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RRUGA E MUNDIMSHME PER NE HOLLYWOOD – Intervistë me regjsorin shqiptar Fatmir Doga – Nga Carrie Hooper, (publiciste, shkrimtare).

By | July 6, 2020
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Dielli Talks With Father Nikodhim The Interim Chancellor of the Albanian Archdiocese By Rafaela Prifti

 

Following the retirement of Very Reverend Arthur Liolin at Saint George Cathedral in Boston, Father Nikodhim has accepted the appointment of the Interim Chancellor of the Albanian Archdiocese. Before the start of the interview, he makes an important point of clarification on this topic. We continue the interview with questions regarding the significance of this moment including constraints on the church’s practices in the course of the pandemic. We talk about the historical connection between the Albanian national movement in America and the Albanian Orthodox Church. On that point, I emphasize that key activists and protagonists of the movement and Church, who were patriots of all faiths, went on to establish Vatra as the Pan-Albanian Federation of America. On the theme of religious unity among Albanians, Father Nikodhim wonders in admiration: “Where else will we see pastor and hoxha, priest and imam, seated together as brothers.” His own story is a testament of Father Nikodhim’s appreciation of inclusiveness in faith, culture, nationality. Born Nathan Preston in the northern sliver of Idaho, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, he was ordained to the priesthood at St. Nicholas Albanian Orthodox Church by the late Archbishop Nikon (Liolin) in 2010. In 2017, His Eminence, the Archbishop, called Father Nathan to embrace the monastic life, tonsuring him with the new name Nikodhim in honor of the Holy Martyr Nikodhim of Vithkuq and Berat. I am thankful to him for the interview, which provides insights into the endeavors that have been undertaken as well as presents a view into what’s to come.

Fr. Nikodhim – The appointment of the diocesan chancellor is the prerogative always of the archdiocesan bishop. Indeed, as I was asked to step into this role, I found that even those tasks and responsibilities of the chancellor are defined in our constitution and bylaws as being identified explicitly and exclusively by the hierarch. I raise this now as a point of clarification but also to acknowledge that I am in no way an apt successor to the long decades of leadership, wisdom, and profound knowledge of my predecessor, Fr. Arthur Liolin. I do not pretend otherwise—I don’t know that I could sleep well at night under such heavy responsibility and expectation. Rather, I am a stopgap; I am, I pray, a man for this moment as we look as an archdiocese into the future and try to meet the needs of the present. And, at the appointment of our next hierarch and archpastor, I hope that he will feel free to select his own chancellor who will best work with him to guide our archdiocese into many more years of faith, growth, and care for those who call it home. Among those priests I am proud to call my brothers, there are certainly many more qualified than I.

Rafaela Prifti: ⦁ Thank you for making time for our interview!
Let’s start with the Pashka. The Albanian Orthodox community joined the Orthodox Christianity around the globe to observe the Holy Week of Pashka on May 2. I couldn’t help going back to read the church’s message last year during the Pashka in April of 2020. It was the start of the pandemic. The message from church invited parishioners to attend Pascha Services from home and to follow the curfew hours and other guidelines put in place since the parishes would close on April 1. What followed were lockdowns and more restrictions. And to facilitate attendance from afar, live services were made available to allow participation by phone, computer, or tablet. What was Pashka like a year ago? Can you draw some comparisons from last year to now?
Fr. Nikodhim – I struggle to answer this question with any semblance of justice because, for those of us in this country, last year was without any precedent. Even in the memories of my oldest parishioners, the Church was never closed like this here. What we were called to do, particularly in areas so hard hit at that time as all of New York was but Queens most especially, was simply to stop. The lights went out; the doors were bolted shut. I say that this was without any precedent in our memory as Americans. Certainly for the faithful of St. Nicholas who remember the privations and outright prohibitions of religious practice in Albania during the Communist regime, the terrors of absence were somehow familiar. While I could never equate the necessities of public health and safety in the face of a virus with the atrocities of a totalitarian regime, we drew strength from the witness of our brothers and sisters who lasted, faithfully and prayerfully, to see the end of Hoxha’s twisted vision of progress. Hearkening our people back to those stories of clandestine red eggs and radios tuned low to Easter broadcasts, the stories I have personally been told from the lips of our own folks, we remembered that they had outlasted and we, too, could outlast. This year is pure joy in comparison, and we experience each service with gratitude as something returned to us again. And it is this joy that we have tried to communicate with our now necessary online presence. Whether they are ready to be back in Church in person, we want—we need—to make sure everyone knows that they are welcome and remembered wherever they are. Numerically, we were at about half our accustomed crowd for most services of Holy Week and Pascha. Half our normal body of people. I don’t know, frankly, how many were watching online or the breakdown between those who “tuned in” live and those who viewed and view the archived material. During the services, we plug in the camera and keep it running. Most everyone here consistently has a job these days, and monitoring our numbers online has yet to be prioritized.

Rafaela Prifti: Let’s stay back in time for a bit longer, as it were. I recall the Newsletter message issued on March 18, 2020, asking to protect the most vulnerable and taking steps to be good neighbors and citizens in all our communities. It said that turning “our attention to those whose needs may be different than our own is also part of our Christian life.” On a personal level, I am part of a generation of Albanians who grew up as non-religious in communist Albania, yet the message of encouraging good citizenry in the face of unprecedented pandemic touched me. Every week of the pandemic year, your message of hope came in the mailbox with an image attached to it symbolizing the idea of resilience and strength. I note that for parishioners, the full service schedule and Pascha letter in both English and Albanian are available on the website as are streaming of the prayers. What has stood out most for you during this year? 
Fr. Nikodhim – Two things come to mind when you ask about this last year and what has stood out. First, it is truly remarkable how creative we have been able to become. While we have all suffered through technological hiccoughs and a steep learning curve and we all can certainly embark on long litanies of complaints about the many media we now use almost daily, we have been able to be remarkably present for each other. There is a fundament of kindness and care for strangers and friends alike that has been revealed and been recognized as good. So we have witnessed a strange dawn in our culture as care for others has been given pride of place anew, the virtue of compassion lionized in these months of need. Second, as you know, I am a monastic priest. While most of my peers and clergy brothers are married and with families, I am not. I observe my siblings and my friends in the pride they so rightly take in the growth of their children at those milestone moments, at graduations and inductions and rites of passage. There is a sense of movement and consistency and the passing of generational honor in these things. I have sensed something similar to this as we progress forward more and more into the reopening of our society. Thanks be to God and thanks be to the scientists and brave doctors and nurses and wise civil leaders, we have tasted victory, and we must always pause to celebrate this with thanksgiving. I do not know if it will be possible to continue to be grateful in the same way as the novelty of victory recedes, but I hope we will remember proudly the small things that we were able to take back piece by piece. These graduations deserve our memory and esteem.

Rafaela Prifti: The newsletters recognized that “we are all now being challenged to find new ways to reach out and be present for each other…” How do you do that? Especially when everything moved online?
Fr. Nikodhim – For the time being and until we can safely be back in each other’s presence, yes, most of our groups have shifted to online. Our Church School has been remarkably successful in this period thanks to the hard work of our Sunday School administrator and parent volunteers. While our kids meet online and are glad to see friends and cousins there, they are wearying of online education as it has become ubiquitous in some form or another for nearly all. To remedy this, we send monthly materials to each enrolled household so that something tactile and accessible is there at home. Personally, I can’t wait to hear the hubbub of children’s voices crying and yelling and embarrassing their parents at Church again.

Rafaela Prifti: This is a two part question: Saint George Cathedral is integral to the Albanian-American community and the history of modern Albania. Furthermore, it represents the birthplace of Vatra and Dielli for many generations of Vatrans. Father Liolin has described it as “a spiritual hill on a peninsula, most notably known for its independent spirit, freedom of thought and veneration,” that, he says, has welcomed many in the past and by the grace of God, is going to welcome even more in the future. How do you see the role and place of St. George’s? Last February, Saint George’s Cathedral in Boston issued a special announcement regarding Very Reverend Arthur Liolin. It read, in part, that “Father Arthur who has served with excellence for more than fifty years, now assumes the position of Chancellor Emeritus and Senior Pastor of Saint George Albanian Orthodox Cathedral.” Further, it said that that in the coming months, you, would be serving as Interim Chancellor of the Albanian Archdiocese. Can you describe what that has meant for you?

Fr. Nikodhim – St. George Cathedral is, as you quote Fr. Arthur in saying, a “spiritual hill”. It has long been a beacon whose light shines far beyond Boston or even America. And following upon a legacy of service more than five decades deep cannot help but be a challenge for its next pastor. In what is undeniably an uncomfortable moment of need and transition, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, the locum tenens (interim hierarch) of this diocese is exercising a great deal of care. Certainly it is tempting to try to find someone with bright charisma and the dynamism for which Fr. Arthur is not just remembered but beloved. Certainly there are needs for this next incumbent to know and esteem the history of Boston’s place in Boston and Albania. Certainly fluencies of language and culture and memory are also needed. Yet exceeding all these things and binding them into purpose is love for the people who call the Cathedral home. For his skill, for his memory, for his manifold accomplishments on behalf of Albanians both Orthodox and non-Orthodox, Fr. Arthur is well known, but it is because of his unreserved love for us that we have followed him. Only by this same virtue will a true successor be known. And we are praying that a true successor will be known soon. As you state, now is a moment of transition, yet not for our clergy alone, but for us all. In this time, it is my conviction that we will be best served not by fleeing from a pain that is real, this pain of change and loss, but by choosing not to be mastered by this. Birthed amid chaos and oppression, this diocese has yet offered its clarion voice generation by generation, unyielding to convenience, unmuted in its call to all for justice, peace, and love.

Rafaela Prifti: – In November of 1969, Vatra’s commemoration of Dielli’s 60th anniversary saw thousands of Albanians and clergy representatives of three main religions gather at Saint Patrick Cathedral in New York city, with his Eminence Terence Cardinal Cooke as the guest of honor joined by the church leaders, ministers, parishioners and Arberesh faithfuls of the Byzantine ritual who had traveled from Italy. It is well documented as a moment of pride and gratification for Vatra and the community. To this day, the rotation of presiding over prayers and invocations by Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim or Bektashi clergy at various functions and festivities might be a reminiscent of that time. What are your thoughts on religious unity?

