Monthly Archives: March 2014

Albanians Represented in the Leipzig’ Book Fair

More than 50 authors from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Romania and Hungary presented their works on the Book fair in Leipzig, bringing the readers a mosaic of Balkan literature and its modern tendencies.

Poets, storytellers, literary critics and experts discussed the dynamic and to some extent even dramatic changes of cultural expressions in the southeastern Europe. The similarity of the brutal dictatorial past once again proved to be an inexhaustible inspiration for the Balkan writers.

Since 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of World War I breakout, literary reflections on this major historical event, triggered by the infamous Sarajevo assassination were one of the highlights of Leipzig’s Book fair. One of the writers who discussed the topic was Fatos Buxhaku from Albania who wrote a book titled “The Red Umbrella- Story of Austrian-Albanian fates in XIX-XXI”.

Following what’s been turned into a tradition by now, authors in this fair were not grouped based on countries or languages they represented, but in panels with authors from multiple countries. “Turkish or Greek coffee, Albanian or European?  Slovene or Yugoslav?” – was the name of the panel in which Besnik Mustafaj from Albania and Goran Vojnović exchanged thoughts. They discussed topics based on experiences they lived through and spoke about in their works; they talked about their stands and perspectives regarding cultural stereotypes, prejudices and ideologies that shaped one’s depiction of the other despite close vicinity (vicinity which shows similarities in tradition, culture and language).

The Albanian-Hungarian panel had Arian Leka and Gyorgo Spiro discussing “The absurdity in the life of people under dictatorship”. In his novel “Discretization” Gyorgo writes the story a Jew who despite being a determined communist is arbitrarily declared a criminal and communism’s enemy. Through this character the author elaborates on the Roman’s dictatorship massive terror. Arian Leka, on the other hand, tells us about the Port of Durres and how it turned into a diplomatic window in a hermetically closed Albania, enabling people to communicate with the world that they were no longer visiting or seeing.

In another rather interesting presentation, an Arberesh spoke about his fellow-men in Italy, their language and culture and their relations with ethnicities in Italy and the Mediterranean region, as well as of what it meant to be part of multi-cultural societies.

Stories of emigrants living between two languages and worlds were also portrayed on this fair, in the panel “The multi-voiced southeastern Europe, The multi voiced Switzerland”. Shaip Beqiri from Kosovo who writes in Albanian and Eugene Meiltz from Romania who writes in French exchanged their takes on this particular topic.

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

A Kosovar seeks the crown of Miss Switzerland

One of the three Kosovars competing this year for Miss Switzerland is Saranda Maliqi. She is aiming for the crown and beyond. Maliqi is very interested in leading shows as well as publish her poetry. 

Saranda is eager to try the competition and claims to be very excited. This is a just another step closer to the heights of Showbiz, the career where she sees herself excel. “This is a new experience and hopefully, it will be one that will bring many in the future. People have been urging me for quite some time now to take part in the event. I think that now is the best time to challenge myself. I believe i posses the qualities that the jury is looking for.

Originally from Gjilan, Saranda is proud of her heritage and tells that is happy to have two other Kosovar Albanian girls compete alongside, Donjeta Krasniqi and Anita Shala are among other 18 girls participating on the event.

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

“Syte e Shkruar” reaches Mexico

“Syte e shkruar” by Jeton Neziraj recieves a special place within the anthology of children’s stories. The anthology has gathered story writers from around the world. 

“Syte e shkruar” or in Spanish “Ojos de gato” has been translated from English by Jose Emilio Garcia. A 2011 story, this has been the first ever written story that has been transformed into a play at the Kids Theater Center. The story has been translated into English,Macedonian and Turkish.

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

Rilind Bytyci: The Albanian Star of the Aviation Industry

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) makes landing easier, comfortable and enjoyable for Kosovars departing from and arrival in Kosovo. Rilind Bytyci, from Kosovo, is the global manager of training partners for the IATA organization. 

Rilind Bytyci graduated from the American University in Geneva with a Business Degree, focusing on management, marketing, and psychology. He soon continued into fully funded graduate work, focusing on studying management and leadership. He began his involvement with the IATA after years of passion for the aviation industry. “Since I knew that this organization represents and manages approximately 240 airline companies around the world, the decision to become a part of this dynamic industry was easy. Though, it does come with enormous responsibility,” said Bytyci.

Rilind also adds that “Being a part of such a large organization is a privilege, but it is also a responsibility. We must remember that the company produces 32 million jobs worldwide, which shows its importance to the world economy.”

Mr. Bytyci also talks about his experience of working with AUK in Kosovo since AUK is the only authorized center for IATA trainings in the Balkan region. IATA will continue trainings and collaboration with AUK, and it will provide opportunities for every Kosovar society to be a part of the aviation industry by receiving appropriate qualifications.

Mr. Bytyci worked for IATA in Geneva and now continues working with the same company in Montreal, Canada.­

Albanian Network Businesses in Italy, Slovenia and Croatia

The Ministry of Diaspora held the forum for investments and innovated the Diaspora business Network in Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.

In Albanian Network Businesses forum, officers of the Ministry of Diaspora in conjunction with administrators of the organizations mentioned above, had the contingency to present opportunities as well as advantages of investing in Kosovo. In addition, the representatives also provided facilities in showing the benefits that networking in businesses could bring to businessmen from and around diaspora.

The first meeting was held in Treviso, Italy, where the majority of the Albanian community is located. The meeting was attended by a large number of Albanian businessmen, who welcomed the initiative organized by the Ministry of Diaspora.

Similarly to Italy, in Slovenia the interest to create a network of Albanian businessmen from the diaspora was also tremendously large. Representatives of the Albanian diaspora community businesses in Slovenia assessed such initiative by indicating that the unison of Albanians is powerful in both politics and economics spheres. After many discussions about the modalities of the operation there was an election on the membership and leadership of the diaspora businesses in Slovenia.

