Ylljet Alicka translates renowned book in German

Ylljet Alicka translates renowned book in German

TIRANA, May 2- Writer, professor and former Ambassador to France Ylljet Alicka has written a good many titles which have also been translated abroad, and some even adapted for theatre. One of his most renowned books is Stone Slogans has

Read Full Article
Drita Ivanaj chants the anthem of education and culture

Drita Ivanaj chants the anthem of education and culture

By Sonja Methoxha A buoyant lady extends her hand to me in a firm handshake, which means she is reliable, and starts talking as if she already knew me for a while. She does not speak Albanian very well, as

Read Full Article
Albanian sword gifted to Khrushchev

Albanian sword gifted to Khrushchev

TIRANA, Apr. 18- Among the many photos exhibited at the “Marubi Dynasty: One Hundred Years of Albanian Photographic Studio” curated by Kim Knoppers at the Marubi Museum, was noticed a picture that serves as historical evidence. In the central picture

Read Full Article
Specialists warn a cultural heritage devastation

Specialists warn a cultural heritage devastation

TIRANA, Apr. 18- According to specialists there are numerous damages in the field of cultural heritage in the country. Even today on the International Day of Cultural Monuments and Archeological Sites, they claim that the responsibility for these damages is

Read Full Article
A “Mirror” for women to find themselves

A “Mirror” for women to find themselves

By Sonja Methoxha   A little girl spends her growing days listening to her grandfather’s tales in Gjirokaster about history and life. She is surrounded by images of strong women who influenced her to become a strong woman herself. She

Read Full Article
“Terre des Enfants” exhibition in FAB Gallery

“Terre des Enfants” exhibition in FAB Gallery

TIRANA, Apr. 11- “Terre des Hommes” in collaboration with the University of Arts presents the work of photographer Malavika Sattler and the works of the University of Arts’ students in an exhibition which aims to reflect on how art can

Read Full Article
Göbeklitepe archeological site

Göbeklitepe archeological site

Göbeklitepe Archeological Site, located in Şanlıurfa Province of Turkey, has been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List during the 42nd meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in July 2018. This archeological site is the 18th object in Turkey to

Read Full Article
International Roma Day: Roma Artists Call for More Inclusion

International Roma Day: Roma Artists Call for More Inclusion

TIRANA – Roma artists have opened an exhibition displaying a limited edition of a number of multidisciplinary art works featuring Roma history, culture and associated political movements to mark the International Roma Day. Through these art works, Roma artists called

Read Full Article
Franciscan Museum sets off with works of Lin Delija

Franciscan Museum sets off with works of Lin Delija

TIRANA, April 4- “When he arrived in 1992, he returned with the idea of opening an art academy and re-paint the frescoes of the great Shkodra church and could not do neither because he found no open door. So it’s

Read Full Article
Church icons of Vlora monk David Selenicasi

Church icons of Vlora monk David Selenicasi

TIRANA, April 3- The post-Byzantine church paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries in the Ottoman Balkans, only in the last 20 years began to attract more and more the interest of experts. Dr. Ioannis Vitaliotis from the Research Center

Read Full Article
WP_Query Object
(
    [query_vars] => Array
        (
            [cat] => 31
            [paged] => 7
            [error] => 
            [m] => 
            [p] => 0
            [post_parent] => 
            [subpost] => 
            [subpost_id] => 
            [attachment] => 
            [attachment_id] => 0
            [name] => 
            [static] => 
            [pagename] => 
            [page_id] => 0
            [second] => 
            [minute] => 
            [hour] => 
            [day] => 0
            [monthnum] => 0
            [year] => 0
            [w] => 0
            [category_name] => culture
            [tag] => 
            [tag_id] => 
            [author] => 
            [author_name] => 
            [feed] => 
            [tb] => 
            [comments_popup] => 
            [meta_key] => 
            [meta_value] => 
            [preview] => 
            [s] => 
            [sentence] => 
            [fields] => 
            [menu_order] => 
            [category__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [category__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [category__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [post__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [post__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag_slug__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag_slug__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [post_parent__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [post_parent__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [author__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [author__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [ignore_sticky_posts] => 
            [suppress_filters] => 
            [cache_results] => 1
            [update_post_term_cache] => 1
            [update_post_meta_cache] => 1
            [post_type] => 
            [posts_per_page] => 10
            [nopaging] => 
            [comments_per_page] => 50
            [no_found_rows] => 
            [order] => DESC
        )

    [tax_query] => WP_Tax_Query Object
        (
            [queries] => Array
                (
                    [0] => Array
                        (
                            [taxonomy] => category
                            [terms] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => 31
                                )

                            [include_children] => 1
                            [field] => term_id
                            [operator] => IN
                        )

                )

            [relation] => AND
        )

    [meta_query] => WP_Meta_Query Object
        (
            [queries] => Array
                (
                )

            [relation] => 
        )

    [date_query] => 
    [post_count] => 10
    [current_post] => -1
    [in_the_loop] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [current_comment] => -1
    [found_posts] => 3129
    [max_num_pages] => 313
    [max_num_comment_pages] => 0
    [is_single] => 
    [is_preview] => 
    [is_page] => 
    [is_archive] => 1
    [is_date] => 
    [is_year] => 
    [is_month] => 
    [is_day] => 
    [is_time] => 
    [is_author] => 
    [is_category] => 1
    [is_tag] => 
    [is_tax] => 
    [is_search] => 
    [is_feed] => 
    [is_comment_feed] => 
    [is_trackback] => 
    [is_home] => 
    [is_404] => 
    [is_comments_popup] => 
    [is_paged] => 1
    [is_admin] => 
    [is_attachment] => 
    [is_singular] => 
    [is_robots] => 
    [is_posts_page] => 
    [is_post_type_archive] => 
    [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 810ece37c997e68961322e4dbae4ec89
    [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 
    [thumbnails_cached] => 1
    [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => 
    [query] => Array
        (
            [cat] => 31
            [paged] => 7
        )

    [request] => SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS  wp_posts.ID FROM wp_posts  INNER JOIN wp_term_relationships ON (wp_posts.ID = wp_term_relationships.object_id) WHERE 1=1  AND ( wp_term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id IN (31) ) AND wp_posts.post_type = 'post' AND (wp_posts.post_status = 'publish') GROUP BY wp_posts.ID ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC LIMIT 60, 10
    [posts] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 141612
                    [post_author] => 338
                    [post_date] => 2019-05-03 13:27:03
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-05-03 11:27:03
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, May 2- Writer, professor and former Ambassador to France Ylljet Alicka has written a good many titles which have also been translated abroad, and some even adapted for theatre. One of his most renowned books is Stone Slogans has been recently translated in German by Edmond Ludwig, and published by Monda Asembleo Socia (MAS).

This book has been previously translated in French, Czech, English, and Polish. The title has been turned into film with screenplay by Alicka and directed by Gjergj Xhuvani, and has received a few awards. Respectively, the Young critics award at the Festival de Cannes in France in 2001, the Grand Prix - Golden Prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival on the same year, and in 2006 it won Best screenplay at the Albanian Film Festival by the Ministry of Culture. 

The book is a collection of short stories which “besides the simple stories of his country, Albania, under Stalinist regime of Enver Hoxha, in his stories, the author describes the equally absurd events of the post-communist transition,” as the publisher writes to the German translation’s book introduction. The book could also be defined somehow by the French translator Patrick Chrismant who said that Aliçka writes at a time when the dreams of a just and unclassified society has collapsed, the dream of perpetuating dizziness towards a hateful economic system for a half-century, and the dream of an accelerated integration into the Euro-Atlantic political and military community.