Fr. Nikodhim – Citing the tremendous witness of our religious unity and diversity in years past, you have asked about invocations at meetings these days. I am proud—very proud—to be but one of those more recent voices offering prayers, and I am humbled each time I come forward to do this both by those great figures of faith who have informed and inspired our people in times past and by those others who do so now and with an eloquence I can but aspire to. To be honest, I do not know whether these invocations should rightly continue or what events or convocations are appropriate for their inclusion. This is something better left to the discretion of the leaders of Vatra and to those who have entrusted this leadership to them. For myself, I hope it will continue, and I hope it will continue to call forward all the richness we possess, faith by faith yet one in life. In truth, where else will we see pastor and hoxha, priest and imam, seated together as brothers? Conflict is too often the driving force soliciting solidarity. We are blessed to be united in advance, warmed and sustained by the knowledge that, if and when conflict does come, we will weather it together. So in short, yes, it is my hope that Vatra will continue to bring us all together, and by this continue to bear that great witness to our world of faiths and people at peace.

Rafaela Prifti: In the span of the last two years, we have paid tribute to a number of prominent and valuable members of the community. Last April, I paid condolences to the Foundos family for the passing of Albert, a greatly respected figure at the parish and in the community. You wrote “Throughout his life, Al devoted himself to the Orthodox faith and to forging opportunities for this to grow both in himself and in the lives of others, consistently committed to religious education and to ensuring that the Church live up to Christ’s high mandate to care for those in need.” Are we at a point of transition regarding Albanian church and its pastors here? Can you share your thoughts on this point?

Fr. Nikodhim – Thank you for your condolences. Albert’s falling asleep in the Lord was and is a very real loss. His repose just prior to Holy Week, at that time we each year remember Christ’s calling His friend Lazarus forth from the tomb, was particularly poignant as those themes of friendship and loss and hope were so present in Al’s life also. It would be a mistake as well as a gross impossibility to speak of replacing members of our community. We are all terribly irreplaceable, and I suspect Al would not hesitate to correct us should we be tempted to think him otherwise. What we can do is to pick up where others have left off. In different ways and with different talents, we can make common cause with those who have gone before us into the mystery of death. We can share something even now with them. At St. Nicholas, it has been so gratifying to me and to others whose service here is much longer than my own to see the average age of our parish council members begin to fall. New voices and new faces have arisen, arriving as they so often do providentially and outside the parameters of our insistent plans. To us belongs only the means to make ready, to prepare an invitation, and to choose to welcome. These are the tools with which we ensure the success of our successors.

Rafaela Prifti: The Albanian national movement in America was founded and sprang to a great degree from the Albanian Orthodox Church. Indeed, its key activists and protagonists as well as patriots of all faiths, three years later, went on to establish Vatra as the Pan-Albanian Federation of America. At the head of these two important institutions, Orthodox Church and Vatra were the same leaders who steered the efforts and movement of members of all faiths to protect Albanian national interests. According to some accounts by most senior members who are New York residents, some fifty years ago Vatra’s meetings were held at the cultural hall of the Orthodox Church located on 48th street in the city. How do you view the connection, the past and now?
Fr. Nikodhim – It has long been my privilege to be in attendance regularly at the events of Vatra, and I have been honored to be included in so many of their meetings. Though my involvement at St. Nicholas precedes my appointment as the pastor here by some several years, it is no secret that I am not Albanian by ethnicity, history, or mother tongue. To be invited and—more than this—to be accepted nonetheless into the heart (and hearth) of the Albanian community is to me a great offering of trust and friendship, both personally as an individual and corporately as I stand in for my people. I hope that the Albanian community and Vatra in particular know how beautiful and even rare this can be: how they have a tremendous and even, I would say, divine gift of grace in offering hospitality that transcends mere formality. It is one thing to be an attendee or an interloper and quite something else to be a member of a family. I believe and it has been my experience that the latter, the invitation into family, is a point of fierce and worthy pride for Vatra, for our Albanian people, and between the leaders of our faith communities.

Regarding the specific interactions of Vatra and the Albanian Orthodox community here in New York, your knowledge of the history is far greater than my own. Within our archdiocese, we are one of the youngest parishes, and we were, for many years, on the smaller side of the middle range of our communities. Certainly, the involvement of the Archdiocese was curtailed at Vatra’s relocation to New York but this out of geographical distance rather than any disinterest or separation. We at St. Nicholas know also that, while we are now the oldest of the Albanian religious bodies in New York City, we are also the smallest, simply given the demographic and immigration patterns from Albania and neighboring countries into different regions of the United States. As a further note, let me also include that I have heard repeatedly in the years of my pastorate that St. Nicholas was founded not only through the generosity of people of diverse faiths but also that funds from an Albanian xhami, which had had to close, were offered to help us at the time of that first establishment. I have not been able to locate documents attesting to this, so much seems either not to have been recorded or preserved, but I do have faith in the memories of those older folks who have shared the same story again and again.

Over the years, I have been proud to share meals with other members of the clergy, and Vatra has ensured that this happens routinely. From those first meetings at festivities for Ditën e Flamurit and anniversaries and celebrations, relationships have blossomed. I know I am not alone in wishing for more hours in each day, more days in each week, but as our often too busy schedules do permit, it has been a joy and a privilege to get to spend time with the other spiritual fathers who serve our people. I feel at home in the embrace of their welcome and their peoples’ welcome on each visit, and I trust and pray that they, too, feel that they have come home each time they enter the doors of St. Nicholas Church. In these days and months that we have all been weathering this terrible affliction of sickness and separation, I believe we are holding fast as we can to all the small grains of hope we have. For me, the joy of return and the embrace of our community after this year of fracture is one of these seeds. I count on it.

Rafaela Prifti:  I recall that three years ago, in May 2018, a delegation of senior Vatra representatives composed of then-Chairman and several Board Members joined you to celebrate three quarters of a century of prayer at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church led by his late Eminence Archbishop Nikon. At his passing in 2019, a Vatra delegation did attend services and Dielli has covered events in a sign of appreciation for the Church’s lasting legacy. Can you share some thoughts? Also is there an update on the renewal project of the church?

Fr. Nikodhim – In May of 2018, three years ago exactly, my home of St. Nicholas inaugurated a year of rejoicing, feting our 75th anniversary of prayer and presence. We were honored and gratified and continue to be grateful to all who helped us celebrate. For those from St. Nicholas, the presence of guests from outside our regular ranks helped to note the day and to remind us of our place inside a broader community. Running and sustaining any corporate body can be difficult. For houses of worship and non-profits alike, it can sometimes seem a thankless and exhausting task simply to continue to exist, and it can be easy therefore to get lost in all those mundane though necessary responsibilities existence demands. For those who work at St. Nicholas and by this I don’t mean just the priest but all those who give their time, their talents, their support to this Church, having guests blessed us with a reminder of how much others love what we love and struggle for. Having guests located us again inside that broader community. It recalled us back into a shared rather than parochial life. We are grateful to the esteemed representatives of Vatra and to everyone else who showed up for us on that day and throughout that year for this reminder, for helping to keep us catholic. And in these intervening years, which have been at times very hard, I and the people of St. Nicholas have held as precious those memories of joy and celebration. At the loss of our archbishop in 2019, again a delegation from Vatra showed up for us, to grieve, to pray, to stand beside this archdiocese and its people as family while we mourned His Eminence Nikon, a native son of both New York and St. Nicholas Church.

You have asked quite rightly about the progress of our renewal and the life of our community since those days of joy in 2018. This is a process that needs to be renamed, remade, and celebrated periodically; we are strengthened by these reminders. But the process itself must continue always apace and unabating at each new day, for life without growth or change is but bare survival. This last year has been a formidable reminder of this as our world, country, state, and city closed down and our religious bodies within them fought to find new ways to bring hope and restore faith to those who could often be seen only amid a swirl of pixels. Whatever change or growth we envisioned entering our fourth quarter century at St. Nicholas those three short years ago, it did not include any conception of greater online outreach, live-streaming, caches of prayer housed on social media, or the now ubiquitous Zoom links that have all become so familiar. But here we are, and when I look to my right and look to my left I may have to tilt the camera to see what I know is there—my brothers and sisters stalwart at my side—but there they remain.

What the future holds for us now is not return but resurrection, daily growing more grateful as what we once assumed would always be there slowly and cautiously sometimes come back. What returns will surprise us with difference, and what the future holds for St. Nicholas Church or the Albanian Archdiocese promises no less. In our prayers at each divine service as the priest turns from the altar to offer the holy gifts to the people present in worship, he sings: Me frikë Perëndie, besim dhe dashuri, afrohuni! In the awe of God, with faith and love, we draw near!

Rafaela Prifti: Lastly, how did Nathan Preston, later Father Nathan, become Father Nikodhim of the Saint Nicholas Albanian Orthodox Church?

Fr. Nikodhim – I was born in the northern sliver of Idaho between Washington State and Montana, and raised there, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Completing my elementary and secondary education within the warm embrace of a large family, I attended university nearby, majoring in Music and Classical Languages. Thereafter, I moved east to Chicago, attending the University of Chicago and graduating with a Master’s degree in comparative religion. I then moved east again to begin priestly studies and formation at St. Vladimir’s Seminary in Westchester County, concluding these in 2007. For two years I served as pastoral assistant and cantor at St. Nicholas Albanian Orthodox Church while working in direct care as a social worker in Newark, New Jersey. Ordained to the diaconate in 2009, I continued for one more year to commute between St. Nicholas in Queens and the homeless shelter in Newark where I was employed. Ordained to the priesthood at St. Nicholas by Archbishop Nikon (Liolin) of blessed memory in 2010, I have been the rector there since and remain its sole cleric. In 2017, His Eminence, the Archbishop, called me to embrace the monastic life, tonsuring me with the new name Nikodhim in honor of the Holy Martyr Nikodhim of Vithkuq and Berat.

I thank you! Look forward to future talks.

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Toronto – Misioni Katolik Shqiptar “E Shenjta Nënë Tereza” së shpejti me rezidencë e zyra të reja

 

Misioni Katolik Shqiptar “E Shenjta Nënë Tereza”, me qendër në Toronto do të ketë së shpejti zyrat dhe rezidencën e re për 10 vitet e ardhshme. Përmes një postimi në profilet përkatëse në rrjetin social Facebook e kanë shpërndarë këtë lajm këshilli i Misionit dhe Z. Paulin Marku, Managing Director i Kompanisë Century Building Inc Toronto, njëherazi dhe një ndër kontribuesit kryesorë financiarë dhe anëtar tejet aktiv i komunitetit katolik shqiptar të metropolit kanadez.

“Pavarësisht se është një projekt i vogël, ai i jep shume mundesi komunitetit katolik në Toronto për t’u organizuar dhe sherbyer më mire gjithë komunitetit shqiptar. Ndjehem i privilegjuar të kontribuoj si drejtues i projektit dhe këshilltar financiar sëbashku me Aleks Selmanin për Misionin dhe Qendrën e ardhshme që do të ndihmojnë në organizimin dhë përgatitjen e projekteve me të medha”- është shprehur Marku në deklarimin e tij.

