Monthly Archives: October 2013

Professional Excellence Award goes to Arta Dobroshi

Arta Dobroshi, a  worldwide known actress and front runner of many social causes, recently won the award “Professional Excellence Award” from the humanitarian organization  “Motrat Qiriazi” in New York. 

For this special occasion, Arta also gained support by the Open Society Foundation. Furthermore, during the 63th edition of Berlinale, Dobroshi was acknowledged as “Shooting Star”, given to her during the ceremony known as “Berlin Palast.”

The Professional Excellence Award was previously granted to important figures such as Rose Kolaj, Jim Romeo and Dr. Anna Kohen.

The original article was posted at the Click here to read the original article.

Dancing with world’s pop stars

“I am a Dancer, Bboy Choreographer, Model, Actor and a hard worker.. ” reads the description of Burim Jusufi on his twitter account.

Burim Jusufi also known as “B-One” was born 1985 in Skopje, Macedonia. At the age of six, his father got an great job offer as a chef in Switzerland and decided to take the whole family abroad. They moved to Switzerland where Burim soon discovered a passion for breakdancing.

When 14-year-old Burim Jusufi first came across breakdancing in 1999 after visiting a youth center, determined Jusufi trained as much as he could. His brother Illjaz joined him along the way. In 2000, Jusufi began entering breakdancing battles, earning his first big success with his 3rd place victory at the Junior Solo Swiss Cup in 2002.

Today, Jusufi can be found accompanying worldwide popstar Rihanna on her tour, as well as performing with “Cirque du Soleil” in Las Vegas.

“Since july 2012 and till now i’m living in Las Vegas in The Beatles show LOVE by Cirque du Soleil, which Cirque du soleil is one of the biggest entertainment and show business companies in the world”

When asked about how he sees himself promoting Kosovo through his work, he says:

“Everywhere I go I get asked where I’m from and even though I grew up in Switzerland I always say I’m Shqiptar/Albanian. In the training room of The Beatles LOVE Theatre there are flags representing the different countries that the artists come from. Naturally, I chose the Albanian flag. I always try to represent and Promote Albanians/shqiptarët (Kosovo/Albania/Macedonia) everywhere i go.”

Burim Jusufi continued by telling Kosovo Diaspora that even though Switzerland is a good country to live in, he found greater opportunities in the huge entertainment market in the US.

“As an Artist the opportunities here are much bigger and that is why i moved to the US”

For more information about Burim Jusufi visit:




Kosovo-born pianist is taking over the world

The press calls her excellent pianist, sophisticated, explosive and a name to remember. Ardita Statovci makes Kosovars proud all around the world with her talent. The great pianist was born in Pristina 1982 and it was there where it all started. Miss Statovci comes from an academic family with both her parents working as professors at the Pristina Albanian University. It is clear where she gets her academic and work ethic, by the age 15 she was admitted at the Mozarteum University and left Kosovo to pursue her dreams in Austria.

In 2007 the Kosovoborn pianist earned  her Master degree in Arts and was the best in her concert-class of Christoph Lieske. The sucess continued when she in 2009 got the opportunity to study at Indiana University with the legend himself, Menahem Pressler, who is known for his talent and as a founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio.

Today, the bright and shining star Ardita Statovci is in Italy where she is finishing her postgraduate studies with influentual people like Boris Petrushansky and Franco Scala.

Statovcis hard work has payed of as she is traveling throughout Europe showing her talents and making a name in countries such as England, Spain, Croatia, Austira, Switzerland, Kosovo etc where she has done outstanding performance as a soloist with different orchestras. The performances has contiued all the way to the US too, in both Utah and Vermont. This has lead to different brodcastings and radio recordings of her performances by Austrian channel, RTK and ORF/Ö1. Also, in 2008 she released her own CD with live recordings of her works on Beethoven etc.

During 2010 Statovci gave a great perfomance at the Konzerthaus Dortmund in Germany and recieved amazing critics. In october the same year, the Austrian Radio-Television Channel ORF recorded and broadcasted her performance at the Schloss Goldegg in Austria.

She has been awarded several times for her outstanding performance and her CV makes you blush. You can read the following on her biography from her website: “For her outstanding achievements as a young artist, Statovci was distinguished several times with scholarship and prizes from the Society for Music Theatre in Vienna, by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture (bm:ukk), from “Internationale Mozarteum Stiftung” in Salzburg, Piano Academy Birmingham/England, Fohnstiftung, University Mozarteum/Salzburg, Land Salzburg as well as by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMWF). She also was awarded and won prizes at Competitions like the Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now in Salzburg, “Bösendorfer Prize” at the Mozarteum University, International Competition Rotaract in Spain, “Talent of Kosovo”, International Ibla Competition in Italy etc.”

