Monthly Archives: April 2014

Integrating through Art

At the integration center of Aargut Canton, Agron Bajrami had the chance to present his culture through pyrography. 

Agron Bajrami is well known at the local Albanian community in Switzerland as a dancer, and as a founder of the Folk dancing school “Shota” in Aarau. The school celebrated its 20th year, and Bajrami presented some of his work in pyrography during the celebratory activities in the honor of this event. For many of those present, this was a wholly new side of Agron, even though he has been practicing this craft for 15 years now.

The exhibition included landscape imagery from Switzerland, Kosovo and Albania, animal portraits as well as historical figures. Mr. Bajrami explains that the works presented at this exhibition were his latest ones and were created in 2012-2013. “I have been working on this craft ever since the end of the war and I have plenty of projects at home and many others given as gifts to my friends and relatives. In here, you will find 30 of my projects that I have worked on this past year” says Mr. Bajrami.

The head of the integration center, Lelia Hunziker, as the host of the gallery, opened the exhibition. During the exhibition, Shukrije Ramadani, the head of Kosovar Cultural Center in Zurich, was also present.

“When we opened the center around two years ago, we were facing white and empty walls. This made us wonder what a proper solution to this problem is, and an idea that most of us agreed to was to have artists exhibit their works here. We were set on having artists of foreign origin who live and work here.” explained Mrs. Hunziker.

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

Arnold Gjergjaj: A tough guy – but only in the boxing ring!

Arnold Gjergjaj, also known as The Cobra, is considered the best boxer in the heavy weight category. He won all of his 24 matches! (18 through KO).

Arnold practices every day in order to be up to speed for 12 rounds. Aside from this, he is physically strong by nature. He got the nickname Cobra from his trainer when he qualified to be a professional boxer. At the beginning Arnold did not like his nickname because he is afraid of snakes. However, his trainer convinced Arnold that that’s the most suitable nickname for him because Arnold is a fighter whose hit leaves his opponent with repercussions. Arnold now enjoys his name immensely after he took some time to get used to it.

Arnold Gjergjaj has always enjoyed boxing. He remembers that he left Kosovo in July 1999 to go live in Switzerland. Three months after this even, Arnold began kickboxing. After seven fights in kickboxing Arnold decided to only do boxing. He won multiple fights as an amateur boxer and gained the status of a professional boxer through his hard work. He gained this status for years ago and won 24 matches since then, remaining undefeated.

When he left Kosovo at the age of 14, Arnold faced challenges of integrating into a new culture and learning a new language. During this time he realized that effort is the key to a successful life and continued integrating into his new surroundings very quickly and easily. Today, Arnold is not only a boxer, but also an ambassador for an association which works with kids who need encouragement in finding non-violent solutions to problems through sports.

Arnold enjoys the attention of both countries, Kosovo and Switzerland. The Swiss media regularly reports on his success and Albanians show up at his matches in big numbers. To him, it is important that all Albanians abroad serve as ambassadors and show respect and thankfulness to their host countries, as these countries offer them numerous possibilities to move forward. When Arnold spends time with his friends and family he is very calm and sociable which is very much unlike his in-the-ring personality. During his family time, he prefers not to talk about boxing but rather likes to discuss other topics.

Arnold’s dream is to fight against Vladimir Klitshko. He is working hard on increasing his chances to win in a fight with Vladimir. Arnold’s overall goal is to win the world championship and he aims at achieving this in two to three years.

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

Berisha grabs Gold on Taekwando open in Switzerland

The most successful Kosovar in Taekwando, Durim Berisha, has managed to impress the Swiss audience at “Schaffhausen Open 2014” which was held in Switzerland by winning the gold medal at the 80kg category.

Berisha is a member of the Kosovar Taekwando Team Representation. It is important to note that Berisha has been their shining representative throughout many competitions even though he lacks government support for his journeys.

This has been the fourth gold medal for Berisha within the five months, thus justifying his position as a stellar representative of Kosovo abroad. Based on the KFT (Kosovar Federation on Taekwando) this event has been one of the most successful events so far. In addition, the continuous victories prove the efficient approach of the technical staff of the federation.

These 4 international competition gold medals that have been brought home indicate the potential of growth that this sport possesses.

