Monthly Archives: February 2014

A Kosovar refugee’s journey to the Royal Marines

Arben Islami’s story is nothing short but movie-like.  As a 12 year old boy, Islami watched the British Royal Marines march into Kosovo following the 1999 conflict, it was then and there, Islami had found his life goal. In 1999, Islami had left Kosovo for United Kingdom in search of relatives and in July 2012, granted citizenship and full rights to join the marines. “I wanted to join up and give something back to the country that helped me so much” said Marine Islami. 

As a child, Islami had witnessed the Royal Marines enter Kosovo in 1999 and at that point, he realized that he wanted to become one of them. After arriving in the United Kingdom, Islami was placed on a foster home in Birmingham, where he went to school and learned English. Currently, Islami is married and has a family to take care of, thus he also practices the profession of a bricklayer, however, this did not keep him from completing the 10 week long Commando training at Lympstine and becoming a Marine Reservist.

‘It is a huge privilege, particularly coming from another country, to join the Royal Marines because they are one of the best forces in the world.’ claims Marine Islami (Mailonline).
Marine Islami is excited for future deployments and commitment to the Marines, he continues to train with the Reservists and also working his day job of a bricklayer.

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

Kosovo Consulate Marks its 6th Year in New York

The Kosovo Consulate in New York City celebrated the sixth year of Kosovo’s Independence with high end participants such as the prime-minister Thaci and Frank G. Wisner. Other guests included : religious leaders of all three faiths, friends and contributors to Kosovo, foreign ambassadors,  officials from various international organisations and eminent community activists.

The event was hosted by a number of staff members and consulate officials, starting with the Ambasador Bekim Sejdiu, Consuls Korab Mushkola and Xhavit Gashi and the Military Attache at the Embassy of Kosovo in the United States. The numerous hosts were lined up at the entrance to greet the guests, where the Kosovar flag was set next to the United States’ stripes and stars. Hundreds of guests decided to honor the occasion and many came from outside the state of New York.

The welcoming speech was held by the RTK journalist Sulejman Gashi who welcomed the guests and expressed the importance of this date.”Sx years ago, when on 17th of February 2008, at the Kosovo Parliament, we had the solemn session that without a doubt has been the most important session in the whole History of Kosova. The people’s elected officials took upon the sacred duty of creating an independent country, the highest of political organization. The creation of a country was an agglomeration of ideals, sacrifice and hard work of many generations”

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

Adrian’s Journey from University of Prishtina to the United States

Adrian Zhubi’s journey began as a graduate of Medical School in the University of Pristina (Kosova). He graduated after the war in Kosovo and became highly interested in psychiatry, especially because he witnessed enormous need for mental health services for the victims of war in Kosovo.

In 2001, he received a scholarship from Dartmouth Medical School -Project Kosova, where he participated in the Clinical Clerkship Program. After graduation, Adrian decided to come to Chicago, IL   at the University of Illinois (UIC) for his Postdoctoral training in Neuroscience. The focus of his research was  epigenetic of brain disorders, which resulted in 9 publications thus far. During this period he has finished all US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) required for practicing medicine in USA and started psychiatry residency training at UIC.

Playing in the National Basketball League of Kosovo, and coaching the youth team, Adrian found that he enjoys working with children and came to understand sports as an educational tool. Adrian still returns to the basketball court for fun, plays classical violin, and enjoys blues, jazz, and rock music. In the past 2 years of his residency, Adrian has been working on his Master’s thesis project in Neuroscience. The focus of the project is the study of epigenetic mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of Autism spectrum disorder using post-mortem human brain samples. The results of his research have been presented in American Psychiatric Association meeting, Society for Neuroscience meeting and Albanian-American Medical Society meeting.

He is an active Kosovar community member residing in Chicago, IL where he will continue to practice psychiatry at a prestigious hospital in the Greater Chicago Area.

To learn more about Adrian’s publications click on the link below:

The video of Adrian presenting his work at the  Albanian-American Medical Society Meeting in Washington DC in 2013  is available at:

Albanian plays in winning documentary Neuland

Nazlije Aliji, an Albanian girl from Presheva valley, who is 21-year old and lives in Switzerland where she moved after her mother passed away, began taking integrating classes under the tutorage of director Thommen as soon as she joined her father in the country.

She stars in one of Ms. Thommen’s documentaries as one of the two protagonists. The documentary – “Neuland”, by the young director Anna Thommen, featuring Nazlije and depicting a story of an integrating class of newly arrived young foreign students, has been awarded with the Public’s Award at the 49th Movie Festival of Solothurn.

This documentary is Ms. Thommen’s graduating thesis at the Arts School in Zurich and has already received an award prior to the one at the 49th Movie Festival of Solothurn, the biggest and the most competitive movie festival in Switzerland.

The summary of the movie plot:

Mister Zing is a teacher whole-heartedly committed to the integration of young people in Switzerland. He teaches them and leads them step by step, preparing them for a life in a new environment.

Nazlije, a 21-year old Albanian girl who goes to Switzerland to live with her father after her mother passes away, upon arriving meets a Pakistani Ehsnaullah. Together with other immigrants, she has to learn a new language and adjust to novel cultural norms within the next two years. They find out that Switzerland is a strict country that implements rules and laws from the very beginning.

