‘Democracy doesn’t wait’ book launches in Tirana

‘Democracy doesn’t wait’ book launches in Tirana

Sept. 12 – On Tuesday, Sept. 11, coinciding with the 17th anniversary of the Twin Towers terrorist attacks, journalist Frank Shkreli, who is ex-director of Voice of America for Euro-Asia, released a book in three volumes titled ‘Democracy doesn’t wait.’

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COD inaugurates ‘Myrtis: face to face with the past’ exhibition

COD inaugurates ‘Myrtis: face to face with the past’ exhibition

TIRANA, Sept. 13 – The Centre for Openness and Dialogue will open on Friday, Sept. 14, the exhibition titled ‘Myrtis: face to face with the past’ – a special exhibition that comes for the first time in Albania straight from

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Music Film Tirana Festival makes debut under Albania-Austria Cultural Year

Music Film Tirana Festival makes debut under Albania-Austria Cultural Year

TIRANA, Sept. 13 – Occurring in the framework of the Albania-Austria Cultural Year, the Tirana Music-Film Festival will take place from Thursday, Sept. 13 until Sept. 20, at the Pazari i Ri (New Market) area. The Festival takes its inspiration

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‘Exploring the Invisible’ exhibition opens at Kalo Gallery

‘Exploring the Invisible’ exhibition opens at Kalo Gallery

TIRANA, Sept. 6 – Ilir Pojani’s contemporary art exhibition ‘Exploring the Invisible’ will kick off on Monday, Sept. 10, at the Kalo Gallery, in Tirana. To remain open everyday until Sept. 28, the exhibition aims to bring back figures depicted

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Elita 5 celebrates anniversary of band creation with one-of-a-kind concert

Elita 5 celebrates anniversary of band creation with one-of-a-kind concert

TIRANA, Sept. 6 – The renowned Tetovo rock band Elita 5 will be performing at Tirana’s new Amphitheatre , located at the capital’s artificial lake area for the 30-year-anniversary of the band’s creation. The bands’ members are considered pioneers of

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Albania celebrates St. Mother Teresa day

Albania celebrates St. Mother Teresa day

TIRANA, Sept. 5 – This date two years ago Mother Teresa became the first Roman Catholic of Albanian origin to be canonized by Pope Francis, making the date widely celebrated around the world and an official holiday in the country.

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Famous Albanian tenor Gaqo Cako passes away at 83

Famous Albanian tenor Gaqo Cako passes away at 83

TIRANA, Aug. 2 – Tenor, historic figure of Albanian opera music and Nation’s Honor Gaqo Cako passed away on Wednesday at the age of 83 in Tirana, where he lived with his wife, the artist Luiza Cako. Çako was born

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Second biggest recreational park announced by Tirana Municipality

Second biggest recreational park announced by Tirana Municipality

TIRANA, Aug. 1 – A new recreational park for all ages will be added to Tirana’s Great Lake area. The Municipality of Tirana, with the financial support of TIKA and the Agency for Parks and Recreation, started work on a

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Albanian-American pianist supports efforts to uncover communism’s crimes

Albanian-American pianist supports efforts to uncover communism’s crimes

TIRANA, Aug. 2 – The well-known Albanian-American musician Elida Dakoli visited Tirana this week not only to give a piano concert, but also express her desire to help in the efforts to uncover the crimes of the Albanian Communist dictatorship.

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Experts quote degradation as reason behind National Library’s floods and fire

Experts quote degradation as reason behind National Library’s floods and fire

TIRANA, July 26 – The Construction Institute made the technical assessment of the National Library building, as it was flooded by heavy rainfall last month and burned, about a year ago. According to the report, last month’s floods happened due

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                    [post_content] => Sept. 12 - On Tuesday, Sept. 11, coinciding with the 17th anniversary of the Twin Towers terrorist attacks, journalist Frank Shkreli, who is ex-director of Voice of America for Euro-Asia, released a book in three volumes titled ‘Democracy doesn’t wait.’

The work is a compilation of 10 years of journalistic analytical pieces, discussing themes of issues regarding the Balkans, Russian and Turkish influence in Albania and the region, democracy and transition. The book includes some pieces published in local newspapers as well.

