Current Events/News

 July 3, 2013

“Baciami e Basta” is the new video of “The Voice of Italy” Elhaida Dani. Very nice! Enjoy…


Albania Elections
June 26, 2013

In light of the apparent electoral results one can only hope that things will improve in this country and that the people will unite together and work together towards a brighter and better Albania. Let’s give the new government a chance, whether you agree or disagree a new era is about to begin and we should do our part to support the promised progress, as long as it is done with integrity and honesty. Good luck Albania!!

Electoral News


Albania Independence Event on Capitol Hill Honors Jews, Rescuers
November 29, 2012

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Jewish and Israeli officials attended an event on Capitol Hill marking Albania’s 100th anniversary in order to honor the role of Albanians in protecting Jews during the Holocaust.

Among those attending the luncheon Wednesday were family members of Albanians and Kosovars who protected Jews during the Nazi occupation, as well as officials from the Israeli Embassy in Washington, and Richard Stone, the chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Jews in Albania and Kosovo were largely spared during the Nazi occupation because of the actions of rescuers.

The event also honored former Rep. Ben Gilman (R-N.Y.) and the late Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), Jewish congressmen who highlighted the role of Albanians in rescuing Jews and advocated on behalf of the Albanian people during the post-Iron Curtain turmoil in the Balkans in the 1990s.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) was among a number of lawmakers in attendance.

Other Jewish officials attending included Rabbi Levi Shemtov, who directs the Washington office of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, and Ezra Friedlander, who heads the Friedlander Group, a lobbying outfit that has advocated for Holocaust remembrance.

The event was organized by the Albanian American Civic League and Foundation.


Great contemporary Albanian artist, Sidrit Bejleri


Tirana- July 27, 2012 – Municipality of Tirana will benefit 700 thousand euros from the European Union in the form of assistance to people in need.

Deputy Mayor of Tirana Municipality, Jorida Tabaku, said the fund will be used in the financing of small businesses. According to Tabaku, the project is due to start in October.

‘Through this project it will be possible for us to compile policies and a regulatory framework in support of the small businesses that are to be established. Through this grant we will offer training and professional qualifications, mainly to the group of young people who are persons with issues,’ Tabaku said.


Immunity lifting: Rama blocking status

Immunity lifting: Rama blocking status

Prime Minister Berisha and the Parliament Speaker, Jozefina Topalli, reacted after the meeting of the three ambassadors with the Socialist leader about the immunity lifting for high rank officials and judges.

Berisha’s spokesperson declared that this is not only a request of the 28 EU member countries for Albania’s candidate status, but the immunity lifting, which they claim that is being blocked by the Socialist Party since years, has a basic importance in the war against corruption.

“Rama’s intent is only to block Albania’s EU candidate status for the third time, and punish Albania’s best dream. Rama is looking for close political bargains without caring about the vital interests of the European integration for the young men and women of this country. He doesn’t hear the voice of the citizens, and not the dictatorship of the billionaires of this party and to vote for immunity”, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson declared.

The Parliament Speaker, Jozefina Topalli, denied of having received any letter from the Socialist Parliamentary Group leader, Gramoz Ruci. Topalli says that the parliament is not rushing, as the Socialists declare, but they have followed all the steps demanded by the regulation, by gathering the Conference of Chairmen and by appointing the dates for voting the immunity lifting.

The Parliament Speaker says that the date for reviewing the initiative was settled through consensus by the Conference of Chairmen.


25-Nation Bloc to End Kosovo’s Supervision


With Hamdi Salihi, D.C. United is Albania’s team

D.C. United’s Hamdi Salihi looked to the upper reaches of Red Bull Arena on Sunday evening and saw the usual collection of red and black in the visiting supporters’ section.

The show of colors didn’t, however, just represent United. It was also a salute to Salihi — red-and-black flags and banners unfurled by fans with Albanian roots.

Most of the 200 in the group live near New York, but with Salihi, a national team striker, making his only visit to the area, they joined forces with 250-plus United fans in backing the visiting team. The Albanians and D.C.-based fans marched into the stadium together.

