Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Unforgettable Spring of 1998 in Four Interviews by H.E. Petrit Bushati, Albanian Ambassador to the United States

 

As humans, we  have a tendency to forget the past. Thanks to books, archives, documentaries and other media, we can bridge the gap between our memory and the time that flies inexorably away from us.
The unforgettable Spring of 1998 – where hundreds of thousands of Kosovar Albanian refugees were forced to leave their homes under gunpoint –  is only sixteen years behind us – and yet it seems like a whole Century has passed.
Thanks to C-Span – the American Public TV Network – we can now bring some of those moments back, and remind generations to come what occurred with the message “never again”.
Frosina is pleased to reintroduce the interviews of H.E. Petrit Bushati, Albania’s Ambassador to the U.S. in those historical days, as archived by C-Span.
Below there are four interviews taken on three different times, representing as many crucial historical moments:
1 – Interview of April 20, 1998 – when NATO military strikes were tightening the grip on Milosevic;
2 – Interview of May 18, 1998 – when the first signs of cracks in the Milosevic’s grip on Kosovo were emerging; and
3 – Two interviews in one day, on 21 June 1998 – when hopes for the return home of the refugees were increasing by the hour.
The four interviews can be watched here.
The interviews of Ambassador Bushati on the C-Span network are also a worthy tribute to the man who represented Albania in the United States of America in one of the most difficult and pressing crises of the last Century.

100 vjet më parë – 6 prill 1914

Prill 6, 1914 – Guverna shqiptare arreston Dhespotin Gjermanos të Korçës me katër grekomanë vendës, si fajtorë të kryengritjes, dhe i çon nga Korça në Elbasan, ku i mban të burgosur. Në Korçë brënda bëhen kërkime dhe gjenden shumë armë, 8 ushtarë grekë të ardhur si komitë dhe disa andartë grekë prej Greqisë dhe Maqedonisë.

[Mithat Frashëri, Kalendari kombiar i Vatrës i motit 1918, redaktuar nga Fan S. Noli, f. 33].

 

 

This Day, April 2, in Albanian – Jewish History

1937: In Albania, the Jewish community was granted official recognition by the government. The largest Jewish populations were located in Kavaje and Vlora. Approximately, 600 Jews were living in Albania prior to World War II, 400 of who were refugees. At the beginning of World War II, hundreds of Jews arrived
in Albania seeking refuge from Nazi persecution in other regions of Europe.
More on events of this day here

Albanian Flag to be flown in Salem, MA

Frosina is proud to announce that the historic Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Massachusetts, will fly the Albanian flag on March 25, 2014.

This is part of their unique Flag Program.

Salem, Massachusetts is home to a large Albanian community, originating mainly from the region of Gjirokastra.

For more information on the Flag Program click here

Pages of History 1 – the Birth of the Republic of Korça – December 1916

THE BIRTH OF THE REPUBLIC OF KORÇA

[From American Archives]

 

American archives provide some useful information on the situation in Korça during the First World War.  Curiously, such information comes up within the files of the Bureau of Investigations, which preceded the FBI and which, at the period between 1917-1919, was investigating VATRA, Fan Noli and all Albanian activities in Boston. As we can see from the document below, Korça was under Greek occupation for most of the time between May 1913 till December 1916, when the Autonomous Republic of Korça was proclaimed under the Presidency of the revered national leader Themistokli Gërmenji.

In a report by agent Feri W. Weiss, dated November 6, 1918, this information is found:

Since the first Balkan War, the following governments have been in effect in Korytsa (Korça).

1st.     Until December 1912, the Turkish regime;

2nd.    Until May 1913, the Greek Military Regime;

3d.    Until March 1914, the Greek Civil Regime;

4th.    Until July 1914, the Albanian Regime of Prince Wied;

5th.    Until October 1914, Greek bands;

6th.    Until December 1914, Military regime by Greece;

7th.    Until the end of October 1916, Civil Administration of Greece, Royalists;

8th.    Until November 23, 1916, Civil Administration by Venizelists;

9th     Until December 10, 1916, French Military Authority with Greek Employees;

10th    Since December 10, 1916, Independent Albanian Republic under French Military Protectorate.

