Author Archives: Van Christo

NATICK Annunciation Church Fall Bazaar

Annunciation Albanian Orthodox Church
37 Washington Street
Natick, Massachusetts 01760
Office: 508-655-7927

Fall Bazaar 2012

This Saturday, October 27th, we are holding our annual Fall Bazaar in the
church hall from 9:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.

Featuring popular Albanian and assorted pastries along with arts; crafts
items, raffles and more.

The Bon Appetite Café will open at 11:30 A.M. for lunch.  Bring your
family and friends and enjoy lunch and fellowship.

Please stop by and support
our church!

Annunciation Orthodox Church
Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America
Orthodox Church in America

Albanian poet performs in Cambridge Oct. 24, 2012

From the Cantab Lounge:

Gypsee Yo, Albanian poet from Atlanta, holds her audience rapt.

Gypsee Yo, Albanian poet from Atlanta, holds her audience rapt.

Gypsee Yo (Jonida Beqo) is a native of Albania, currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a performance artist whose work aims to blur the lines between genres. Her background includes successful projects in theatre, dance, storytelling, and an extensive spoken word and slam poetry resume. She is the regional Southern Queen of Slam (2008), Atlanta’s Slam Champion (2006–2009), a three time National Poetry Slam semi-finalist (2006–2008), and a National Poetry Slam final stage feature in Austin, TX (2007). In addition, she has ranked two times as first runner-up in the Women of the World Poetry Slam in Detroit, MI (2009), and Columbus, OH (2011).

Her three poetry collections in Albanian, I Do Not Fit Inside my Body (1998), The Last Nail (1999), and When Life Grows Roots Inside a Suitcase (2003) are critically acclaimed titles. She has toured internationally and has been recognized for her work in theatre with the Dell’Arte Diversity Award by the American College Theatre Festival and the Kennedy Center in DC (2004). Her work has been highlighted both in her native country and in the US in television and radio features, including Spoken!, Nashville’s NeoSoul Radio, and Atlanta’s Voice of the Arts.

This show in our weekly Wednesday series takes place at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge. Doors for the show open at 7:15. The open mic begins at 8:00 and the feature performs at approximately 10:00. An open poetry slam in the 8×8 series will follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Seeking translators?

I am currently producing a  new Frosina Advisory listing qualified Albanian-English/English-Albanian  translators and would be grateful for receipt of names and addresses of any  people in the Greater Boston area who qualify including fees, if any (If a Fee is required, “Negotiable” is recommended).

Those  translators interested in being listed on the Frosina Advisory – which  will also be posted under ADVISORIES at – should send their above-mentioned translation qualifications to Van Christo, Frosina Information Network, 162 Boylston Street,  Ste. 65, Boston, MA 02116, since I recently received a request for  Albanian-English translation of some official documents.

Please do not respond by e-mail.

Thank you for your attention.
Van Christo

BOSTON Painting exhibit by Albanian artist

As part of the festivities to commemorate Albania’s 100 years of Independence, “MAASBESA” and the artist Eno Bare invite all art enthusiasts to a unique painting exhibition in the heart of Boston.

*When?* On Sunday, October 21st, 2012, between 5:00pm – 8:00pm
*Where?* At Restaurant Vlora, 545 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

After a successful first solo exhibition in New York, Boston will be the second stop to showcase and promote the work of this young and talented new artist, organized as part of a larger tour across Albanian-American communities in the US.

Below, you will find a brief description of the Albanian born painter and his work.

Eno Bare is an emerging exciting artist who lives in New York City. His body of work includes abstract pieces of subtle hue shifts exuding emotion and movement underneath layers of vibrant, bold colors; elegant portraits, and other more realistic creations defined by his own modern spin. Eno’s oil paintings are full of intensity and richness inviting the art lover to explore the dynamic composition of forms and bright colors, revealing his own perception of beauty through art. Many of his pieces are blurry and undefined, allowing the viewer to interpret the image on a more subconscious and personal level.