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Kësisoj, nën kujdesin e administratorit Dom Prend Kola dhe me kontributin e Këshillit të Kishës, falë bashkëpunimit me Komunitetin Katolik Slloven dhe me aprovimin e Ipeshkvisë së Torontos, Misioni Katolik Shqiptar në Toronto do të ushtrojë së shpejti veprimtarinë në një rezidencë krejtësisht të rinovuar, në të njejtën adresë si deri tani, 739 Browns Line Toronto (Etobicoke), ON M8W 3V7.

Punimet pritet të fillojnë shumë shpejt, brenda një periudhe dy javore, sapo të aprovohet leja përkatëse nga Bashkia. Edhe pse Misioni Katolik është i përgatitur financiarisht, donacionet mbeten të mirëpritura. Ndërkohe, cilido pjestar i komunitetit që dëshëron të kontribuojë me punë në realizimin e projektit, mund të kontaktojë për drawings në adresën elektronike markupaul7@gmail.com ose të telefonojë Dom Prend Kola në numrin 647 446 4321.

Të gjitha donacionet do të pranohen konform rregullave të Ipeshkvisë Toronto dhe donatoret do të marrin në këmbim tax receipt për donacionin e tyre.

Misioni Katolik Shqiptar “E Shenjta Nënë Tereza”, me qendër në Toronto, u shërben shqiptarëve të besimit katolik që jetojnë në Toronto dhe zonat përreth. Qëllimi i Misionit, është t’i bashkojë shqiptaret e emigruar këtu që të mos harrojnë gjuhën, prejardhjen dhe besimin e tyre. Ky Mision, zyrtarisht është aprovuar nga Arqipeshkvi i Torontos me 1 Korrik 2012.

©Flasshqip.ca

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Dhjetra shqiptaro-amerikanë i shkruajnë Sekretarit Blinken për Berishën

Sekretarit te Shtetit zotit Antony Blinken

Ne nje grup qytetaresh shqipetaro amerikan me banim prej shume vitesh ne USA jemi te shqetesuar per vendimin e shpalljes Non Grata qe ju zoti Antony si Sekretari I Shtetit Amerikan keni marre ndaj ish Presidentit te Pare demokratik shqipetare Prof.Dr Sali Berisha I cili frymezoj dhe udhehoqi shembjen e komunizmit ne Shqiperi.

Ne panvaresisht qe jetojme e punojme ketu ne vendin e bekuar qe quhet Amerike , ku kemi ngulur rrenjet tona me femijet niper e mbesa mbajme ende ne memorje dashurine per vendlindjen tone e mbi te gjitha interesin per ecurine e demokracise per zhvillimin e vendit dhe popullit shqipetare.
Ne I dime mire , I vleresojme shume dhe I jemi perjete mirenjohes Amerikes per kontributin jetik qe I ka dhene Shqiperise dhe shqipetareve ne histori qe nga Presidenti Willson , Panvaresin e Kosoves dhe sot ne konsolidimin e demokracise se brishte ne Shqiperi dhe ne Kosove.
Ky kontribut I cmuar I dhene nga Amerika per popullin shqipetare e ka bere ate nje popull me amerikan dashes ne te gjithe globin.Nje merite te shtuar per dashurin e popullit shqipetare ndaj Amerikes pas vendosjes se demokracise ne Shqiperi ka Presidenti I saj I pare Prof Dr Sali Berisha I cili luftoj me komunistet dhe po lufton me mbeturinat qe la pas Diktatura 50 vjecare komuniste qe Ameriken e cilesonte si xhandarin nderkombetare te popujve

Ne zoti Sekretare I Shtetit e konsiderojme vendimin non grata ndaj Presidentit te pare democrat zotit Prof Dr Sali Berisha te paargumentuar mbi fakte te ndodhura dhe te nxituar.

Ne e kemi te veshtire te besojme qe Qeveria Amerikane te shpalli non grata nje figure te shquar si ish Presidenti Sali Berisha duke u mbeshtetur ne artikujt e gazetave ,ne ojq dhe opinionin agresiv te Partise ne pushtet dhe Qeverise.

Ne e gjykojme se cdo informacion I medias apo I OJq mbetet opinion dhe jo fakt , pa u gjykuar nga organet e drejtesise.
Ne mendojme se mardheniet midis ish Presidentit dhe ish Kryeministrit Prof Dr Sali Berisha me qeverine amerikane ne te shkuaren kane qene te shkelqyera po permendim ketu shkurtazi vetem disa prej tyre.

— Vizita e pare e Xhejms Beker ne Shqiperi e cila mbahet mend si e pashembullt nga niveli I larte I mikpritjes dhe entuziazmit dhe roli I ish Presidentit Berisha ne keto mardhenie.

—-Vizita e ish Sekretares se Shtetit Hillary Clinton dhe deklaratat e saja ne Parlamentin shqipetare se Shqiperia nen drejtimin e Qeverise dhe Kryeministrit Prof Dr Sali Berisha po ecin te sigurta dhe ne rrugen e duhur te demokracise.

—-Takimi I juaj zoti Sekretare ne vitin 2009 ne zyren tuaj me zotin Sali Berisha vleresimet dhe konsideratat positive qe keni dhene per Zotiin Sali Berisha dhe punen e tij te shkelqyer ne Qeveri per luften kunder korupsionit dhe krimit te organizuar na bejne neve qe te mendojme se opinionet e gazetave te OJQ dhe te Partise ne Pushtet jane thjesh opinione te pabazuara ne fakte.

—-Ne mbajme mend shume mire intervisten e ish Ambasadorit Donald Lu dhe vleresimet shume te mira te shprehura nga ai per Qeverine Berisha dhe personalisht Ate, duke nenvizuar nje mirkuptim te plot dhe perkrahjen qe zoti Berisha ka dhene vecmas per Reformen ne Drejtesi.
—-Ne dime dhe mbajme mend shume mire konkluzionet e pervitshme te Departamentit te Shtetit per punen dhe arritjet shume te mira te qeverise dhe personalisht te Sali Berishes ne demokratizimin e vendit, ne luften kunder korupsionit dhe krimit te organizuar.

—–Dime dhe nuk e harrojme kurre viziten e te parit President Amerikan qe shkeli token shqipetare Xhorxh W Bush dhe konsideratat e tij te shkelqyera qe dha si mesazh per Shqiperine ,shqipetaret ,Qeverine dhe personalisht per Kryeministrin Sali Berisha .

—-Ne dime gjithashtu qe sa Zoti Sali Berisha ishte President dhe Kryeminister Qeveria e tij ne asnje rast , ne asnje organizem nderkombetare nuk ka dhene kurre voten kunder USA.

—-Ne dime se ne Shqiperi nuk ka nje person te dyte qe ta doje dhe ta dashuroje Ameriken dhe popullin e saj sa Prof Dr Sali Berisha dhe qe te
kete luftuar me shume helmin komunist shqipetare 50 vjecar kunder Amerikes duke e shendruar ate ne admirim , respect dhe dashuri per Ameriken.

—-Dhe sot pas 30 vjetesh per gjithe kete lufte kunder komunizmit shqipetare dhe vendosjes se demokracise ne Shqiperi dhe dashurise se madhe te deklaruar hapur per Ameiken dhe popullin e saj, pas gjithe ketij bashkepunimi te ngushte me udheheqsit dhe Qeverit amerikane pikerisht per gjithe keto contribute Prof Dr Sali Berisha ish President dhe ish Kryeminister I Shqiperise shpallet sot shpallet nga ju non grata nga Shteti qe ai e deshte dhe e do aq shume, Amerika.

—-Pse pikerisht sot ne kete kohe shpallet non grata zoti Sali Berisha kur ai ka 8 vjet qe nuk ushtron asnje funksion politik dhe shteterore.Ne e kemi te veshtire te besojme ne vertetesine e materialeve qe merren nga shtypi I perditshem nga OJQ dhe qeveria Rama si baze per te akuzuar zotin Sali Berisha per korupsion .Ne nje kohe kur 8 vjet kjo Qeveri asnje nga keto akuza nuk e vertetoj dhe ta dergonte ne organet e Drejtesise shqipetare
Zoti Sekretare

Ne besojme akuzat qe ben sot shtypi I perditshem OJQ dhe raportet e departamentit te shtetit per korupsion shperdorim fondesh pasurim te oligarkeve bashkepunim me krimin e organizuar per ne jane fakte te patjetersueshme dhe shume te renda per Qeverine dhe personalisht Kryeministrin Rama.Nga veprimee perditshme te Qeverise Rama ne mesojme se korupsioni dhe bashkeqeverisja me krimin e organizuar jane shume here me te renda sesa ato qe ju dergohen juve per zotin Berisha.
—–Edi Rama eshte I vetme shqipetare ne funksion shteteror qe ne nje takim te rendesishme public hedh pertoke ne menyre perbuzje dhe demonstrative Flamurin Amerikan.Dhe I vetmi qe e kritikoj publikisht kete veprim arrogant te Edi Rames ishte Sali Berisha.
Zoti Sekretare nuk eshte vetem ky rast I sjelljes se padenje te Rames ndaj USA por ,dhe ne nje takim te rendesishem ne Turqi ku kerkohej vote ne mbeshtetje te projektit te USA Rama votoj kunder.Ai gjithashtu edhe ne OKB ka votuar disa here kunder projekteve te USA .
Ne nje kohe kur ne raportet e Departamentit te Shtetit I kerkohej qeverise Rama te bente nje lufte te ashper kunder droges Zoti Rama jo vetem qe nuk luftoj kundra droges por e ka kthyer gjithe vendin ne nje plantacion droge dhe baze dhe rruge kalimi per tonelata e drograve te forta ne drejtim te Europes.

Zoti Sekretare
Per shkak se Qeveria Rama bashkpunon ngushtesisht me oligarket dhe krimin e organizuar dhe mungeses se theksuar te ligjishmerise ne mbrojtje te bisneseve ne Shqiperi ka 8 vjet qe nuk afrohet dhe nuk vjen asnje investitorI huaj.

—Ju besoj se jeni ne dijeni te informacionit shume serioz zyrtare qe ka dhene OSBE per vendosjen e 200 milion dollareve nga Kryeministri Rama ne nje nga Bankat Amerikane.

