Monthly Archives: July 2014

In the name of “Besa”: How Albanians saved Jews during WWII

In the name of “Besa”: How Albanians saved Jews during WWII

The embassies of Albania, Kosovo, and Israel in Switzerland are collaborating on the “Besa” project. The project aims to remind people that Albanian Muslims and Christians saved Jewish people in the name of the “Kanun” (Albanian code of honor) during the Holocaust. Several exhibitions will take place in different cities in Switzerland and other European countries in 2014. 


Last Saturday, the embassy of Kosovo in Berne invited Albanian and Suisse businessmen to promote the “Besa” project, on which the three embassies are working closely together. An exhibition of the Albanian courage from the “World Center for Holocaust Yadvashem” inspired a small group of Suisse intellectuals and promoters to present rare photos and interviews to the Suisse public. The title “Besa,” refers to a fundamental concept in the Middle Age code of honor (Kanun) from Lekedukagjini and has become a part of Albanian culture; it means the promise or the given word and obligation for an Albanian to open his door to any guest. According to a traditional Albanian saying, “The house belongs not only to the owner but also to the guest.”

For the ambassador of Israel to Switzerland, Mr. Yigal Baruch Caspi, the project offers not only the opportunity to affirm the friendship between Jewish and Albanian people but also to highlight an element of history in which Albanians hosted Jews against the will of the fascist regimes, despite the risks. It was the catalyst to a friendship initiated by the Albanian people which Israel honored and affirmed by hosting 300 Albanian refugees during the Kosovo war of 1999. According to Ambassador Caspi, it is also very important to stress that Muslim Albanians helped the Jewish people.

The “Besa” group is in the promotion phase and is interested in working with new, curious people who would like to be part of the exhibition in Switzerland or help expand it to other countries.

18 year old wonderkid Adnan Januzaj is making history

18 year old wonderkid Adnan Januzaj is making history

How many eighteen year old Albanians have scored 2 goals in the Premier League? Only one. Adnan Januzaj is his name.

The Adnan Januzaj tale begins in Belgium on a very cold February day 18 years ago. Born to Kosovo-Albanian parents, young Januzaj was raised in this small country that was not considered one of the bigger football nations. At an early age he started playing football in Belgium, in Anderlecht’s youth teams. He spent a couple of years there and at the age of 16, Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United’s coach at the time, decided to bring in Januzaj to Manchester United. The Januzaj family packed their bags and moved to England, not knowing that their son would one day make history.

‘The young Beckham,’ as some called him, played in United’s Youth Academy and found his way up to the U21 team very quickly. Two years after Januzaj signed with United, Sir Alex slowly started introducing him to the senior team. Right before his debut, the United supporters  elected him as Reserve Player of the Year. On the 19th of May 2013, Januzaj made his first appearance against West Bromwich, but was left on the bench throughout the entire game. Afterward, Sir Alex retired, leaving Januzaj in the hands of a new coach; but would he give Januzaj a chance?

David Moyes picked up right where Sir Alex left off. He showed the same interest in Januzaj and included him in the list that would participate in the pre-season tour in Asia. Januzaj scored his debut goal in the tour and one month later won the Community Shield  with United. Last month, Januzaj finally debuted in the Premier League at the age of 18. United was playing against Crystal Palace on their home turf Old Trafford, and Januzaj was substituted in after 66 minutes. He was very eager to score and wanted to help his team win but was not able to do anything notable. Even though he was only 18 you could tell this kid had a bright future ahead of him. One of my friends,  a diehard United supporter noted, “The last time I saw anyone play this way in their debut game was when Cristiano Ronaldo did his debut in our red shirt.”

And we didn’t even have to wait that long to see him score his first goal, which he did at the start of his first game, I might add. On October 5, 2013, Januzaj and his 10 teammates walked into the Stadium of Light in Sunderland in front of more than 45,000 spectators. And once the referee blew his whistle, the game was on. Januzaj once again showed the same sign of eagerness as he did during his debut. Enchanting us with every pass, whenever he fired a shot he left the crowds gasping for air. Sunderland choked us by scoring the first goal only five minutes into the game and despite Januzaj’s several shots on the goal post, United remained without a goal when the teams went out for the half time break.

