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Biberaj Foundation co-sponsors $2,5 million to support Albanian professionals in US

Biberaj Foundation co-sponsors $2,5 million to support Albanian professionals in US

TIRANA, July 16 –  The Biberaj Foundation announced on Saturday its first project – the co-funding of the Albanian-American Development Foundation Master’s Degree Fellowship program. The Master’s and Internship Program (MIP) was launched in 2016 by the Albanian-American Development Foundation

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Government to launch diaspora involvement programs for economic and social development

Government to launch diaspora involvement programs for economic and social development

TIRANA, March 3 – The government published a project aiming to involve the Albanian diaspora in the country’s social and economic development this week, in particular by collecting aids for Albanian migrants and diaspora representatives to help the country’s economy

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Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia discuss joint diaspora efforts

Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia discuss joint diaspora efforts

TIRANA, Jan. 25 – Albanian, Macedonian and Kosovo Ministers of Diaspora — Pandeli Majko, Edmond Ademi and Dardan Gashi — met in Ohrid this week to discuss promoting trilateral cooperation in the context of the countries’ Euro-Atlantic integration. A press

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Hundreds attend diaspora summit held in Tirana

Hundreds attend diaspora summit held in Tirana

TIRANA, Nov. 20 – More than a thousand members of the Albanian diaspora, including pre- and post-communism migrants, living in 40 countries around the world, attended the first ever Diaspora Summit held in Tirana. The summit, themed as “Undivided for

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Editorial: Avoiding divisive policies in the diaspora

Editorial: Avoiding divisive policies in the diaspora

This week, a major summit on Albania’s large diaspora was held with much fanfare in Tirana, discussing a series of issues on the topic. While positive in spirit, beyond the facade of the summit, there is a need for a

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Engaging the Albanian diaspora: The necessary start-up summit

Engaging the Albanian diaspora: The necessary start-up summit

By Alba Çela The Albanian diaspora is quite impressive in terms of numbers (relative to the population naturally), achievements, geographical distribution and strong links to the homeland. It has several strata that vary according to chronology of migration movements, reasons

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Diaspora summit to kick off in Tirana

Diaspora summit to kick off in Tirana

TIRANA, Nov 17 – The first Albanian Diaspora Summit will kick off this week at the Palace of Congresses in Tirana, to be held from 18 – 20 November 2016. The summit, organized in cooperation with the International Organization for

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Gov’t presses ahead with plans to register diaspora

Gov’t presses ahead with plans to register diaspora

TIRANA, January 12 – The Albanian government set its initiative for registering the Albanian diaspora in motion by approving this week a draft law which stipulates the creation of a register for all Albanian citizens living abroad. The move is

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Following decades of neglect, gov’t says it wants to register diaspora

TIRANA, Dec. 14 – Albania’s government has announced it will start a process in January to count and register all Albanian citizens who live abroad. The diaspora, in terms of people eligible for Albanian passports, could be as large as

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Joint Albania-Kosovo program aims to teach Albanian to Diaspora children

Joint Albania-Kosovo program aims to teach Albanian to Diaspora children

TIRANA, Nov. 17 – The working group for teaching the Albanian language to Albanian children born abroad in the Diaspora held a meeting in Prishtina Tuesday with the participation of Kosovo Diaspora Minister Valon Murati, who was the organizer of

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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 16 -  The Biberaj Foundation announced on Saturday its first project - the co-funding of the Albanian-American Development Foundation Master’s Degree Fellowship program. 

The Master’s and Internship Program (MIP) was launched in 2016 by the Albanian-American Development Foundation (AADF) to give young professionals the opportunity to acquire a degree or experience in the fields of Business Administration and Management, Cultural Heritage, Eco-Tourism and Hospitality, Education, Public Policy, etc.

“The Biberaj family is honored to co-sponsor, with a $2,5 million, the AADF’s Master’s Degree Fellowship Program, intended for Albanian young professionals seeking to advance themselves through studies in the United States,” foundation spokesman Ken Biberaj said.

The Biberaj Foundation was established on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Biberaj family’s arrival in the United States in 1968. 

After fleeing repression in communist Albania, and arriving in the U.S., their story is a testament to the American Dream. Through their individual and collective hard work and entrepreneurial spirit, the Biberaj family established their own businesses and pursued careers ranging from education, technology, law, public service, finance, retail, real estate, philanthropy, and the arts.

As such, they know have a strong belief in supporting their communities and making sure the opportunities that higher education has afforded them continue to help others.

