Known for his moderate views on Islam and uncompromising attitude towards the extreme, Imam Mustafë Mehmeti has been awarded the “The Swiss of the Year” title by the “SonntagsZeitung” newspaper. Originating from the Presevo Valley and a Swiss citizen since 2005, Imam Mustafë Mehmeti is the president of the Albanian Islamic Community of Switzerland and acting imam at the Albanian mosque in Bern.
Mr. Mehmeti has been a voice of reason in dealing with all matters treated in Swiss opinion affecting Muslims or indirectly even the Albanian Muslims. He has been famously quoted as arguing against silence: “We as Muslims should not contest that there is extremism in the name of Islam. We need to speak up among us – the Muslims, as well as among our locals. Silence is not a solution”.
By awarding Mr. Mehmeti, the SonntagsZeitung editors are sending a sign of support for the peaceful coexistence of religions in Switzerland. He has been awarded on “his courage and commitment to dealing with the most difficult debates of our time”.
Jahja Kokaj, a 66 year-old prominent scientist from Kosovo, is a Professor and Researcher at the Kuwait University in the subjects of Optical Data Processing and Holography, Laser Application in Medicine, Astronomy-Muon Observations, and Nano Characterization of Thin Films Using Laser Spectroscopy.
Among numerous awards and honors that he has received during his long career in the field of Spectroscopy and Laser Optics, Mr. Kokaj concludes the 2014 with yearlong achievements. He has been nominated for:
Recognition for Successful Collaboration of Laser Lab of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the U.S. and Center of Excellence for Laser Application (CELA) in Kuwait;
Recognition of the Government of Cuba for Collaboration and Help of CELA provided to the Laser Research in Cuba;
Scientific Researcher of the Year – Recognition from PEGAS Alternative Academy;
Best Published Papers Prize from The Kuwait University (2014).
Dr. Kokaj began his academic experience at the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the University of Prishtina, where he studied Physics. At the Institute of Physics of the University of Zagreb in Croatia, Kokaj focused his study on the field of Spectroscopic and Laser Optics. He continued the doctoral studies in Zagreb and Moscow and post-doctoral studies at the Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA.
During his stay in the U.S. he worked as a Researcher and later as Professor of Laser Optics at the Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. He was also involved in an optic research project supported by NASA and participated in discovering new methods of optical computation for identifying and recognizing military facilities on Earth and sky – a research project initiated by the State Department of the U.S.
With the aim of supporting Kosovo in building its scientific and academic capacities, Kokaj established the holography laboratory in the University of Prishtina, which was one of the most advanced laboratories of its kind in the former Yugoslavia. During the 90s, Kokaj has contributed to bringing modern lasers and detectors for practicing the modern physics at the University of Tirana and the University of Prishtina. He is currently supporting many Albanian experts to reach international achievements in his scientific field.
Albian Muzaqi is a 20 year-old Dutch professional footballer of Albanian origin. He was born in Stuttgart, Germany in November 24, 1994. Muzaqi started his early football career in Netherlands, where he emigrated in 2000 with his family. As he lived in Groningen and Eindhoven, he joined CRC Groningen, FC Groningen and PSV Eindhoven. It was in June 2013 that he signed with Belgian football team Koninklijke Racing Club (K.R.C.) Genk, as he sealed a great striker’s performance with 120 goals in U12 and U13 leagues. He recently was leased to the Belgian football team Cercle Brugge from K.R.C. Genk.
In this interview published in the website of Cercle Brugge team, you can learn more how his successful story began.
“Basketistat” is a social club of Albanian professionals living in London. The club is known for its sport related activities, however, its true fame is acclaimed through the humanitarian events the club organizes.
This year Basketistat held a charity night on the 22nd of November that resulted with a donation of 6,500 euros. This sum is set to help 100 families in need with food packages throughout Albania and Kosovo. Alongside the success of gathering a greater donation than previous years, this year the club also expanded the territorial coverage of food distribution. Going beyond Mitrovica, the campaign reached other towns and villages of Kosovo and for the first time brough supplies to the villages of Kukës,Albania.
Please join the Basketistat Facebook group for their future events:
Robin Haxhi Kransniqi is a rising boxing star in Germany. Born in Junik, the well known Kosovo cradle of champion Luan Krasniqi, Robin has set firm steps towards the world title.
His match against Darius Szek, was a tough test of endurance and force. After 12 rounds of intense fighting, Robin Krasniqi was declared victorious with a unanimous decision by the judges. Apart from the fight in the boxing ring, the crowd had prepared a nice atmosphere. The predominantly Albanian crowd did not stop for one minute calling Robin to his victory.
After the battle, Robin Haxhi Krasniqi thanked the audience for the support in both the German and Albanian language.
Krasniqi’s fight was followed by a great crowd in twitter:
Kosovo 2.0 is hosing the “Migration [Small Talks]” event on Wednesday 17, at Dit e Nat, 7:30 pm. Migration Small Talks is accompanied by a screening of the short documentary “Philoxenia”, a Q&A with director Iliriana Banjska, and an open discussion on how to deal with migration.