Thirteen stories from where you realize that ideology is just an empty shell. Along the Party's nightmare, and under the liberal anarchy that replaced it, remains the same moral disintegration that devalishes the characters of Alicka. This is absurd with all its forms that leads stealthily to disgrace. The stories are the bearers of an Orwellian spirit which shows the authenticity of the Balkan region, and they are also viewed as a memory of the past and a warning to those societies where the government’s control over language is growing. Alicka’s message recalls that if we are to be upheld by propaganda, we have lost our own tune.

kop gjermanisht

The writer is largely appraised for the subtle workmanship and for his astonishingly surprising and humorous mood, Aliçka gives all the countries of the world a clear insight into the gloom of life during the communist dictatorship in his homeland. Mylada Jedrysik from “Gazeta Wyborcza” in Warsaw has written that “soon, Alicka is turning into one of the most prominent narratives of post-communism. For human weaknesses and attitude towards power, Alicka tells about Albania more than all that has been published in Poland. Everything can happen under his pen.”

Ylljet Alicka received the “Doctor of Didactic Sciences” degree in 1989 and was awarded the title of “Doctor Professor” in 1993. He has completed his professional duties as a teacher in the villages of the district of Mat from 1973-1983. He has also been editor and director at the School Book Publishing House from 1983-1992; Director of Foreign Relations at the Ministry of Culture from 1992-1997. He has been responsible for information and communication at the Delegation of the European Commission in Tirana from 1997-2007; the Ambassador of Albania to France, Portugal, Monaco, UNESCO, and the personal representative of the President of the Republic of France at the International Francophone Organization during 2007-2013. He has been a Professor at the European University of Tirana and at the University of Arts since 2013.

Alicka has also won a number of awards in literature, the First prize at the International competition of short stories in Teramo, Italy in 1999; the Bronze Medal by the International Academy of Lutece in Paris in 2000; the Second prize at the International competition “Arts et lettres de France” in Bordeaux in 2000; the silver medal in prose by the Albanian Ministry of Culture in 2001; the Prix de la francophonie by the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2002; the Best novel of the year by KULT prizes in Tirana in 2007; the Special prize by VII Premio Letterario Nazionale “Libri Editi” in Rome in 2009; and the Silver medal in prose for Valsi i lumturisë by the Albanian Ministry of Culture in 2013.
                    [post_title] => Ylljet Alicka translates renowned book in German
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => ylljet-alicka-translates-renowned-book-in-german
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2019-05-03 13:27:03
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-03 11:27:03
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=141612
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [1] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 141547
                    [post_author] => 338
                    [post_date] => 2019-04-29 13:31:33
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-29 11:31:33
                    [post_content] => By Sonja Methoxha

A buoyant lady extends her hand to me in a firm handshake, which means she is reliable, and starts talking as if she already knew me for a while. She does not speak Albanian very well, as she left the country with her mother in 1939, when she was five, and returning to her home-country became possible only in 1993.

World War II and Enver Hoxha’s communist regime of 40 years meant a whole lot of changes for Albania. She always wondered as to what had happened to the country during that time.  Even though she missed Albania and Tirana only through her vague memories, her return had a deeper purpose: to carry on a legacy. In 1996 she opened in Tirana the Martin & Mirash Ivanaj Institute, a foundation to serve education and culture for Albanian pupils and students.

Drita Ivanaj is the only heir to these two Ivanaj brothers. Her father, Martin Ivanaj, was ultimately Chief of the Supreme Court of Albania. Starting off as a lawyer in Korca and then briefly in Shkodra, he established the first modern Civil and Penal Codes for the judicial system in Albania, rendered many judgments in a variety of fields, and started a collection of legal documents contained in over 20 manuscripts intended to be published after his retirement. Unfortunately, after the Italian invasion of Albania in 1939, followed by World War II, and the Albanian dictatorship, these precious documents were pilfered and disappeared together with the considerable collection of 16,600 books of the Ivanajs’ private library.

Drita’s uncle, Mirash Ivanaj, after graduating with two degrees from the University of Rome (‘La Sapienza’ of today), started his career as a teacher, who became also headmaster of the high school “28 Nentori” (November 28) in Shkodra. During the 1930s King Zog asked him to serve as Minister of Public Education. The King knew that the Ivanaj brothers, and especially Mirash, did not agree with his ruling, “but you [Mirash] are the only one I can trust to give a valid contribution to our country”.  So Mirash opened the first public schools in Albania, known as the Ivanaj Reform of 1936. He later resigned from this position, as his reforms created a lot of opposition due to the educational standards he sought to apply throughout the Albanian educational system.

Large portraits of her family members adorn one of Drita’s office walls, where she has a large desk, a work table for holding meetings, and a setup of chairs and coffee table to share with visitors some relaxing moments. The corridor outside her office is filled with display cabinets, in which various items of her past are exhibited, such as some of her father’s and uncle’s documents, old photos, a family tree, objects and mementos inherited from her relatives on both maternal and paternal sides. The paternal family tree shows ancestors since 1444, during Skanderbeg’s era, while her maternal heritage, dating back to 1664, includes prelates, and distinguished society members, such as Lady Collins, her maternal grandmother’s aunt, who was Lady in Waiting to Queen Victoria in London.

DSCN0815

DSCN0820

The Ivanaj Foundations of New York and Tirana that Drita founded, are lodged and occupy an entire floor in the new building complex located in the heart of Tirana e Re that includes offices and training rooms, a full size Library suitable for study and research, a Conference room with telecommunication facilities, and a large hall (Salla Ivanaj) for special events, and social activities. The overall setting of this Institute is a well-lit and technically equipped environment, with spacious areas, and comfortable climate conditions that contribute to a quiet and relaxed atmosphere for visitors and occupants alike. The land on which this complex was recently erected (and completed in 2017), belonged to Drita’s family, and included the residence that her father and uncle built when they returned from their studies in Italy and settled back in their country. The original 2-story villa of the Ivanajs was first confiscated and became the headquarter of the Italian occupying forces during WWII. Later on it was seized and used by the communist regime for a variety of purposes, such as the National Informative Service (SHIK), and as a bureau and depot at the service of the Guards of the Republic.

Drita started the proceedings of retrieving her properties in 1995, but could only set foot back into them in 2009, after indescribable hurdles of all sorts.

“When I finally entered into my property that was stripped of everything, I saw they had removed even the toilets,” says Drita in amazement.

Drita happened to be born in Italy, but from Albanian parents, and thus always had Albanian nationality. Her mother was Italian and met her future husband, Martin, while studying in Rome. Her father, however, had promised his in-laws to have their daughter return for visits, after their wedding since they had to reside in Albania. Her mother also acquired Albanian citizenship by marriage. Mirash on the other hand remained unmarried throughout his life since the woman he loved untimely passed away from natural causes at a young age.

So, they all settled in Tirana where the Ivanaj brothers built their residence. Drita recounts with a smile that Tirana had only 30 thousand residents back in the 30s, and in the area of Tirana e Re where she lived then there were only three villas.

“I was raised here, in this particular lot of land where now you see the garden of this complex,” says Drita, but, after the first 5 years, and the development of WWII, she lived in Italy with her mother for the next 12 years, where she grew up and finished her initial studies.

On Apr. 7, 1939, the Italians invaded Tirana. There was a turmoil in the city, no one knew what was happening on that day, and most left to return at later times. Her father and uncle were also involved in trying to figure out what was going on in various state offices, and at the end of that day they also left the country and ultimately reached Istanbul.

Drita and her mother never saw them again. Her father died 14 months later in an Istanbul hospital from a kidney infection, whereas her uncle returned to Albania six years later at the end of WWII. Enver Hoxha was ruling the country by then. Mirash was allowed to resume his teaching profession, while he was in the process of getting back the Ivanaj residence that, by them was housing 10 other families. He lived in one small room of it with a single bed, table and chair. Mirash was also asked to be politically involved, but he refused, and months later one night he was arrested.

While he was Minister of Public Education he had granted former dictator Hoxha a scholarship for his studies in France. But after three years Mirash cut the funds, as Hoxha was failing his exams, and spending his money on women and entertainment.

