Monthly Archives: March 2013

Dr. Shqipe Hoxha: One of Kosovo’s youngest, most motivated and successful doctors!

Dr. Shqipe Hoxha is a young doctor that comes from a noble and intellectual family in Kosovo. She has enjoyed her family’s support throughout her career. Shqipe is very passionate about medical science and puts much dedication into her profession as a doctor.

During her time at medical High school, her teachers noticed her talent and passion about medicine. So her teachers registered her at a government program that trained her in the field of public and contagious diseases. After successfully finishing her medical High school degree, she got enrolled in a public medical university. Shqipe finished her medical degree in general medicine within 6 years. During those years, she followed a strict program of studying, practicing at the hospital and preparing for exams. After finishing her degree, Shqipe got accepted as a medical High school teacher. Furthermore, she got accepted at the emergency department in a hospital near Prishtine where she takes care of hundreds of patients a day.

Shqipe has also been taking part in the compilation of clinical modules at a public-private school funded by the European Union. The school will open by the end of 2013 in Ferizaj. After all, this is only the beginning for the young doctor. Apart from the fact that she qualifies for specializing in any field at any university clinic in Kosovo, Shqipe’s résumé received many positive confirmations from renowned clinics in Germany, Austria, Croatia and Albania.

Dr. Shqipe says that the medical field is very wide and complicated. It is a struggle to gain as much experience as possible and to apply them. Additionally, each experience varies by country. Kosovo and Austria for instance deal differently with the same issue, but the advantage is that  people and diseases are the same everywhere you go.

Currently, Dr. Shqipe Hoxha is working at a hospital in Linz (Austria), where she is assigned to the endocrinology clinic. There, she is part of a program that deals with internal and hormonal diseases. “Akademia Mjeksore Shqipetare ” is a research association of which she is a member of and which has sent her to Austria, hence, joining 50 other young doctors from all over Europe. She says that life in Austria is very beautiful and people are friendly. Yet, Shqipe misses her friends and family back home.

Once Shqipe started working in Austria, she realized that “medical science is the same all around the world and we Albanians keep up with scientific standards. However, the clinic in Linz is much more developed in terms of technology, medicine, keeping protocol and legal regulations”.

Shqipe enjoys a rather tranquil and happy life. She is engaged to a man who works in the same professional field. She says that family is sacred. Love and respect for each other’s different Albanian cultural background is key within her relationship. Dr. Shqipe also says that her steps across Europe go towards specializing, studying and gaining certification. Those steps, however, are to complete her final goal which is to serve her country and people!

Interview conducted by Akademia Mjeksore Shqipetare, translated by Albina Makolli. 

Kosovo born fighter Sadri Kelmendi runs one of Sweden’s most successful MMA clubs

Kosovo born fighter Sadri Kelmendi is a part of the the adrenaline pumped world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Born in Mitrovica in 1978, Kelmendi moved to Sweden with his family in 1992. Today he runs one of Sweden’s most successful MMA clubs, that has had success in European championship events.

Mr. Kelmendi talks about how he and his brothers have always been fans of martial arts. As a 14 year old boy he started training karate, Kung-Fu, boxing, judo. By the age 23 he fell in love with MMA, which he saw as the ultimate sport. When asked about what makes the sport so interesting and exciting, Mr. Kelmendi says, “There are so few rules in the sport”.

The dedicated Sadri Kelmendi and his brothers trained hard for a couple of years, and made some great progress within the sport MMA in Europe. They came third place in submission wrestling. As everything seemed to go well, they faced some obstacles and lost the club where they were training when their coach decided to move abroad. But this only motivated them to start their own club for anyone who wanted to train, even beginners.

Even though he expresses the love for the club, he says there are some disadvantages: ”What’s less good with being a coach and have your own club is that you cannot concentrate on yourself and your own training, but you need to help the members”.

The MMA club is called Forca fighting and is located in Stockholm, Sweden. At Forca fighting they try to mix the training, which consist of MMA, submission wrestling, thai boxing, boxing, wrestling and also some physical training. The club concept is ”to train hard, serious and determined”. They train five times a week at Forca fighting, and at least two sessions a day if they are preparing themselves for a competition. A good atmosphere and having fun is as important as being a community for the club.

Mr. Kelmendi talks about Forca fightings sucess, they are today 200 members and they are growing bigger by the time. They have two members who last year became SM-champions and others with some good placements. Forca fighting has also 5-6 professionals who train. They have won several titles in different submissions and brazilian jiu-jitsu competitions. Sadri Kelmendi won in 2012 Europes biggest MMA gala, Superior Challenge. His brother Visar Kelmendi competed in the same gala, but his opponent claimed he could not compete due to an injury, which Sadri Kelmendi claims is not the first time that an opponent surrendered. He laughs and says that he understands them, and continues to tell that this is the fourth time this happened to Visar. Mr. Kelmendi. he went on to express his frustration of training hard for three months and then being told that the opponents have retreated of various excuses.