“We have deep gratitude to the United States for the success we have achieved, and great pride in our Albanian heritage. It is our hope that this Fellowship will empower a new generation of Albanian students to strive for excellence in academia, while fulfilling a commitment to giving back to their Albanian community,” Biberaj concluded.

Elez Biberaj, one of the initiators of the current co-sponsoring program and founders of the Biberaj Foundation,  is a prominent Albanian-American political scholar and thinker, who has also been essential in explaining post-communist Albania and has authored three very important books on the topic.

Biberaj’s book, ‘Albania in Transition: the Rocky Road to Democracy’, first published in 1998, to be republished by the Albanian Institute for International Studies in 2010, is an all-inclusive political account of post-communist transition. 

The book has served not only to clarify the Albanian transition, but also to foster international awareness of a small place like Albania, as well as the entire regionנcontributing to a sparking of Western interest for peace and stability in the Balkans.

His other works, also published by AIIS, include ‘Albania and China: a Study of An Unequal Alliance’ and ‘Albania: a Socialist Maverick.’ 

Elez has been Director of Voice of America’s Eurasia Division since 2005. He is responsible for planning, directing, and developing VOA’s radio, television, and Internet programming in Russian, Ukrainian, Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, Greek, Macedonian, and Serbian, while holding a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.

He has also published articles in Encyclopedia Britannica, Conflict Studies, Problems of Communism, Survey, The World Today, East European Quarterly, The Wall Street Journal/Europe, etc.

The mission of the Biberaj Foundation is to support the pursuit of educational opportunities by Albanian students from the Balkans through study at American institutions.

After any course work, the Fellowship requires recipients to return to their country of origin and work there to strengthen the foundation of democratic societies. 

 

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, March 3 - The government published a project aiming to involve the Albanian diaspora in the country’s social and economic development this week, in particular by collecting aids for Albanian migrants and diaspora representatives to help the country’s economy and society evolve.

Independent experts, however, are skeptic when it comes to the functionality of such initiatives, saying the social and economic reality of the country points in the opposite direction.

According to State Minister for the Diaspora Pandeli Majko, from the big number of Albanians abroad, a big part is made up of quality educated people who could consider investing in their motherland.

He added the launching of these program can be very positive for Albania, as the country’s diaspora and migrants represent the country’s unused wealth.

Economy and social experts, on the other hand, have pointed out the way Albanian migrants have and should continue contributing, especially now that a lot of families were cut off social assistance, is through the remittances sent in solidarity to help relatives and family back home. 

The program is supported by the country’s ministry of foreign affairs, the International Migration Organization (IMO) and the Italian Cooperation and embassy in the country.

In this context, vice Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Etjen Xhafaj said the foreign ministry will engage in promoting social and economic development programs, while Italian ambassador in Albania Alberto Cutillo said attracting intellectuals and business oriented people back to Albania should be of benefit for both sides of the Adriatic.

“Though Albanian business might look small, they are very important and should be supported, many of those people have been or are being educated in Italy, while another big part brings hundreds of thousands of euros in cash remittances back to Albania.

Planned to launch a multitude of programs, the most recent one will focus on Albanian excellency students in Italy who will receive support by the Albanian government to bring their business ideas to life. 

While the National Diaspora Agency is expected to open this week and the law for the diaspora to be approved in parliament, the entire Albanian community will be involved in the excellency students program with the help of a pilot project launched by the Italian government.

The diaspora law is to include a diaspora fund approved by the government which will be linked to foreign investments in Albania.

Despite skepticism, researchers and experts alike have long noted the brain drain Albania is going through, highlighting the youth leaving Albania today is mostly highly educated, as opposed to the unskilled and under qualified majority that migrated during the transition period of the 90s. 

For this reason, successful investments from educated Albanian migrants and diaspora success stories would be highly beneficial, especially since experts are pointing to a worsened business climate that is hindered by insecurity, corruption, bribery and criminality, all of which have led to a decline in foreign direct investments.

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Jan. 25 - Albanian, Macedonian and Kosovo Ministers of Diaspora -- Pandeli Majko, Edmond Ademi and Dardan Gashi -- met in Ohrid this week to discuss promoting trilateral cooperation in the context of the countries’ Euro-Atlantic integration.

A press release issued by the Ministry of Diaspora said the ministers positively assessed cooperation and valued diaspora’s role as useful in deepening relations among the three countries.

According to the statement, the Ohrid meeting marked the beginning of dealing with Euro-Atlantic issues and development through common action and served as reassessment of deepening cooperation methods. 

In addition, the ministers hailed Macedonia’s recent decision to approve Albanian as its second official language, saying the act gives further credibility to the countries’ intention to cooperate.