“It made me feel proud, it made me feel good, because it’s something special to play in another continent and you have support,” he said Tuesday.

Albania, smaller in size than Maryland, has a population of just 3 million. An estimated 200,000 Americans have Albanian roots (Regis Philbin among them!), the latest influx coming in the 1990s because of Balkan instability.

The cheering section Sunday included several national flags, which are strikingly similar to United’s coat of arms: red and black with a prominent eagle.

Some of the banners paid tribute to Salihi’s home town, Shkoder, and its soccer history: Born in 1919, Vllaznia Shkoder, Salihi’s first team, is Albania’s oldest club.

Shkoder is a city of 100,000 in northwest Albania, on the shores of a large lake shared with Montenegro, near the Adriatic Sea and in the shadows of the Albanian Alps.

Salihi’s family still lives there, and through Internet connections, watches United’s matches. His signing early this year boosted MLS’s visibility in the small country and, it seems, sparked interest in United.

“United now have 1 or 2 million fans because I know all of Albania wants to know how I am doing, how much I play, how United is doing,” he said, with a laugh. “Maybe they didn’t know about United before, but now they know.”

Salihi has seen Albanian flags at other MLS venues, but not as many as in New York, America’s ethnic melting pot.

“You feel this only when you play soccer,” he said of the sport’s global tapestry. “You see people in different countries, supporting you, and it makes you feel like you’ve done something good in your career.”

Salihi, 28, will play for Albania’s national team soon, although it’s unclear when exactly he will report again. An Aug. 15 friendly against Moldova falls on a date set aside by FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, for mandatory releases by players’ clubs. (United has league matches on Aug. 11 and 19.)

With 2014 World Cup qualifiers approaching, Salihi said it would be important to perform against Moldova for the new national team coach, Gianni De Biasi of Italy.

Albania, which has never qualified for the World Cup or European Championship, begins UEFA Group E play against Cyprus at home Sept. 7 and at Switzerland four days later. The group also includes Norway, Slovenia and Iceland.

With nine international goals, including one last fall in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Romania, Salihi is the seventh-leading scorer in Albanian history.

“It’s important for Albania to do well,” he said. “We love football, and we want to make history.”

His fans in America wholeheartedly agree.

By Steve Goff, WP Sports ~ June 26, 2012


Bus Derails on Road to Elbasan

Incidente pulman tra Tirana e Elbasan


Supporting decent work opportunities for young Albanians


Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks With Albanian Prime Minister Berisha


Bujar Nishani's profile<br />

New President Elected in Albania!

A new president was elected today in Albania. This comes as good news. Mr. Nishani is from Durres. He completed his post-graduate studies in the USA in 1996, and from 2000-2004 studied in Tirana’s Law Faculty. His has a Masters in European studies. He began his professional career in 1998, as professor at the “Skenderbej” Military Academy. In 1993, he was a specialist of external relations with the Ministry of Defense and in 1994 a specialist of relations with NATO at the Foreign Ministry, returning one year later to the Minister of Defense position. After 1997 he worked as a freelancer until 2007, when he became Minister of Interior. Two years later he became Minister of Justice and returned as Minister of Interior in 2011. He has been a member of the Democratic Party since 1991 and member of the National Council of his party. Mr. Nishani is married to Odeta and they have two children.


Verbund Studies Albanian Sale of State-Owned Hydro Plants
By Zoe Schneeweiss – Jun 5, 2012 7:10 AM ET

Verbund AG (VER), Austria’s biggest utility, is interested in the sale of four state-owned hydropower plants in Albania and will decide “before the summer” whether to make a bid.

The Albanian government wants to sell the Bistrica 1, Bistrica 2, Ulez and Shkopet plants, Ines Schurin, Verbund’s spokeswoman, said today by e-mail from Vienna. The company sees long-term investment opportunities in the region between Austria and Turkey, she said.

Albania is trying to attract private investors to its power market as it diversifies energy sources and sells some of its utilities. The government of the former Communist nation awarded 5.2 billion euros ($6.5 billion) in wind power and hydroelectric contracts in the past four years.