Fifteen minutes later, the teams were back in play and only three minutes into the second half Januzaj was awarded a yellow card for a dive in the penalty box. But the United supporters would soon forgive him. In the 55th minute, after a pass from teammate Evra, everything exploded as Januzaj managed to put the ball into the net . The 18 year old Albanian had scored not only the equaling goal but also his debut goal in the Premier League. Right after his goal I accidentally knocked over my bag of chips, launching them into the air and all over my carpet. I was shouting for utter joy and high-fiving everyone in the room. Look at him, Adnan Januzaj, scoring in the Premier League, the kid is only 18!

A brief moment later, as I finished picking up every chip that was scattered about the room, the bag flew across the room once again. “Adnan Januzaj with a second strike!” I could hear the English commentator shouting, and what a goal it was! Sunderland’s goalkeeper had no chance of preventing Januzaj’s volley from finding the net once again. Januzaj was mobbed by his teammates as the world went crazy. Eighteen year old Januzaj had taken back the lead by himself, becoming the youngest player to ever score twice in one game. “An Albanian making history–wow!” I thought to myself as I slowly sat down on my coach again. Januzaj was later substituted with only a quarter left of the game and as neither of the teams were able to score again, the game ended with a 2-1 win for United, who traveled back to Manchester with 3 points in their luggage, thanks to Adnan Januzaj.

Coach David Moyes could sleep well that night, all the millions of United supporters could sleep well that night and Adnan Januzaj, I bet he fell asleep with a biggest grin on his face. October 5, 2013 was only the day when Adnan Januzaj presented himself to the football world. I can’t wait to see what this wonder kid will do next.

Petrit Çeku: From Prizren to Baltimore and Back

Petrit Çeku, a young musician from Prizren, an old city in south-western Kosovo, is currently studying classical guitar in Baltimore under the tutelage of the renowned musician Manuel Barrueco. Çeku says that the opportunity to hone his skills as a soloist at Baltimore’s Peabody Conservatory is a boyhood dream come true.

“I still cannot believe that this is happening to me. To me, who owned every record ever made by Barrueco, down to the last,” Çeku (aged 25) told Southeast Europe: People and Culture.

Çeku previously studied classical guitar with Leo Brouwer, Zoran Dukić, Carlo Marchione, Ehat Musce, Scott Tennat and Ana Vidović. A year ago, he attended Strings Only, a summer school for string instruments in the Croatian town of Zadar, taught by cello teacher Valter Despalj. Çeku left his hometown of Prizren to continue his musical education at the Zagreb Music Academy in Croatia. He graduated in 2008 after having studied under Darko Petrinjak.

“I picked Zagreb, because it is a great place for guitar players. A number of contemporary world class guitar players come from the Zagreb school. My father was a guitar player, and I began playing the instant that my fingers were long enough to reach the strings,” Çeku says.

Çeku is the recipient of numerous awards including first prize in the All-Croatian Competition in Dubrovnik in 2003, and the Anna Amalia Competition for Young Guitarists in Weimar, Germany. The year after that, he came in first in the Emilio Pujol guitar competition in Sassari, Italy, as well as the Andres Segovia in Velbert, Germany.

Also in 2004, Çeku represented Croatia in the European Music Prize for Youth in Dubrovnik, where he also took first prize. In addition to that, he holds The Silver Medal which he won at the The Parkening International Guitar Competition in Malibu, California and second prize from Printemps de la guitare in Charleroi. Naxos, a classical music label, recently published Çeku’s debut CD, describing him as “one of the leading guitarists of the younger generation”.

Petrit Çeku, Isaac Albeniz: Malaguena

Çeku often meets up with fellow musicians from the former Yugoslavia. He says that, in addition to Croatia, there are many good musicians in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia. Çeku holds artists from Kosovo and the festivals held there each year in especially high esteem:

“The ReMusica, Dam Fest, the festival of chamber music are all great and I have already made several appearances there. Kosovo has many quality musicians and people with good taste in music too.”

This summer, Çeku held his first concert in his home town within the Summer Urban Festival on July 10. This was a chance to meet him in his house in Prizren’s district of Baždarana, where his mother welcomes guests in the traditional local way, offering them tea followed by coffee.

After specialization in the United States, Çeku says that his plans are to return to Europe, to continue working and holding concerts there, adding that he also intends to visit Kosovo at least three times a year, because of his emotional attachment to Prizren, where his family and relatives reside.