The ministers will in the future pay common visits to the United States, Germany and other countries where the diaspora is located.

Albania held its first Diaspora Summit in 2016, when almost a thousand Albanians who have made a name of themselves abroad flew in from overseas for a weekend of activities, meetings and round-table discussions aimed to include the diaspora in future policies. 

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 20 – More than a thousand members of the Albanian diaspora, including pre- and post-communism migrants, living in 40 countries around the world, attended the first ever Diaspora Summit held in Tirana.

The summit, themed as “Undivided for Albania,” was also attended by high rank officials from Albania and Kosovo as well as representatives from 300 Albanian associations worldwide.

Officials vowed to allocate a special budget for boost the efforts of Albania’s diaspora for the country’s general development, as well as funds for the operation of consultative councils of Albanian communities living abroad.

Participants in the summit also approved a draft project on Diaspora which paves the way to the establishment of a cross-institutional directing group that will attend to Diaspora issues.

Members of the government offered several structures and platforms to ensure that the contribution of Albanian Diaspora is channeled towards the country’s cultural heritage, economy and tourism.

In his remarks to the event, Prime Minister Edi Rama talked about the importance of unifying school texts and teaching methods “not only between Albania and Kosovo but also for the educational network in the diaspora.

In light of a recent flareup of relations with Greece, Rama also warned that Albania would follow the “principles of reciprocity” for every event that “impacts the interests of Albanian citizen.”

“Our neighbors and friends have the habit of getting upset when us Albanians want nothing more or less than our rights in respect of our dignity and never offending or violating the dignity of others,” Rama said. “Our friends and neighbors must forget that habit and learn once and for all that when Albania calls one a friend does not act behind his back and is not capricious. We do not accept this from others as well, otherwise friendship and neighboring is not good.”

Rama added that these relations must be elevated to another level.

“Since day one we have been committed to address pending issues between the two countries. We have made it clear to our neighbors that there are issues that we don’t aim to overcome nor leave them unaddressed. We are willing to offer them the best solution possible based on the basic principle of reciprocity,” Rama added.

Prime Minister Rama underlined that Albania aims to talk things out with Greece and look toward the future based on the best European standards and principles. He declared that Albania hopes that both neighbor countries “overcome their obstacles” and “boost strategic ties.”

 
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                    [post_content] => This week, a major summit on Albania's large diaspora was held with much fanfare in Tirana, discussing a series of issues on the topic. While positive in spirit, beyond the facade of the summit, there is a need for a comprehensive strategic approach that is inclusive and properly engages and utilizes the Albanian diaspora.

The modern history of Albanian diaspora is a complex one. At the end of the 19th century and in the beginning of the 20th, the Albanian diaspora especially in the west and more specifically in the United States played a historic role in guaranteeing the future of the independent Albanian state. For all means and purposes this diaspora was de facto the government of Albania in the most difficult days of recognizing the new Albanian state.

During and after the Second World War, the communist regime followed a strategy of sowing disagreements, and then persecuting its political opponents who in most cases chose to leave the country and established themselves in the west. Throughout the cold war years and until its last days the communist regime applied a cruel strategy of pitting Albanians abroad against each other often with dramatic and even fatal consequences.

The consequences and bitter memory of this enmity is still pervasive in many circles and discussions and much remains to be done to dissipate it.

In the quarter of the century of democratic transition, the Albanian diaspora has swelled to many more thousands of people, bringing the figure so almost 40 percent of the population living outside Albania. In first ten years of the transition the phenomenon of brain drain reached its apex with about half of the Albanian intelligentsia (academics, professors and high level experts) choosing to start a new life abroad.

In general the governments of these last 25 years have failed to produce serious ideas, strategies and collaborative platforms to engage and involve the diaspora in the country’s political life, economic and social development and presence abroad.

Furthermore even in the provisions of basic consular services, many problems, gaps and inadequate performances have been making the lives of Albanians abroad very difficult. While the two neighboring countries of Italy and Greece host hundreds of thousands of Albanians, the consular offices of Rome and Athens to the present day have insufficient personnel to service their needs. While Albanians at home and abroad pay their taxes and fees to afford these services they have not been served fairly and unfortunately this is not just the case in these two countries.

In the economic field no serious mechanism of encouraging the diaspora to invest in Albania have been generated. Those that have been tried from time to time have been inefficient.

As for the use of knowledge, education, training and experience of Albanians abroad except from some ad hoc brain gain programs, there has not been any comprehensive strategy to make good use of this human assets in several fields where their expertise would be beneficial.