The students, who are in Mr. Zing’s class, besides the strict rules they must follow and the changes they undergo, adore their teacher. He feels to them like the only person sincerely and fully committed to help them in their adventure.

The movie “Neuland” aims to fight prejudices such as the perception of all of the new immigrants as homeless, unemployed individuals who wander purposelessly on the streets and are potential criminals. The movie opens up and addresses the real question that underlines it as well: Do these young people really have a chance in Switzerland? It is an undeniable fact that many of these people do not succeed in putting together all of the puzzle pieces needed for success.

The 49th movie festival “Solothurner Filmtage” closed its curtains on Thursday. The festival concluded by awarding the main judges’ prize “Prix de Soleure” to the movie “L`escale” by Kaveh Baktiari which also deals with the issues of emigrants’ lives. The festival was attended by 65000 visitors.

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

Valderin Xhemaj presents incredible Winter Olympics photos

Kosovo photographer, Valdrin Xhemaj presents to the world some of the most creative images from Winter Olympic in Russia. According to the Guardian, Xhemaj used slow shutter-speeds (around 0.4 seconds) to create these photos and blur the movement of the competitors.

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

Football for integration!

Football, integration and cooperation are at the heart of this tournament, equally important is the cultural exchange between people throughout the games.

The Kosovar Diaspora has been committed to making this tournament a reality for  nine years now. “Malesia Cup” brings together a total of 60 teams of various compositions, thus making it one of the biggest in Europe, as claimed by the daily “Limmattaler Zeitung”.

Among the many spectators, this time the tournament attracted two football players of Kosovo origin that currently play within the Swiss Super-league. They are Amir Abrashi and Mërgim Brahimi, both playing for GC of Zurich, while Abrashi plays for the Albanian national team, Brahimi plays for the U21 team of the Swiss. Both players were happy to see the degree of organization and the friendly character of the tournament.

At the beginning, the tournament used to attract only teams from the Kosovar diaspora, however with time, more and more teams of different communities started showing up. Currently, the tournament gathers teams from United Kingdom,Switzerland, Germany,France, Austria and Italy.

The tournament also attracted a news crew from Kosovo as well as the President of the Kosovar Football Association, Fadil Vokrri. ” I am here to celebrate the happening of this tournament. Who knows, I might go as far as saying there might be some potential talent here as well.” declared Vokrri for the newspaper.

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

Edison Kelmendi: A Rising International Model

Edison Kelmendi is breaking though in the fashion industry thanks to his charming looks. Even though he is only 22 years old, Edison Kelmendi worked for the famous and recognized designers such as Versace and Guess. Kelmendi started his career in Switzerland where he is considered to be one of the most booked male models according to

Edison Kelmendi is born in Gjakova from where he moved to Switzerland when he was only a year old. Kelmendi was encouraged to apply to a model agency by his father, an amateur photographer who loved taking photos of his son. Kelmendi got his first modeling job during the Fashion Days in Zurich where he gained his first runway experience. He still gets nervous before a show and he states in the interview that he believes that you lose the sense of fun for the profession once you stop being nervous before a show.

Kelmendi’s role-model is Jon Kortajarena about whom he says: “It is amazing how much he has already achieved.”

Kelmendi has been working all around Europe and is currently in New York for the New York Fashion Week. This dedicated young model aims for New York when he thinks of how far he can go in the modeling world. He hopes to be on the cover of GQ magazine one day and would love to walk for and be photographed by the famous Karl Lagerfeld.

Kelmendi talked about his friendship with the photographer Fadil Berisha for the He says: “I do not have any concrete plans with Fadil Berisha although I appreciate him very much and truly value him as a man, especially for his creativity and a great passion for photography. I would like to pose for him because we have a very good connection besides being good friends.”

Follow Edison Kelmendi’s journey through social media:

Kingdom of Lesotho recognizes Kosovo

Kingdom of Lesoto just became the 106th country to officially recognize Kosovo. Kosovo’s prime minister Thaci was the first to announce the recognition through his Facebook profile. ” We have just been informed that Kingdom of Lesotho, in South Africa, has recognized Kosovo. 106 countries have recognized our independent country. A beautiful gift for the upcoming 6th year independence celebrations.” -Mr. Thaci had written on his status.

A Kosovar in the Guinness Book of Records!

Albanian priest Dominik Qerimi gathered 51,865 pine cones and created a wonderful piece of art! This piece has been recognized in the Guinness Book of Records.

It took Dominik Qerimi four years to gather 51,865 pine cones and 53 days to complete a gigantic portray of Albanian heroes Skenderbeg, Mother Theresa, and humanitarian Don Bosko. Qerimi is head of the Don Bosko center in Gjilan and received a certificate by Guinness representatives for his Mosaic of Norms, a piece 15 meters long and 7 meters tall.

On one of his Facebook posts, Qerim stated that he is not an artist but that he is simply in love with Christ. Everything he is and does is a result of an awe he has for this love.

Dominik Qerimi received the recognition for his piece of art on February 8th, 2014 in an official ceremony in Gjilan. Even a new category was created for his piece of art: “Largest Pine Cone Mosaic.”

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