“I tried to raise an issue on the increased influence of Russia and Turkey on Albanian lands. In my own way I have noticed also the danger of high Albanian authorities flirting with these nations’ authoritative leaders, as something not of long-term interests for our nation,” said Shkreli during the inauguration.

Shkreli has had an attractive career, not only as director and reporter of Voice of America for Euro-Asia and later Europe, but as an editor, radio host, one of the first Albanian missionaries to reopen its embassy in the United States of America, former director of the National Albanian American Council, and lately an analysis of relevant issues regarding our country published in Telegraf newspaper.

In his book, he compiles history of Albanian politics since the communist era, international relations and its implications on our nation’s economic and political environment, democracy in the Balkans, freedom and corruption.

The book’s inauguration took place at the capital and was attended by various personalities and politicians, including former Prime Minister Sali Berisha, current president Ilir Meta, and persecuted victims of communism. 

He received recognition on his efforts to bring the truth through the American ideals of freedom and democracy since the communist era. He was also praised for his rich Albanian language and vocabulary in his writings, contrasting it with the anglicized wording of current Albanian journalists.

The constant effort to protect democracy, freedom of speech and thought, a liberated journalistic spirit, and the honest sought of truth, were other considerations made by the invitees, whereas a former politically persecuted, Simon Miraka, took his time to thank Shkreli and his former colleagues from the Voice of America for giving hope to a dictatorial Albania that democracy was reaching our nation, too.

Meta said that Shkreli’s work is a “jolt for all of us, regarding the importance of democracy.” 

He said that democracy is not something given to have, but that should be preserved and protected so it can be cherished and kept.

“All of us could and should cooperate, by having a more humane and civil dialogue, especially in the grounds of political parties,’’ said Shkreli. 

He remarked the necessity of a Kosovo and other Albanian regions’ collaboration, and how a lot can be reached without issues or expenses. 

“I am optimistic that a new generation will accomplish much more in this direction,” Shkreli concluded.

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Sept. 13 - The Centre for Openness and Dialogue will open on Friday, Sept. 14, the exhibition titled ‘Myrtis: face to face with the past’ - a special exhibition that comes for the first time in Albania straight from Greece’s greatest museums.

The exhibition brings at the COD spaces, for the first time, a variety of archeological and technological objects, paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings and installations.

In Athens, Greece, there is an area called Kerameikos, where a massive grave of ancient skeletons used to lay. In 1995, when diggings for the metro construction were underway, the skull of a little girl from the 5th century BC was discovered. The skull was well-preserved, considering the time, and had all its permanent teeth remaining and some of its primary teeth, too. Using these features, it was estimated that the little girl died out of the typhoid epidemic that hit Athens around 430-427 BC and was around 11 years old.

Since the girl’s skull still preserved her teeth, it allowed a facial reconstruction. Orthodontics professor Manolis Papagrigorakis from the Dentistry department of Athens University shaped the face, whereas the reconstruction was made with the collaboration of doctors, sculptors, archeologists, and other experts of the field.

The little girl was given the name of Myrtida, a popular Greek name for women at the time, but she’s best renowned as Myrtis.

For archaeologists and historians, the face of this little girl has brought to life a very important aspect of Greek history and has responded to the causes of the loss of many Athenians.

Myrtis also became a special girl for the United Nations. Eight years ago, she became a “UN friend” and has now been resurrected to become a powerful voice in preventing diseases affecting children.

In 2010 Myrtis became a friend of the UN Millennium Development Goals, joining its global campaign ‘’We can End Poverty.’’ Her face is a symbol in Greece and in other countries, asking governments to save children’s lives of dying from preventable diseases, such as typhoid. 

Back in 5th century BC, the epidemic in Greece killed 1 in 3 people including Pericles, Athens’ leader then, and nowadays, typhoid affects over 21 million people, causing 200,000 deaths annually. Child mortality of preventable causes is estimated at around 15,000 deaths daily.

This exhibition unfolds its reconstructed face, accompanied by scriptures and images that bring the world she lived in back to life, her efforts, her challenges and simultaneously bringing back to life the Pericles era and the Peloponnesian War. 