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

Kosovar Dramatists at Eurodram Network 2014

The European theater translation network “Eurodram” , organized at around 40 countries of different languages, has chosen among its best of 2014, specifically the best dramatists of 2014. Among the winning names are also Doruntina Basha, Jeton Neziraj and Stefan Capalik.

The Kosovar plays have been valued as contemporary and of high quality, plays that have a profound impact within the network. The competition has declared a total of 45 winners from various countries such as Denmark, France,Greece, Italy,Spain and Ukraine.

Doruntina Basha has been acclaimed for her play titled “Gishti”, Jeton Neziraj with “One flew over the Kosovo Theater” and Stefan Capaliku for “General Rehearsals for the Independence”. Each year, members of the network from each country pick their favorite, the aim is to translate the chosen plays and translate them as well as have them shown to the audience of Eurodram members.

The original article was posted at Kosovalive360. Click here to read the original article.

“Trio Harkor Kosova” with concerts around Germany

“Trio Harkor Kosova” will soon hold three concerts throughout the cities of Germany; starting from Berlin and Frankfurt and  closing it with Dresden. Alongside the group, the concerts shall be accompanied with piano player Desar Sulejmani, the event was organized by Intercultural Network KultUra. 

The trio is inseparable when it comes to conveying an emotion through classical music. This expression is apparently best expressed through uniting a violin, viola and violoncello ;played by Sihana Badivuku, Blerim Grubit and Aristidh Prosit, the key members of “Trio Harkor Kosova”. This time the trio had decided to travel to Germany, with the first concert in Berlin on 14th of April.

The event is comprised of the following plays : “Humoreska fur Klavierquartett” by Fatos Lumani, “Bareshën”  by Rexho Mulliqit, a play by Simno Gjoni and Aleksandër Lekovski-Lekaj, “Salut Albanians” and Brahms. The concert has been made possible by the support of the Kosovo Embassy in Germany.

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

World Shotokan Karate Championship 2014 – Kosovo

The world visits Kosovo for the 5th World Shotokan Karate Union Championship (WSKU) that is being held in the capital city Prishtina from April 4-6th, 2014.

The Championship is being held in the WKF Individual kumite category as well as WSKU Shotokan Kata and Shonu Ippon Kumite team and individual categories. According to the organizers of the event, there are around seven hundred participants from forty-five countries represented during this championship.


Seven Books receive promotion at “Sofra Poetike”

As part of the “Sofra Poetike”, an annual cultural event organized by our diaspora in Sweden, seven books have been promoted from Albanian writers, as well as prizes were given for the best poetry of 2013. 

The Albanian Writers Association and Artists “Papa Kelmendi XI” and Cultural Center “Migjeni” in Boros, Sweden, have organized the cultural event known as “Sofra Poetike”(Poetic sit-down). At this event, there were many local and international intellectuals, creators, writers and journalists, as well as plenty of people from the local diaspora.

“I highly appreciate this event,it is vital to promote and keep the Albanian language and culture alive. This event inspires all other writers whom are willing to contribute and create better literature as well as contribute to a greater national cause”- this was a statement taken from Mr. Fetah Bahtiri’s speech from the cultural organisation “Papa Klementi XI”.

The following are the books promoted at the event “ Kur i mbusha 70 vjet” – Fetah Bahtiri, “Malli për atdhe” – Nuha Zullufi, “Loti mbeti në gjirmë të zemrës” – Avdyl Uka, “Vrragë pështerri” – Hamit Gurgurit , “Zëri i Kosovës” – Bahtir Latifit as well as books such as “Edhe ne jemi Bota” and “Djali dhe tigri” by Sokol Demaku, a book dedicated to 4-grade education.

“Sofra Poetike” has a rather competitive feature where 23 poets have competed with 90 poems.

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


City of Bonn and Learning Albanian Language

Alongside the schools of Rungsdorf and Tannenbusch, there is another school that has recently started implementing additional classes of learning Albanian language.

The program is implemented on the after school teaching style. Pupils like Doreart Perzhaku, after finishing their regular studies, continue to their other school where Albanian language course is offered. Mimoza Mehana, the teacher of a group of 20 pupils starts the day off by reading some stories in Albanian and asks them to write down unknown words, this way, the pupils are active listeners.

