Van Sotir Christo is appointed Honorary Consul of Albania in Massachusetts

The Honorable Van Christo

Van Christo at his home in Brookline, MA

Citing more than 50 years of service to Albania and the Albanians, H.E. Ditmir Bushati, Foreign Minister of Albania, appointed Van Sotir Christo of Brookline, Massachusetts, as the new Honorary Consul of Albania in Massachusetts. The U.S. Department of State confirmed his new appointment in January, 2015.

Christo was President and Creative Director of Van Christo Advertising in Boston, Massachusetts, from 1960 to 1994 serving hi-tech/industrial clients in the USA, Canada, and the UK . His agency won numerous citations and recognitions including two CLIO Awards and two International Broadcasting Awards.

After the fall of Communism in Albania in 1994, Christo perceived a need for an organization to assist Albanian immigrants arriving in Massachusetts with housing, medical, educational, and other issues that arose as they attempted to find their way in a new country. In 1994, he formed the Frosina Information Network, a non-profit organization that provided valuable counsel and assistance to hundreds of Albanian and other immigrants. Christo was appointed to the Massachusetts Governors Advisory Council on Refugees and Immigrants by Governors Weld, Cellucci, and Swift.

In 2008, Christo’s wife, Jane Christo, as General Manager of NPR radio Station WBUR in Boston, received a Medal of Gratitude from Albania’s President Alfred Moisiu for her work in training Albanian and Kosovar journalists in both their home countries and the USA after the fall of communism. In 2012, her husband, Van Christo, was awarded the Order of Mother Teresa Medal from Albania president Bamir Topi for aiding Albanian immigrants arriving in America and for calling attention to the plight of Kosovars then under a repressive Serbian regime.

Christo is a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, where he served in the Pacific as a Petty Officer on the U.S.S. Chaffee, DE230. In January, 1945, the Chaffee was struck in the bow by a Japanese torpedo intended for the battleship, U.S.S. Pennsylvania, BB38. For this heroic action, the Chaffee crew was awarded the Philippine Liberation Medal with Bronze Star. Christo is a Founding Member and Commander Emeritus of the Albanian American War Veterans of the United States (AAWV) in Massachusetts.

Christo and his wife Jane reside in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Humphrey Fellowships – students from Albania and Kosovo are eligible to apply

hereFrosina is pleased to announce that students who are nationals of Albania or Kosova are eligible for the prestigious Humphrey Fellowships, administered by the Institute of International Education in Washington, D.C.

Interested individuals should contact the Public Affairs offices at the U.S. Embassy in Tirana and at the U.S. Embassy in Prishtina.

For more information, please click in the link https://www.humphreyfellowship.org/how-apply-humphrey-fellowship-program

Donate to the Frosina Winter Fund Drive!!!

Van Christo

And now dear friends, some words from Van Christo:

Dreams aren’t really just for those who can afford to dream;
Sometimes, dreams are for small things, such as…

Advising a new immigrant about a first-time credit card, or
Translating a letter that says “accepted for Medicare,” or
Directing someone over the telephone to free legal counsel, and
Occasionally, really big things such as…
Helping a man get a job, health insurance, and a successful kidney transplant, or
Finding a doctor, health insurance, and chemotherapy treatments for a sick teenager, or
Helping a new arrival to successfully apply for political asylum.

We do it all, but we can’t do it without you! Learn more and donate now!




Albanian Flag Day Celebration in St. Louis, MO

ALBANIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION

On Thursday, November 20, 2014 a program to celebrate Albanian Independence Day will be held at the Macklind International Senior Center, 1329 Macklind Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110. The event, which runs from 10:30 until noon, will feature traditional music, poetry, a photography, exhibition and refreshments. Participants will include Albanian senior citizens who attend the center, their families and local government officials.

The event commemorates November 28, 1912 when Albania became free after 500 years of Ottoman Empire rule.

Macklind International Senior Center is sponsored by Bilingual International Assistant Services, a non-profit agency that provides health, wellness and social services for foreign born individuals. The Senior Center is Missouri’s only multi-cultural program that provides daily lunches and activities for older immigrants and refugees. For more information, please contact Jason Baker at (314) 645-7800, jason.baker@bilingualstl.org. www.bilingualstl.org

Anastas Arthur Tashko

One of the greatest modern painters of Albanian origin, Anastas Arthur Tashko was born in Korca, Albania, in 1901.  He moved to the USA in 1923, where he studied at Harvard Law School.   He was the brother of Kostandin and Tefta, both great Albanian, American personalities. Arthur moved to Spain and later Colombia, dedicating his life to modern painting, and becoming one of the most famous painters in Latin America.   Below is one of his works entitled COMPOSICION CUBISTA CON MUJER EN VERDE Y ROSA

Tashko1
 
Tashko passed away in 1994 in Bogota. His work is displayed in Galleries all over the World.

Famous Modern Albanian Painters

Frosina is pleased to acknowledge the work of four great Albanian painters, whose life and work was  mostly placed outside of the country.

diaspora

They are:

1. Ali Rasih Dino [1913 - 1993], originally of Chameria;

2. Lin Delija [1926 - 1994], of Shkodra;

3. Lika Janko [1928 - 2001] of Sofia, Bulgaria, but originally from Gramsh, Albania, and

4. Anastas Arthur Tashko [1901 - 1994], of Korça.

In 2009 the Albanian Postal Services dedicated a special stamp series to this group of great painters, called the Albanian Diaspora Painters, shown in the above image. We will write more about their work in the future.  Stay tuned

Prizren – Europe’s newest cultural capital…

The ancient city of Prizren, where so many Balkan cultures intermingle, is increasingly becoming not only Kosovo’s cultural center, but in a sense, it could be considered as Europe’s newest cultural capital.

These days, more precisely from 16 – 24 August 2014, the very successful Doku Tech is taking place in Prizren.

Similarly, DokuFest, focused on documentary films, was organized as well. According to the Guardian of London, “the festival is now in its 13th year, and will see 10,000 tickets sold for 250 films shown in nine venues over one hot week. Its growing reputation attracts filmmakers from all over the world.”

But sounds of music are also big in the public squares of this beautiful city.

A music festival called “Listen!”- already in its fourth edition – is also taking place in Prizren, where 18 groups from countries like Germany, the U.S. the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, Macedonia, Montenegro, Croatia and Albania are taking part.

According to worldbulletin.net, ”A member of a Macedonian music group noted that they came to Kosovo even though they were not invited. “Because” he added “We heard this fest is extremely entertaining. As we see people love this fest.”

But Prizren has much more to offer, such as its impressive old fortress, the Sinan Pasha Mosque, the Church of Our Lady of Ljevis and, of course, the site and museum of the Albanian League of Prizren.

And we are not even mentioning Prizren’s amazingly rich culinary experience.

 

 

Twighlights of the Eastern Gods, by Ismail Kadare

“Kadare, the widely respected Albanian novelist and poet, has remained under-appreciated in the English-speaking world due to the long absence of English translations of his works. We have David Bellos to thank for this new translation – published on 7 August by Canongate Books – of a book originally published in 1978, and only translated into French in 1981.”  More on Kadare’s latest book in English