The exhibition will remain open for the public until Oct. 6 and there is no entry fee. 

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Sept. 13 - Occurring in the framework of the Albania-Austria Cultural Year, the Tirana Music-Film Festival will take place from Thursday, Sept. 13 until Sept. 20, at the Pazari i Ri (New Market) area. 

The Festival takes its inspiration from the Vienna Film Festival, which was first held in 1991 at Rathausplatz in Vienna. Since then, this Festival has been taking place annually and has attracted numerous visitors from Austria and abroad - 14 million, to be precise.

 It counts as one of the largest culture and culinary festivals in Europe and has been successfully exported to many global capitals, such as Budapest, Bucharest, New York, Tokyo and Moscow. 

The artistic Program of the Tirana Music-Film Festival will be based on the Viennese Format and will offer a very interesting mixture of musical productions from different genres.

A good combination of Austrian and Albanian recordings for all tastes will be offered, ranging from classic to hip, from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to Parov Stelar, the pioneer of electro swing, from musical movies like ‘Pranvere ne Gjirokaster’, ‘Kenge e valle nga gurra popullore’ and old recordings of RTSH Festivals (Festivalet e Këngës,) to contemporary/modern music documentaries.

On the opening and closing days the film screenings will be accompanied by a live music program by two Austrian bands. 

The mission of the Tirana Music-Film Festival is to provide broad access to visual arts and interpretation, engaging new audiences through audio-visual media and being accessible for all kinds of people.

The festival will take place throughout one week and will be open to the public without fees. The festival will also embrace the concept of street food. A gourmet corner will be organized in in order to enhance the participants experience.

The daily starting time of the festival will be 7.30 pm, while a more detailed festival program can be found online, at movingculture.org. 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Sept. 6 - Ilir Pojani’s contemporary art exhibition ‘Exploring the Invisible’ will kick off on Monday, Sept. 10, at the Kalo Gallery, in Tirana. 

To remain open everyday until Sept. 28, the exhibition aims to bring back figures depicted by the artists following their inspiration by the Grand Masters, but by approaching their characters in quite an interesting individual style. 

Ardian Isufi, the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, is the curator of the exhibition, which marks a new event in the gallery’s institutional and personal cooperation. 

Known for the figurative style ranging from representational to a semi representation form, combined with elements of abstraction and ambiguous narrative, Pojani is an Albanian-American contemporary artist who depicts mainly humans or objects of nature in  manner that tries to explore and discover the invisible - the feeling - thus opening up endless possibilities for interpretation of inner world of the subjects.

Pojani was born in 1954, in Tirana, Albania. He studied painting and graphic art at the National Academy of Arts in Tirana. His work has been shown in numerous exhibitions and international art contests in United States and Europe. Pojani has won several international art awards. His distinct artwork has been recognized and owned by many art collectors and galleries throughout the world.

Painting has always been an essential part of his life, as he began to draw and paint as a little child, and never had any doubts about becoming an artist.
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Sept. 6 - The renowned Tetovo rock band Elita 5 will be performing at Tirana’s new Amphitheatre , located at the capital’s artificial lake area for the 30-year-anniversary of the band’s creation.

The bands’ members are considered pioneers of Albanian rock and their songs have a very large fanbase in Albania.

‘Tornado,’ titled after the band’s latest album name, will kick off at eight pm on Friday, Sept. 7, and the band’s five members - who have remained unchanged over the last thirty years - will play on for hours.

The band’s solist Arif Zyberi told local media during their rehearsals that Tirana is the epicenter for all Albanian nationals who live outside the country’s borders, so the idea to perform in Tirana for the band’s anniversary wasn’t coincidental. 

The band was established in 1988 and seems to have had all its dreams and aspirations fulfilled through the years.

Zyberi said the band’s all-too-famous ballads were inspired from their own personal stories, however, the social, political and economic situation of Albanians in Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania also affected the band’s creative streak.

He recalled the moment the band was privileged to watch a majestic Scorpions concert in Tirana, while war was ongoing in neighboring Macedonia. 