You can reserve a seat by contacting Kosovo 2.0 Magazine through their Facebook page here.
Love for the stranger, is that what is supposed to define Greek culture from the ancient times, up until modernity? Philos (love) and Xenia (the stranger) together form the ideal of hospitality which in the context of the recent crisis and mass immigration seems to be contested. Philoxenia is a documentary which gives a voice to the stories of socially excluded and marginalized migrants in the city of Athens, and reflects on the notion of Philoxenia and its boundaries which are becoming more and more fixed due to both state policy and a rise in xenophobia.
How does the European Union reconcile its values of diversity with rising anti-immigration policies and attitudes? What are the experiences in Greece – how has Greek society dealt with the arrival of migrants over the years? What about experiences of other EU member states? What are some of the repercussions for countries such as Kosovo, an inspiring EU candidate? Meanwhile, how does the arts community respond and comment to such political and social realities? What cultural and artistic productions do we notice in this regard? And we want to hear your questions too.
Moderator: Besa Shahini, policy analyst with the Berlin-based European Stability Initiative (ESI) and a regular contributor to the Albanian language online newspaper, Gazeta Jeta në Kosovë.
Iliriana Banjska, director. She finished her BA in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology and an MA in Conflict Studies and Human Rights at the University of Utrecht. Together with Dagmar Donners and Fabian Pop, she has produced a documentary on immigration issues in Athens, Greece.
Iliriana Kacaniku, KFOS EU integration Program Coordinator
Albert Heta, Artistic Director at Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina
The Consulate General of the Republic of Kosova in New York together with the theatre group “Sikur kjo te ishte shfaqje”, from Prishtina, invites you for three days to take part in the showing of “shfaqjen me te mire reprezentive ne arenen nderkombetare”, premiered by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport of the Republic of Kosova.
The event is expected to bring the New York audience closer to Kosovar theatre. “Sikur kjo te ishte shfaqje” is chosen in particular, for it is a play that highlights the commonalities that individuals across the globe find within the daily life.
Brief Play synopsis:
The play shares a unique perspective on life through a portrayal of its absurdity and the way various events often are nothing more than a banal network of circumstances. How we, as human beings, are aware of the circumstances and often do not appreciate the fact that the surrounding does in fact shape our identity . The play brings an understanding and acceptance of the truth as it appears from multiple points of view.
The play is expected to be held on:
Place : Producers Club, 358 W 44th Street, New York,NY 10036
Izet Curri is a popular name in the stylist and fashion industry. Born in the small village of Drubnjak in Kosovo, his quest to world fame, is filled with hardships with twists and turns. In fact there mere choice of becoming a fashion designer had been imposed. The Skopje earthquake had left Mr. Curri’s mother a single parent with 8 children to look after. In order to make ends meet, Izet and his siblings were engaged in learning crafts. By chance, Mr. Izet Curri chose to work with a tailor. From Skopje based Cale – Jakimovski Strahil to Branko Angelkovsk, Mr. Izet Curri has been designing and working with fabric and scissors since 1948.
His decision to move to Paris in 1970 would quickly prove fruitful , for following a short peniless roam, Izet manages to find a job in the workshop of a subcontractor to the world known Hermes brand. From there on between the years of 1973 to 1997, famous creators such as Thierry Mugler,Azzedine Alaia and Jean Paul Gaultier would invite him to dezign,hold positions such as technical director of garment factories and even work as a modeller.
Mr.Curri currently runs his own design studio and a fashion school, Design Factory in Pristina in Kosovo and regularly works with schools such as MFI or ESMOD in the Master Model off-Arts (creative pattern).
For more please check out the recent interview Mr.Curi was invited to;
Seed Forum is a global network of national not-for-profit foundations and national representatives in more than 40 countries. The global collaboration entity of the Seed Forum network is Seed Forum International Foundation working out of London. The Seed Forum concept has grown rapidly since it was founded in Norway in 2002, and the Seed Forum concept is currently referred to as a global concept. Seed Forum is currently running investor matchmaking forums in more than 30 countries worldwide. The Seed Forum process has the objective of providing competence within investor readiness and investor matchmaking opportunities for private investors, seed funds, venture funds, private equity funds, corporate venture investors, family offices and financial intermediaries in born global companies.
Seed Forum offers private investors, seed and venture funds, corporate venture and family offices as well as other key finance intermediaries a first-hand insight into a selected group of innovative born global companies which aspire to expand their businesses. Seed Forum is a global organization hosting investor conferences in more than 30 countries and is considered as one of the most professional and experienced venues for presentations of investor ready start-upcompanies worldwide.
Seed Forum Prishtina will be held on Tuesday the 16th of December 2014 ,hosted at Swiss Diamond Hotel Prishtina, Ulpiana Hall, Sheshi Nëna Terezë, Prishtina.
You may find more information about Seed Forum here
In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Kosovo Diaspora organized the first video conferencing via Google Hangout connecting Kosovo’s government with the Albanian diaspora. Global Entrepreneurship Week is the largest celebration of the innovators and job creators. The forum brought together leading representatives from Kosovo and abroad who promoted a culture of entrepreneurship and encouraged economic development.
