it wouldn’t have been possible to stop the ethnic cleansing and genocide in the 1998/99 conflict in Kosovo;
Without this uniting bridge between America and Albanians:
it wouldn’t have been possible to stop the anti-Albanian racial segregation that ended the conflict of 2001 with the Agreement of Ohrid in North-Macedonia.
This uniting bridge, with strong names like Joe DioGuardi, Congressman with Arbëreshian roots,(Arbëresh are Albanians who fled from Albania after the death of Skanderbeg – my explanation E.B.) born in the Bronx and more
enabled the Albanian cause to reach the American people and the highest American administration;
so that the Albanian cause became the concern of the most powerful men and women of the USA, who give honour and glory to the American nation.
who made work their influence to affect to the most powerful statesmen of western Europe, who are USA’s allies;
this uniting bridge brought to Washington DC all Albanian politicians, who were factorized, but sadly to accept they have abused the trust of American administration, as well the trust of the Albanian-American community in the USA and the Albanian people, where ever lives!
This holy bridge has created also collaborations and very serious and loyal liaisons with the local administrations of the USA,
as it has created strong ties of collaboration and mutual and reciprocal trust with you, Mr.Ruben Diaz Jr.
The Bronx is like the headquarters of the Albanian-American community in America because here live the greatest in numbers of Albanian-American in the entirety of the USA; because in Bronx there are many important Albanian-American associations, many Albanian-American businesses developing their activities;
who are deeply grateful to you, as I am too.
Mr. Ruben Diaz Jr., while having close to you the most excellent of the Albanian-Americans, you did for the Albanians what the Albanians wouldn’t do for themselves.
I take advantage of the opportunity to express my gratitude in the name of the whole community:
renamed a block in Lydig Avenue, between Holland Avenue and Wallace Avenue, in “Mother Teresa Way”;
declared in the Bronx the 26th of August 2019, the birthday of the Saint Teresa, the “Mother Teresa Day”!
have displayed on the Albanian National Day the Albanian flag throughout the municipality of the Bronx.
have honoured many distinguished Albanian-Americans for their contributes to the different fields of life;
have honoured also me, a journalist who does her duty, having as inspiration models likes of Marie Colvin and Christiane Amanpour;
have created wonderful ties with the Albanian-American Kommunity, through the most patriotic Albanian-Americans,
who love America but also love Albania and Kosovo,
These Albanian-Americans are the “Sons of the Mothers” who where prophesied by Fan Noli, destined, wherever and whenever is needed, to save their Motherland –
Albania and Kosovo –
who to this day suffer from misrule, corruption, organized crime, the abuse of power and the grim heritage of communism!
You who comes from a family with rich tradition and a brilliant career in the public high administration,
while winning for the third time, because you have dedicated all your positive energy to improve the lives of the people of the Bronx, which also includes the Albanian-American community;
For your support you deserve the highest appreciation of Albanian people and the governments in Albania and Kosovo;
like that of the all Albanian-American community in BROX and States!
God bless you Mr. Ruben Diaz Jr.and your Family, like father like son,
I personally wish you success in your work, life and in politics,
because by helping the Albanian people, a small nation with a history of suffering, even if one of the oldest of Europe,
are showing you are not only a man full of moral and spiritual values, but also a brave and worthy Son of the USA!
I hope we’ll see you as soon as possible in Washington DC!
Higher and higher!
This should also be a goal of the Albanian-American Community!
Because you deserve it!