It was a very difficult moment for us, because while the concert kept playing, Macedonia was at war and I remember when the concert started, I sat in the public and called my friend and told her to listen to the band. And she said that’s all great, but that I should listen to what's happening here, in Tetovo. There was loud banging sounds everywhere. It was an important experience for us, which I will remember throughout my life,” Zyberi said.

Asked what has been the band’s magic ingredient to not breaking up through the years, Zyberi listed their original friendship in terms of creativity, and the dedication to their work and their fans professionally.

“We will sing songs from the Elita 5 repertoire, we made a very real selection based on the bands YouTube hits. We hope that the public will sing along, for me it would be a concert failure if we do not sing together with the public that night,” he concluded. 

 
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                    [post_date] => 2018-09-05 15:54:02
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Sept. 5 - This date two years ago Mother Teresa became the first Roman Catholic of Albanian origin to be canonized by Pope Francis, making the date widely celebrated around the world and an official holiday in the country.

The country’s President Ilir Meta remembered the anniversary of the canonization by sharing a Facebook post celebrating Mother Teresa’s life of charity and calling on everyone to use the day to self-reflect.

“Not all of us can do great things, but each of us can do small things with great love,” Meta wrote among others in his message, recalling the expression of St. Mother Teresa and calling for more love. 

On his side, Tirana’s Mayor Erion Veliaj announced he would celebrate Mother Teresa by engaging in a community service marathon.

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. - Mother Teresa. Tirana will celebrate Mother Teresa Day with community service marathon,” Veliaj wrote in his Twitter account.

The Tirana Municipality has opened a number of social canteens throughout the capital over the last three years and is located close to the citizens who need support. 

Meanwhile, Shkodra’s House of Mother Teresa missionaries mass was held to honor canonization day.

The widely-debated series of crimes that have struck Shkodra lately occupied a significant part of the mass, where missionaries appealed for an end to the shocking murders. 

Around the world, millions commemorated Mother Teresa for her canonization two-year-anniversary, which is also the date of the anniversary of her death. 

Mother Teresa was born in Skopje as Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in 1910. She was born to parents who had moved to Skopje from Kosovo.

Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation. She was the recipient of numerous honors, including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize.

She was banned from visiting family members in Albania by the country’s then brutal atheist communist regime, but she did visit as the regime fell and Albanians have commemorated her life and work ever since.

“By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.”

The famous saying by Mother Teresa best portrays the nun of Albanian origin, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, who dedicated her whole life to helping the poor, despite critics of her.

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Aug. 2 - Tenor, historic figure of Albanian opera music and Nation’s Honor Gaqo Cako passed away on Wednesday at the age of 83 in Tirana, where he lived with his wife, the artist Luiza Cako.

Çako was born on January 24, 1935. He spent his childhood in Korça, the city of endless serenades. He then moved to Kuçova, where he noticed for his artistic activities in the house of culture and where he was also given the right to study at the Artistic Lyceum.

He spent his adolescence in Tirana, and then studied at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory for another four years.

After returning to Albania in 1961 he was appointed tenor of the Tirana Opera and Ballet Theater, where he sang many of the first roles of the operatic repertoire, becoming the leading tenor for three decades.

Having received the Nation’s Honor title, Çako has made an extraordinary contribution to the history of the National Theater of Opera, Ballet and National Ensemble. 

‘Traviata’, ‘La Boheme”, ‘Rigoletto’, ‘Norma’, as well as the Albanian opera ‘Mrika’ of Prenk Jakova, Kristo Kolo's ‘Flower of Remembrance’, Tish Daia's ‘Spring’, Vangjo Nova's ‘Heroine’, ‘Skenderbeu’ by Prenk Jakova, ‘Commissar’ by Nikola Zorac, Tonin Harapi's ‘Awakening’, ‘Our Land’ by Pjetër Gaci, have remained in the classical repertoire due to the performance of vocal master Gaqo Çako. 

In addition to having performed around the world’s theaters, Cako also remains very well-known in Italy, as he graduated the Santa Cecilia conservatory. He has performed the best works of both world and Albanian composers, but has appeared in 28 editions of Albania’s Public Radio-Television Song Festival.

