Monthly Archives: August 2014

Bread, a synonym for Hasi Kosovars abroad?

In a recent article by Altin Raxhimi for Jeta në Kosovë Magazine, we have had the opportunity to explore the history and current status of many of the Has region Kosovars in diaspora.  While there are various reasons Kosovars have emigrated, what is common for many of the Hasi people is the activity they are engaged in, and that is baking delicious bread.

The bread baking tradition in the Hasi region has begun roughly around the time when the Ottoman Empire spread throughout the Balkans. “There is a specific method and spice mixture that baking bread requires, and it appears that the Hasi people have mastered it” says Sokol Canhasi, a bakery owner in Tirana, Albania. Further away, Mr. Besim Muhadri claims that Hungary has experienced an invasion of Kosovar bakeries.  Similar invasion like stories are said to be for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia and even the far land of Australia.

The Hasi community migratory patterns are closely tied with the political and economic conditions of the time. Right after the second world war, people from the Hasi community have initially moved into baking bread for the Yugoslav centrally operated bread factories. Later in the 60’s, with Yugoslavia experimenting with a more open economic system, the Kosovars from Has started exploring other regions of the Balkans and operating their own bakeries. Based on an account from a prominent baker, Mr. Besim Muhadri, at the heyday of bread bakeries, Hasi Kosovars were operating a total of 800 to 1000 bakeries throughout Yugoslavia.

A second great migration occurred with the start of the Yugoslav wars throughout the 90’s. Simultaneously, Albania dragged itself out of communism and thus opened up its borders to private businesses. The Kosovar bakeries decided to move their businesses elsewhere: Tirana, Budapest, Vienna,Sydney etc. Thus, now generating an international network of Kosovar operated bakeries worldwide.

A recent success story occurred at the Hungarian daily Heti Valasz, where 400 of the 1400 bakeries in Hungary were operated by Hasi Kosovars. The secret is on the process of making, as Mr. Cekaj explains, the bread the Hasi make takes more time, and is done in an old fashion way, with no industrial additives, thus making it the best choice in the market.

Complete Article could be found at

Hajrullahu: From a War Survivor to a Football Star in Canada

Lirim Hajrullahu (born April 24, 1990) is a Canadian football placekicker who is currently a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League. Hajrullahu played CIS football at the University of Western Ontario and attended Governor Simcoe Secondary School in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Lirim was born in Përlepnica, Gjilan and fled to Canada when he was eight-years-old on a refugee flight to escape war. He started playing football in grade 10 at Governor Simcoe Secondary School in St. Catharines, Ontario.

His story begins in 1998, when Lirim was just eight years old and his homeland Kosovo erupted in war. A year later, his parents fled Kosovo with their son and two daughters in tow and found their way onto a refugee flight bound for Canada. Together, they would build a new life in the safety of Ontario — and they would never forget what it means to leave everything behind.

In this short video you can see the story of his family and the story of his success.

You can also read his story in this article.

Rene Redzepi is our pick for today

If you ever have the chance to swing by Noma, a restaurant in Copenhagen , you should, because Rene Redzepi will be probably in the kitchen cooking something that will stay with you for quite some time.

Rene Redzepi is a famous chef and restaurant owner. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, his restaurant Noma has won San Pellegrino’s World’s Best Restaurant award from 2010 to 2012. Without a doubt, his popularity grew once people realized his talent in bringing out the best of flavors. What is even more important, Rene Redzepi has been nominated by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2012. Furthermore, Redzepi never hides his background, in an interview for he claims that ‘ used to reject these ideas of your background influencing you,’ says Redzepi. ‘I was bored of reading about the French chef looking over the pots with his mum making cassoulet, new-age s***. But you know what? When I came to terms with it, my time as a child in Yugoslavia has had an insane influence.’   

While Redzepi might never share the tricks of the trade in the kitchen, he does without a doubt represent another successfully integrated diaspora.

Check out an interview of Mr. Rene Redzepi himself during his visit in Kosovo.

World Champion once again

Majlinda Kelmendi has yet again proven herself worthy of world attention. At the Judo World Competition being held in Russia, Kelmendi won against Vanessa Cortesia and overrun her other rival Bundmaa Munkhbaatar. Thus making her the world Judo champion once again.

Thanks to JudoAttitute Facebook group, we got a hold of her latest match on video:

Twitter accounts are constantly popping news on congratulating Majlinda on yet another successful start.

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Peer Gynti nga Kosova- ready to tour Sweden

Peer Gynti nga Kosova is a theatrical play by Jeton Neziraj in cooperation with Robert Jelinek, Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden from Germany, Teater De Vill from Stockholm and  Multimedia center in Kosovo.

Our team had the chance to catch the play in one of its premiers in the Balkans. The play is focused on providing an insight into the complex and often ridiculous lives that migrants find themselves living throughout Western Europe. It examines the lives of thousands of migrants that find themselves turning to crime as a survival mean. The main character, Peer Gynti, has lived a total of 20 years back and fourth in German and Swedish prisons, thus finding himself in constant internal conflict, turns to imagination and delusion as a proper response to his living conditions.