Petrit Çeku, Winner of 2007 Pittaluga Allessandria Competition

Source:  Refki Alija. “Petrit Çeku: From Prizren to Baltimore and Back.” Southeast Europe: People and Culture. August 17, 2010.

Roger Federer is my idol

Talented tennis player Artan Sadriji is establishing his name in the Swiss junior league as well as his homeland Kosovo where he won the Prishtina Open 2012. This 11-year old is known by his coaches and his parents as a serious and devoted tennis player with a great potential. However, when you ask Artan about it, he modestly states that he always simply aims to improve his weaknesses.

11-year old Artan Sadriji reached the quarter-finals in the younger-than-12 category at the tennis championship in Kriens, Switzerland. His coach and teammates from Spreitenbach-Aargau team are as proud as the Albanian young talent’s parents.

Aware of his skills but also of his flaws, Artan knows exactly what he wants and what he can achieve in the future with hard work and determination. The reason he did not get into the semi-finals at the last tournament was not only the tough competition but also his foot injury. Thanks to his parents, however, he has a strong will and a positive attitude, which allows him not be only focused on winning, and lets him take pride in participating and competing as well.

Artan’s friends and family are not the only ones who appreciate his improvements. Sponsors are constantly showing interest in Artan and his extraordinary talent.  Swiss tennis association is his main sponsor for the upcoming season but certainly not the only one. When he was asked who his favorite player was by the Albanian journal Albinfo Artan answered: “Roger Federer is my idol.”

The crowned champion of the Prishtina Open 2012 in the younger-than-12 category Artan Sadriji will not stop at this tournament. In six months, he has another tournament that offers him an opportunity to get one step closer to his idol in his tennis expertise.

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

The Strategy on Diaspora and Migration 2013-2018

Last week the Government of the Republic of Kosovo approved the Strategy on Diaspora and Migration, 2013-2018. This phrase is a step further into prioritizing the biggest social group of Kosovo: the Diaspora.

The Government of the Republic of Kosovo approved the Strategy on Diaspora and Migration, 2013-2018. The Minister of Diaspora, Mr. Ibrahim Makolli, stated that the strategy is intended to ensure the advancement of social and political rights for the diaspora. However, the strategy also aims to preserve cultural and linguistic identity, as well as help ease the integration process of the Kosovo diaspora into other countries.

Minister Makolli also stressed that, “the objectives of the strategy are the legal and administrative facilities for those who which to assist the economic development of the country. A main objective is organization of the diaspora, in order to help network members throughout the world.”

The Strategy on Diaspora and Migration 2013-2018 is the first strategic document of the government of its kind. The Commission initially developed the strategy after intensive work that required cooperation and support from international institutions, civil society organizations, media coverage, the Republic of Kosovo, and extensive consultation with diaspora members all over the world.

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

International Interfaith Conference in Kosovo

International Interfaith Conference in Kosovo

The second international conference on interfaith dialogue is organized by Interfaith Kosovo, a joint initiative of civil society, faith communities, and Kosovo’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, promoting an agenda of reconciliation and understanding in Kosovo and beyond. The conference is a flagship event of the annual “Week of Tolerance and Reconciliation” that brings together international opinion-makers and thought leaders to contribute to the ongoing debate on the role of religion and interfaith dialogue in contemporary societies.

View the full schedule of events and read more about the conference HERE 

Kosova! Champion!

Kosova! Champion!

Kosovo has been a state for six years now, but recognition is dragging. That’s why the first international football match against Haiti turned into a public festival. Our great report from “11FREUNDE#149 (11FRIENDS#149):

“A Haitian flag!” Alban shouts. ”Wouldn’t it be great if we had a Haitian flag right now?”

He walks through the city of Mitrovica with big steps, thin rain drops fall from the sky; people are already gathered in front of the old store and have started drumming and singing and Alban Muja is happy to join in. Without an opponent you can’t have a football match, yet there are not many who want to play against Kosovo. Haiti, however, is ready to be Kosovo’s opponent and ironically proves to be its ally, with this match being the small Balkan country’s ticket to experiencing its first official FIFA match. For six years an independent state but not a part of the international community, not even in terms of football.

Not only football, but a historical event!