Zoti Sekretare
Ne besojme se ju e dini qe Kryeministri Rama ka paguar 80 mije dollare per nje takim te shkurter dhe nje fotografi me ish Presidentin Obama dhe se per kete gjest ne kundershtim me ligjet amerikane eshte denuar njeshtetas amerikan me nje vit e gjysem burg.
—- Zoti Sekretare

Ndoshta ju nuk e dini qe Kryeministri Edi Rama eshte nje kundershtare I rrepte I fjales se lire dhe per kete shkak ka mbyllur televizione portale vecanerisht ato opozitare dhe ka projektuar nje ligj I cili eshte kundershtuar ashper nga OSBE dhe shoqata e Gazetareve te lire shqipetare.

—-Zoti Sekretare
Besoj se ju kujtohet pershendetja qe I bet marrveshjes 5 qershorit per zgjedhjet e 25 Prillit e firmosur ne Ambasaden Amerikane ne Shqiperi me dakortesi dhe pelqim te ambasadores amerikane por nuk kaloj asnje jave dhe Kryeministri Rama me arrogance e prishi kete marrveshje te duartrokitur nga ju.

—Ju besoj se e keni informacionin qe Kryeministri Rama me forcen e pushtetit te tij vodhi kartat e idenditetit te 1 milion shqipetareve dhe I perdori ato per shantazh nepermjet Patronazhisteve te saj per te shkaterruar zgjedhjet. Ky fenomen pote kishte ndodhur ne cdo vend tjeter te botes Qeveria do binte dhe zgjedhjet nuk do zhvilloheshin.

—-Zoti Sekretare Blinken
Ne mendojme se te gjitha keto abuzime po dhe shume te tjera si keto te Kryeministrit Rama me pushtetin absolut ne dem te popullit shqipetare I vetmi ze kriktik I fuqishem parimor prej demokrati dhe atdhetari ka qene dhe eshte ish Presidenti ish Kryeministri Prof Dr Sali Berisha. Ne besojme se me kritikat e tij parimore te deklaruara haptas perpara popullit shqipetare dhe me gjere me ze te forte besojme se zoti Sali Berisha eshte bere pengese e pakapercyeshme per ndokend, nje pengese qe I nevojitet dikujt domosdoshmerisht shpallja e zotit Sali Berisha non grata.
Dhe ju ja dhate kete !!!!

—– Ne mendojme se shpallja non grata e zotit Sali Berisha do ti sherbeje vetem lobeve te rrezikshme antishqipetare ,por nga ana tjeter ne jemi te sigurte se do te lendoje shume zemra shqipetare brenda dhe jashte vendit, mund te krijoje edhe percarje ne mes popullit shqipetare gje qe ne nuk e desherojme kurre.

Mund te tundoje edhe besimin e shqipetareve ne objektivitetin dhe drejtesine e Shtetit Amerikan.
Me shume Respekt dhe konsiderate per Shtetin Amerikane dhe per ju personalisht zoti Sekretare I Shteti Antony Blinken

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Në Serbi për tre vjet janë investuar 10.3 miliardë euro – Nga Skënder Karaçica

Ekonomia dhe Investimet

Në shënimet e institucioneve ekonomike të Serbisë,thuhet se për tre vjet në ekonominë serbe janë investuar 10.3 miliardë euro.Këto të dhëna tregojnë se si po qarkullojnë investimet nga vendet e ndryshme të BE-se dhe të botës në Serbi,që, sipas barometrit ekonomik tregojnë se investimet janë në shkallën sa tërë vendet e Ballkanit dhe ekonomitë e tyre

Pse kaq shumë investime në Serbi,kur dihet se regjimi i Beogradit me njërën këmbë është në BE dhe me tjetrën me Rusinë,me disa nisma për të marrë primatin   si ,,qendër e vendosjes,,ndaj vendeve të Ballkanit dhe,me synimet për të destabilizuar shtetndërtimin e Kosovës në arenën ndërkombëtare.

Pse kaq shumë investime në ekonominë e Serbisë?

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Serbia përmes kishave në Kosovë po e bën ,,luftën historike,,(!) – Nga Skënder Karaçica

E kohës

Akademik Mark Krasniqi në publicistikën e tij shkencore,pati afruar argumente të forta dhe arkivore se,regjimet e pushtimit dhe të ripushtimit të Kosovës nga Serbia,më shumë u ka interesuar për pasuritë e mëdha se sa për kishat ortodokse.

Këso kohe,regjimi aktual në Beograd me korpusin e pionerëve të kryekriminelit S.Millosheviq që janë në pushtet,nuk kanë asgjë të re më shumë se sa projektet antishqiptare dhe për ,,zemrën e Kosovës,,(sic!),që u artikulua në qarqet fetare të kishave (anti-Zot dhe anti-Njeri,-nënvizimi im)për të qitur hi syve botës demokratike dhe popujve të lirë në Evropë dhe në botë.

Gjatë tërë historisë së kishave serbe në Kosovë,që, në analet historike thuhet me argumentin e fortë kërkimor-shkencor,ato ishin me tabanin e besimit ortodoks dhe më vonë katolikë të popullit shqiptar,u bënë nëpër historinë e pushtimeve serbe ,,pronë e kishave,,të Serbisë pushtuese dhe ripushtuese,thotë në studimet e tij Akad.Mark Krasniqi.

Institucionet ndërkombëtare (BE-SHBA)në tovolinën e bisedimeve Kosovë-Serbi duhen të sjellin përmasën politike të kohës karshi kishave artodokse serbe dhe,në dritën e gjithë kësaj nuk duhet lejuar që Serbia të ,,bëj luftën historike(sic!)përmes kishave dhe për dëmtuar shtetndërtimin.

Populli shqiptar ka një ndjenë të besimit dhe të respektit ndaj objekteve të kultit fetar,prandaj në ketë histori i pati mbrojtur dhe do t`i mbrojë në të ardhmën kultet e besimit ortodoks në Kosovë jashtë kornizave të politikës dhe të propagandës pajada nga Serbia.

Çikago,2 qershor 2021

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A Healthcare Professional With A Passion For Medicine By Rafaela Prifti

 

A healthcare professional with a passion for medicine, Yllka Spaho-Skilja has honed her education and training as a pharmacist to ensure patients take active ownership of their health through quality use of conventional and complementary medicine. She is also a small-business proprietor who co-owns the pharmacy where she practices.

This interview comes in recognition of International Women’s Day. In March of 2018, I did my first interview with the acclaimed soprano Ermonela Jaho, and since then I have talked to prominent women in the art world for each March issue. This point in time marks a full year of the global coronavirus pandemic since WHO announced it in March 2020. So, I am pleased to speak with a healthcare professional and proprietor such as yourself. Also this is my first interview with a member of our community in Canada. While we continue to fight the pandemic, in the course of the public health crisis, we (the public) have become increasingly aware and appreciative of the intense pressure on each sector of the healthcare system. What has it been like for you as a pharmacist, personally and professionally?

– It is my pleasure. Knowing the history of your prestigious newspaper; I feel really honoured and thank you for the opportunity given.

What an extraordinary year indeed; I cannot believe it has already been a year since everybody’s life literally changed overnight. It was a challenging year for sure; no one predicted the speed, severity, depth, and magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic and I felt the challenges both personally and professionally. Looking back, it has been a year that taught me a lot; everyone’s mental, physical and emotional limits were tested; mine included. So this March 8th, even though there was no celebration as it used to, I felt blessed to be surrounded by such amazing, brave, compassionate women such as my sister and my friends and to have great role models in my life like my mother and mother-in-law. Reflecting on the profession I feel proud about the enormous role pharmacy has played in helping patients to navigate the unknown and face the realities of the pandemic; pharmacy professionals have certainly gone over and above during this public health crisis to ensure continuity of care and it does feel good to be part of it.

You mention the compassionate women and role models in your life. As you know, women are often asked how they balance family and work. How do you answer that?

– This question reminds me of an interesting essay I read some time ago written by Kate Ryder, founder, and CEO of Maven, a digital health care company, titled The question we ask every mom (but never dads). “I frequently get asked about ‘work-life balance,'” Ryder writes. “My husband, an executive at Google, who changes as many diapers as I do, never”. There’s clearly an overall expectation that the burden of domestic life falls primarily on women. That assumption starts young and I think we should change that. Encouraging both our daughters and our sons to think and imagine fully formed lives for themselves — lives that include a career and a family and all that both entail would be a good start.

On a personnel level I should say that I have an amazing husband; he and I support and push each other to succeed; we make a great team. It is not easy for sure; things you hold dear compete for your time but if you support and encourage each other you can make it work.

What can you share with the reader about your life as an Albanian immigrant in Canada? With a family, a startup and a career, do you find that your story relates to the Albanian community?

– For sure immigration is not easy; you are leaving all your life behind and moving to a new unknown country. I think it is one of the hardest decisions in a person’s lifetime. I also think there is no one immigrant life experience; it depends on who you are, on how prepared and knowledgeable you are, and also, on plain old luck.

Multiculturalism is a key part of the Canadian identity and that makes Canada an awesome place for new immigrants. I see Canada as a “mosaic “where people from all cultures live in harmony, while also maintaining their cultural heritage. Canada embraces immigrants and has one of the highest immigration rates per capita among developed nations. As an immigrant, you do feel welcomed, included, and treated fairly.

I see the Albanian-Canadian story as a success story. The majority of Albanians in Canada are professionals; this also due to the immigration process requirement, and you see this drive the community has to achieve and succeed. The community is growing and more and more members are succeeding and excelling. It seems like most of us have found our way to a place that lets us realize our full potential and that makes us happy.; after all, that’s why most people choose to immigrate in the first place; for a better life.

Your education, studying and training prepared and drove you to the next important step in your career. You founded SelectHealth Pharmacy with a mission of offering “comprehensive and integrated approach to health and wellness’ as stated. Can you explain your vision of an integrated approach to healthcare and how you got there? How has the community responded?

– I have an experience of more than 10 years as a compound pharmacist and was lucky enough to work in one of the oldest and most prestigious compounding pharmacies in Canada. My experience as a compound pharmacist-led me to Integrative and Functional Medicine and as I advanced my knowledge in this field I realized that managing health issues and improving health and well-being needs to be done through more than pharmaceutical medicines alone. So I created this vision of how I wanted to practice and the best way to turn my vision into reality was through my own pharmacy; that’s how SelectHealth came to life. We are combining traditional pharmacy services with natural alternatives, and offer a full-service medical dispensary coupled with a broad range of natural and homeopathic remedies. There is a gap between conventional and complementary medicine and I want SelectHelath to serve as a bridge between the two. Our mission is to move away from the traditional prescription-centered community pharmacy model and offer a more personalized pharmacy experience that integrates conventional pharmacy with evidence-based complementary medicine; innovative products and also other services that improve the health and well-being of our patients; all in one place. For example, right now I am collaborating with a nutritionist, an osteopath, and also a reflexologist who offer their services at SelectHealth Pharmacy. The community has really embraced this approach and we have had very positive feedback so far.