A senseless trial process was held against Mirash by the government, as versus many other persons then. Mirash was tortured for several months prior to his trial, and then he was absurdly accused and condemned for being an enemy of Albania due to alleged collaboration with Americans. He was thus convicted to prison for seven years. At sentencing time when the judge asked his reaction, Mirash replied with a question that became the quote that shaped the nature of a 40 year long dictatorship and suffering of the Albanian people: “Is there a law that has a power over one’s thought?” He was allowed a letter a month, with which he kept contact with Drita and her mother. Correspondence was of course censored, Drita says, but it was enough to just keep some sort of contact. Only 12 days prior to his release, Mirash died due to unspecified stomach and intestinal complications.

By the time Mirash died the first medical school had opened in Tirana. The bodies of the deceased prisoners were given to this faculty to conduct autopsies for anatomical studies since there were not provided with any other practical teaching methods in the laboratories. However, she recalls in gratitude that the medical students refused to touch the body of her uncle Mirash.

Although Drita lived with her father and uncle for only five years of her life, she inherited their intellect, strength, will, and dedication. Martin and Mirash were the youngest children among eight in the family. Having lost both their parents at a young age, they only had each other, when they studied abroad. They, however, constantly sustained themselves, having each other’s back. They were prolific writers, were actively involved in students’ organizations and excelled in everything they did.

When Drita left for Italy, she had only her mother, who was the one to pass along to her family history and education. She constantly reminded her that “life is the ultimate school”, and Drita learned the lessons well.

She first completed her studies in Italy receiving a Baccalaureate Degree in Science. In 1951 she and her mother emigrated to the USA, and settled in Manhattan. Drita was left alone when her mother passed away eight years later; nevertheless, through her fierceness and the many experiences she had overcome, Drita managed to outplay life in her own way, and today she runs two educational and cultural foundations with inestimable heart.

Drita received also a Baccalaureate Degree of Art in New York. She attended the IBM Systems Science Institute, and took a variety of other courses, for which she obtained specializations in Business Management, Information Systems, Computer Operations, Tactical and Strategic Planning.

Her first career was in business management. She managed the representative office of the Italian FIAT conglomerate in the USA for 15 years, way before the company started importing cars into that continent. She directed large contracts administration to provide specialized materials produced in the USA, but needed for the manufacturing of equipment in Italy that served other European countries, and even a new car factory built in Russia. For all this work she dealt with large contractors in the USA, such as General Motors, Lockheed, Boeing, Budd etc., and handled the purchases and shipments overseas of what eventually went into the production of equipment servicing the fields of aviation, naval engines, railroad cars, trucks, etc. Later on she also took care of setting up the launching of cars importing, and established car rental plans for American tourists that wanted to visit Italy. During the 15 years in this business, Drita also diversified her learning by taking evening classes in a variety of subjects, eventually zeroing in the then emerging computer industry.

In the mid 1960’s she took a course in data processing and software programming. She blithely recalls how her class included 15 people, all of whom wanted to start a better job, while she already had a good one in management, but was seeking instead a change in her career path.

“I am of those people that when I make a plan, I also have a backup one in case the first does not work out, so I am prepared for what to do next. I also take full responsibility for my actions and decisions”,   Drita adds in a serious manner, and, thus, she explains how, among six different offers that became available to her at that time, she accepted a job opportunity in data processing at Columbia University, where she continued the rest of her Information Systems career until retirement.

When Drita came on board, Columbia had six large mainframes, dedicated to academia work and research, but no administrative digitized systems to manage 10,000 employees (at different level of service, from professors and lecturers to gardeners, janitors, security personnel, etc.), plus thousands of students and alumni, numerous department faculties and their administrative staff, payroll processing, and financial reporting.

Drita’s business background and her years-long experience in management gave her an advantage in achieving the objectives set for the computerization of administrative systems, and, within 6 months of her new employment at Columbia, she was promoted Project Manager and brought to successful conclusion several large applications and related computerized systems that affected several departments across the University Campus. The complexity of the things she managed and solved gave her the reputation of a problem-solver.

At Columbia she dealt with telecommunications, had access to operational hardware, interacted with academia, dealt with and supported the administration in a variety of ways. She also managed the renovation of the university’s main computer center (a 70 million dollar installation at the time), provided technical assistance and management consulting to students, colleagues and department members, and handled a data processing reorganization on campus that involved more than 120 individuals. She compiled procedural manuals for administrative staff, and in 1985 introduced computer security on campus, for which she also wrote a newsletter, and conducted specific training. “When I hear today about computer security issues, it makes me laugh,” says Drita, who thinks of herself now as a dinosaur in the field.

During her career at Columbia (over 22 years in 9 different positions) she was a member of several systems organizations and associations, for which she held office and organized meetings, trainings and courses, and annually participated in their variety of seminars, assemblies, and conferences.

Throughout her working careers, thoughts of Albania resurfaced from time to time. In 1975 she decided to visit Turkey to retrace where her father and uncle had been and where her father was buried since 1940.  She sifted through old correspondence to find names and addresses, where her uncle lived and she confesses that her visit there was one of the most emotional episodes in her life. Her uncle had left two sealed packages of documents for her with some local acquaintances, not knowing whether she would able to ever fetch them.

Once she arrived in Istanbul she visited the cemetery where her father was buried, paid the overdue rent she had no knowledge had accumulated for it there, and the whole visit turned out to be a greatly moving experience.  She found a beautiful headstone with two inscripted lines in Albanian for which she needed help in translation. The cemetery office staff put her in contact with an Albanian journalist, whose last name was Prodani. On the phone he asked her who she was. When he found out she was Drita Ivanaj, he insisted in meeting her that evening at 6 p.m. in the lobby of the Hilton hotel where she was staying. She recalls a mature gentleman coming in, about 20 meters away, who, after spotting her, walked toward her and said: “You are Drita Ivanaj. You are the spit image of your father!” - laughs Drita.

The journalist, however, soon became very emotional and the next day took her to the ex-consul of Albania in Turkey, who, he knew, had the packages that her uncle Mirash had left for her. From them she found out many details and some mementos, how her uncle had gone to Jerusalem to help his friend, Qemal Butka, a former mayor of Tirana, and how he had traveled to support other Albanians during his stay in Turkey. Some clues that relate to her uncle’s trial later on in Albania also surfaced from the content of these packages.
Many years later, in 1995, she was able to bring her father’s remains home in Albania and buried him beside her uncle.

The first time she returned to Albania was in 1993. The communist regime was overthrown by protesting students in 1991, the borders opened to allow free movement of domestic citizens and Albanians who had left the country years ago, and democracy was emerging. Former Prime Minister and founder (also former leader) of the Democratic Party, Sali Berisha, was serving in office as President of Albania in 1993. A number of all democracy martyrs of the country, were granted by him posthumous decorations in November 1992. At that time the government had organized such a ceremony in Shkodra and, as Drita later found out, Mirash Ivanaj was the first in that list of awards, as the father of Albania’s public school system. But Drita, the only living heir of him, was living, uninformed, in New York and thus no family member was present to accept such a reward.

Drita thankfully recalls: “In 1993 someone came looking for me in New York knowing that I existed, but nobody knew where I was. So I came to Albania in May 1993, and they redid the entire ceremony for me in Shkodra in the fall of that year. Then, I had the unexpected great pleasure and the honor of meeting some of my uncle’s ex students who were then 85 years old. I was amazed as to what they remembered from their life as students in his time.”

When Drita returned in 1993 she was amazed about how many people knew of and greatly regarded her family. She learned from them many details that she was not aware of. Former students of her uncle shared their memories with her, and during the ceremony held in Shkodra she also learned how her uncle had built the first sports field in Albania.

Over the years she was disappointed in learning how many people have used surviving documents of her family for their political purposes, and pilfered some of them from national archives. Explicit handwritten note appended by her uncle to private documents: “not to be made public unless specifically approved by my niece Drita”, were totally disregarded and abused.  She had the nerve to face these situations and exposed who had no right to such mishandling and used the Ivanaj name for their own political purposes.