When asked about how it is being a kosovar abroad, Mr Kelmendi says ”It is good, but you miss your homeland”. He continues telling about their future plans, that is to open an MMA club in Kosovo, because he knows that there are many Kosovars that could go far in this sport, given our mentality. But it is not as easy as it sounds, he tells Kosovo Diaspora: ”The problem is that we were young when we moved from Kosovo, and do not have the contacts that are required to start a club there”.

Mr. Kelmendi and his brothers will continue with their hard training, coaching members of forca fighting and their sons. They will definitely enter more MMA competitions, each and anytime they get offered.

For more information about the club, visit:

Article: “Meet Beauty Photographer: Fadil Berisha”

Fadil Berisha is just as iconic as the subjects he photographs. With a career spanning over three decades, Fadil continues to lead the industry with his imaginative fashion spreads, striking celebrity portfolios and top-tier advertising campaigns.

As the exclusive photographer for Rolex since 2007, Fadil has been traveling the globe to photograph celebrities like Roger Federer, Ana Ivanovic, Placido Domingo, Phil Mickelson and Gustavo Dudamel for this classic brand. Since 2002, Fadil is the official photographer for the Miss Universe and Miss USA contestants and winners. His unique vision has helped transform the coveted sixty-year-old organization into a more fashion-forward – and, sometimes controversial – trendsetter.

Many of the world’s most sought-after stars have been photographed by Fadil in his downtown Manhattan studio, including: Halle Berry, Bill Clinton, Snoop Dogg, Donald Trump, Clive Davis, Michael Buble, Tyra Banks, Robert Verdi, Patti Labelle, Isabella Rossellini, Fran Drescher, Renée Fleming, Emmitt Smith, Eliza Dushku, Russell Simmons, Rick Fox and Carol Alt.

Glossy fashion magazines around the world are filled with Fadil’s artistry. His work has been published in the most widely-read and influential publications, including Vogue, Elle, Allure, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Harpers Bazaar, Marie Claire, Ocean Drive, Seventeen, V, Vanity Fair, W, Esquire and GQ.

Fadil was born in Albanian and spent most of his childhood in Kosovo. Both countries remain very close to Fadil’s heart; so much so that he bravely traveled to witness the Kosovo War firsthand in 1998. He documented the tragedy in a series of emotional photos, which he displayed in the United States to raise awareness of the devastation faced by the people of Kosovo. Fadil’s experiences and heartfelt connection to the country inspired him to create the Kosovo Relief Fund to help families who lost loved ones in the war. He continues to give back to Kosovo and Albania by sponsoring upcoming models and photographers from the countries each year to help them begin successful careers.

A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Fadil has not forgotten the years of hard work and struggles he endured while climbing his way to the top of the photography world. He has made sure throughout his career to give back to struggling young artists and help them to achieve their dreams.

In 2010, Fadil launched his own glossy magazine, EagleView, an in-flight, biannual publication that aims to promote tourism to Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia. It provides readers with information on what to do, where to go and what to eat in each country, and also features glamorous pictorials of celebrities from those countries.

Creating EagleView has been a main focus in Fadil’s life for the past year, yet he has managed to remain devoted to building relationships, expanding his portfolio and increasing his roster of celebrity clientele. He has also been dedicated to creating enticing, stylistic campaigns to help convey brands’ messages through stunning photographs.

Fadil is considered an absolute perfectionist and is adored by those who work with him. He is passionate about his trade and his love for his craft is made blatantly obvious in his photographs.


Source: Kristen Colapinto. Meet Beauty Photographer: Fadil Berisha. Social Vixen. August 9th, 2011.

Further Recommended Readings about Fadil Berisha

Building on his love for physics, Kujtim Latifi researches cancer treatment

Kujtim Latifi is a medical physicist and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida where he does research in ventilation imaging. From a refugee during the war in Kosovo to his PhD studies in Applied Physics, Kujtim was always fascinated by physics – an intriguing science seeking to answer the ultimate question “Where do we come from?”

Kujtim finished his Bachelor of Science with major in Physics and double minored in Mathematics and International Studies in 2004 from the University of Denver in Colorado. His love for physics, nature, and the universe led him to pursue a graduate degree at Northern Illinois University (NIU), where he studied Physics and Materials Science. Kujtim’s research focused on the study of Ferroelectric thin films (nano-materials), while working at Argonne National Laboratory and studying films’ properties.

In 2007 Kujtim moved to Tampa, Florida to be with his fiancé and shortly after enrolled at University of South Florida (USF) as a PhD student in Applied Physics. He was one of the first students to start the USF Medical Physics Program, which is a joint program with Moffitt Cancer Center. In the Fall of 2011, Kujtim successfully defended his dissertation on Ventilation Imaging Calculated from Four Dimensional Computer Tomography (4D CT). When asked to explain his dissertation and current work for non-physicists, Kujtim says:

“Ventilation is one of the functions of our lung. The air and the amount that we breathe into the lung that feed our body with oxygen directly depends on how functional is the lung. This is more important for people suffering from Lung Cancer. During a radiation therapy treatment, high energy X-rays enter the body from different angles and are designed to hit the target (which is the tumor). However, because these rays have to travel through other normal tissue, they do deposit radiation dose along the way. Radiation is good at killing tumor cells, but it also damages normal cells. In this process, an already compromised lung is going to be even weaker as a result of radiation. Imaging its function (such as ventilation) allows us to know where the good functioning parts of the lung are and then avoid these areas when treating the patient. Currently, the standard way to image lung function is by nuclear imaging. Typically a patient inhales a nuclear gas (which is techetium-99) and then lies down on a table and a nuclear imaging scan captures the decay of that radioactive gas and in the process the lung function is imaged. This process takes about 30+ minutes. Our method does this without the use of nuclear imaging. It only uses 4D CT; every patient that gets radiation treatment has to have a 4D CT for treatment planning purposes, so no additional scans are needed.”