The country’s Prime Minister Edi Rama also reacted to Cako’s death, saying through a social media status that the world of art lost a rare figure.

“Gaqo Cako is not alive anymore, and with him we lose another life dedicated to art, leaving behind a name that is added to the history of Albanian singing,” Rama’s post read.

In addition to his long career in the field of music, Cako also leaves behind his musical heritage in the form of his son, famous singer and composer Pirro Cako. 

 
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                    [post_date] => 2018-08-02 18:50:27
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-02 16:50:27
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Aug. 1 - A new recreational park for all ages will be added to Tirana’s Great Lake area. The Municipality of Tirana, with the financial support of TIKA and the Agency for Parks and

Recreation, started work on a new recreational space including both a playground for children and a resting environment for adults.

Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj stressed that an environment where children are treated with respect and love from the very beginning makes them better citizens tomorrow.

“One of the reasons why we have these small disagreements today is because we have people who were raised badly, who are not used to team work, were not raised to think positively, were not raised to look at the good side but to find space to divide people, to put them against each other, to say no to progress, to be afraid of new things. That is why we have these debate today,” Veliaj said. 

Referring to the widely-debated National Theatre bill, which Veliaj and the municipality support, 

he said the parliament will approve the bill again in September. Veliaj listed many of the capita investments that were encountered with resistance at first, but then gave good results.

“We will patiently wait during these 40 days for the parliament to gather again and pass the new National Theatre bill. But there’s always the question I ask myself: those who oppose everything, weren’t they the same people saying ‘don’t touch the lake,’ ‘don’t touch the park’? The park is more frequented today and it’s enough to see how the games corner has gone into order, as well as the bicycle track, the pedestrian track, the runway and the new Amphitheater,” Veliaj added.

According to him, Tirana will continue to change and despite slight delays for a matter of a few days public work will not be halted.

Veliaj guaranteed the capital will make up for all the lost time and promised the municipality will work to remain in the right direction, but did not address the unconstitutionality of the NT bill, as vetoed by Albania’s President Ilir Meta this week.

“By the end of the year we will return here and find another games corner transformed and we’ll say: ‘it’s so good that we didn’t lose time.’ We are really losing 40 days but we will make for the lost time. For a city that has lost many years, each day is valuable and for this we are sorry, but we will make up for it with courage,” he concluded.

Concerning the new corner, the mayor said it will be the second biggest park in the capital, after the one constructed nearby the new amphitheater area. 

Citizens living in the area around the Zoo, Botanic Garden and Dry Lake will have the opportunity to use this area. The new recreational park is being built at one the lake’s unused areas, in a surface of 5500 square meters. 

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Aug. 2 - The well-known Albanian-American musician Elida Dakoli visited Tirana this week not only to give a piano concert, but also express her desire to help in the efforts to uncover the crimes of the Albanian Communist dictatorship.

Dakoli came to Tirana to give a highly-anticipated concert in the hall of Albania’s Academy of Sciences. 

However, Dakoli’s recitals have also been a way of sharing how her family survived communism in Albania. Dakoli currently lives in Texas and gives piano concerts both in the US and Europe. 

Dakolli said the communist period is part of the Albanian people’s suffering and her relation to this suffering is big, as during communism she lost her grandfather, whose burial place has still not been identified.

After her concert at the Academy of Sciences, Dakoli visited the Institute for the Study of Crimes and Consequences of Communism. There, she said she’d try to secure a collaboration between the institute and the Communism’s Victims Commemoration Foundation in Washington DC and urged researchers to prepare a list of proposals for collaboration.

The institute’s hospitality towards Dakoli was accompanied by ample information on the publication of over 80 books that reflect the crimes of Albanian communism, a whole library, among which the preparation of a dictionary on victims of communist terror continues, so far having reached the 7th volume.

Dakoli’s visit and concert consisted of another surprise - for the first time, she played on a Bachendorff German piano, which was donated to the Academy of Sciences produced especially for her.