When asked about how she is representing her home country in the Diaspora, Ardita Statovci says:

“In every city and country where I give concerts, I represent Kosovo as a concert pianist born in Prishtina. Beside the CV and being originally from Kosovo, I am active in promoting albanian culture wherever I go. So, almost in every piano recital, beside big famous composers, I choose to include in the program also piano works by Kosovar Composers. In this way the audiences from abroad get to know the composers and the beautiful albanian music.”

Kosovo Playwright Awarded Best Screenplay at MESS

Kosovo Playwright Awarded Best Screenplay at MESS

The latest edition of the International Theatrical Festival ‘MESS’ taking part in Sarajevo, recognized Doruntina Basha’s, ‘Gishti’, as the best screenplay written by a Balkan playwright.


Doruntina Basha was born in Pristina, Kosovo, in 1981. She studied playwriting at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Pristina (20004) and got MA degree from Erasmus Mundus ‘Crossways in European Humanities’ program, in the field of gender studies, (2006/08).  Her play “Gishti” (eng. Finger) is a story about the last war in Kosovo seen from the perspectives of two women with a missing loved one. The two ladies, Zoja (aged 45) and Shkurta (around her thirties) continue their life together many years after the war, while still waiting for an answer  of the fortune of their son and husband (Shkurta’s). While Zoja has high hopes to see her son alive and well, Shkurta waits for a corpse covered in a black bag.

The story also explains the continuous patriarchal and traditional lifestyle of two women without a man figure in their house, and their treatment from the society they live in.

In 2011, the same play written by Basha was announced as the best contemporary play in the regional competition organized by the foundation Heartfact. In this competition, there were 120 playwrights from Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo participating and competing with their works.

The original article was posted at the Click here to read the original article

Albanians winners either way!

Tonight’s football match between Albania and Switzerland has brought a unique and tremendous electric feel among the people of four different countries: Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia and Switzerland.  In fact the attention is even higher in the Swiss side taking into consideration that Switzerland has six Swiss-Albanian international stars featuring for its national team.


Currently the Swiss team contains six ethnic Albanian players (originating from Kosovo and Macedonia), making this particular match even more exciting for the both sides. They are: Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern Munich), Valon Behrami (Napoli), Blerim Xhemaili (Napoli), Granit Xhaka (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Admir Mehmedi (Freiburg), and Pajtim Kasami (Fulham). According to the Swiss sports media outlets all over the country will be watching the game closely, anxiously and waiting for the turn-out results.


But instead of distressing yourself with the final results of the match, try to think this way “the Albanians will be the winners either way.”We are proud and embrace our ambassadors. They all contribute to our nation one way or the other. They are role models; they are ambassadors. They are our pride. We need more people who are able to integrate in their host countries and contribute to them. This is the best way they can serve Kosovo, Albania, our nation, our image. They are the individuals who have continuously challenged today’s negative image of our nation that is being portrayed by Hollywood and communities all around; i.e. Taken, Wag the Dog, etc.

FC Kosova Schaerbeek: A Small Brussels Soccer Club With Big Dreams

Five minutes into the second half of the match, the deadlock is broken after a blistering counterattack capped by a delightful lob over the onrushing goalkeeper.

Suddenly, the floodgates open and the home team doubles its lead within a couple of minutes. In the final stages of the match, it’s 3-0 for the hosts after a bucket-load of gilt-edged chances. The table-toppers, RC Sartois, have lost their 100% winning record and their place at the top of Brussels regional third division at the expense of FC Kosova Schaerbeek.

It might be just an amateur soccer club, playing six divisions below the national Belgian Premier League, but don’t tell that to the fans of FC Kosova. For them, it is a lot more than just a sports team. It is part of their identity, a second family. Fans point out that the club existed long before Kosovo itself gained broad international recognition as a country and opened an embassy in Brussels.

There are almost 200 fans watching the match — a remarkable number if one considers that there are plenty of better soccer clubs in the city. But there is more to FC Kosova than just the standard of football.

“Firstly, we are part of the Muslim community of Brussels,” says Avni Bakalli, one of the club’s fans. “And it represents everything that Albanians want from a football club: discipline, the will to win, brotherhood, and, in particular, mutual trust.”

“We have suffered a lot in history but now we have a club among us where we meet with friends, grab a drink, talk about everything and nothing, but primarily about football,” says another fan, whose son, nephew and cousin play for the club.

The president of FC Kosova, Abazi Xhevat, was a player when the club was created 20 years ago. He believes that there would be even more people watching if they had a proper stadium.

“The supporters are always here,” he says. “We have always had supporters and they are always there. You saw it today and it is magnificent.”