The four plants have a total capacity of 80 megawatts and experts see a sale price of about 1 million euros per megawatt, WirtschaftsBlatt reported today, without saying where it got the information.

France’s Cie. Nationale du Rhone CNR and Austria’s EVN AG (EVN) also are interested in the facilities, according to a May 15 statement from Albania’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy.

Verbund and EVN already are building a hydropower plant in Ashta in the northwest of Albania that is scheduled to be completed this year. EVN, Austria’s second-biggest utility, is also building three hydropower plants on the Devoll river in Albania along with Norway’s Statkraft AS.

“We are generally interested in renewable energy in our core markets of Austria, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania,” said Stefan Zach, a spokesman for EVN, declining to comment on specifics.


May 2012 ~ Proud of Rona Nishliu. Ufficialmente al quinto posto all’Eurosong Contest Festival. Un successo mai raggiunto fino adesso dall’Albania. Very proud of Rona Nishliu. Officially in 5th place at the Eurosong Contest Festival. A success never before achieved by an Albanian. Congratulations Rona!!


Today, November 14, 2011 is the birthday of the Albanian language, 103 years old!! Click on the image above to read the full article.


Albanian Rehabilitation Center for Trauma and Torture (ARCT)

(click above to access site)

The Albanian Rehabilitation Center for Trauma and Torture (ARCT) has been operating in Albania since 1995, designing and implementing programs aiming to contribute in building a democratic society without use of torture in a country where strong political persecution had been present for almost 50 years during the 20th century.


Bardha Gjomarkaj

This is wonderful news! The Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung museum in Berlin selected the documentary “Wounds, Pain and Hope” produced by the Albanian Rehabilitation Center for Trauma and Torture (ARCT), which focuses on Albanian women persecuted during the communist regime, to be shown in an exhibit. They decided to include the story of my aunt, Bardha Gjomarkaj (pictured above) in the exhibit as well. It is wonderful that the world is finally beginning to learn what these women, along with all Albanians, went through during that horrible regime.

Kam kenaqesine t’ju njoftoj se: muzeu “Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung”, ( Berlin – Germany ), pas prezantimit te filmit dokumentar ” Dhimbje dhe Shprese” prodhim i Qendres Shqiptare te Rehabilitimit te Traumes dhe Tortures, ne kujtim te grave te perndjekura gjate regjimit komunist, kane perzgjedhur historine e Znj. Bardha Gjonmarkaj dhe Znj. Marie Medicina si perfaqesuese ne ekspoziten mbi “Diktaturen Komuniste ne Europe”, ku ben pjese edhe Shqiperia.


(click above to access site)

Austrian Pastor Franz Winsauer, founded a small private volunteer organization in 1991, “Projekt Albanien”, which focuses on providing relief work to a very targeted, inaccessible mountain region in the north of Albania with about 37,000 inhabitants. This is a not for profit organization with supervised manageable projects which promote a positive development in the region. To visit the site please click on the logo box above. Your donations would be most appreciated.

Unemployment, disease and abject poverty characterize the lives of many Albanian families. Their living conditions are catastrophic, often lacking basic necessities: food, clothing, drinking water, hygiene, medical care, are anything but natural.

In targeted relief supplies to the poorest families they receive the needed clothing, shoes, toiletries, school supplies, as well as flour and oil for the harsh winter. Most schools offer an equally bleak picture as the nursery with no heating facilities, leaking roofs, broken windows, unusable furniture. Textbooks, exercise books, teaching and learning materials are scarce.

With the project’s assistance a restoration movement began in which students, parents, and teachers take an active part. Even the authorities are very cooperative.

There is still much to do. Many schools are urgently awaiting renovation, stoves, school furniture and school materials. Donating to this organization you would be making a wonderful contribution to a cause that is very much in need.


(click above to access article)

A wonderful article written by a very talented Italian journalist, Olimpia Gargano, detailing the history and rebuild of the Franciscan Library in Shkodra. When you open the link please click on the Google translate at the top of the page.




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