Dakoli gives concert in many European and US capitals, but she never forgets her heritage and in her travels she has become a self-proclaimed missionary of her homeland’s truths in regard to the sufferings caused by the communist, the crimes of which should be investigated in order for democracy in Albania to help democracy settle.

 
                    [post_title] => Albanian-American pianist supports efforts to uncover communism’s crimes 
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                    [post_date] => 2018-07-26 10:21:39
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 26 - The Construction Institute made the technical assessment of the National Library building, as it was flooded by heavy rainfall last month and burned, about a year ago. According to the report, last month’s floods happened due to the building’s old age.

Similarly, the report highlighted the fire protection system needs deep reconstruction. Experts pointed out the ground’s basement and sidewalls lack hydrolysis.

This was not taken into consideration during the building’s construction, as there was no proper hydrologic study of the area at the time. 

The CI’s report quotes old age, frequent damages and lack of proper measures to protect the building as the main reasons behind the building’s basement floods.

Last month, the water came up at the building’s ground floor, for which the expertise blamed the lack of a hydrologic study.

According to the experts, the library’s foundation has suffered damages that have not been able to protect it from underwater waters.

However, experts excluded a blocked sewage system as a possible reason behind the floods.

In this context, the experts advised the urgent removal of important files from the ground floor, the conduction of the necessary hydrolysis and the eventual restoration of the damages.

It was also made known that a 2012 reconstruction did not meet the necessary requirements to protect the building, while the space available for the growing number of material has also been rendered inappropriate for over 20 years. 

Lastly, according to the expertise, the walls of the building, especially on the basement floors, are degraded due to humidity and, on some surfaces, they also appear cracked.

 
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            [post_date] => 2018-09-13 11:40:25
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            [post_content] => Sept. 12 - On Tuesday, Sept. 11, coinciding with the 17th anniversary of the Twin Towers terrorist attacks, journalist Frank Shkreli, who is ex-director of Voice of America for Euro-Asia, released a book in three volumes titled ‘Democracy doesn’t wait.’

The work is a compilation of 10 years of journalistic analytical pieces, discussing themes of issues regarding the Balkans, Russian and Turkish influence in Albania and the region, democracy and transition. The book includes some pieces published in local newspapers as well.

“I tried to raise an issue on the increased influence of Russia and Turkey on Albanian lands. In my own way I have noticed also the danger of high Albanian authorities flirting with these nations’ authoritative leaders, as something not of long-term interests for our nation,” said Shkreli during the inauguration.

Shkreli has had an attractive career, not only as director and reporter of Voice of America for Euro-Asia and later Europe, but as an editor, radio host, one of the first Albanian missionaries to reopen its embassy in the United States of America, former director of the National Albanian American Council, and lately an analysis of relevant issues regarding our country published in Telegraf newspaper.

In his book, he compiles history of Albanian politics since the communist era, international relations and its implications on our nation’s economic and political environment, democracy in the Balkans, freedom and corruption.

The book’s inauguration took place at the capital and was attended by various personalities and politicians, including former Prime Minister Sali Berisha, current president Ilir Meta, and persecuted victims of communism. 

He received recognition on his efforts to bring the truth through the American ideals of freedom and democracy since the communist era. He was also praised for his rich Albanian language and vocabulary in his writings, contrasting it with the anglicized wording of current Albanian journalists.

The constant effort to protect democracy, freedom of speech and thought, a liberated journalistic spirit, and the honest sought of truth, were other considerations made by the invitees, whereas a former politically persecuted, Simon Miraka, took his time to thank Shkreli and his former colleagues from the Voice of America for giving hope to a dictatorial Albania that democracy was reaching our nation, too.

Meta said that Shkreli’s work is a “jolt for all of us, regarding the importance of democracy.” 

He said that democracy is not something given to have, but that should be preserved and protected so it can be cherished and kept.

“All of us could and should cooperate, by having a more humane and civil dialogue, especially in the grounds of political parties,’’ said Shkreli. 

He remarked the necessity of a Kosovo and other Albanian regions’ collaboration, and how a lot can be reached without issues or expenses. 

“I am optimistic that a new generation will accomplish much more in this direction,” Shkreli concluded.

 
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