Finally, despite the recurring rhetoric, nothing has been done yet to give the opportunity to Albanian abroad to participate on their country’s political life. Their voting has not been guaranteed and this raises several questions whether the reason for this failure is the fear on the part of domestic elites over the impact of such a vote on democracy and governance.

Therefore the need of a comprehensive strategic approach for including, engaging and utilizing the diaspora persist beyond activities no matter their implied or advertised success. This strategy should be the product of a really inclusive process and its objectives should be spelled out in clear terms. Until then these reflections remain as valid today as they were was in the days before the summit.

 
                    [post_title] => Editorial: Avoiding divisive policies in the diaspora
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                    [post_content] => By Alba Çela

The Albanian diaspora is quite impressive in terms of numbers (relative to the population naturally), achievements, geographical distribution and strong links to the homeland. It has several strata that vary according to chronology of migration movements, reasons for the move and other factors. The diaspora has been decisive in key moments of Albania’s history rescuing the country from economic deprivation, pushing forward important political upheavals and gradually imbuing its social and cultural fabric with new colorful threads. Curiously when it comes to the official efforts to benefit from its economic, human capacity and diplomatic clout in the post-communist times, the diaspora has been minimally engaged.

An attempt to change this reality took place in the form of a large and slightly pompous Summit of the Diaspora organized under the meaningful slogan ‘Undivided for Albania’, which took place last weekend. Several events in the form of discussions, receptions and recognition of achievements occupied more than 1500 participants from about 40 countries.  The event informed and reminded all Albanians at home about the extent to which their fellow citizens, family members, friends, former colleagues and others have been successful abroad as well as shed some light on the ones that have organized with their communities to preserve their origin and pride.

The Summit as an idea is laudable. Albania can and should use the immense potential of Albanians abroad to improve its image, increase investments and build a rich, mutually beneficial relationship based on respect and intense positive interaction. The summit through some specific events also succeeded in bringing the voices of the diaspora through the right platforms.

Some key glitches however should not be missed. The Summit showed unity across borders having incorporated the Kosovo diaspora through president Thaci’s presence but not across political lines, as evidenced by the lack of President Nishani and opposition leader Basha in the related activities. Whether the latter have refused on personal/ political grounds or were not properly invited and given the floor to address the participants remains unclear. Whatever the case it influenced the perception of the Summit.

Additionally several critical voices qualified the event as one more PR exercise of the executive. It was not necessarily so since several concrete ideas have been discussed such as the establishment of the National Council of Albania Diaspora within 2017 and some key jointly-agreed objectives written down in the final declaration. However the elements of fanfare were present throughout and one is left to hope that they were there to celebrate the fact that this event was the first of its kind rather than some empty embellishments.

Most importantly the key measure to institutionalize the role of Albanian migrants so deeply connected to their country is to enable their political say through voting. This difficult yet completely feasible project has been promised several times by this majority before and the fact that it will be not possible even in the forthcoming 2017 is quite telling. Let’s hope that there will be a follow up Summit and that it will address this and other deficiencies.

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov 17 - The first Albanian Diaspora Summit will kick off this week at the Palace of Congresses in Tirana, to be held from 18 – 20 November 2016.

The summit, organized in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration, will be attended by all interested fellow citizens, leaders, representatives of Albanian cultural associations, distinguished personalities in the fields of culture, arts, literature, business and others.

The summit is expected to become a meeting place for Albanians from 50 countries around the world, and will also mark 25 years of massive post-communist migration.

Prime Minister Rama has described the summit as a test for all Albanians “to work together and contribute to strengthen the national identity and promote the rich legacy which makes Albanians proud.”

“Welcome to Tirana this November for this first challenge, the first ever Summit of the Albanian Diaspora,” Rama said in a video message posted on social media.

He also announced the launch of samitidiaspores.al, a website where people can register to participate in the event.

During the three days, participants will attend special panels aimed for discussion on European integration, foreign investments, promotion of tourism, arts and culture, a larger support for the Albanian Diaspora and fostering the country’s image.

Guests will also visit various historic, tourist and cultural sights and attractions in Tirana and nationwide.

Unhappy with conditions and opportunities at home, more than a third of Albanian citizens now reside abroad thanks to a massive wave of migration that started with the end of communism and continues to this day.

 
                    [post_title] => Diaspora summit to kick off in Tirana
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                    [post_date] => 2016-01-15 11:42:57
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, January 12 - The Albanian government set its initiative for registering the Albanian diaspora in motion by approving this week a draft law which stipulates the creation of a register for all Albanian citizens living abroad.