Among issues related to the public health, one in particular is very troubling, namely the long lasting impact of the pandemic on mental health. You clearly focus on raising awareness on mental wellness as a cornerstone of overall health. Why is it important to approach this comprehensively? How do you address on the local level issues of anxiety, grief and uncertainty that have reached global proportions?

– There is no health without mental health; that is why it is so important to break the stigma and raise awareness. The fragility of mental health has never been more exposed than during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are living through unprecedented times and the impact the pandemic is having on mental health is enormous. We should remember that this is absolutely the time to lean on each other. Even if we can’t be close physically we need to stay close emotionally. I always advise my patient to stay in touch and reach out if they need support. I’ve been active through the pharmacy social media, shared suggestions to help support mental health and wellness at this time of uncertainty, and also put together and shared helpful resources with my patient. Pharmacists are the most accessible of the health professional group and this became evident during the pandemic; a lack of assess to physicians led patients to rely more on their pharmacist. I realized that I needed to do extra as a pharmacist and that’s what I did. I put the patients at the center of my care; listened and provided accurate information and tried to be an honest, reliable voice of reason. I focused on self-care strategies, often spoke to my patients about meditation and how to practice mindfulness; I followed up and provided referrals when someone was struggling.

The elderly are among the vulnerable segments of the population that have been negatively affected by the isolation related to the pandemic and other restrictions. You have prioritized their care and drawn attention to seniors in your postings. Can you talk more about this topic

– I think the elderly are facing the most threats and challenges at this time. The elderly population has been worst affected by both the virus and the lockdown measures and that is why I focused on our senior patients. I offered concierge service to them, delivering not only their prescriptions but also everything else they needed from the pharmacy such as vitamins, supplements, incontinence products, and even toothpaste. I tried to make some social connection upon delivery while practicing social distance; spending that extra time and having a chat meant everything to them. I would leave handwritten notes on the delivery package when no one was answering the door and that was really appreciated. I made phone calls and spend time to understand what was going on, especially with those affected by multiple conditions. I provided education on Pandemic and answered their questions. I produced information leaflets on Covid and spend a lot of time talking to them on the phone. I made a list of vulnerable patients and I would call them every 2 weeks to ask how they were doing and to check on their prescriptions. I was not easy but I am consistently being thanked and that gratitude makes it all worthwhile.

What are some of the pressing health issues facing the community at this time?

– Social isolation and loneliness have been associated with an increased risk of mental health issues but also chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Most physicians in the community adapted rapidly to virtual care which was approached positively by young people but not so much by seniors. Most of today’s seniors grew up in a culture of “hands-on” medicine and more needs to be done to protect them and adapt them to the new ways of providing healthcare.

It became noticeable people changed the way that they sought health care— and that it’s likely some people didn’t seek care when they may have needed to. A study conducted by the Canadian Institute of Health Information showed that across Canada, visits to emergency departments declined by almost 25,000 a day by April 2020 — that’s about half the usual volume of Canada’s emergency departments.

As fewer people sought care for significant or common concerns. There was also an increase in delayed or deferred care such as a drop in planned surgeries or initial home care screening assessments. The biggest challenge is that we don’t yet have the full picture of the impact.

What are you most proud in your career? How important is your affiliation with Institute of Integrative Medicine and American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine?

– Definitely creating SelectHealth and working towards turning my vision into reality. Leaving a comfortable, well-paid job and taking the risk of opening a business right in the middle of a lockdown was for sure risky but I believe nothing is impossible if you love what you do. I do love my profession, helping people achieve their health goals, making even a small difference in how my patients feel; listen to, inspire, and empower them to take control of their health and enjoy greater vitality, safely and sustainably. I believe in this vision and am sure the best is yet to come.

I am a member of The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) and The Institute of Integrative Medicine, which are global leaders for continuing medical education in longevity medicine, metabolic resilience, and whole-person care. They provide an advanced network of continuing medical education opportunities including traditional CME events, intensives curriculum-based courses, university-level certification programs, in-depth workshops, and more. They lead and inspire practitioners to rediscover their passion for medicine and patients to take active ownership of their health.

Telemedicine (virtual) has been a helpful method in the time of the pandemic. Some believe that it will grow even more. What do you see as its benefits and downside?

– The increase in virtual care offered people unprecedented new ways to safely access their health care providers. Virtual care offers a convenient and cost-effective and time-saving way to see your doctor without having to leave your home and essentially eliminates the need to drive to appointments, take time off work, find childcare, etc. However, what is the quality of these appointments and of patient-provider interactions? This still needs to be analyzed. Older generations are not as open to using these services. They struggle more with technology since they don’t use it as frequently, so they don’t understand how to use virtual health services as easily. Virtual care is here to stay and we must continue to change and move forward with virtual healthcare initiatives while protecting the elderly. Their needs are greater and they must be kept safe.

We should embrace these changes in healthcare without losing sight of those who need it the most but find it the hardest.

Immigrants deal with numerous issues as they settle in the new country, such as cultural identity. I was impressed to read your position on preserving Albanian traditions and language while being accepting of assimilation? Did

I understand it right and can you tell me more about it?

– When you make the decision to move to a new country you should try your best to fit in with the mainstream society. That doesn’t mean you should forget your roots and where you come from. That is your identity and strong roots produce beautiful leaves.

In Ontario, the province I live, the month of November is proclaimed as Albanian Heritage Month; the Province of Ontario recognizes the meaningful contributions immigrants have made in building Ontario’s communities and the social, economic, political, and cultural achievements of Albanian-Canadians throughout the province. This is an amazing opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about our rich history.

I am very proud of my Albanian heritage, our language; our history, our rich folkloric traditions and try to preserve and transmit as much as I can to my kids because that is who they also are. And I always remind them of Dr. Seuss’s quote “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

On the topic of our heritage, as you know, over a century ago the founders of the Pan-Albanian Federation of America Vatra united around the mission of preserving the Albanian culture and promoting national interests. It was as relevant then as it is nowadays.

– Absolutely, Vatra has a legacy and is unified with the Albanian-American history. The mission might change with time but the values remain the same.

What have been some of the hardest fights for you getting to where you are? What do you wish to see change in the future for the young generation of Albanians?

– I would single out opening a business right in the middle of a lockdown. Yet I am a strong believer of the law of affinity so instead of focusing on my hard times, I focus on my blessings, I give thanks, and try to channel attention and energy towards gratitude, love, and trust. All things are possible when you believe.

Most of the young generation in Albania sees a future elsewhere and I wish for this to change in the future; for the country to prosper and give to the new generation all the opportunities, support, and space they deserve. I believe the next generation is different; they’re more confident, more optimistic, and have the potential to create a better future for the country. But in order for them to do so, the government has to urgently invest in them and I really hope that happens before it’s too late.

Thank you for the interview! Good luck!

Note: The interview was published in the March Issue of Dielli. This is an edited version.

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Eri Pasko: Në Tampa Bay të Floridës frymon një Shqipëri e vogël

Albania Heritage Foundation Tampa mbushi 9 vjet…

 

Nga Elida Buçpapaj

Me Eri Paskon njihemi prej një jete. Kemi kaluar fëmijërinë në një oborr, kemi të fiksuara në kujtesë fytyrat tona kur ishim të vogla, fytyrat e prindërve tanë.

Koha rrodhi si uji dhe u takuam virtualisht. Eri jeton në Tampa Bay të Floridës, unë në Zvicër. Kujtimet e përbashkëta janë urë miqësie.

Eri ka 21 vjet në SHBA, ajo është pjesë e komunitetit shqiptar në Tampa Baya që thuhet se numëron rreth 10 mijë banorë.

Amerika është një melting pot, ku çdo komb përpiqet të konservojë kulturën, traditën, gjuhën, muzikën, vallen, si degët e një peme gjigande. Të njëjtën gjë bëjnë edhe shqiptarët, sidomos brezat e parë, që pastaj me dashurinë për vendin ushqejnë brezat që vinë me rradhë.

Prej mallit dhe dashurisë për Shqipërinë, Eri Paskos dhe rrethit të saj të miqësisë i lindi ideja për të krijuar Fondacionin e Trashëgimisë të Shqipërisë – ndryshe Albania Heritage Foundation, që tashmë i ka mbushur 9 vjet plot me aktivitete dhe Eri është Presidente.

 

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Bordi Fondacionit

 

Albania Heritage Foundation tashmë ka krijuar traditën dhe është një demonstrim i bukur i komunitetit të bashkuar në festa e gëzime, në aktivitete që mbajnë të ndezur flakën e atdhedashurisë përmes muzikës, këngëve, kulturës dhe mësimdhënies të gjuhës amëtare fëmijëve, që fillojnë e cicërojnë shqip.

Tashmë komuniteti shqiptar i krijuar këto tre dekada në Amerikë ka lëshuar rrënjë, shqiptarët me punë e sakrifica janë kamur, fëmijët i kanë çuar nëpër shkolla dhe Universitete dhe ata tashmë të integruar si amerikanë nuk harrojnë se nga vijnë.

Kështu ndodhi edhe me komunitetin shqiptar në Tampa Bay të Floridës, që sa më shumë i shtrijnë rrënjët aq më tepër kujdesen të kultuvojnë kulturën e trashëgimisë shqiptare.

Kur shikon rrugëtimin e bukur që ka patur shoqata, ajo krenohet që bashkë me miqtë e saj ajo është një nga ideatoret dhe themelueset e Albania Heritage Foundation Tampa, krijuar nëntë vjet të shkuara, pikërisht më 2012.

Eri Pasko tregon se komuniteti i shqiptarëve ka ardhur gjithmonë duke u rritur dhe fillimisht në Tampa Bay nuk kishte aq shqiptarë sa ka sot, e megjithatë dëshira për të qenë të bashkuar, për t’u afruar me njëri-tjetrin ishte aq e madhe sa ajo bashkë me dy miqtë e saj zonjën Imelda pojani dhe Dr.Ardi Kraja ranë dakord për të krijuar Fondacionin në fjalë edhe për të bashkuar e organizuar komunitetin, edhe për të mbajtur të zgjuar kulturën e gjuhën duke krijuar një Shqipëri të vogël në zemër të Tampa Bay të Floridës.