“Man, welcome to my home city!” Alban says as he steps out of his rusty Fiat Punto with squeaky windscreen wipers. He drove 50km from the capital Prishtina to Mitrovica, but his arms are wide open, as if he’s embracing the world. A happy Kosovar with a flat cap, a full beard and colourful scarves, a cigarette in his right hand, his phone in his left. Every five minutes someone calls: “Where do we meet, are you already on your way?” On the clipboard above the glove box is the sports magazine with the title in capital letters: “Let’s go, Kosovo!”

“It’s not just a game,” Alban says. “For us this is a historical event, especially for me. I know the stadium, I played myself there.”

It’s raining on the morning of the historic day, fogging up car windows and creating brown streams that flow through the streets. But the weather isn’t necessarily a sign for anything.  Today Alban skipped university, though it’s not his first time.

Alban Muja, born September 10th in Ksovska Mitrovica is one of the best known artists of his young country. Last year in May, the national gallery in Prishtina dedicated a solo exhibition to him, and his name was written on billboards all over the country. Not that he hasn’t been famous before. Walking through the streets of the capital city, barely 5 minutes would pass without his having to pause for “Hello, how are you? Si jeni? A jeni mire?”

Muja’s art says much about Kosovo: He shot photographs of the nine boys who carry the name Tonibler, named after Great Britain’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair. (In Kosovo, Blair is revered as saviour, just like Bill Clinton, for whom Kosovars sculpted a statue and named a street after.) Alban interviewed the young woman whose father named her Palestina.

One of his pieces shows the Ibar Bridge of his home town, which no one wants to cross anymore. He called it the “Museum of Contemporary History” because “it does not connect,” instead, “it divides.” The bridge with the elevated wall in the midst of its pathway has become Mitrovica’s symbol. Mitrovica, divided between Albanians in the South and Serbs in the north also symbolizes the long hurdles that Kosovo still has to overcome. Serbia does not recognize the independence of its former province.

Kosova! Champion!

Only confederation members can become FIFA members. And only UNO-members can become UEFA-members. That’s the Regulation.

That’s why only three flags are to be seen at the old Trepca’s stadium: Haiti’s red flag, FIFA’s blue flag and the yellow fair-play-banner.  The left pole, however, remains empty; that was the deal. “But I have one!” Alban shouts and swings his little paper flag, which they distributed to whomever wished to have one. And then the fireworks begin; blue and yellow powder shoots into the sky right behind the tribune, supported by loud firecrackers, and people get their phones ready. The last cannon beat is still resounding when the two teams start walking into the muddy playground. 11 Kosovars dressed in white; it looks beautiful in the light of this grey day.

As if the whole Country was playing

“It feels so great,” says Enis Alushi, “as if we weren’t playing, but instead the whole nation.” The day before the game, Enis , the 28 year-old midfielder in the first league of FC Kaiserslautern, is sitting on the headboard in one of Hotel Emerald’s rooms. That’s where the Kosovo team resides, 15 kilometers outside of Prishtina. “Actually we are not supposed to give interviews,” he says.

So the meeting has a secretive vibe. The room is actually Albert Bunjaku’s room, another  FCK player. He enters the room after a few minutes with a coffee cup, dressed in a white jacket that has “Kosova” written on its back.

“When you’re a kid you’re not a politician”

It takes about an hour, including pictures and lunch. There is not much time. It’s not easy to get football players to talk about serious subjects. Already in their teens, they are trained to talk without saying much. But politics is inevitable. Even the stadium is named after Adem Jashari, Kosovo’s former KLA-commander. He is respected as a war hero and martyr. The stadium is located on the shores of the Ibar River and its seats are green.

“Politics do not play a role for athletes,” Enis states at the beginning of the interview. “But we know that politics have been discussed a lot in the past years in order for us to be able to play in this stadium.”  Just like Alban Mulaj, Enis also enjoys coming back to his home town. Enis was born in Mitrovica on 22nd December 1985. He grew up in a house, but after 8 years of living in it, his parents packed their belongings overnight and decided to set out for the great land of promising hope, Germany, because “there is no way we’ll find happiness here.”

The house that Enis grew in does not exist anymore; at least he perceives it as such. The house lies in the Serbian part of the city. “Up to this day, we can’t set a step into our old apartment,” he says. The Serbs in the north do not recognize the government in Prishtina. They want autonomy, or better yet, to be part of Serbia. Even on game day you see tanks, “Carabinieri,” on both river sides. “I remember my school friends,” says Enis. “From that day on, I’ve never seen them again. It was a mixed school, and I hung out with Serbs, as well. When you’re a kid you’re not a politician,” he notes.