Kujtim plans to complete his postdoc appointment and find a permanent staff or faculty position. He wants to continue research in cancer treatment in order to help those suffering from cancer. On the long-run, he would like to get involved with researchers from Kosovo in the field of medical physics. The diaspora is not only a source of monetary investments, but also a source of educated people with vast experiences in various fields such as medicine, engineering, sciences, finance, etc. Kujtim says that increased training and knowledge-transfers by the Kosovo diaspora would aid the further development of natural sciences in the young country.

Kujtim’s full PhD dissertation can be found here.

A scholar, a full-time worker, a husband and a father: Dimal Basha races to meet his dreams

Basha says: ”I recall the great Gjergj Fishta who said soon after Albania’s independence. “Shqipnia u ba, tash duhen ba shqiptaret [Albania is created. Now we need to create Albanians].” In this case, Kosova accomplished it’s dream to be an independent country by breaking its chains from an outside oppressor. Now it is time to focus on domestic issues and set our priorities straight. Albanians were there to sacrifice their lives in war, but I strongly believe it is just as important that they continue to “sacrifice” in peace. In other words, the collective energy of our people should be invested in channeling new opportunities and build the country that faces many challenges ahead. It will be a long bumpy road ahead, but if we are honest and promote people who have a vision and care about their country, Kosova has a bright future ahead”.

Dimal Basha express the importance of attending at a school ”… where conventional thinking is challenged and there is a new approach to issues that the world faces everyday”, thus The New School is the one.  Mr. Basha talks about his thesis and why he chose that topic: ”I am currently working on how Islamic movements are presenting a challenge to the countries in transition like Kosova. I have been studying Conflict & Security and this subject has been of a great interest to me since new religious movements have taken root in the Balkans after the early nineties. ”

Mr. Basha tells Kosovo Diaspora, that working and attending school full-time while being a husband and a father at the same time is a challenge. He also emphasizes the importance of his family, that without them this would not be possible. ”I have three roles that it is often hard to find the balance without the support of others ”.  Due to his heavy schedule, Dimal Basha, would only see his wife and son during the weekends.”…I left early when they were asleep and came back after midnight and find them asleep”

Mr. Basha therefore tries to spend as much time as possible with his family whenever he get some freetime, while at the same time trying to study for his exams. He tells Kosovo Diaspora that he hopes to finish his studies and then settle into a more ‘normal’ schedule.

Mr. Basha continues with expressing how grateful he and his wife is for the help they got from his parents from day one, with everything from settling to supporting his education. ” We lived with them for 4 years and found indispensible encouragement and love that helped us to accelerate in our lives”.

While talking about the future he hopes to finish his studies and become an american citizen. Basha aslo plans to continue his freelancing, he has been actively writing for some Intelligence Magazines in the US and also published a few articles in Kosovo. Mr. Basha finds it hard to make long-term plans, but says that there is a responsibility in us educated men and women that are living overseas, to give back and contribute to our society and means that it would all be worthless if we dont give back. He continues with saying that”… we have a responsibility to leave a better world than the one we found”.

When asked about Kosovos future, he says ”I will recall the great Gjergj Fishta who said soon after Albania’s independence. “Shqipnia u ba, tash duhen ba shqiptaret [Albania is created. Now we need to create Albanians].” In this case, Kosova accomplished it’s dream to be an independent country by breaking its chains from an outside oppressor. Now it is time to focus on domestic issues and set our priorities straight. Albanians were there to sacrifice their lives in war, but I strongly believe it is just as important that they continue to “sacrifice” in peace. In other words, the collective energy of our people should be invested in channeling new opportunities and build the country that faces many challenges ahead. It will be a long bumpy road ahead, but if we are honest and promote people who have a vision and care about their country, Kosova has a bright future ahead”.

He also adds that it is important that we recognize the problems within the country and means that people needs to raise their voice, because silence in Mr. Bashas opinion, is dangerous in a democratic soceity.

Mr. Basha talks about how the diaspora is a powerful asset and should not be ignored. It is cruical that the government pays more attention and implements projects to mobilize the 1/3 of people that is living overseas, says Basha. He continues with telling about an idea of his own, ” I recently proposed an idea that would link our homeland and the students working overseas. With the help of our government, I think we can have educated students with little incentives go teach summer courses and at the same time get to know their country more. This can be a major benefit to our country in the future and the project will serve as the bridge that will bring them together”.

Read Dimal Basha’s blog at
Follow Dimal on Twitter @dimalbasha