“Communication in the mother tongue is one of the main goals of the course” says Mrs. Mehana. “The pupils are of varying age and come from different schools, some of them come from mixed marriages thus the level of Albanian varies from pupil to pupil”.

Mrs. Mehana is currently furthering her own studies in Germanic languages , a descendant of a family of teachers where her father Fevzi Mehana is considered an important contributor to Albanian learning in Germany (ever since 1979). Similarly, her mother Xhyzdija has been a teacher of Albanian language for quite some time now.

Each of the parents, bringing their children to their Albanian classes, talk with great admiration for the work being done there. Some of them remember their past teachers and many express joy that their children have the opportunity to learn their mother-tongue.

While the total number of Albanians in Bonn is unknown, the Albanian course here has been operating with great success. The opportunities that the municipality of Bonn gives to emigrants are stellar and in turn, such a commitment contributes to the integration of immigrants within the general culture of the city while keeping their cultural heritage.


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

NAPEC – a way to Network, Learn and Share Experiences

NAPEC – a way to Network, Learn and Share Experiences

The North American Professionals and Entrepreneurs Council (NAPEC) is a network for professionals and entrepreneurs providing networking opportunities within the business community. Some of NAPEC’s founders are of Kosovo and Albanian origin. In 2013 NAPEC was featured in Forbes Magazine and it was referred to as a “don’t miss” conference.

NAPEC was established by a few professionals, entrepreneurs and academics, who were active in their  communities and professions. One of the founders, who is with origin from Kosovo, is Erdoan Shipoli, the current CEO of NAPEC.

NAPEC co-founder Shipoli explains that the focus was on addressing barriers faced by many Albanian business councils and professional networks when trying to funnel real world opportunities back to their respective communities. He further explains: “we become limited to our own network and unable to open our community to all of the opportunities and resources that are out there for them to succeed. We need to find new ways to “plug in” our communities into the larger professional and entrepreneurial networks that exist in the vast and, at times, intimidating business world.” Other community based business and professional networks (in the US) had similar problems, and we saw the need of brining Balkan, European, Asian, African professional communities together. NAPEC, as a global platform, provides exactly that.

NAPEC Innovation Conference New York 2014 is a leading conference for small and medium enterprise (SME) innovations for sustainable growth, showcasing leaders in business growth and development. This prestigious annual event brings together entrepreneurs, academics, students, international experts, business support organization representatives, stock exchange and financial institution executives, policy makers, and international agencies involved in small and medium-sized business development. NAPEC Innovation conference 2014 has been designed to focus on the key areas SMEs need to invest in, in order to grow and sustain their businesses. Distinguished business leaders will convene to brainstorm some of the challenges related to business start-ups as well as elaborate on best practices within the SME sector. The conference aims to facilitate conversation that focuses on the key growth areas in small businesses, including finance, product development and technology, bringing together industry leaders in major fields of sustainable development, to educate and inspire leading entrepreneurs, SME owners and professionals who are growing their enterprises using the latest strategies and technologies. This NAPEC Innovation Conference will be held in Manhattan, NY in April 12, 2014 and it will host over 500 attendees from all over the world.

Another NAPEC Innovation conference 2014 will be held in Chicago in April 18, 2014, which will host over 500 attendees from all over the world as well.

Opportunities with NAPEC:

NAPEC Innovation Conference offers prime opportunities for networking as well as establishing new contacts and business linkages. There are various opportunities to do reconnect and network:  NAPEC Innovation 2013 Alumni Virtual Networking EventNAPEC Innovation 2014 Pre-Conference Virtual Networking Event, and Networking at the Conference event.

​During the Executive Forum Speaker Series a cocktail session for senior executives will be held where they will have a chance to explain their profession, organization and industry to young professionals.  Young professionals have the opportunity to gain valuable insights and network with individuals with similar interests.

The Professional Development Workshop equips young & experienced professionals alike with the tools necessary for success in any professional or business atmosphere. Synergy’s goal is to provide tools that will prepare individuals for challenges in their fields.

The mission of the NAPEC Professional Clubs is to serve this generation of professionals and to foster the next generation by promoting innovation, cooperation, fellowship and growth.