Of course today all politicians have come; they don’t want to miss out on the match. Prime Minister Hashim Thaci even showed up to the final training which took place right next to the brown coal power station. The power station feeds all of Kosovo’s Energy Needs. “You are our pride,” Thaci proclaimed to the players.  “You are our pride, welcome home.” “This is so pathetic,” one of the local photographers remarks. “Well, elections will be held soon,” replies another.

Reality is often darker than the smoke from the power plant; the country lives off of the international community and remittances sent by exiled-Kosovars. Half a million Kosovars live in Germany and Switzerland. EU support money, about 70 million euros a year, flows into Kosovo. Transparency International’s corruption index ranks Kosovo on 111 out of 175, together with Ethiopia and Tanzania. It only gets worse if a country does not appear on the list at all.

“Maybe it a small sign to other nations”

“I didn’t even have to think about it,”Enis said. “I already knew when I got the offer, I’d say yes.” And now he’s running on the deep grass down there, his knee socks full of mud. He just straddled after a hopeless football, right in front of the side line he manages to get a hold of the ball. Kosovo’s number 5, Enis, now runs for the left midfield, one, two, three, four steps over and 17,000 Kosovars lift their voices. A stark contrast to the first minutes of the game which they spent calmly in the rain.  For everyone, this is their first experience.

 “Kosova! Kosova!,” now they shout. Behind the opposite fan curve are the hills of North-Mitrovica on which you see houses made out of red brick.  On the right side you see the city’s emblem, the huge stone lore made out of concrete. Trepca which stores lead, zinc, silver, gold and nickel are located exactly between north and south.

“Maybe it’s a small sign to other nations,”Enis says shortly before lunch, “to those that still refuse to recognise us. A sign that we don’t give up, that we want our recognition and that out of all places in Kosovo we celebrate our debut right here.”

“Mitrovica used to be multi-ethnic,” says Alban. “Twelve to 14 percent were non-Albanians. Division between north and south was out of question; this word did not even exist in our vocabulary.”

Alban recalls the moment when he noticed that something had gone totally wrong. One night on his way home, as he was standing on the Ibar Bridge which he used to cross on a daily basis, three policemen stopped him. “What are you doing here so late at night?” the Serbs asked as Alban apologized for his poor Serbian skills. That’s when a policeman slapped Alban in his face. “Make sure to improve your Serbian skills next time,” they said and let him go. But this incident wasn’t the first experience that made a life-lasting impression on the young Alban.

“All men sorted them out”

The words are still omnipresent. “Artist, draw me a portrait!” the commander said to Alban’s father. “Otherwise … you know. An order is an order.” The father drew the picture with chalk on the black board of his class room, which had been turned into a detention camp. A beautiful portrait and his father was not sorted into the group four men who went missing forever. “I did not recognize my own father,” Alban said, “He lost 20 kilos during his time in school. I learned a lot during the first six months of 1999. I learned how strong a man can be, stronger than a stone.”

“I was 18, but they took me for 16,” he says. “My parents cut my hair the day before, so I’d look younger. They sorted all men according to age, from 18 to 55, but not me, not me.”

Criticising the game!

“Duam fitore” Alban shouts together with the other 17,000, his cigarette in the corner of his mouth. “Duam fitore!”  “We want victory!” He is standing in a puddle, his leather shoes soaked with water. Kosovo’s team carries its audience; the team gets better and better toward the end of first half. But even the best opportunity, a quick counterstroke, initiated by Enis and taken over by Albert Bunjaku does not lead to a goal. One of the opponent’s legs got in between and stopped the attempt. “Huuuuuuuu!” the audience shouts.

The game is accompanied by controversy – even in Kosovo

The game is followed by controversy even in Kosovo. Some say there is only one national team (Kombëtare), and that’s the Albanian national team. Some fans prefer driving to Albania where Albania is going to play against Malta on the very same day. “Albania has always been my team, as well, but being able to cheer for Kosovo’s team is even more moving” says Alban.