Meantime, a long term family friend, historian Sherif Delvina, when he found that Drita returned to Albania, conducted on his own, unsolicited research in the National Archives, and collected several hundred judgments and legal documents bearing the signature of Martin Ivanaj which he put at Drita’s disposal, soliciting her to publish them one day.

The disappointing and unacceptable experiences indicated above brought to light several issues and the fact that especially students of jurisprudence do not have much documentation from the past that they can study and use as reference in the solution of today legal cases. This means that they don’t have an archive of past similar cases and thus have no precedence they can rely upon. And this was confirmed to her by lawyers she has dealt with and students of law, who admit hardship in this achievement.

Drita stands firmly as an individual that believes in fundamental transparency of actions and justice, and situations such as the ones she was involved with and subjected to, are unacceptable and must be fought. This is one of the reasons why Drita thinks the past is so important, because one can learn from it, avoid the traps of similar mistakes, and learn how to cope with certain similar situations. ‘If there is no precedence, one cannot know something has happened before, and wheels have to be reinvented…..that is why it is so important to learn the past, in order to build the future” says Drita.

And her past is what has brought her back and she is here today. She established the Ivanaj Foundation first in New York in 1995 and the Ivanaj Foundation Institute in Tirana in 1996 for the advancement of Albanian education and culture. It took her more than a quarter of a century of persistent hard work and faith in her vision to build these institutions that carry on the legacy her family left. She admits being amazed by what she has achieved. Since she is still working and putting every bit of energy in the path she is pursuing, she doesn’t have time to contemplate about her past, and on what she did to make all this happen. “But I feel happy that at least I’ve reached these results so far,” Drita cheerfully comments.

She hopes her work will remain and continue to be expanded also after she will be gone. She says she is trying to set up whatever exists in such a way that it will perpetuate the scope and the goal that the Ivanaj brothers had worked for throughout their lives for the benefit of their country, for which she also feels strongly about, as they did.

Drita always wanted to return to Albania and establish an Ivanaj Foundation. Coincidentally, many years after she did, she found, mentioned in a document her uncle left, that he had expressed the wish that his niece would establish one day a foundation on her father’s name. She dedicated her work to both of them, for the positive impact they had on Albania in the past, but also to her life indirectly, as a message of strength and love for one’s country and people. She took early retirement to dedicate her full time to this path. The foundation in New York serves the purpose of fundraising among foreign donors and Albanian ethnics, born and raised in the US for many generations, to carry out programs and projects in Albania and surrounding neighboring countries.

She does not have children of her own, but she wants to leave this portion of contribution for the youth of Albania to use. The various trainings and workshops the Ivanaj Institute in Tirana has organized have brought so far many positive results and smiles on children, both for providing better learning practices and teaching them something new, but also for establishing stronger communities. She has perceived the kids always being ready to interact and the parents being more than grateful for their children to be able to spend time in something useful, engaging, and fun. This has proven to Drita that her investment in Albania is having a positive effect in the changes that are ongoing and will continue in one of the youngest countries in the world, thanks to its youth.

“We need fresh blood, a blood which doesn’t carry the problematics of the past, but knows the values of its past and thus should and can create a better future for itself,” she declares in hopeful tone.

Regardless of some issues that Albania is facing right now, such as the justice reform which might take a while, but will certainly give constructive future results, or the institutional bureaucracies and complexities that do need reforms to better serve the country, or the heartbreaking brain drainage that has affected the country, but could be reversed, Drita feels that Albania also has a host of other valuable assets to offer. Our country has many beautiful resources and not only natural ones. We are living in a world of transformation, which indeed provides many challenges, but, she says, life is a school and we should not be indifferent. We should be open to learning and take the lead ourselves; start working and collaborating with each other as a single entity and not as separate units.

“Democracy is freedom, but that implies self-discipline of actions, while the key to success are coordination and organization,” is Drita’s concluding statement.

DSCN0816

DSCN0818

Note: this article is a suggested edit by the MMIFI press office, thus appears different from print
                    [post_title] => Drita Ivanaj chants the anthem of education and culture
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => drita-ivanaj-chants-the-anthem-of-education-and-culture
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2019-04-29 13:53:47
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-29 11:53:47
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=141547
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [2] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 141469
                    [post_author] => 338
                    [post_date] => 2019-04-22 12:08:36
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-22 10:08:36
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Apr. 18- Among the many photos exhibited at the “Marubi Dynasty: One Hundred Years of Albanian Photographic Studio” curated by Kim Knoppers at the Marubi Museum, was noticed a picture that serves as historical evidence. In the central picture is seen Prenk Bib Doda (1858-1919), one of the most important personalities of Albanian political history. He was Prince of Mirdita, one of the leaders of the League of Prizren, a commander of the forces for the protection of Hoti and Gruda, he served twice as Deputy Prime Minister, the first term under Ismail Qemali and his first Albanian government, and was twice as Minister of the World Affairs.

In the photograph taken in Pietro Marubi's studio, he poses proudly with his national costume and with his father's sword Bibë Dodë, a gift from Napoleon III, which during the communist regime was allegedly donated to Nikita Khrushchev during the visit in Albania in 1959. The image was published with this explanation by the museum itself.

Shpata-qe-ju-dhurua-hrushovit-768x980

 

Though the Marubi had a commercial activity, this did not stop them from experimenting with new techniques at any moment. Pietro made a collage by extracting fragments from different photographs and then reproducing them as a single image. He also experimented with the stereoscopic photograph, which was further perfected by Kel Marubi, but found little use. Gega, the last of the dynasty, used the infrared photo for the first time in Albania.

But it's not just the prince's picture that focuses or preserves the image of a gunman at that time. Another image that is part of the exhibition is a picture taken in the studio of Kel Marubi, that of the handing over weapons, in which we see Captain Mark Raka - the second by the left with the decree in hand - after the adoption of the law on the surrendering of weapons from the 1922 government, and bayraktar from Shala Lush Prela on mountain clothing, who reads the decree, handing over the gun. This image that is one of the most renowned archives of Marubi for the important historical moment that it presents, as well as the artistic and cultural values it carries, is central to one of the sections of the exhibition. Three generations of photographers have made portraits of a wide variety of people, ranging from urban bourgeois, to shepherds, images from the times of the Ottoman Empire and King Zog to criminals, famous actors and painters.

Dorezimi-i-armeve-22-korrik-1922-770x433
                    [post_title] => Albanian sword gifted to Khrushchev
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => albanian-sword-gifted-to-khrushchev
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2019-04-22 12:08:36
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-22 10:08:36
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=141469
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [3] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 141451
                    [post_author] => 338
                    [post_date] => 2019-04-20 14:12:33
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-20 12:12:33
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Apr. 18- According to specialists there are numerous damages in the field of cultural heritage in the country. Even today on the International Day of Cultural Monuments and Archeological Sites, they claim that the responsibility for these damages is upon the inheritance institutions. Specialists say the inheritance system in the country is more about bidding than protecting monuments.

Academician Emin Riza emphasizes that the unique values of our heritage should be protected, but according to him after the 1990s the institutions in the country have a significant decline in the protection of monuments.

“Construction monuments of the culture of the entire protection, cult, housing and others are unrepeatable historic-cultural values. As such, these unique values should be preserved both by their protection bodies as well as from all citizens,” affirms academician Riza.

Academician Emin Riza who is the writer of the Gjirokastra and Berat files in UNESCO, added that conservation interventions in the monuments were not enough. He said that the Ministry of Culture Institutions have a significant decline in the activity for the protection of monuments since 1990, and especially the Ministry of Culture, which is supposed to deal with the protection and restoration of monuments, should take a triple care of what it has shown today. Riza said that is because if culture monuments which lose their identity and originality, even though they can be rebuilt, the reconstructions will always copies of the original. Therefore the ongoing maintenance interventions as the Venice Restoration Card are the core of the activity that is called the restoration of monuments. A problem that Riza pointed out is the absence of professionals in institutions.

