Monthly Archives: May 2014

Fleeing Kosovo: a refugee’s reflection, 15 years later

From celebrating her 13th birthday on a refugee tent in 1999, sleepless nights and crowded camps, Arta Rexhepi tells the extraordinary story of her life.The following article is a re-post from Mrs. Rexhepi who is about to graduate from the Nova Scotia Community College in broadcast journalism. Currently, she’s interning at CBC Radio’s Information Morning. She and her family fled Kosovo 15 years ago.

“Packing didn’t take long, we had very little with us. Everything we had was left behind in Kosovo. By then everything was probably ash. The next morning, I felt confused. I had a million thoughts going through my mind. I didn’t know what to expect.

More than 15 hours of travelling later, we landed in Nova Scotia late in the evening. We were greeted by Red Cross Volunteers, teddy bears, reporters and officials. I was exhausted. I didn’t want to go through all the blood tests, fingerprints and long lineups.

Fifteen years later, I have two beautiful children who are Canadian. And next month I graduate from NSCC in Broadcast Journalism. Who knows what’s ahead but so far it’s been a great challenge.

Happy anniversary to all refugees who came, the ones who went back and everyone that worked with us during the time.”

Read the complete article here  and let us know your story HERE.

Coca Cola chooses Xherdan Shaqiri

On May 15th “COOP” stores throughout Switzerland have introduced the Coca Cola bottles and wrappers with the local star, Xherdan Shaqiri.

Xherdan Shaqiri has, for some time now, been a football star and has been in the hearts and minds of football fans in Europe and rest of the world. Xherdan has been chosen as the player of the year and has been continuously playing excellently. Xherdan has been shinning ever since 2010 when he was chosen as the upcoming player of the year. Similarly, in 2010, playing for his 2010 team, FC Basel, he won two titles (championship and cup competitions). Xherdan played for the Swiss national team (in their team A) and once their trust was gained, Xherdan became a part of the South African World Cup (2010).

It is not the first time Xherdan has been chosen as a promoter.  “Credit Suisse player of the year” – a brand set by Nike has already made Xherdan an idol. Now, his excellent performance with Bayern Munch as well as the Swiss National team has made him the face of Coca Cola in the Swiss market. Many youngsters and older people are asking for the can with Xherdan on it, and are willing to buy the drink and be proud of the game Xherdan has presented in the Swiss representation.

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

Elbenita Kajtazi: One step closer to a dream!

Since her 15th birthday, it’s been Elbenita’s dream to become an opera singer. She already specialized in Music in high school while studying at the music school in Mitrovica and continued her undergraduate studies at the University of Prishtina, where she graduated.

Already as a freshman, Elbenita sang as a soloist with the Philharmonic Choir of Kosovo at the opening of the Mother Theresa Cathedral in Prishtina. She has won several national and international prices. For example, in 2009 Elbenita won the International Music Competition ARS Kosova and in 2012 she won the competition at the Song of the Flag Festival. Elbenita also won the International Ricardo Zamdonai in 2013.

Thanks to a scholarship programme, Elbenita went to the Campo Doro Summer School Program in New York in summer 2013 and started benefiting from a scholarship received from the German Opera Society in Berlin in May 2014.

Her past and current success makes us confident that she will continue achieving greatness, both nationally and internationally, in this way coming closer and closer to her dream one step at a time.

The original article was posted at Deutsche Oper Berlin- Click here to read the original article

Share your diaspora experience!

What is your impact in Kosovo?

Send a video (Max. 2 minutes) or a short story (Max 2 pages) until 23rd of June. The most creative and informative post will win an IPad! Click here to read the rules and regulations on participation.The form could be downloaded here

The writings and videos should be submitted at [email protected]

By submitting your video and writings, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions cited above.

Another Kosovar success at Olympics

From last week’s Zana Demiri, Kosovo has received another award. This time it is Lendrit Jonuzaj from Seniku of Malisheva who has won third place on World Biology Olympics held in Texas USA.

Jonuzaj had initially been placed on nation wide competitions, later to represent Kosovo on Biology Olympics. The Olympics brought together competitors from 59 different countries worldwide.

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

Diaspora voting made possible through mail

If you are from the Republic of Kosovo but are currently living abroad, you can apply and register to vote for the upcoming Parliamentary Elections of 2014. 

The registry form dedicated to voting through mail could be found at the following sources: (Formulari IFormulari II)

  • Help lines:

+ 381 (038) 213 100, dhe +381 (038) 213 200

  • Kosovo embassies and consulates.

The following criteria applies for all interested to part-take on the elections:

  • Be of the age of 18 years by 8th of June 2014
  • Be registered at the Civil Registry Database of Republic of Kosovo as well as posses a national ID card released by Republic of Kosovo or UNMIK ,
  • Also, posses a document that verifies the legitimacy of one’s Registration at the Civil Registry Database of Kosovo.

If you are in possession of  an expired Kosovo or UNMIK ID document, please do send the expired document, alongside with a copy of a current valid document released by the host country.

The signed form, together with all the necessary documentation should be received by KQZ no later than 19th of May 2014.

The signed form could be sent to:

·  Through regular mail to the following address ( Komisioni Qendror i Zgjedhjeve, Votimi Përmes Postës, K.P. 6 Kutia 351, 10 000 Prishtinë, Republika e Kosovës).

·  Through email ([email protected], and [email protected])

·  Through FAX: +381 (038) 213 200.

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

Zana Demiri wins Silver in Kenya based Olympics

Zana Demiri from Gjilan is a seventeen year old who recently took part in “Golden Climate” Olympics. An event that brings students from 50 different countries in competing with their ideas on environment, energy, agriculture and engineering.