Këtë Shqipëri të vogël e mundësoi Fondacioni, duke krijuar hapësira që komuniteti të ruante identitetin e vet përmes organizimin e jetës kulturore dhe artistike. Albania Heritage Foundation Tampa ndikoi që komuniteti shqiptar përmes organizimieve t’i ngjajë një familje të madhe.

Eri Pasko duke u kthyer nëntë vite më parë kujtoi se Albania Heritage Foundation Tampa startoi duke hapur Shkollën e parë Shqipe e duke u fokusuar tek mësimi i gjuhës amtare për fëmijët shqiptarë të lindur në Tampa Bay, çka u prit shumë mirë nga komuniteti. Me këtë rast Eri Pasko përmend kontributin që dhanë pa u kursyer për mësimdhënien zonjat Meri Kodra, si Aurela Mustali, Fanika Janku, Ana Kullaj, Marieta Poshi, Ina Gerxhaliu, Teuta Kanini.

Pra, Fondacioni u mbështet në burimet njerëzore të vetë komunitetit. Në drejtimin e koreografeve Rovena Kafilja dhe Anisa Papadhima u krijua grupi i valleve “Shqiponja”. Pastaj u krijua organizata e gruas me kryetare Juola Kamenicën, Lidhja e Shkrimtarëve e Artistëve, ku muaji Tetor sikur në Shqipëri është muaji i letërsisë, ku promovojnë librat e tyre shkrimtarët e poetët e komunitetit.

Dhe Eri Pasko rendit me krenari një listë me aktivitete të rëndësishme që ka organizuar Albania Heritage Foundation Tampa.

Sikur Festivali i valleve popullore shqiptare me producent të pakursyerin Dr Ardi Kraja. Në këtë Festival morën pjesë disa grupe artistike nga disa Shtete në SHBA dhe Kanada, ku ishte e ftuar nderi ikona e valles shqiptare Lili Cingu dhe koreografi Ramazan Këllezi.

Programi që jepet në televizionet shqiptare nën siglën “Këngë Moj”, ne këtu në Tampa Bay kemi organizuar çdo të shtune koncerte që dhe i quanim “E shtuna Tiranase”, “E shtuna Vlonjate”, “E shtuna e veriut”, etj .

Të mos flasim pastaj për kremtimet e Ditës të Flamurit, thotë Eri Pasko, ku ne për çdo 28 Nëntor ngrejmë Flamurin Shqiptar në oborrin e Bashkise së qytetit. Kremtimet e 28 Nëntorit janë madhështore, ku ne e shtrijmë bashkëpunimin edhe me organizata të tjera. Po kështu festojmë 8 Marsin, Ditën e Verës, 1 qershorin e kështu me rradhë.

Tani Albania Heritage Foundation Tafta ka krijuar traditë nëntë vjeçare dhe sukseset e arritura na frymëzojnë për aktivitete dhe gjetje të reja sepse komuniteti na mirëpret, edhe ne po ashtu jemi të fokusuar që të zhvillojmë në mënyrë sa më të larmishme si jetën artistike të komunitetit, ashtu edhe festat tradicionale për të tërhequr një pjesmarrje sa më masive.

Eri Pasko tregon edhe për periudhën e pandemisë, e cila padyshim ka patur ndikim në jetën e komunitetit. E megjthatë Bordi ka zbuluar mundësi të reja për të mbajtur zgjuar aktivitetet kulturore, siç ishte organizimi i Festivalit të Valleve popullore që u zhvillua me shumë sukses online.

Eri flet me entuziazëm për zhvillimin e komunitetit shqiptar, sukseset e biznesit, çka është ushqim dhe mbështetje për Albania Heritage Foundation Tampa. Aktivitetet tona mbështeten nga donacionet dhe bizneset shqiptare, falë të cilave suksesi jonë është i pandalshëm dhe ne në çdo aktivitet i përmendim si sponsorë.

Eri Pasko vlerëson ish Presidentin e parë të Fondacionit Dr.Ardi Kraja falë punës së tij të palodhur është rritur autoriteti i Fondacionit dhe sot Albania Heritage Foundation Tampa është i vetmi fondacion në SHBA që zhvillon aktivitete kulturore artistike për komunitetin shqiptar.

 

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Nëna nga Kosova Zoje Prendi iu bashkua në përjetësi 5 djemve të vrarë nga serbët Nga Keze Kozeta Zylo

Nuk ka qenie njerëzore dhe për më tepër nënë në botë që të mos tronditet kur dëgjon rreth masakrave serbe në Kosovë! Sot morëm lajmin e hidhur të ikjes nga kjo botë të Nënë Zoje Prendi, Zonjë Perëndie që kuçedra serbe i gllabëroi si nëpër legjenda 5 djemtë e saj Viktorin, Sokolin, Markun, Robertin dhe Gjergjin. Çfarë tmerri kur e lexon! Çfarë tragjedie ka ndodhur bash m’u në zemër të Europës në Mejë.

Masakra e Mejës ishte vrasja masive e 372 civilëve shqiptarë të Kosovës nga policia serbe dhe forcat e ushtrisë serbe, e kryer, më 27 prill 1999 në fshatin Mejë, afër qytetit të Gjakovës, gjatë luftës së Kosovës. Ata ishin kryesisht midis moshave 14 dhe 60 vjeç.

Imagjinata ime lëviz mbi trupat e masakruar të burrave të Mejës nga krokodili serb dhe ndaloj për momentin, ndaloj se shkruari, më zë gjaku i vëllezërve të mi nëpër foto të perçudnuara, të nxjerra sysh nëpër rrugë e kudo. Nuk është larg, thjesht 22 vjet më parë dhe bota e civilizuar akoma hesht për të sjellë në gjyqin ndërkombëtar kriminelët serb të cilët kryen genocid ndaj Kosovës vetëm pse ishte etnike shqiptare. Por në ndihmë të kujtesës janë gjithmonë penat brilante të Kombit e meqënse jemi tek Gjakova e perëndeshës Zoje, pranë më vjen Din Mehmeti me poezine “Avulli iI zi” si “Bulevardeve të mënyrës dëftore/ zjarri e uji luftonin përsëri/ maskat ëngjëj maskat thikë/shkelinin pushtonin çdo pikë/ Rreth nesh vajtonte era/ rreth nesh ulërinin bishat/ mbi gjakun tonë të mbetur.

Në atë masakër, burrat u nxorrën nga kolonat e refugjatëve në një pikë kontrolli në Mejë dhe familjet e tyre u urdhëruan që të vazhdojnë udhën për në Shqipëri.

Sipas Studiuesve te Human Rights Watch, masakra e Mejës ishte vrasja masive e 372 civilëve shqiptarë të Kosovës nga policia serbe dhe forcat e ushtrisë serbe, e kryer, më 27 prill 1999 në fshatin Mejë, afër qytetit të Gjakovës, gjatë luftës së Kosovës.

Burrat dhe djemtë u ndanë nga kolona, pastaj u ekzekutuan pranë rrugës. Masakra konsiderohet si më e madhja gjatë luftës së Kosovës në vitet 1998-1999.

Vetëm një pjesë e kufomave janë gjetur, pjesa tjetër janë vënë në kamionë dhe janë transportuar në Serbi, ku janë varrosur në varreza masive ose janë djegur për të zhdukur gjurmët.

Meja është një fshat i vogël shqiptar në Kosovë, i vendosur disa kilometra në Veri-Perëndim të qytetit të Gjakovës.

Studiuesit e Human Rights Watch dëgjuan për masakrën në mëngjesin e hershëm të 28 prillit, kur refugjatët nga Kosova hynë në Shqipëri përmes pikës kufitare të Morinës. Refugjatët që mbërritën gjatë ditës raportuan se panë burra të rreshtuar përgjatë rrugës në Mejë. Refugjatët që mbërritën në mbrëmje, dhe ditën e nesërme, pretenduan se kishin parë një numër të madh kufomash pranë rrugës në fshat, ashtu siç i panë dhe refugjatët që kishin kaluar nëpër Mejë rreth mesditës.

Një vajzë tetëmbëdhjetë vjeçare që kishte kaluar nëpër Mejë në atë kohë deklaroi se ajo pa pesëmbëdhjetë kufoma në anën e djathtë të rrugës. Rruga ishte e mbuluar me gjak. Në anën e djathtë ishin pesëmbëdhjetë burra. I numërova. Ata ishin shtrirë me fytyrë poshtë, gjaku ishte rreth e rrotull dhe nuk lëvizte.

Drithërimë të përshkon trupin kur lexon këto dëshmi makabare… Nënë Zoja mori mbi vete dramën e familjes së saj, humbjen e 5 luanëve të Kosovës në masakrën e Mejës nga serbët. Duke shkruar vazhdojne të enden vargjet lapidar të poetit të shquar Din Mehmetit si:

Rreth nesh vajtonte era/ rreth nesh ulërinin bishat/ mbi gjakun tonë të mbetur…

Flini e qetë Nënë Zoje, Zonjë Perëndie, se bijtë e rënë të Kosovës bashkë me djemtë tuaj Viktorin, Sokolin, Markun, Robertin dhe Gjergjin do të ringjallen si Feniksi nga hiri i Lirisë ndër shekuj.

Lamtumirë Nënë e Kosovës!

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2 Qershor, 2021
Staten Island, New York

 

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Dr. Marku’s Revelations of Italian Diplomatic Documents on Albanians During 1912 By Rafaela Prifti

Dr. Marku considers his first book to be a contribution to our national history. Indeed, the content of Dokumente Diplomatike Italiane për Historinë e Shqiptarëve gjatë Vitit 1912 presents declassified diplomatic dispatches during the first half of the year preceding the emergence of the modern state of Albania. The documents, presented in Dr. Marku’s book, shed light on the intensity of the early twentieth-century political affairs as Albanian territories faced multiple threats. “On one hand, the approaching demise of the Ottoman Empire threatened the vested interests of the Great Powers as Austro-Hungary and Italy were intent on protecting the status-quo, on the other hand, the Albanian patriots like Ismail Qemal Beu, Hasan Prishtina, Preng Bibë Doda, who appreciated the volatile situation and delicate balance held by powerful conflicting political forces of the time yet they lobbied and depended on the foreign offices’ military support against the Ottomans,” recounts Dr. Marku in our interview.

He argues that the project underlines the need to integrate and incorporate the Italian documents of the era into Albania’s historical studies. The diplomatic messages delivered by the Italian Foreign Office as policy guidelines are evidence that Rome had a great deal of information at its disposal and also corroborate Italy’s primary interest in the Balkans, the Albanian organizational capabilities, the Ottoman’s Empire internal state of affairs, the position of the Balkan states and that of the Great Powers with regard to the Albanian case. The topics covered in the diplomatic communications pertain to political, economic, and social situation of the Albanian people providing information that is not confined to history, but rather pertains to politics, economics, sociology etc.