He adds that the historic centers of Gjirokastra and Berat want much more maintenance, because Berat for example has a fire hazard, especially the Mangalem and Gorica neighborhoods. The construction on which Mangalem is raised upon has building near each other where fires spread at great speed, so installations of fire extinguishers are needed. Gjirokastra has also suffered some damages, and the risk lies if maintenance and restoration interventions in houses are interrupted.

For prof. dr. Neritan Ceka, the worst time for cultural heritage in Albania is after the 90s. He took as a parallelism the accident at the the Notre Dame cathedral, which is a vertical catastrophe for reasons not related to the care shown in France for monuments, whereas in Albania he said we have a horizontal catastrophe, which is destroying all the cultural heritage in the field of monuments in the most brutal way that has happened to this country since Turkey's time. 

“In relation to the 1980s when there was the flourishing of archeology and the care of cultural monuments in the country despite the system that existed, compared to that period we are 100 times less,” said Ceka.

He added that the system of ministries and agencies that depend on it, is the most absurd that exists all over the world. He said that this system which was put in a pseudo-reform made in 2008 , works solely works for bidding. Prof. dr. Neritan Ceka is also concerned about the lack of specialists in the institutions. He said that the Culture Ministry prepares reference topics made by people who are not related to monuments and do not hold any scientific degrees. He said that this negligence has also pushed the situation into a catastrophe.

“I have tried to communicate with the Minister of Culture and the Prime Minister, but they won’t listen to me. They won’t listen to anyone. The generation that manages today's cultural heritage in the field of cultural monuments is irresponsible,” said prof. dr. Ceka. 
                    [post_title] => Specialists warn a cultural heritage devastation
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => specialists-warn-a-cultural-heritage-devastation
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2019-04-20 14:12:33
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-20 12:12:33
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=141451
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [4] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 141425
                    [post_author] => 338
                    [post_date] => 2019-04-19 14:25:44
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-19 12:25:44
                    [post_content] => By Sonja Methoxha

 

A little girl spends her growing days listening to her grandfather’s tales in Gjirokaster about history and life. She is surrounded by images of strong women who influenced her to become a strong woman herself. She defines her views as feminist, as she has admitted that to many of her friends, but Irda Haruni is simply the representation of a strong female who took her life under her own control, sustaining herself for about 11 years since she was a university Law student, and due time by believing in herself, she has started building her journey into fulfilling a lifelong dream: becoming a writer.

Irda recently published her first book, a collection of poems titled Pasqyra (Mirror in English). The poems are written over a span of 10 years and are dedicated to girls and women who are constantly trying to find and be themselves in a patriarchal society. She is inspired by the stories of the women of her family, but also of the women she met during her pathway. During the promotion of her book in Tirana she said that the book “is absolutely dedicated to girls, and here are many strong girls here, and I’d like to thank you for growing me.” However, the poems aren't simply directed to women, but to society as a whole, as we all are in constant interaction with one-another. And as women are already put into motion in demanding their equal rights and deserved appraise for their efforts, perhaps the change would happen when men would start respecting and treating women worthily.

IMG_1715

 

A lady with short, red hair and bright, black aways meanders among the crowd, greeting and thanking everyone who managed to join to her book’s promotion amidst the rainy day of April 11, at Mondial Hotel in Tirana. There were no chairs in the event. People were standing, drinking wine, talking to each other. Irda had decided to associate the book with 10 photos she took while in Italy where she studies. Each picture is based on a poem from the book, and show the hardships that women face against prejudices of society. And she wouldn't even have made a promotion if it wasn’t for the idea of the photo exhibition, but it also served the purpose of evading long speeches and to let the visitors to immerse themselves into her art.

“Of course I am a feminist, I have made that obvious in all tables, even with boys. I really believe in this cause, and I wanted the messages to be strong and clear for everyone, especially to you who have children today. So I wanted you to have this clear as an instruction from me,” said Irda during her book promotion in Tirana. 

The promotion took place in her hometown of Gjirokaster at Argjiro Hotel on April 8, because family members are there. Old relatives, schoolmates and childhood friends, old school teachers and family friends attended the event in support to Irda. Tirana though, has her friends.

Pasqyra has 111 poems about women and life. The book was published in Gjirokaster on April 8, and in Tirana on April 9. She printed 300 books, out of which only 50 were left to be dispersed in libraries, as the rest were already sold during her promotion. 

“I started writing when I was a little girl, but I decided to publish the book now because the time came, as it was becoming more serious when I noticed that I couldn’t break loose from writing,” told Irda Top Channel during her promotion in Gjirokaster. 

The poems run smooth. There is a honesty about the reality the way this woman sees it. She doesn’t feel like lying, because she does not have time to play games. But the truth she provides tastes bittersweet, that is why it can be swallowed easily as the allegories and metaphors she uses spread around in a dissociated dance, in a search of its identity, following an inaudible rhythm until it return to its starting point again. Poems on self, love, nature, friendship, ideals, all derive from a soul on its path to discovery, which after seeing its roots to its being, it is now boldly making them visible to the world, and sharing its wisdom. 

The book is only offered in the Albanian language, which is Irda’s mother tongue. After she finishing her second degree in Italy for which she is currently studying, she will will start slowly translating the book in English and make it available for Kindle through Amazon, and also start planning on a second project. She promised her next book to be a novel, as her second poem collection is already halfway. The following poem is titled It Should be a Reality was suggested by Irda as a representation of the book’s message, and comes translated as a courtesy of the author.

 

It Should be a Reality

 

A girl is born

And no balloons

A young blood fairy eternally

But what can this world confess

Without your soul’s mystery?