A network of Albanian businesses was established in Croatia as well. At the forum held in Zagreb, a large number of businessmen were present who, after discussions on forms of organization and policy implications, were able to establish the chairmanship of Albanian businesses network group in Croatia.

The meetings held in these three countries also involved our compatriots, who were informed about the process of diaspora register. The detailed information included the progress of the diaspora business implication processes, which would have not been possible without the support of the Diaspora itself. Associations and individuals showed their willingness to contribute to the promotion of the business process because it is one of the most important processes that the Government of Kosovo has implemented for the diaspora.

These forums were organized by the Ministry of Diaspora, supported by the UNDP (United Nations Development Program), The American Chamber of Commerce, the IOM (International Organization for Migration) and the Embassies of the Republic of Kosovo.


The original article was posted at the Ministry of Diaspora webpage. Click here to read the original article.

A Gjakovar family dedicated to Hamburg football

Brothers Bisaku: Samueli, Nikolla, David and Domenik are all little football uprising stars. They are young but their love for football has already taken great portions. They already have their role model: Xhaka,Behrami and Shaqiri, as well as are set on their dreams of one day reaching world fame.

At the Bisaku family, football takes a great part of the daily conversations. “It is a great pleasure and honor for me as a parent to have four children who follow their passion for football.” Xhon Bisaku who is originally from Gjakova goes on to explain that his dream was to reach the heights of football however Kosovo and its then situation had made it difficult, thus he explains that he is happy to see his children live the dream.

“They find inspiration in me, I steer them towards looking up at the Albanian stars like Shaqiri or Xhaka” XH. Bisaku

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

“Traces of Albanians in Sweden” ready for readers

The book “Traces of Albanians in Sweden” has finally been printed and published. Elhamie Zhitia,Astrit Gashi, Shuquri Sejdijaj and Muhamet Krasniqi have dedicated long working hours and devotion to an important contribution to the Kosovar and Albanian Diaspora in Sweden. 

The book is a collection of stories concerning the lives,aspirations, success, dreams, failures, struggles and nostalgia of 88 individuals sharing their life stories as Albanians in Sweden.The authors describe the book as an attempt to immortalize these emotions and struggles of the warm diaspora living in the cold Nordic state.

“Without a doubt there are countless other stories and people that should be included within the pages of this book, however, this time due to the page limitations, these are the ones we could grasp” claimed Astrit Gashi, one of the co-Authors.

This book is unique due to the fact that it is a mosaic like compilation of the diaspora. It includes original stories based on true characters whom due to different circumstances were forced to leave the homeland and emigrate to Sweden. Each and every story contains a lesson to be learned, each story is characterized by long and countless struggles that culminate with success.

Muhamet Krasniqi, another co-author claims that one book is not enough : “Even ten books are not enough, this book contains only a fraction of the population, there are countless other good examples that should be taken into account from successful Albanians living here”.

Based on the authors, the first recorded arrival of Kosovars in Sweden is around the 60s, whom through the years have achieved the estimate number of 50-6o thousands.

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

Ramè Lahaj – the Greatest Voice of Kosovo

In 1983, a new tenor star was born in Istog, Kosovo. Ramè Lahaj is taking over opera, leaving the audience amazed and speechless by his talent. The young tenor conquers country by country with his voice and artistic skills. In 2010 Lahaj won two prestigious international competitions, the first on in Riva del Garda, Italy called “Riccardo Zandonai” and the second one “Ritorna Vincitore” in Naples, Italy. He was also awarded the award for the best singer for Neapolitan songs. Lahaj has already worked with conductors such as Gustav Kuhn and Evelino Pidò and stage directors Henning Brockhaus and Robert Dornhelm.

Lahaj first started his studies in Kosovo where he graduated in Computer Studies. He then decided to follow his passion for music. This journey lead him to Albania where he began his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Tirana. In 2008 Ramè Lahaj graduated as the most distinguished student. One year later, Lahaj became the artistic director at the RTV21 channel in Kosovo (2009-2011) but it wasn’t until 2010 the talented tenor made his first real international debut in opera. It was at the 50th anniversary of Eutin Festival in Germany. Lahaj debuted with the role as Alfredo Germont in La Traviata. This would come to be a successful year for Lahaj as he also won two prestigious international competitions that same year.

The bright star is finding tremendous success in Europe, as he performs at the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest as the role of Macduff/MacBeth in 2011. He then continued his journey to Germany where he sang Alfredo at the Theater Lübeck. It was another great performance from Ramè Lahaj and the German press referred to it as “the best discovery of German opera”. The Kosovar tenor then debuted in 2012 with the role as Rodolfo in “La Bohème” at both Semperoper Dresden and at Theater Dortmund in Germany. The impact he had as Rodolfo continued as he performed the same role in France. Later on that year Ramè Lahaj decided to participate in the Puritani-production of Opéra de Lyon. This production also took place in Paris at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées

In Italy Lahaj stood out when he performed the role as Duca di Mantova in Rigoletto at the Teatro Massimo di Palermo, receiving great feedback. The role as Duca di Mantova in Rigoletto and Rodolfo in La Boheme has been really successful. This year, Ramé Lahaj will continue performing the role of Alfredo in La Traviata. He will also be performing the role of Rodolfo (La Bohème) at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

In this interview Ramè Lahaj talks about his road to success: “Getting to this point has been fairly easy and this is mainly because I’m fortunate enough to have helping and supporting friends, like Saimir Pirgu (tenor), Fadil Berisha (fashion photographer or Mrs Afërdita Saraçini (Kosovar media owner). I have also been strongly and continuously supported by my family.”