The team is currently confined to playing their home games at a fenced-in AstroTurf pitch in the gritty, multiethnic Brussels municipality of Schaerbeek, where a majority of the city’s 40,000 ethnic Albanians live. Previously, the team shared a rundown arena with two other neighboring clubs but they all had to move out due to construction work.

A Family Club

When Xhevat was still a player, the club consisted of a senior team full of immigrants from Kosovo at the very bottom of the football league system in Belgium. Today, it has already climbed up a division and is topping another table.  What’s more, FC Kosova now has 140 players and a team at each underage-level from ages 6 to 21. The club’s secretary, Afrim Kas, tells RFE/RL that the club is now becoming much more multiethnic with players from Turkey, Morocco, and several African countries, both in the senior squad and at youth level. “In the beginning when the club was created it was a nice little family club that represented the Albanian community,” he says. “But it has developed a little bit into a club for the whole of Brussels and in the surrounding region of Brabant.” Most of the senior team’s starting 11, however, still hail from Kosovo, but on the bench orders are barked in French. The coach of the team is Christophe Schoenjans, an ethnic Belgian who was the club’s senior goalkeeper for five years before an injury forced him to hang up his gloves. Even though the team still has a strong ethnic identity, Schoenjans sees no difficulty as an outsider coming in to give instructions. “They are not Kosovars, they are players,” he says. “For me they are players and it doesn’t really matter if they are Kosovars, Spaniards, Belgians, or Swedes. It is the same thing.”

A Vehicle For Integration

Yet, the pride of putting on the red and black shirt with the Albanian double-headed eagle emblazoned on their chests is obvious for most of the players. Club captain Ledio Kertusha maintains that he is playing for his country and his people, but he points out that FC Kosova Schaerbeek is also an important vehicle for integration in Belgium. “It is good for us because it will integrate us even more and do so in a better way,” he says. “And it will show everyone that we have a place in this society.” The team still plays a distinctly Balkan style of soccer characterized by a fondness for silky skills such as backheels, step-overs, flicks, and nutmegs mixed with fiery temperaments, angry gestures toward the referee, and the occasional theatrical simulation near the opponent’s penalty area. Kas believes that the club’s credo is to play entertaining football and for the players, both old and young, to have fun. “It’s a spectacle,” he says. “The kids who come here want to entertain themselves. That is the most important thing for the club: the entertainment. When they join the club, it’s because they want to have fun.”

Future Challenges

The relative success of the club does pose some problems, however. The annual budget of 4,000 euros ($5,500) is still small but will certainly grow if the club continues to climb up the league tables. The players don’t get salaries and the people who run FC Kosova still do it as a hobby. But referees need to be paid and using the pitch for so many youth teams is not cheap. So far, sponsorship from local businesses, membership fees, and a small entry fee to watch the home games allow the club make ends meet. But Xhevat hopes that the municipal authorities can help out financially as well so that all three teams in Schaerbeek can play on real football pitches with better facilities.
“It is not a one-year project but one that takes a longer time,” he says. “We will continue to work with our youth teams but will also strive to improve the first team at the same time. Not everything depends on us, however. We need support from the municipality when it comes to issues such as infrastructure and finance. All that is still needed, but we have the talent already.” A new, temporary pitch has already been found in another part of Schaerbeek where a statue of Skanderbeg, the 15th-century Albanian national hero, will overlook the action.
Maybe he will see the club continue its march up the soccer league. Fans are hopeful that the club will not only export players to the highest division, but that they will one day see their favorites take on the country’s big, established clubs.

The original article was posted at the here to read the original article.

You don’t have to be Adnan Januzaj to make Kosovo known

Have you ever felt that we are part of a secondary country? I have. Have you ever felt that we are a real country, but people don’t treat us like that? I have. Yes, we are an independent state, and yes the majority of the West backs us, but still …

By Stefan van Dijk

A concrete example of this is the fact that many big websites (social media, airports, banks, universities) act like they have never heard about Kosovo. The good news is that the initiative Digital Kosovo creates the opportunity for every Kosovar to act against this misunderstanding. You just send an email, tweet or write a handwritten letter (how romantic!), and advocate for Kosovo. We all know the success stories: the big fishes Google and LinkedIn have changed their policy due to individual’s requests to do so. They have recognized Kosovo – power to the people!

Kuwait yes, Kosovo no!
Recently I have tried to open a new bank account at my favorite Dutch bank. I go to their website and fill in the online form. I have to answer if I am living in the Netherlands or abroad. Because I live in Kosovo I click on ‘abroad’. A big drop-down menu shows up with hundreds of countries. I browse to the ‘K’ but I only find Kuwait and Korea. What the…?