Dr. Marku admits that archival research in Albania and abroad is the primary task of any scholar. There is no doubt that he adheres to this principle and finds that it’s difficult “to wrap up once you go into the realm of research and the studying of historic and diplomatic documents.” His passion for one particular subject began early on in his hometown of Lezhe, an ancient city in Albania, which is mostly referred by the name Lissus in historical documents. Driven by his dedication to study political history and intermational sciences, Marku received his college education at University La Sapienza, in Rome, Italy. He pursued his doctoral degree from the same University. Dr. Marku is a member of the Institute of History at the Academy of Albanological Studies. As a researcher in the U.S., Dr. Marku is a regular contributor of articles, papers, monographs for various publications, domestic and international, as well as a guest speaker at forums, symposiums and conventions.

Dr. Marku’s first book is published by the Institute of History, Academy of Albanalogical Studies, in Tirana, Albania. During his research work and preparation, he has spent years sifting through at least 16,000 documents in the Italian language, out of which, he has selected what go in the content of the book and he did the translations into Albanian, in accordance with scientific standards. The messages and directives provided for Italian diplomatic missions and representatives are in line with the foreign policy coming from Rome. Yet, what is communicated through these materials corroborates the thought-out moves by the Albanian political elite towards the final period of the five-century rule and the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, which prompted internal reforms and fueled menacing scenarios for Albanian lands premised on rival interests of its neighbors and conflicting plays by foreign offices.

For the purpose of the interview, we have singled out two crucial moments: the meeting of the political elite at the Tasim quarters in Stamboll, in January 1912 that laid out the platform and future relations of the Albanian leadership with the Ottoman Porte, and the position of the elected representatives of the Albanian people in the Stamboll Parliament which convened for the first time at the end of 1908 even though it was established de jure since 1876.

In answer to my question regarding Albanian diplomacy then and now, Dr. Marku said that the service of foreign policy is a craft in itself that carries important takeaways particularly from the past and the tangled circumstances that Albanians found themselves in the first half of the 20th century, both historically and politically. The book harkens back to a time known as the Independence Period. In span nearing twelve decades and two centuries from Independence to today, a number of thesis statements, theories, pseudo-thesis and counter-arguments have been circulating that have often polarized political opinions and muddied historical truths. Dr. Marku takes pride in recognizing that “the book does a thorough job in covering the period under review furnishing information to anyone with a deep interest in the past of Albanian people and the four vilayet or provinces: Kosova, Shkodra, Manastiri and Yaonina, as documented in the files of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

Dr. Marku, who is also a Vatra advisor on education, culture and national history, expressed his appreciation for the book promotion held at Vatra offices in the Bronx by the Federation and Dielli. On the evening of April 13th, a group of Vatra members and friends celebrated the release of the book. In his opening remarks, Vatra Chairman, Elmi Berisha said that “Vatra has provided a platform for authors responsible for such valuable works in the nation’s history, humanities, science and culture.” Mr. Berisha praised Dr. Paulin Marku’s work as a testament of his years-long research and dedication to Albanian history and national identity. He noted that Marku is a member of the Institute of History at the Academy of Albanological Studies and that Vatra has an excellent partnership with the Institute and is committed to further invest in the research area. Indeed, a five volume book on the History of Vatra is being led by the Director of the Institute of History, Beqir Meta.

As a researcher in the U.S., Dr. Marku is a regular contributor of articles, papers, monographs for various publications, domestic and international, as well as a guest speaker at forums, symposiums and conventions.

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ILIR IKONOMI RETIRES FROM VOA – TIPS HAT TO TRUTH TELLING IN JOURNALISM By Rafaela Prifti

Ilir Ikonomi at his book promotion in 2011

 

 

The lasting impact of the Albanian-American journalist with a-three-decade-career at VOA, author of books on history and Albania’s national figures, and a special contributor to Dielli, Ilir Ikonomi

After nearly a thirty-years-professional-career at the Albanian Language Service of Voice of America, Ilir Ikonomi announced his retirement from the anchor’s chair of Ditari broadcast on Friday. He joined the Washington DC-based media organization funded by the U.S. Congress in 1992 and has reported or covered important events in the United States, Albania, Kosova, Northern Macedonia, and other locations for the Albanian speaking community. Last Friday, at the end of the show, Ikonomi announced that he is retiring from VOA and will go on to pursue other projects.

The Albanian-American journalist said he felt privileged to have been part of a respectable media establishment known for standing up for the truth. He expressed gratitude to the audience for being part of the journey with him, and, as any seasoned journalist would, Ilir took them back to a once-in-a-lifetime event he covered in 1999. It was the NATO troops deployed in Kosova following the airstrikes and bombing campaign against Serbian forces. “On June 12, 1999, I entered Kosova with the NATO troops and reported via a satellite telephone for Voice of America,” he proudly recalled on his last show. He paid homage to “truth-telling”, which he says sits at the very foundation of the Voice of America, ever since its founding 80 years ago. Ilir Ikonomi remarked: “Reporting the truth is no easy task. It requires courage and hard work. I believe that the VOA journalists, who do their work free from government interference, are deserving of that attribute.” The Albanian-American journalist said he considers it an honor to have been part of this effort.

 

History and Literary Contribution

 

At 66, Ilir Ikonomi is a well-respected author of several books focusing on Albania’s history and national figures. Ikonomi’s work, “Pavarësia – Udhëtimi i paharruar i Ismail Qemalit” (Independence – The Unforgettable Journey of Ismail Qemali) was published in 2012. A year earlier, he debuted with “Faik Konica: Jeta në Uashington” (Faik Konitza: Life in Washington), a biography in the Albanian language, critically acclaimed for its depth with regard to the life of Albania’s prominent writer and diplomat. In May 2014, Ikonomi published “Pushtimi,” (The Invasion) that centers on the 1939 occupation of Albania by fascist Italy, as narrated by the U.S. Envoy in Tirana at the time, Hugh G. Grant. Two years later, the author released “Essad Pasha Toptani: The Man, the War, the Power”, which won praise as an impartial biography of the one of the most controversial figures of Albania’s history.

 

Personal Experience

 

I have worked with Ilir at Voice of America and on several State Department Interpreting assignments. For me, the impact of our teamwork along with my respect for his professionalism and humility endures far beyond the years we worked together. In April 2018, as the English Editor of Dielli I was preparing a tribute dedicated to the passing of Agim Karagjozi, Vatra’s President for nearly two decades. I reached out to Ilir, asking him to share his memories and he willingly provided a segment of his 2002 video interview with Karagjozi. It showed at one point the Chairman smoking and Ilir interrupting him to remark that appearing with a cigarette in hand would send the wrong message to the young people. “Without any hesitation, Mr. Karagjozi puts out the cigarette with a guilty smile. “Why didn’t you say that earlier?” he asked. “Mr. Karagjozi’s humanity was admirable, it was perhaps one of his most precious qualities,” Ilir noted in an email.

 

Faik Konica’s 1930 Original Article titled Albania unearthed by Ilir Ikonomi appears in Dielli in 2018

 

In March 2018, Dielli was marking the birth anniversary of Faik Konica. Naturally, I reached out to the author of a historic monograph on Konica. Again, Ilir responded promptly by sending a story he had uncovered in an old collection preserved by the Mayflower, the famous Washington D.C. hotel where Konica spent most of his years in the capital as King Zog’s envoy. The Mayflower was then “the second-best address in Washington D.C. after the White House” and records show that Konica had rented a suite there. Here is an excerpt from Ikonomi’s story written with such elegance and style that in my opinion, would have pleased Konica. “Konica’s suite which also served as the Legation of Albania, was located on the second floor of the building, facing Desales Street and had the plaque Albanian Republic on the door. Sadly, over the years, this part of the hotel has been completely transformed and the original suite does not exist anymore. Just like Konica, a number of Senators, administration officials and other celebrities had made The Mayflower their primary residence, for it was the meeting place of the rich and famous. The hotel was aptly nicknamed the Grande Dame of Washington.” Ikonomi writes about his excitement when he found out the existence of a monthly magazine with notes on celebrity guests and other hotel visitors. He said: “The historian of The Mayflower guided me through the many issues of The Washingtonian and there I was able to find quite a few things: In the February 1929 issue of the magazine, a writer named Margaret B. Downing had a few notes about the Albanian minister. At that time, Konica had just returned from a trip to Albania, during which King Zog had promised to promote him to prime minister, as I later learned with great surprise. For reasons hard to explain, Konica never went back to fill the post.” Ikonomi went on to say: “In the September 1930 issue, I discovered a long article written in English by Faik Konica, which was subsequently translated into Albanian by Gjon Mili, an Albanian-American photographer best known for his work published in Life magazine. The Albanian translation was printed in Dielli of October 14, 1930. As it happened the Albanian translation is widely known, whereas the English original was considered lost. I believe the English text in The Washingtonian is precisely the original I had been looking for.” So, one of the best-known pieces written by Konica in 1930 in English, was finally discovered thanks to Ilir Ikonomi. Dielli was able to reprint it exactly eighty-eight years later after Mili’s translation.

 

Ilir Ikonomi’s Presentation at Dielli 110th Anniversary – the Only Known Recording of Konica’s Voice

 

On April 6th 2019 at the morning panel of Dielli’s 110th anniversary event in New York, Ilir Ikonomi was scheduled to be the fourth presenter. He was unable to attend the conference, yet he made available for the event -and later donated to Vatra- an NBC Radio interview with Faik Konica dated April 8, 1939, almost 90 years ago to the day of the commemoration. The interview was conducted by Hilmar Baukhage, a veteran State Department reporter and NBC’s Washington commentator. This is believed to be the only known recording in existence of Konica’s voice. Reporter Baukhage asks about Italy’s seizure of Albania and introduces Faik Konica as the Minister of Albania in Washington. In the interview, Konica condemns the Italian aggression stating that after 20 years of friendly relations Italy attacked Albania “for no apparent reason at all”. Only a small portion of the interview had been previously made available by the Library of Congress. The voice of one of Vatra forefathers is a precious gift for which Ilir Ikonomi deserves credit and has our gratitude.
Congratulations to Ilir on a splendid career! Much success in his future endeavors.

In ending, my thoughts go back to his comments about Agim Karagjozi. Ilir Ikonomi recognizes and appreciates humility in others because he too is known for his modesty. Although the veteran journalist and author has helped Dielli shine a little brighter by enriching its records and archives, I doubt he will feel at ease about my putting the spotlight on him.