Zana explains that the competition at the event was tough but her cooperation with Bardha Azemi had made their work on an environmental project noticed and awarded with silver. Their project foresees ways on filtering and cleaning contaminated water from the Ferronikel factory.

Zana Demiri’s success is not accidental, she is a hard working student at “Selami Hallaq” elementary school in Gjilan, who later was chosen to attend the “Mehmet Akif” high school. She is determined to continue with other projects and awaits to succeed on other competitions.

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

“Diaspora 2014″ award goes to Sara and Fehmi Fetahi

The already annual tradition, ever since 2011 has become an inseparable part of Swiss Kosovar diaspora community, thus having a range of many names and celebrities competing for it. The price is given every 10th of May, starting from 2011. Micheline Calmy Rey (2011), Xherdan Shaqiri (2012) and Ueli Leuenberger (2013) are among the names celebrating this award.

“By choosing the Fetahi couple, we have made sure to include the business sector of our diaspora.  Until today, we have had politicians and a football player; today we have two names with an economic background. Alongside their business success, the Fetahi couple is a symbol of the Albanian integration in Switzerland” were the words of the Kosovar ambassador in Bern, Naim Malaj, a lead member of the price awarding jury.

Other important figures that are involved in the ceremony are the Head of Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Safet Gerxhaliu, as well as the Head of Swiss- Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Stegan Sarkany.

Mr.Fehmi and Sara Fetahi are also very involved in humanitarian activities. They are well-known to the community for offering generous donations to various projects in Kosovo.

The sculpture offered as a price, is the work of the Berna based artist, Shpetime Kamberi.

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

American Albanian Banker and Prince Harry join forces in philanthropy

Mr. Richard Lukaj and Princ Harry join forces in promoting the fight against the spread of HIV/Aids.

Richard Lukaj, a famous investment banker has gathered a number of entrepreneurs in attempt to engage them within the  “Sentebale” foundation. Richard Lukaj, is one of the few businessmen who manages to balance the professional and family life. However fulfilling his success might be, Mr. Lukaj has decided to engage in philanthropic efforts.

A decade ago, Mr. Lukaj started the Lukaj Foundation, alongside other individuals and institutions he has achieved a number of good will projects, the most relevant and note worthy being the creation of the American University of Kosovo, the reconstruction of a number of foster care homes in Albania as well as the reconstruction of a school in Montenegro.

His longtime involvement in philanthropy has brought Mr. Lukaj to eventually join forces with Princ Harry in the “Sentebale” Foundation. “Sentebale” is a foundation initiated by Princ Harry and Princ of Lesotho Mr Seeiso, a movement that seeks to normalize the lives of many African young that are directly or indiscreetly affected by the HIV/AIDS.

While many were preparing for their vacation, Mr. Richard Lukaj and his family were actively engaged in organizing and hosting the event where Princ Harry would take part in. Hundreds of philanthropists and businessmen gathered in response to Mr. Lukaj’s invitation in understanding the efforts and workings of “Sentebale”. Among the present, Masiela Lusha, a well known Hollywood Albanian American actress, was chosen as one of the three international ambassadors of “Sentebale” Foundation.

At first, it seems a little odd that a well to do Albanian-American family would engage in efforts to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa, however Mr. Lukaj is very clear. Richard explains how Mother Theresa and princess Diana are still among the most influential people due to their work in philanthropy, he adds how their dedication and passion towards humanity had no boundaries.

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

Diaspora network stretch reaches North America and Canada

London, Toronto, Detroit, Chicago and Dallas are the latest cities to join the far reaching Diaspora Business Network. The Kosovar ministry of diaspora, with cooperation and aid from IOM and UNDP has continued the creation and link creation between Diaspora Business communities. The project aims the creation and strengthening of business ties between diaspora businessmen, thus encouraging investment in host countries.

As part of the project,networks have been created in London,Toronto, Detroit, Chicago and Dallas.The delegation from the Kosovar Ministry of Diaspora was consisted of Mr. Ibrahim Makolli, Naim Dedushaj,Ardian Spahiu from UNDP,Roberto Cancel from IOM,Arian Zeka ,Irena Kashtell,Elmi Berisha and Besim Malota. Toronto, the city where a large community of Albanians live, has been the first stop. The group had established a branch of diaspora businesses with nine (9) chairmen, with Bashkim Breznica as president and Afrim Gashi as vice president of the branch. Detroit, was the next host city where the group had landed and established a similar branch with Prenk Gjokaj being the head.

The delegation had the opportunity to visit the HTC factory in Detroit, owned and operated by Gjergj Juncaj. A well known factory with 200 employees specialized in metallic profiles, furthermore, it is important to note that the factory is currently ranked as third in the country within its field of operation. The delegation also stopped in Chicago where a branch with 14 chairmen, coordinated by Gani Ahmetaj,Vallton Hoti,Sedat Sadiku,Afrim Sejdiu and Pajazit Murtishi.  Furthermore, in the suburb of Chicago, the Albanian diaspora had also established a cultural Albanian-American center.

Mr. Makolli had the chance to be the honorary guest and officially open the center. Finally, the delegation had chosen Dallas as its last stop within this Odyssey like journey where an estimate of five thousand Albanian Americans live. A branch was also established here where 15 chairmen had been chosen with Nazar Mehmeti being the head coordinator.The core concept of the project had been strengthening the ties between community members of the diaspora as well as increase the cooperation between Diaspora and Origin Country businesses.

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