And young blood wouldn’t raise

For it’s not just a tale

Nor their veins blue as ice

Can’t make your name fade

FEMALE

[caption id="attachment_141427" align="aligncenter" width="749"]IMG-0432 *How insane! In a bottle, how could your perfume be imprisoned, that you are a half God?[/caption] [caption id="attachment_141428" align="aligncenter" width="876"]IMG-0433 *1000 years today it is still the same...[/caption] [caption id="attachment_141429" align="aligncenter" width="736"]IMG-0434 *Beautiful, just like the earth you say, but my bosom you infringed[/caption] [post_title] => A “Mirror” for women to find themselves [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 141425 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-04-19 15:20:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-19 13:20:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=141425 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 141353 [post_author] => 338 [post_date] => 2019-04-12 16:10:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-12 14:10:15 [post_content] => TIRANA, Apr. 11- “Terre des Hommes” in collaboration with the University of Arts presents the work of photographer Malavika Sattler and the works of the University of Arts' students in an exhibition which aims to reflect on how art can be used by young people and children to bring about change in issues related to them, and how it affects their empowerment, development, and involvement. The exhibition opens on April 11 at 6 p.m. at FAB Gallery near the University of Arts campus, and will remain open until April 15. image002   “Terre des Hommes” (Land of People or Land of Men) is an international children's rights charitable humanitarian umbrella organization under the aegis of the International Federation of “Terre des Hommes” (TDHIF), with independent organizations in Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, and Syria. It was founded in 1960 by Edmond Kaiser in Lausanne, Switzerland. The organization is named after Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's 1939 philosophical memoir Terre des hommes (English title: Wind, Sand and Stars). An important part of the TDHIF's work is as a consultant to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Promoting the Convention on the Rights of a Child is an important activity of Tdh. Advocating for children’s rights, defending them, and spreading information are tasks which “Terre des Hommes” – to the aid of children considers a priority. TDHIF runs the two campaigns 'Destination Unknown' - Children on the Move (www.destination-unknown.org) and 'Children Win' - Changing the Game of Mega Sporting Events (www.childrenwin.org). This charitable organization started its activity in Albania in 1993 focusing on combating child trafficking, abuse, neglect and exploitation and on developing the child protection system, and later in 1999 during the Kosovo war they provided emergency assistance to refugees in Korça, including food aid, hygiene kits as well as psychological and social support. “Albania has seen considerable positive changes in child protection in the last years. However, too many children are still exposed to the risks of migration, trafficking and abuse. Our aim is to ensure that they are effectively protected and their rights are respected. To achieve this, we work in close partnership with government institutions and communities,” writes “Terre des Hommes” in its website. The website lists some achievements from their 2017 activity in our country, such as 8500 children have taken part in their after-school psychological activities during 2017, 4800 parents participated in economic empowerment and health promotion projects, and 1100 professionals were trained to provide better child protection services in 2017. The organization supports child victims of abuse and identifies those at risk, by contributing to improving the child protection system in Albania and offering training and networking opportunities to professionals, and empower local organisations through grants and mobilisation activities to develop initiatives for child protection. They also help parents set up an income-generating activity, encourage children to attend school or to undertake vocational training and offer them after-school activities either to prevent emigration, or for families in the move. The organization is also building youth resilience through an innovative approach at community level in order to combat violent extremism among children, which is mainly caused by difficult socio-economic conditions, lack of education opportunities, and isolation.  They work with youth activists, local organisations and authorities, and train them on conflict resolution and leadership, offer grants to support grass-root initiatives to empower youth, and support youth in becoming agents of change by undertaking on-line counter-narrative campaigns. And lastly, they are supporting ongoing reforms in Albania’s health system so particularly marginalised and vulnerable groups can access quality medical care. As part of a consortium of three organisations (STPiH and Save the Children), the organization carries out health promotion campaigns for children and parents, establishes training courses and a Master degree for primary healthcare professionals, rehabilitates the existing health care infrastructure and equips health centres and their staff with adequate instruments to work. There are currently two ongoing projects from “Terre des Hommes” present in Albania, the “Regional Child Protection Hub for Southeast Europe” which is a network for child protection professionals in Southeast Europe; and “Reintegration of returned migrant children in Albania and Kosovo” which aims to improve the reintegration of returned migrant families in Albania and Kosovo and to prevent unsafe migration. [post_title] => “Terre des Enfants” exhibition in FAB Gallery [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => terre-des-enfants-exhibition-in-fab-gallery [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-04-12 15:43:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-12 13:43:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=141353 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 141349 [post_author] => 338 [post_date] => 2019-04-12 15:37:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-12 13:37:31 [post_content] => Göbeklitepe Archeological Site, located in Şanlıurfa Province of Turkey, has been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List during the 42nd meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in July 2018. This archeological site is the 18th object in Turkey to be in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, that is why 2019 has been declared as the Göbeklitepe Year. With a history dating back 12.000 years, Göbeklitepe was built 4.600 years before the oldest cities of Mesopotamia, known as the cradle of civilizations; 6.600 years before Stonehenge of England and 7.100 years prior to the Pyramids in Egypt. Moreover, Göbeklitepe is 6.100 years ahead of the temple in Malta, recognized to be the oldest temple of the World. Göbeklitepe is located 20 km from Şanlıurfa city center and close to Nevali Çori Neolithic Site, as well as Balıklıgöl, where Prophet Abraham was cast into fire by King Nimrod and God turned flames into water and woods into fish.     The excavations revealed that Göbeklitepe, regarded as “zero point in time” was established as a temple rather than a settlement. This outcome shook the foundation of history of humanity which was established on the basis of the shift from hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a settled life. In other words, the fact that Göbeklitepe Neolithic Site served as a temple that congregated hunter-gatherers on religious occasions, refutes the globally accepted thesis that agriculture encouraged humans to establish settlements and to engage in developing arts and religion. Being built during the Neolithic Period at a time when only simple hand tools were used, it is yet to be discovered how the two “T” shaped steles that weigh from 10 to 15 tons each were transported and erected at the center of the site. Moreover, the embossed figures of animals and plants on the steles are regarded as the first examples of sculpture in the world. Why Göbeklitepe was buried under tons of soil and flint stone around 1.000 years after it was built and how it remained well preserved and undamaged are among the unknown facts to be unveiled. The first excavations at Göbeklitepe were conducted by a joint group of archeologists from Istanbul University and the University of Chicago in 1963. However, the group misinterpreted the findings and failed to discover Göbeklitepe. The German archeologist Prof. Klaus Schmidt, who previously worked on Nevali Çori site, started Göbeklitepe excavations in 1995, in collaboration with the Directorate of Şanlıurfa Museum. Though 20 oval shaped structures have been spotted as a result of the surveillances conducted in Göbeklitepe site, which is of 300 meters in width, only six of them have been unearthed so far. Each of these structures have diameters ranging up to 30 meters and rising to 15 meters. Besides shedding light on the history of humanity, Göbeklitepe is expected to create added value to the promotion of Şanlıurfa, known as the “City of Prophets”, and to encourage further archeological excavations in the region. (Further information can be reached at www.zeropointintime.com ) Göbeklitepe   [post_title] => Göbeklitepe archeological site [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => gobeklitepe-archeological-site [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-04-12 15:37:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-12 13:37:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=141349 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 141295 [post_author] => 338 [post_date] => 2019-04-09 15:38:09 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-09 13:38:09 [post_content] =>

TIRANA - Roma artists have opened an exhibition displaying a limited edition of a number of multidisciplinary art works featuring Roma history, culture and associated political movements to mark the International Roma Day. Through these art works, Roma artists called for more social and economic inclusion of Roma minority as well as the need to preserve Romani rich cultural heritage.

"Despite progress made, Roma still face a variety of disadvantages. They continue to be among the poorest, most marginalized and socially excluded groups in Albania. Many Roma are facing direct and indirect barriers in accessing public services," said Ms. Limya Eltayeb, Resident Representative of UNDP for Albania in her remarks during the launching of the exhibition in Tirana on April 8 this year coinciding with the International Roma Day.

Ms. Eltayeb was appointed in January 2019 as Resident Representative of UNDP for Albania, where she has been the Country Director since 2016.

According to her, to tackle those challenges, UNDP in partnership with Ministry of Health and Social Protection and financial support of the European Union Delegation to Tirana has been implementing a 3-year programme: “Economic and Social Empowerment for Roma and Egyptian, -a booster for social inclusion”.

"In the context of the programme, 515 Roma and Egyptians gained skills and found employment, 120 are supported with startups or income generation activities; the living conditions of more than 8000 inhabitants are improved through community upgrading infrastructure projects; 160 Roma and Egyptians who have not had the possibility to complete basic education are enrolled and follow regularly the school through the “Early part time primary education model”; more than 14,033 Roma and Egyptians enjoy improved access to basic services," said the UNDP Representative, Limya Eltayeb.

The exhibition, which was launched on April 8 at the Turbina Center, will stay open for two days.