 

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The Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC circa 1920

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Rafaela Prifti, Ilir Ikonomi, Mirlinda Angoni in Arlington, Virginia

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Rrugëtimi i Ardian Zikës, mishërim i ëndrrës amerikane

Burim Goxhuli

Shqiptaro-amerikani Ardian Zika u largua nga Kosova në moshën 17 vjeçare në kërkim të një jete më të mirë në Shtetet e Bashkuara të Amerikës. 21 vite më vonë, më 2018, ai fitoi mandatin e tij të parë si anëtar i Dhomës së Përfaqësuesve në shtetin e Floridës, ndërsa tani gëzon mandatin e tij të dytë në këtë detyrë. Në një intervistë për Zërin e Amerikës zoti Zika thotë se arsyeja që e nxiti të futet në politikë është që të sigurohet se edhe gjeneratat e reja gëzojnë mundësitë që ai i gjeti në ShBA.

Nëntorin e vitit të kaluar shqiptaro-amerikani Ardian Zika fitoi mandatin e tij të dytë si përfaqësues i Partisë Republikane për një nga 120 vendet e Dhomës së Përfaqësuesve të Floridës.

Rrugëtimi deri në këtë pozitë të rëndësishme në politikën e këtij shteti amerikan, thotë ai, është mishërimi i realizimit të ëndrrës amerikane.

“Unë jam një amerikan që e filloi rrugëtimin si emigrant nga Kosova. Jam mishërimi i veçantisë amerikane. Amerika është një komb i mrekullueshëm. Amerika është vendi të cilin Ronald Reagan e quajti qyteti që ndriçon në kodër, ku kushdo, nga çdo sferë e jetës, mund të vijë, të punojë dhe të arrijë sukses sepse mundësitë këtu janë të pafundme,” thotë zoti Zika për Zërin e Amerikës.

Shqiptaro-amerikani Zika erdhi në ShBA në moshën 17 vjeçare, fillimisht në Luiziana, ku mbaroi shkollën e mesme dhe fakultetin, ndërsa studimet pasuniversitare i kreu në Florida.

Për 14 vite ai punoi në sektorin bankar, ndërsa më vonë themeloi edhe kompaninë konsulente në fushën e biznesit “Guardian Street”.

Përkundër karrierës së suksesshme në sektorin privat, ai thotë se gjithmonë ishte i interesuar në politikë, sepse e ndjente si detyrim për të kontribuar për vendin, që i dha gjithçka.

“Jam shqiptaro-amerikani i parë nga Kosova që bëhet pjesë e Dhomës së Përfaqësuesve të Floridës. Një nga tre shtetet më të mëdha në vend, një nga 20 ekonomitë më të fuqishme në botë, me prodhim të përgjithshëm mbi një trilion dollarë.Jam shumë krenar që jam një amerikan që ka filluar rrugëtimin e tij si emigrant dhe që ka arritur sukses në këtë vend të mrekullueshëm, që të gjithë e duam”, thotë zoti Zika.

Ai thotë se qëllimi parësor i tij në politikë është angazhimi që edhe gjeneratat e reja të kenë mundësitë, që atij iu dhanë në ShBA.

“Ky është institucioni që përcakton të gjitha politikat publike që lidhen me drejtimin e shtetit të Floridës, një vend i mrekullueshëm ku jetojnë mbi 20 milionë banorë. Me një buxhet prej mbi 100 miliardë dollarësh. Roli im është shumë i rëndësishëm. Arsyeja kryesore që unë i’u futa garës, është që Florida të vazhdojë të jetë vendi ku njerëzittë vazhdojnë të realizojnë ëndrrën amerikane, në mënyrë që çdo fëmijëtë ketë mundësi të barabarta”, shton ai për Zërin e Amerikës.

Në një kohë kur Shtetet e Bashkuara po përjetojnë ndasi të forta politike mes Partisë Republikane dhe asaj Demokrate, shqiptaro-amerikani, thotë se pavarësisht dallimeve qëllimi është i njëjtë.

“Politika amerikane është shumë e zhurmshme. Por përkundër kësaj qëllimet i kemi të përbashkëta. Një qëllim që fuqizon pasionin tonë, një pasion që garanton që të gjithë të jemi të bashkuar në një, si Shtetet e Bashkuara të Amerikës. Ndërsa ne mund të mos pajtohemi për disa çështje, ne të gjithë pajtohemi për një gjë, se Amerika është një vend i mrekullueshëm”, thotë zoti Zika.

I pyetur për situatën në Kosovë, zoti Zika tha se paqja dhe stabiliteti në Ballkan është rruga e vetme për një Evropë të qëndrueshme, ndërsa shtoi se ka besim se administrata e Presidentit Joe Biden do të vazhdojë angazhimin për arritjen e këtij synimi.

“Për mendimin tim presidenti Biden i kupton çështjet në atë rajon të Evropës. Bazuar në ato që kam lexuar dhe sipas mendimit tim, ai është i përkushtuar që të vazhdohet mbështetja, që të sigurohet se ky rajon i Evropës do jetojë në paqe dhe do të ketë një të ardhme shpresëdhënëse. Mendoj se ai e kupton shumë mirë atë pjesë të botës”, përfundon zoti Zika.

Aktualisht partia republikane ku bën pjesë Ardian Zika kontrollon Dhomën e Përfaqësuesve në shtetin e Floridës ku nga 120 vende,republikanët mbajnë 78,ndërsa demokratët 42.

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Komuniteti shqiptaro Amerikan në Staten Island mblodhi fonde për Marko Kepin dhe ish Kongresistin Amerikan Vito Fosella – Nga Keze Kozeta Zylo

Në zyrën e Marko Kepit, Shqiptaro Amerikanët vinin grupe grupe për të mbështetur kandidaturën e Marko Kepit për Këshilltar në Bashkine e Nju Jorkut si dhe për ish Kongresistin Amerikan Vito Fosellën, kandidat per president në Staten Island, New York.

Marko Kepi ka qenë me dekada në krye të organizatës së mirënjohur “Rrënjët shqiptare” dhe pikerisht me këtë organizatë kanë dalë në pah tiparet e një lideri të vërtetë.  Marko Kepi në fjalën e tij përshëndetëse tha midis të tjerash se: “Ne duhet ta mbështesim kandidaturën e ish kongresistit Vito Fosella, pasi ai e ka mbrojtur shumë kauzën tonë kombëtare.  Ai është një lider i vërtetë dhe në se ne fitojmë do të punojme fort së bashku për Staten Island ku jetojmë dhe punojmë si dhe për Nju Jorkun për një vend më të mirë dhe më të sigurtë”.

Marko Kepi ka ardhur në moshë shumë të re, por ai nuk ka harruar rrënjët nga vjen si dhe shpreh një mirenjohje të pakufishme për Amerikën që e priti.  Për këto arsye ai u regjistrua në Marine Corp të Shteteve të Bashkuara të Amerikës për të demonstruar dashurinë dhe vlerësimin e tij për një vend që i dha atij dhe familjes kaq shumë Liri dhe mundësi.

Ai është diplomuar nga John Jay, Kolegji i Drejtësisë Penale, drejtimi në Shkenca Politike dhe Histori, dhe fitoi per Master Ekzekutiv i Administrimit të Biznesit (EMBA) nga Kolegji Wagner.

Marko Kepi së bashku me ekipin e tij mblodhi më shumë se çdo organizatë tjetër në Diasporë fonde për t’ju ardhur në ndihmë familjeve shqiptare që u dëmtuan rëndë nga tërmeti i 26 nëntorit të 2019ës.  Ai mblodhi 1.6 milionë dollarë për të pa strehët.

Kongresisti Amerikan Vito Fosella në fjalën e tij përshëndetëse shprehu mirënjohjen e pakufishme për të gjithë komunitetin shqiptar të cilët janë një forcë aktive dhe e konsiderueshme në Staten Island dhe Amerikë.  Unë kam shumë miq shqiptarë dhe ndihem krenar pasi shoh çdo vit se si komuniteti juaj po rritet veçanërisht intelektualisht, pasi midis jush ka disa avokat, doktor, mesues, inxhinier, profesor, sportist, artist, politikan, biznesmenë të cilët e bëjnë qytetin tonë dhe më të bukur dhe më me vlerë, do të shprehej ish kongresisti Fosella para kamerave për TV “Alba Life”.

Z.Fosella tha se gjithmonë e dënoj genocidin serb ndaj shqiptarëve të Kosovës., kur ishja në Kongres e kam ngritur me force zërin kundër genocidit serb, por për ta njohur më mirë situatën më duhej të shkoja dhe t’i takoja direkt popullin e Kosovës.  Unë shkova dy herë në kampet e refugjatëve gjatë luftës në Kosovë dhe pashë me dhimbje njerëzit e vuajtur, torturat që kishin ushtruar serbët ndaj popullit të pafajshëm të Kosovës, fëmijët me lot në sy, pleqtë të shpërngulur nga trojet e tyre. Këto takime në kampin e refugjatëve do të ngelen përgjithmonë në memorjen time.  Populli shqiptar ka një vend të veçantë në zemrën time.

Vito John Fossella Jr. ka lindur më 9 mars 1965 dhe është një politikan republikan amerikan nga shteti i New York-ut i cili më parë përfaqësonte rajonin e 13-të të kongresit të shtetit në Dhomën e Përfaqësuesve të SH.B.A.-së për gjashtë mandate, nga 1997 në 2009 duke shërbyer si republikan i vetmuar nga New York City. Z. Fossella ka lindur në Staten Island, në një familje që përfshinte disa politikanë. Z.Fossella fillimisht mori detyrën në 1997, pasi fitoi një zgjedhje speciale të mbajtur për të zëvendësuar Susan Molinarin në dorëheqje.

Plot shqiptarë dhe aktivistë të njohur si z.Mundija, Jasin Gjoka, Agron Damzi etj të cilët kishin ardhur për të mbështetur Marko Kepin dhe kongresistin Vito Fosella u shprehën me fjalë miradie dhe po punojnë që të fitojnë, që siç tha studenti i shkëlqyer Gjoka po shkojmë derë me derë për të siguruar votat.

Z.Mundija dhe Gjoka janë në ekipin e z.Marko Kepi që po kandidon si këshilltar për në Bashkinë e Nju Jorkut.

Ata u shprehën optimist për fitoren e tyre!

 

Vëllezër dhe motra shqiptarë ju ftoj të votoni Marko Kepin këtë bir të Kombit dhe le të bëjmë histori si shqiptarë në Staten Island!

 

29 Maj, 2021

Staten Island, New York

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VITO FOSSELLA

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