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Elements like “Besa” and the respect and love for the mother are seen throughout the play as a constant reminder of the deep rooted cultural norms that Albanians from Kosova are raised with.

Peer Gynti nga Kosova has been premiered in major Balkan cities and is currently on its way to be shown at 18 different theaters throughout Sweden.

Action Bronson – an Albanian-American Star on the Rise

Action Bronson is the stage name of Arian Asllani, an Albanian-American rapper from Queens, New York. Bronson has recently signed with Vice Records and Atlantic Records. He previously published mixed tapes such as Rare Chandeliers with the Alchemist, and his label debut called Saab Stories.

Bronson’s latest song is Easy Rider. The video of the song is inspired by the film with the same name Easy Rider. In this video, the American-Albanian rapper appears as a desert rebel searching his lost guitar. During the search he meets a Native American, who aids him in the search of the guitar.


Kosovo Bridge Jumpers Catch World Media Attention

Ura e Fshejt (the Sacred Bridge), a bridge near Gjakova, served as the host of the annual traditional jumping and diving event in Kosovo. Ura e Fshejt has now become an internationally renown attraction, where men from across Kosovo gather to compete for the best jump or dive.

The competition is extremely daring since it involves diving from 70-meters height, and landing in the cold fresh water of the Drini river. Each year, Kosovar men take to the bridge to show their daredevil diving and jumping skills from the bridge.

Images of the competition quickly spread through social media and the internet. Several international media outlets such as the Daily Mail and the Associated Press captured a series of breathtaking images. The jumping spectacle was followed by a great variety of social media, from Youtube to Twitter to Facebook,  people present there could not wait to share their experience.




Connecting Diaspora Virtually With Kosovo

“Diaspora, register online!” – is the newest initiative of the Government of Kosovo in building better ways to communicate and present Diaspora interests in the home country.

The Kosovo Ministry of Diaspora has developed an online database where the diaspora can register. The goal of the registry is to ensure that the Diaspora gets connected with the home state institutions and have a way to more adequately channel its needs and interests. The Registry will enumerate and gather information regarding Kosovo’s diaspora, which will then allow institutions to build  policies that better reflect the needs and interests of the country’s Diaspora, which amounts over a third its population.

To register online, you can click on the picture below or in the following link.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 10.54.23 AMIt is the first time in Kosovo’s history that its diaspora is getting registered online. With  with support from the UNDP and IOM DEED project. A Ministry official said “this project took several months of intensive preparations, hard work, and dedication.” The Ministry expects the Registry to be completed in a period of several months, if not a year. The DEED project has announced it will remain engaged in supporting the finalization of the Registry project until it is fully completed.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 10.54.35 AMThe Prime Minister of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, recently endorsed the Diaspora Registry on his personal Facebook page. He spoke of the significant role the Albanian Diaspora played in the history of Kosovo, and plead to everyone living abroad to register and be involved.

Here is a video ad about the Registry recently published by the Ministry of Diaspora and Asha Graphics.

The Kosovo Diaspora platform has also partnered with the Ministry of Diaspora and the DEED Project in promoting the Registry. The platform has dedicated a specific page within its website, and will provide up-to-date information on the results of the virtual registration, as well as communicate the benefits of the initiative.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 10.26.51 AMMore about the announcement for the registration of Diaspora online, you may see the following interview with a Diaspora Ministry official, Mentor Borovci at the KTV Matinee show (in Albanian).

Kosovo Football in the World Media

Kosovo played its first FIFA-sanctioned international friendly match against Haiti in Mitrovica, Kosovo on 05 March 2014. The six-year old country made history. The game ended in a 0-0 draw.  Despite no goals, the game did spark a lot of enthusiasm among Kosovo people, across the diaspora and football lovers world wide. News agencies have closely followed the long journey of the Kosovo team in creation. The following are some snapshots of world renown websites covering the game:  from to BBC to the Guardian.


The following video was produced ahead of the historic game between Kosovo and Haiti.

Zeqirja Rexhepi paints for gratefulness

Zeqirja Rexhepi, a painter and textile designer, was forced to leave his work and house during the 1999 conflict and flee to Canada in search of a better life.  After learning that his home had been burned down, like many other homes in Perlepnicë Gjilan, Mr. Rexhepi realized that years of his work had been lost forever. However, a single piece had survived. In fact, it had been one of his favorite and most valuable work, it was a wedding gift for his wife Bedrije.  The piece had survived solely since it had been stolen from an exhibit in then-Yugoslavia.

Currently Mr. Rexhepi is holding an exhibit at the Halifax Club. The 50 paintings in display are of mixed media and oil, encompassing all the working done ever since he had arrived in Nova Scotia 15 years ago.The exhibition is a gift to the community and host country, it is free and open to the public. The paintings cover a range of topics, from his decision to stop smoking, to  9-11, ancient Illyrian art and animals.

You can find his artist portfolio at :

Mr. Rexhepi is a member of Visual Arts Nova Scotia, the Cape Breton Artists Association and the Canadian Forces Artists Program, also a professor of fine art in Kosovo, Mr. Rexhepi always finds time for his passion for art.

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