Alban Meha will shoot a dream goal against Malta that very same evening. Meha was born in Mitrovica, as well, and plays in Germany for SC Paderborn. None of the Albanian national players came to the game, neither Xherdan Shaqiri nor anyone else from the Swiss team. The World Cup is coming soon, and their careers have always taken place far away from home. Swinging the Kosovar flag in the Wembley Stadium is easier than giving up one’s life for a team whose future still stands in yellow stars. Some say that’s absolutely reasonable. Others question their integrity.

Will Shaqiri be jealous?

Those currently standing in the Adem Jashari Olimpic Stadium could not care less at this very moment. The rain has stopped, the Kosovar team is performing well. They fight for the ball, and barely any of their shirt numbers are visible; the only thing missing is scoring a goal. But didn’t Haiti have a tied game with Italy last year? La Ola is rolling over the Tribune. “Kosova! Kampion!”

“Maybe Shaqiri and the others will be a bit jealous of us when they see the game,” Enis had said earlier in the hotel room.

They showed their will

You can’t push your luck; you need patience as a small country and as a football team. At the end it is a well-deserved and well fought for  tied match for Kosovo.  They showed their will, they enchanted the audience, but the future needs time. They have to be patient.

Alban Meha walks through the elbowing crowd, while he swings a folded umbrella over his head just like a tourist guide. The umbrella has “European Union” written on it, but you can’t see that any more. “Would have been better if it had not rained, but oh well. Now let’s go home so we can make it to the second game, the game where Albania is playing.”

All that remains is a proud little paper flag, which the rain has glued on the south curve’s seat of the Stadiumi Olimpik.

This article was originally posted on and translated from German-English by Albina Makolli.

Olsi Krasniqi – the great hope of England rugby

Olsi Krasniqi (born 28 June 1992) is an Albanian-born English professional rugby league player who is playing at “London Broncos” in the Super League.

He made his first team début as a 17-year old for “Harlequins” (now London Broncos) in 2010’s Super League XV; coming off the interchange bench to score a try on début in a 50-22 win over “Crusaders”. He is a young player with tremendous potential. Olsi was born in Tirana and brought up in Feltham, London.

Nowadays, it is not so surprising that many young Albanian talents in many sport-fields require wearing a foreign uniform. But Olsi Krasniqi’s case is a special one. The 19-year-old who was born in Albania is a professional rugby player and aims to play for the England Nation Team.

Krasniqi is the son of an Albanian wrestler and lived for many years in the London suburbs, and only two years ago managed to sign a professional contract with “London Broncos” team, formerly called “Harlequins Rugby League”.

He is still considered an extraordinary talent of the England rugby league.

The summer of 2014 will be the summer of Kosovo. People related to Kosovo will show the world that their country is everywhere. The idea is simple: go to a certain place in the world and take a picture of yourself with a symbol of Kosovo – like the flag. Post it, and Bamn!

Simply, upload the picture on the Facebook page of Kosovo Diaspora or via TwitterInstagram or Google+ with the hashtag #KosovoEverywhere.

The team of Kosovo Diaspora will collect all the pictures and put them in a special Facebook album to show the world #KosovoEverywhere.

After the summer, a jury team will choose  three best pictures and give prizes of one mini iPad to the winner, Google nexus to the runner-up and an iPod Nano to the number three contestant. But, of course the biggest goal is to show the world we are everywhere.

Check out the album HERE 

**** online portal is a media partner.

Kosovo opens its Cultural Center in Chicago

It is inaugurated the Kosovo Cultural Center in Chicago and also are established business networks in the U.S. and Canada.

This was announced from the Ministry of Diaspora, after the visit that Minister Ibrahim Makolli made ​​to these countries. During his visit to Canada, Makolli met Albanian community associations in Montreal, Toronto, London and Hamilton, as well as compatriots in these cities.

In Toronto, the minister had a meeting with Robert Baines, a representative of the Canada Council for NATO and the coordinator of the Albanian-Canadian Society for NATO. He discussed with him the possibilities of cooperation between the Council and Kosovo.

In Detroit, Chicago and Dallas, minister Makolli held meetings with representatives of the Diaspora and with the officials of the Illinois University.

On 20 and 21 April, in Toronto, Canada it was founded the Albanian Business Network for Canada. In Detroit, U.S., on April 23, it was also established the business network center for the state of Michigan. Two recent business networks in the U.S. were founded in Chicago (on 24 and 25 April) and Dallas (on 26 and 28 April).