Roma people 2

Roma people 1

56459521_2300738466836419_6743355523829071872_n

[post_title] => International Roma Day: Roma Artists Call for More Inclusion [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => international-roma-day-roma-artists-call-for-more-inclusion [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-04-09 15:38:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-09 13:38:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=141295 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 141270 [post_author] => 338 [post_date] => 2019-04-08 15:07:43 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-08 13:07:43 [post_content] => TIRANA, April 4- “When he arrived in 1992, he returned with the idea of opening an art academy and re-paint the frescoes of the great Shkodra church and could not do neither because he found no open door. So it's hard to understand Lin Delija without getting into him,” expressed Gjon Radovani five years ago when speaking of Lin Delija. [caption id="attachment_141273" align="aligncenter" width="437"]Lin Delija Lin Delija[/caption]   On April 11 at Gjuhadol of Shkodra will be held a symposium in the Franciscan Assembly, which final goal is the establishment of the Franciscan Culture Museum. The music of the Franciscan composers will accompany the activity, while Father Flavio Cavallini will talk about the historical stages of the Franciscan presence in Albania. Director of the National Library, Persida Asllani, will stop at a museum story of the cultural contribution of Albanian Franciscans, while Prof. Ardian Ndreca will show how painter Lin Delija recreates the world in art. At the end of the symposium will be announced the launch of a fundraising for the establishment of the Franciscan Museum whose project idea is presented by architect Gjon Radovani. He will also sign the contract of donation of works by art director Lin Delija from “Art Union Albania” to “Museum of Franciscan Culture”, while the works will be exhibited. Years ago, Gjon Radovani opened at the National Arts Gallery the exhibition “Lin Delija” between the sacred and the profane. It stretched out into three distinct spaces which sparkled three stages of the painting and the painter himself. In the first space, the pictorial gesture walks in the midst of a complex dual quest to know oneself and seek spiritual roots. This inseparable binomial would become the subject of existence. The second space was followed by the painful journey of Imago Dei. Martyrs of freedom, slain because of faith, the suffering of parents and children continue with the gesture of prayer in the sacred sign of humility and faith. The third space paved through the sanctity of beauty and thanks to its human discovery. This permanent, original and structural quest deepens at the same time the indefinable mystery of life, being, and God. 112 paintings and 38 drawings were part of the exhibition. While the soutane with which Lin Delija fled in 1949, he returned to Albania 65 years later. In the bag he had taken with him at the age of 23 when he left, he had put the soutane, the dress of the friars in whose assembly he studied painting before the fleeing. He did not wear the soutane again, but kept it in his home in the Antrodoco until he passed away in 1994. Beside him came the painter's tent with his signature on it. He has left behind 3500 works that are owned today by various museums and collectors. Radovani said that he could not get many of them, but the “Art Union” association owns about 120 of his works, 30 works available to the National Arts Gallery as a gift from Erica Schutz, a Bavarian collector and Armando Nicoletti. Meanwhile,  the Albanian Franciscan Province alone has 30 works, which Lin Delija handed over to the Franciscans of Rome, to donate them to Shkodra, as well as two works of private collectors. “Profanity is the product of the sacrament, so there is no controversy. So the sacrament to him is not boring, merely confessing, just liturgical, there is a mix of real life with the afterlife. Even in the Bible scenes dealt with by Delija, a real person from 2000 years ago is seen, but also highlanders, a sinner, a judge, a person of daily life. It's a mix of sacrilege with the profane,” has said Radovani about Delija’s art. Lin Delija was born in Shkodra in 1926. He grew up and was educated at the Franciscan Brother's school, where his artistic talent first came to light. He first studied in Herceg Novi (Montenegro) and later in Zagreb at the Academy of Fine Arts. Later, with the help of Ernest Koliqi, he obtained a scholarship at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. His great masters were Mario Mafai and Amerigo Bartoli, from whom he acquired the knowledge of contemporary techniques and further perfected his artistic vision by harmoniously combining modern with the ethnic, Albanian and Balkan elements. Although studying with great masters, Lin Delija would end up being the original painter of rare talent whom he refused to sell and become part of the market. In 1969, Lin Delija founded the Academy of Art “Gjergj Fishta” and in 1983 created the “Carlo Cesi” Academy of Arts at the Mentuccia villa in Antrodoco. The painter Lin Delija closed his eyes on 9 April 1994 in Rome at the age of 68. Today, his works are exhibited at the Pinacoteca di Arte Moderna in Vatican, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, at the Lin Delija Museum in Antrodoco, at the Osimo City Museum, at the Center for Modern Art Studies in Brescia, Modern Art Gallery in Palermo, St. Anne's Museum in Quebec, Canada, University of Erlangen in Germany, New York, etc. In the town of Osimo there is a museum dedicated to the craftsman Delija, while his old friends of Antrodoco have erected a museum in 2002 in the city that sheltered him. [caption id="attachment_141271" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Architectural Design of the Franciscan Museum Architectural Design of the Franciscan Museum[/caption] [caption id="attachment_141272" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Interior Design of the Franciscan Museum Interior Design of the Franciscan Museum[/caption] lini-paintings [post_title] => Franciscan Museum sets off with works of Lin Delija [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => franciscan-museum-sets-off-with-works-of-lin-delija [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-04-07 14:16:08 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-07 12:16:08 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=141270 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 141264 [post_author] => 338 [post_date] => 2019-04-08 10:57:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-08 08:57:58 [post_content] => TIRANA, April 3- The post-Byzantine church paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries in the Ottoman Balkans, only in the last 20 years began to attract more and more the interest of experts. Dr. Ioannis Vitaliotis from the Research Center on Byzantine  and Post-Byzantine Art of the Athens Academy says it would not have been exaggerated if it were to be said that this later period of post-Byzantine painting was considered as something unworthy of exploring in detail. The note of Vitaliotis is published as a preface in the book of Dr. Ahilino Palushi, a monograph titled “David Selenicasi - painter of post-Byzantine Renaissance in Albania”, an OMBRA GVG 2018 edition that Aleksander Meksi calls dignified. Meksi illustrates with the cover and the scene “The church narthex” of St. Myrus Kukuzeli in Monastery of the Great Lavra on the Holy Mountain painted in 1715. “His study is about the work of an icon painter, who until now has not been fully acquainted by the history of art, monk David, from Selenica of Vlora. In a first form, this study was approved by the University of Tirana as a doctoral dissertation.” Dr. Ioannis Vitaliotis says that in the recent relatively recent interest for the later post-Byzantine painting, Ahilino Palushi's book comes to fill an important void. According to the inscriptions, David was active between 1715 and 1727, and as the reader will find, is not the most common case in post-Byzantine painter. He comes from the western edge of the post-Byzantine world, from a region which at that time was considerably Islamized. “Moreover, this area was not distinguished as a center for cultivating ecclesiastical paintings, such as, for example, Agrafa, central Greece, or such as the Gramot mountain villages. However, not only did David become a prominent painter, but, apparently, and thanks to his stay on Mount Athos, he undertook the decoration of large urban churches, such as St. Cologne in Voskopoja (1726), in all respects the work of His Majesty, and the New Virgin Mary (Nea Panaghia) in Thessaloniki (1727). The most important point of David’s work is that it belongs to a short stream of post-Byzantine painting, which can be described as ‘neo-panseline,’ according to the legendary artist Manuel Panselino,” writes Dr. Ioannis Vitaliotis in the foreword. The professor notes that the most prominent representative of this stream was the Athenian monk Dionysius of Fourna (1670-1744) from the school of Agrafa, whose fame is mainly due to the manual “Interpretation of the Art of Painting” (Hermeneia). He points out that in reality, this work is based on previous texts with similar content. Since Dionysus's “Interpretation” was published in 1909 in St. Petersburg by Greek scholar Antonios Papadopoulos-Kerameus, it was a first class material for the recognition of Byzantine iconography at a time when Byzantine art studies had just begun. On the other hand, Dionysius was an “ideologist” painter with aesthetic concerns. Dr. Vitaliotis said that his great desire was the regeneration of “dry” ecclesiastical painting. As a model he used the brilliant frescoes of the church of Protaton, the Cathedral of the Holy Mountain, painted around 1300. In the Athenian oral tradition of the 18th century, they were attributed to Manuel Panselino. Today we know that the decoration of Protaton is the work of Michael Astrapas and Euthius, famous painters from Byzantine Thessaloniki. selenica The three gifts of the book Dr. Vitaliotis writes in the preface that David Selenicasi is part of an artistic renaissance movement, which is not oriented to Western patterns of the time, but on the contrary, returns to the glorious Athenian and Byzantine past. According to scholars from the Research Center on Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Art of the Athens Academy, representatives of this stream refuse to import into their compositions time motifs that pertain to the “Oriental Rococo” or “Turkish Baroque” aesthetics. In