Eno Bare grew up in Fier, Albania and moved to the United States in 1996. This is his second solo exhibition after a successful first try in New York City, in July, 2012. He has also participated in numerous group exhibitions. To find out more about him and to view the full body of his work, some of which are not part of this exhibit, please visit

Join us on October 21 at 5:00 pm at restaurant “Vlora” in Copley Square for a night of art appreciation, drinks, light appetizers and a way to connect with fellow art lovers.


A fast way to learn English?

Grammar matters.
Whether you’re looking for a job, seeking career advancement, trying to get ahead in school, or simply trying to communicate better, good grammar helps make it happen. I invite you to try Grammar for All DVD, a surprisingly fun and remarkably useful
product for only $8, and you may order now and pay later.

Grammar for All: Learning English Grammar
The Parts of Speech DVD – You will be entertained by this product, and you’ll learn an astonishing amount. My father is an English professor, and so I know a fair amount about grammar, but I learned more than a thing or two from this product. And because the material is presented by actors and comedians in a humorous and straightforward way, it’s remarkably entertaining and easy to follow.

Subjects covered by this DVD include:
What is Grammar?, SEAE: Standard Edited American English, Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives, Verbs, Verb Tenses, Gerunds, Infinitives,
Present & Past Participles, Adverbs, Prepositions, Conjunctions, Interjections, Direct & Indirect Objects, and much more.

Total runtime is 75 minutes. You don’t need to know anything to get started, but you’ll know agreat deal by the time you’re finished.

This DVD is compatible with most standard DVD players to view on your television (or on a computer). Order yours for only $8. Please note that $1.50 shipping will be added to your order.

We used to provide free shipping, but new postal regulations have reclassified our discs, literally more than doubling our cost for most shipments (Section 201.3.4 of USPS Domestic Mail Manual).

Thank you for your understanding.

After you receive your software, try them, and if you aren’t completely satisfied, send them back and pay nothing. If you decide to keep them, simply send payment in the return envelope we will provide.

Grammar for All: Learning English Grammar
The Parts of Speech DVD–only $8:

From Berat to Gjirokaster – one visitor’s impression

Thanks to Agron Alibali for calling my attention to this article from the guardian!

My question:

Did the writer/traveler enjoy his visit to Albania or not?

Go figure…

Letter from Albania: lost crossroads

Uncertain destination ... a road traverses hills in Shkoder, northern Albania. Photograph: David Levene

Uncertain destination … a road traverses hills in Shkoder, northern Albania. Photograph: David Levene

Berat, city of a thousand windows, lurches up a hillside to an ancient walled castle settlement, still inhabited. Cobbled alleys as wide as a donkey clamber in twists and turns, and the windows of the packed Ottoman houses flash in the sunlight.

The modern town stretches away up the valley, but leads to nowhere. To go further south in Albania you have to retrace your steps to the main north-south highway, red on the map, or take the old road, yellow on the map, which is the main route for several hamlets and villages along the way. It fetches up at the crossroads town of Kelcyre, where you can turn off for Gjirocastër, another ancient city.

We take the yellow road. The distance is vague, maybe 50km. The tarmac runs out a few kilometres from Berat. We climb through a patchwork of fruit trees and olives, closely planted and meticulously cared for, and catch up with a bus grinding its way from rock to rock across the ravaged road. Bumpy hours later and in much wilder countryside we come to smooth tarmac, and place bets as to whether we’ve arrived at the Kelcyre junction, because none of the tiny settlements we have passed through has had a sign with a name. We stop for a coffee at a tiny shop, where they are miffed that their village, Buz Ketu, doesn’t appear on our map. They show us roughly where we are – we haven’t yet covered a third of the way. Their tarmac ends just past the houses and an hour later we give up and camp in the wilds. As darkness falls, tiny lights sprinkle the hillsides and the sound of sheep bells is
accompanied by voices and barks. The landscape is nowhere near as empty as it seems.