The Google Hangout forum was the first all-virtual interview connecting people from all over the world, with live Q&A session. The topic was “Diaspora Virtual Initiatives: Ideas, Challenges, Possibilities”. The participants included: Lorik Pustina (Prishtina), Head of Public Affairs at the Kosovo Ministry of Diaspora; Ermira Babamusta, Ph.D. (London/New York), international relations expert; Flamur Mavraj(Oslo), creative designer/web developer; Alban Nevzati (Zurich), Managing Partner of ODA Lab; Kosovare Krasniqi, Project Manager at Balkanspring; Mark Kosmo Ph.D., Director of the MAASBEA (Massachusets Albanian American Society) and Behar Xharra (Dhaka), founder of Kosovodiaspora.org. Click here to watch the discussion.
The Google Hangout forum was organized by Liza Gashi, Qëndresa Krasniqi, Albion Curri and Behar Xharra.
“This virtual forum was put together in an effort to shed light to the ideas and opportunities to connect with our Diaspora and identify ways in which they could be promoted. The message sent through this hangout by Kosovo Diaspora is that such meetings are an effective way of creating a communication culture between Kosovar businesses, Kosovo Government and the Diaspora,” stated Qëndresa Krasniqi, manager of the Kosovodiaspora.org platform.
Lorik Pustina presented the initiative of the Ministry of Diaspora “The Diaspora Registry” which seeks to collect demographic data pertaining to the number of people of Kosovar origin, the number of people who have emigrated from Kosovo and businesses owned by Kosovars. This project is intended to be completed by 2016 and it will continue to be active afterwards. Every individual, born or whose origin traces back to Kosovo can register through the official page http://rdks.info. Lorik Cana is one of the supporters of the Kosovo Registry Initiative.
For this project, the Ministry of Diaspora has been cooperating closely with KosovoDiaspora.org and Economic Inclusion of Kosovar Diaspora in an attempt to gather large data. “The impact of our Diaspora will be tenfold once we realize their true numbers,” stated Lorik Pustina, Head of Public Affairs at the Ministry of Diaspora.
Alban Nevzati introduced the first Albanian interactive application “Hirushja”, an App that seeks to help Diaspora young children learn Albanian. This is the first ever-interactive application with Albanian fairytales where children (age 3-8) can learn the alphabet. The application is a project of Oda Lab and Lepuroshi Learning Center and it will be available on iOS and Android on the 15th of February 2015. For more information visit www.Oda-Lab.com.
“Hirushja” is yet another educational tool for the Albanian children, especially for the Diaspora children who seek to learn the language. Hirushja will be one of the fairytales that will be launched under the educational center “Lepuroshi”, a collection of interactive activities for children. This is a fun way for them to learn, read stories and play,” said Alban Nevzati, Managing Partner at Oda Lab, Zurich, Switzerland.
Kosovare Krasniqi discussed female entrepreneurship, the ICK Business Development Center in Kosovo and its cooperation with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the project initiative “Balkanspring” (Balkanspring.com). This initiative enables domestic products from Kosovo to reach global markets. Until now, this initiative has reached 50 domestic producers including minorities and an estimate of 2000 domestic products from Kosovo.”Beside the existing businesses, Balkanspring has managed to register an additional 19 new businesses that will contribute for Kosovo’s economy,” said Krenare Krasniqi, Project Manager at Balkan Spring in Norway.
Mark Kosmo of the Massachusetts Albanian American Society (www.maasbesa.org) talked about a proposal for promoting professional exchange between members of the Diaspora and their professional counterparts in Albania and Kosova. He is also in contact with Harvard University about their Albania Project which seeks to promote the role of the Albanian Diaspora in Albania’s economic development. The Harvard project is supported by the Open Society Foundation of Albania (Soros). For more information visit http://projects.iq.harvard.edu/albaniagrowthlab/overview.
Ermira Babamusta spoke about the contribution given towards strengthening diplomatic ties between the United States, Albania, Kosovo and UK, by emphasizing a great historical friendship and cooperation with the Albanian Diaspora. Also, Babamusta mentioned her initiative, the petition to protect human rights of Albanians, and her collaboration with Albanian Roots, Kosovo Consulate in New York, VATRA, important meetings with US officials to lobby for Kosovo’s independence, and other success stories of community engagement.
“The Diaspora is always ready to engage in issues concerning the well-being of Albanians. I am very thankful to the US and UK for being such strong supporters and the voice of the Albanians in the international arena. I value the great friendships we have between our countries,” stated Ermira Babamusta, co-founder of Democracy and Unity Foundation (www.DemocracyandUnity.org).
Flamur Mavraj concluded with suggestions on the aforementioned projects, from the technical and developing point of view. Mavraj proposed a closer collaboration between Open Data Kosovo and Kosovo Statistics Agency in utilizing statistical data. He also discussed the idea of outsourcing, a business strategy through which many companies could overcome difficulties and lack of staff in Kosovo.
This event highlighted the importance of leadership programs, innovative ideas, female entrepreneurship, small business, job-creation and other causes that shape the entrepreneurship spirit to build a better future for Kosovo.