fact, these models arrived from Western and central Europe in Ottoman territory (first in Istanbul) and are used creatively by local artists, whether Christian or Muslim. In other words, David is eclectic: he consciously seeks out the source of his inspiration in the great art of his past and, at the same time, carefully extends to some Western innovations. “Ultimately, our painter must be seen in the cultural context of the Balkans in the first half of the 18th century, when the Western encyclopaedism and enlightenment began to reluctantly send their reflections on the Ottoman Orthodox populations,” is written on the preface. Ahilino Palushi's book has three great gifts. The first gift consists in the fact that it is the first monograph designed for David Selenica's work as a whole. David's paintings are reviewed according to the monument, church or icon, with extended conclusions and enough bibliographic material. Dr. Vitaliotis emphasizes that it is very important that in the book of Palushi, the necessary balance between the presentation of details and the general view is reached. Something like this, if we notice the huge amount of material presented, published and unpublished, is not easy at all. The second merit of this book is about the opportunity given to the Albanian artillery audience to get acquainted with one of the most interesting post-Byzantine painters that Albania has shown, with activities involving three neighboring countries, Albania, Greece and Northern Macedonia. In his study, Ahilino Palushi does not see David Selenica as a representative of any Albanian painting school but considers it in the broader context of the post-Byzantine art tradition of the beginning of the 18th century and, at the same time, in the narrower “neo-panseline” framework, Vitaliotis underlined. Of course, he says, something like this does not lead the author to neglect some of the local elements that appear in the work of this skilled painter. “The third gift of Ahilino Palushi's book, which I would like to emphasize in particular, is that although the author began to deal with the study of post-Byzantine painting in maturity, the fact that he is a professor of arts at the Artistic Lyceum 'Jordan Misja' equips it with a special intuitive insight. This is especially apparent in the pages dedicated to the stylistic analysis, where Ahilino Palushi arrives to perceive the stages of David's evolution and maturity. Finally, the reader himself will have the opportunity to evaluate the above observations and the importance of this study. On my part, I would wholeheartedly wish not only a fruitful continuation of Ahilino Palushi's work on the ecclesiastical painting in Albania, but also the publication of new similar studies in Albanian, which, let me say, is particularly dear to me,” notes Vitaliotis for the book. Earlier, he notes that the accumulated knowledge from the systematic study of Orthodox Church painting of the 16th and 17th centuries played an important role in re-evaluating the last stage of post-Byzantine painting. The decisive factor was also the interest for the icons printed on paper, which until then were despised. These religious images, based on engravings, played a primary role in the formation of church painting of the 17th and 19th centuries. Something like this is no longer considered to be a decline of a centuries-old tradition, but as an artistic event with a variety of colors and dynamics, closely related to social developments within the orthodox millet of the Ottoman Empire. It is also treated as a link between traditional visual orthodox art and modernity. Victory Puzanova is the first scholar which reflects the work of the painter David of Selenica, realized in the great basilica of Saint Koll in Voskopoja, with the help of Constantine and Christos. Puzanova removes the work of this author from a large number of smaller painters who have painted large and small church paintings of Voskopoja. The researcher pointing out the characteristics of his work as a master, sets him apart as a great painter who has performed fine painting studies. She goes on to argue further, expressing the conviction that David has studied at an art school of a major center, as such a possibility was almost impossible for our country at that time. Despite the superlative and highlighting the importance of this phenomenon, in the art of that period in our country, Puzanova does not deepen in giving information about the origin and activity of the painter. A more complete analysis of this masterpiece fresco brings us later the other passionate scholar Theofan Popa. In his study, a general description of the iconographic and style program used by David in the fresco of St. Koll's church in Voskopoja, gives some important hypotheses about the origin of the painter, schooling and other accomplished works from him, inside and outside the country. [caption id="attachment_141268" align="aligncenter" width="550"]the-ancient-village-of Voskopoja church[/caption] [post_title] => Church icons of Vlora monk David Selenicasi [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => church-icons-of-vlora-monk-david-selenicasi [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-04-07 14:06:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-07 12:06:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=141264 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 141612 [post_author] => 338 [post_date] => 2019-05-03 13:27:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-05-03 11:27:03 [post_content] => TIRANA, May 2- Writer, professor and former Ambassador to France Ylljet Alicka has written a good many titles which have also been translated abroad, and some even adapted for theatre. One of his most renowned books is Stone Slogans has been recently translated in German by Edmond Ludwig, and published by Monda Asembleo Socia (MAS). This book has been previously translated in French, Czech, English, and Polish. The title has been turned into film with screenplay by Alicka and directed by Gjergj Xhuvani, and has received a few awards. Respectively, the Young critics award at the Festival de Cannes in France in 2001, the Grand Prix - Golden Prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival on the same year, and in 2006 it won Best screenplay at the Albanian Film Festival by the Ministry of Culture. The book is a collection of short stories which “besides the simple stories of his country, Albania, under Stalinist regime of Enver Hoxha, in his stories, the author describes the equally absurd events of the post-communist transition,” as the publisher writes to the German translation’s book introduction. The book could also be defined somehow by the French translator Patrick Chrismant who said that Aliçka writes at a time when the dreams of a just and unclassified society has collapsed, the dream of perpetuating dizziness towards a hateful economic system for a half-century, and the dream of an accelerated integration into the Euro-Atlantic political and military community. Thirteen stories from where you realize that ideology is just an empty shell. Along the Party's nightmare, and under the liberal anarchy that replaced it, remains the same moral disintegration that devalishes the characters of Alicka. This is absurd with all its forms that leads stealthily to disgrace. The stories are the bearers of an Orwellian spirit which shows the authenticity of the Balkan region, and they are also viewed as a memory of the past and a warning to those societies where the government’s control over language is growing. Alicka’s message recalls that if we are to be upheld by propaganda, we have lost our own tune. kop gjermanisht The writer is largely appraised for the subtle workmanship and for his astonishingly surprising and humorous mood, Aliçka gives all the countries of the world a clear insight into the gloom of life during the communist dictatorship in his homeland. Mylada Jedrysik from “Gazeta Wyborcza” in Warsaw has written that “soon, Alicka is turning into one of the most prominent narratives of post-communism. For human weaknesses and attitude towards power, Alicka tells about Albania more than all that has been published in Poland. Everything can happen under his pen.” Ylljet Alicka received the “Doctor of Didactic Sciences” degree in 1989 and was awarded the title of “Doctor Professor” in 1993. He has completed his professional duties as a teacher in the villages of the district of Mat from 1973-1983. He has also been editor and director at the School Book Publishing House from 1983-1992; Director of Foreign Relations at the Ministry of Culture from 1992-1997. He has been responsible for information and communication at the Delegation of the European Commission in Tirana from 1997-2007; the Ambassador of Albania to France, Portugal, Monaco, UNESCO, and the personal representative of the President of the Republic of France at the International Francophone Organization during 2007-2013. He has been a Professor at the European University of Tirana and at the University of Arts since 2013. Alicka has also won a number of awards in literature, the First prize at the International competition of short stories in Teramo, Italy in 1999; the Bronze Medal by the International Academy of Lutece in Paris in 2000; the Second prize at the International competition “Arts et lettres de France” in Bordeaux in 2000; the silver medal in prose by the Albanian Ministry of Culture in 2001; the Prix de la francophonie by the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2002; the Best novel of the year by KULT prizes in Tirana in 2007; the Special prize by VII Premio Letterario Nazionale “Libri Editi” in Rome in 2009; and the Silver medal in prose for Valsi i lumturisë by the Albanian Ministry of Culture in 2013. [post_title] => Ylljet Alicka translates renowned book in German [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => ylljet-alicka-translates-renowned-book-in-german [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-05-03 13:27:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-03 11:27:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=141612 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [queried_object] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 31 [name] => Culture [slug] => culture [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 31 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 3129 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 31 [category_count] => 3129 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Culture [category_nicename] => culture [category_parent] => 0 ) [queried_object_id] => 31 [post__not_in] => Array ( ) )

Latest News

Read More