The reason that the Albanian Nationalists objected to France was on account of France’s friendship with Greece. When a French officer talked to Sali Butka in order to ask him why he was fighting against the French, the Chief of Guerillas answered him: “France, at the Conference of London, was opposed to my country. She tried to give to Greece most of middle Albania. Austria on the contrary, sustained our rights. That is why we were for Austria.”

Albania’s Hunting Ban

Albania’s recent decision to impose a two-year hunting moratorium in its territory is long overdue.

Legal and illegal hunting has decimated Albania’s fauna and birds. The temporary ban should probably be extended to five or even ten years.

Here is what the venerable National Geographic magazine writes about this decision and the role played by American novelist and bird-watcher Jonathan Frazer:

National Geographic Magazine on Songbird Slaughter

Kadare’s famous poem

In the Valentine spirit of this year 2014, Frosina brings to the attention of our distinguished readers one of the most precious poems by Ismail Kadare.

Its true title is “Mall” – Longing – but often it is referred by its first line: Ca pika shiu ranë mbi qelq – Some Raindrops Came to my Window.

It is in four verses the story of two lovers who live in the same city but rarely see each other. It is the beginning of the Autumn, and the poem’s deep sensuality brings us back the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, with his famous call to reality and time, which flows inexorably away from us.

Everything in this rainy Autumn morning is like a dream, according to Kadare and, as the raindrops come down to the window glasses, the lonely character cannot escape the deep longing for the sweetheart living, maybe, a few blocks away.

The full version in standard Albanian is here:

Mall

Ca pika shiu ranë mbi qelq.
Për ty unë befas ndjeva mall.
Jetojmë të dy në një qytet,
Dhe rrallë shihemi sa rrallë.

Edhe m’u duk pak e çuditshme
Si erdh kjo vjeshtë, ky mëngjes.
Qiejt e ngrysur pa lejlekë
Dhe shirat pa ylber në mes.

Dhe thënia e vjetër e Heraklitit
Seç m’u kujtua sot për dreq:
“Të zgjuarit janë bashkë në botë,
Kurse të fjeturit janë veç”.

Në ç’ënderr kemi rënë kaq keq,
Që dot s’po zgjohemi vallë?…
Ca pika shiu ranë mbi qelq
Dhe unë për ty seç ndjeva mall

Two Albanian famous recipes – Çomlek me qepë

We are presenting two great Albanian recipes based on the traditional dish called çomlek, a delicious onion based serving, slowly cooked, and with plenty of fresh ingredients.

The version with meat is below:

Traditional Albanian Çomlek dish with veal

 

Whereas the vegetarian version is here:

Traditional Albanian Çomlek with onions

Fellowships for Journalists

http://www.icfj.org/our-work/social-justice-reporting-global-america

The deadline to apply for this program has been extended from Feb 3, 2014 to Feb 24, 2014.

About the Program

Plagued by the twin challenges of a slow economy and digital disruption, many U.S. news organizations are cutting back on foreign coverage and are shrinking their editorial staffs.

But journalists can play an essential role in raising awareness around international social justice issues, including women’s rights, corruption, human trafficking, poverty, religious tolerance, environmental issues, migration and education.

It is with this in mind that ICFJ announces the Social Justice Reporting for a Global America Program, sponsored by the Ford Foundation.

Through this fellowship, U.S.-based journalists gain foreign reporting experience and an opportunity to cover important international social justice issues around the world. While overseas, the Fellows blog about their experiences and also share tidbits about their reporting assignments on social media including Twitter and Facebook.

Similar to ICFJ’s “Bringing Home the World Fellowship for Minority Journalists,” the Social Justice Reporting for a Global America Program is open to all U.S.-based journalists.

Applicants must present a project proposal in their application, detailing the reporting project they would be interested in pursuing.

Selected journalists attend a week-long orientation at ICFJ’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., from June 1-June 7 2014, where they will fine-tune their reporting projects and will gain new reporting skills to work overseas. Following orientation, fellows will report in the field for up to two weeks – between June and August, 2014. Upon returning to the United States, they will finish their stories and broadcast or publish them by October 1, 2014.