I decide not to accept this administrative detail, and immediately contact the bank. For two weeks I speak with them via e-mail, twitter and telephone (thank God, they call me, otherwise I will go bankrupt). Every time they come up with different arguments why Kosovo is not in their drop-down menu. Meanwhile, I decide to contact the other big banks in Holland, and asks them to add ‘Kosovo’ to their lists. These banks seem to be more willing and promised to fix the mistake as soon as possible.

National radio
My own bank in Holland is still refusing to recognize Kosovo as a country. Frustrating, but I know for sure that several of their employees are irritated because a Dutch Kosovo-fan keeps complaining. Besides that, the Dutch national radio station Radio 1 interviews me a day later about the failing bank.

Even though one bank is refusing to change their website, their two competing banks did change it. And only for one reason: a normal guy has sent a simple email. Well, maybe more than an email. And I think that this is the power that individuals can play in terms of helping Kosovo be known. Not only Adnan Januzaj and Rita Ora are  able to change the face of Kosovo in the world. Each one of us can. You only need an internet connection or – for all you romantic Kosovars out there – a pencil and paper.

As a Dutch friend of Kosovo, I did my part. I believe each Kosovar can do that. The tools are there – just visit, or take the phone and make a call.

Stefan van Dijk has visited Kosovo on and off since 2004. Because he has a crush on the country, he has decided to live there since for the past two years. Stefan combines his work as a journalist, communication adviser, and NGO-worker. You can reach him @stefanspreekt

The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect Kosovo Diaspora’s editorial policy.

Diaspora youth coordinates the new organization “Rinia”

Despite living in Switzerland, their hearts and minds remain in Kosovo with their roots. The youngsters have formed an organization to provide help for people forgotten by everyone.

Their efforts help reach out to the worn-out and discouraged people who do not get any help in Kosovo.

The cultural-artistic association “Besa” in Biel Bienne has decided to create the humanitarian organization “Rinia” in Switzerland, which will soon create a greater network of people of good will, that live in Switzerland. “Rinia Humanitare në Zvicër” is a non-government, non-profit and apolitical organization. This association provides services for all people regardless of their ethnic, religious, political affiliation, etc. “Rinia Humanitare në Zvicër” in cooperation with the Red Cross Prishtina, visited a family of six members living in difficult circumstances this summer, in order to help them.

This was their first action as an organization, in corporation with the Red Cross Prishtina in Kosovo. The young members of this organization suggested everyone to give a symbolic amount of 10 Swiss francs to help this family. “Rinia Humanitare në Zvicër” has already opened its office in the Maeinstrasse 6, 2540 in Grenchen. They collect newspapers from the city for free and sell them so they make enough money for the rent and materials needed (necessary) for their work.

“The Humanitarian Youth in Switzerland” (“Rinia Humanitare në Zvicër”) was established in May 2012, by the dance group fellows of the cultural association “Besa” in Biel/Bienne. This organization is directed by Isuf Gashi, Emire Osmani and Shqipëron Kryeziu.

The original article was posted at the Albinfo webpage. Click here to read the original article

Lushtaku makes a breakthrough in the Asian modeling world

The Swiss born of Albanian origin, Heidi Lushtaku (23) from Cugy VD, after the success in the beauty pageant “Miss Switzerland 2013”, has made a breakthrough in the Asian modeling world. 

The finalist of “Miss Switzerland 2013” will fly to Bangkok and Thailand this October.

The dental assistant turned model has signed a three month contract with a French manager, who works with international known models. Lushtaku will challenge the Thai girls with her 1.72 m (5ft, 7inch) height, mostly because in Asia the models are usually shorter than the ones in Europe. Her agent is Bris Sly. They has met Heidi in recent days because even “Elite Model Thailand” and chose the Albanian girl from Kosovo to work with them.

Heidi says she has commercial face attributes that are ideal for advertisements. ”Miss Switzerland“ has made me famous, but it wasn’t just because of it that I got the chance for Asia modeling because I have been modeling since I was 13 years old”- said Lushtaku.  “In the end of December I will be back in Switzerland to spend the holidays with my family: parents, my seven sisters and my eldest brother”. After these holidays, in 2014, she will be leaving for Hong Kong.

Even though she has successfully finished the year in school as a dental assistant she has decided to postpone her studies for a year in order to continue her modeling. Heidi is still in negotiations for 2 another important contracts.

She has also has been offered the chance to be a judge for “Miss Kosovo”. Heidi says that she feels honored with such offer but she won’t be part of this jury, because of her commitment to the modeling in Asia. Furthermore she has been invited to represent Switzerland for the forthcoming “ Miss Universal Princess” in India. But sadly she will still be working in Bangkok thus not being able to participate.

The original article was posted at the Albinfo webpage. Click here to read the original article.