Next day our most frequent fellow travellers are the tortoises. We stop regularly to lift them to safety. A washed-out bridge over a gulley adds to the excitement, but eventually we drop down into Bellaban village where tarmac of sorts starts again. We can put on a little turn of speed. The last stage to Gjirocastër on the red road down the Drina gorge seems positively racing.

Gjirocastër, city of a thousand steps, has wide cobbled streets that wind up a hill to a gloomy castle. As befits the town’s position on the red road, young men career their cars up and down for show. We walk up through the lanes with their gentler Ottoman heritage, and leave the truck to rest awhile.

Every week Guardian Weekly publishes a Letter from one of its readers from around the world. We welcome submissions – they should focus on giving a clear sense of a place and its people. Please send them to

MUST SEE! An evening of Albanian classical music and poetry

An evening of Albanian Classical Music and Poetry – Nje mbremje me muzike klasi

Holy Trinity Albanian Church and MAASBESA are inviting you to an unforgettable Albanian evening in Boston. This is one of the events organized to celebrate the 100 Anniversary of The Albanian Independence and will include pieces from Albanian composers and recitations.

Three generations in one single performance sharing one thing in common, Albanian Music. It is an honor to hear the wonderful voice of one and only Xhoni Athanas with his daugter Mirela Athanas, a pleasure to have such accomplished artists as Ida Tili-Trebicka piano, Lindita Mezini – Lole soprano, Aurel Qirjo violin, Edevaldo Mulla cello perform, refreshing to see the performance of the younger generation on stage. Juna Gjata, Alex Dhima, Ted Bimbli and others will play instruments and recite poems by Albanian authors, carrying on the legacy of Albanian culture and music.

Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 6:30 PM
Milton High School Auditorium
25 Gile Road, Milton MA 02186


Adults $15
Students $10
Children under 10 Free

Mehmet Sanlikol’s most recent composition

Very recently, I mentioned in this Blog that I wanted to call authentic Albanian music to the attention of Dr. Mehmet Sanlikol, the multi-talented Turkish maestro who regularly presents Turkish/Greek musical performances in the Greater Boston area.

I was pleased, therefore, to read about Dr. Sanlikol’s most recent composition that was touted yesterday in The Boston Globe. so here it is:

Music Review

September 10, 2012 | Jeremy Eichler

From the austere supplications of a 12th-century Christian mystic, to the premiere of a brand new work inspired by Turkish Sufi ceremonies, A Far Cry’s season-opening program at the Gardner Museum on Sunday afternoon covered a lot of ground. And that was just the first half. After that came the keening ecstasies of a klezmer-style romp for chamber orchestra and solo clarinet, and the lofty pieties of the “Heiliger Dankgesang,” the song of thanksgiving from Beethoven’s Quartet Op. 132.

Musical mysticism was the afternoon’s theme, and Beethoven was in fact the only composer on the program whose name Gardner music director Scott Nickrenz knew how to pronounce, he told the capacity crowd in Calderwood Hall. (I don’t believe him, but he was making a point.) And more credit to A Far Cry for it. The city’s exuberant self-directed chamber orchestra has always clearly had a lot of fun performing its programs. This season, its sixth, the group appears to be having more fun in putting them together, too.

Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians and Irish International Immigrant Center

Here’s a very important link to the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians that always provides an abundance of useful information about immigration, ESL classes and other helpful information to new immigrants arriving, or already living, in Greater Boston. Check it out!

And while I’m at it, this is also a very strong plug for the Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) in Boston whose longtime, great works on behalf of ALL immigrants is exemplary. Check out its important site, too!

Great article about Albania in London Daily Telegraph

When my wife, Jane Christo, was General Manager of NPR radio station WBUR in Boston, she selected London-based Michael Goldfarb as a meaningful supplier of world news that he regularly broadcast over WBUR. 

Michael forwarded the recent, great article about Albania in London’s Daily Telegraph to Jane that I am delighted to share with you – here’s the link:
You will love it!!