The move is expected to help determine the exact number of nonresident Albanian nationals, which in turn will help Albanian authorities provide better consular services for Albanian immigrants abroad, while it is also viewed as opening the possibility for Albanian émigrés being able to cast their vote in countries where they live in the future.

big_tahiri_-_bushatiThe country has about 4.5 million citizens registered in its civil registry, but only 2.8 million were residents according to the last census, which took place in 2011.

Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri during a press conference this week considered the decision as “laying the groundwork for a wide array of services for Albanian nationals abroad, including here the cornerstone or the first step towards guaranteeing voting rights for all Albanians living abroad.”

The right to vote for Albanian nonresidents in countries where they live and work has been a matter of public debate in the past, but so far the issue has failed to materialize resulting in just rhetorics.

Until now, in order to exercise voting rights immigrants have had to travel to Albania to cast their vote.

Such a project will also help the government to create more facilities for them in relation to legal aid, health and education, according to the authorities.

Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati, also present at the press conference, declared that “the initiative is also a payback from the Albanian state to its diaspora which has contributed for the social and economic development of the country in these twenty-five years”, while he added that “all consular services this year will be made available online to increase transparency but also to limit attempts of abuse of power, which unfortunately still occur to this day.”

The government previously announced plans for the registration of the Albanian diaspora last December and the latest move appears to reconfirm the government’s determination to address the issue.

The main method of registration for Albanian immigrants will occur via a portal, where people can declare themselves as Albanian citizens living abroad, while another way of registering will be through direct contact with Albanian consulates abroad.

About one million Albanians are estimated to be living in Greece and a smaller number are residents of Italy. There are also growing communities elsewhere in Europe as well as North America.

It is believed that more than one-third of the country’s citizens now live abroad.

 
                    [post_title] => Gov’t presses ahead with plans to register diaspora
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                    [post_date] => 2015-12-18 11:51:51
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Dec. 14 - Albania’s government has announced it will start a process in January to count and register all Albanian citizens who live abroad.

The diaspora, in terms of people eligible for Albanian passports, could be as large as two million, according to estimates.

However, the exact number of non-resident citizens is unknown, but the country has about 4.5 citizens registered in its lists and only about 2.8 million residents based on the 2011 census.

In cases of elections, the number of the voters is higher than the official number of the population in the country, with many traveling to Albania to vote.

The government says the registration means émigrés will also be able to cast their vote where they live in the future, something not done in the last post-communist 25 years.

The project has been prepared by the Interior Ministry. The registration will provide crucial information about the number of Albanians living outside the country and where they are distributed.

The government will open a portal where people can declare themselves as Albanians living abroad.

At the start, the registration, for a certain amount of time, will be voluntarily done. The authorities will then send them a code and ask them to register this code in the portal. After that, they will be officially registered.

Another method of registration will be the usual direct one -- contacting Albanian consulates abroad in order to register.

Such a project will also help the government to create more facilities for them in relation to legal aid, health and education, according to the authorities, also adding that will also ease voting rights.

It will also facilitate much of the work or documentation that immigrants often want to have in their homeland.

Prime Minister Edi Rama said Albanians outside the country will no longer be treated as foreign citizens, adding that in two years, the government aims to register all nonresidents.

It is believed that about one million Albanians are estimated to be living in Greece and a smaller number are residents of Italy. Many Albanians also live in other European and North American countries.

More than one-third of the country’s citizens now live abroad.
                    [post_title] => Following decades of neglect, gov’t says it wants to register diaspora
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                    [post_date] => 2015-11-20 11:13:36
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2015-11-20 09:13:36
                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_124732" align="alignright" width="300"]The group met in Prishtina. (Photo: MoE)  The group met in Prishtina. (Photo: MoE)[/caption]

TIRANA, Nov. 17 - The working group for teaching the Albanian language to Albanian children born abroad in the Diaspora held a meeting in Prishtina Tuesday with the participation of Kosovo Diaspora Minister Valon Murati, who was the organizer of the meeting, Albanian Education Minister Lindita Nikolla, and also other Kosovo ministers and representatives of different ministries working on the issue.

"Until recently the Albanian and Kosovo governments worked separately to provide Albanian language education in the Diaspora. We will now join forces and this new energy will bring a new product and a new level of learning for the Albanian language and culture abroad,” Nikolla said.

They discussed the importance of teaching Albanian to the diaspora and the role and contribution of the diaspora in the history of the Albanian nation.

“Teaching Albanian to our children in the Diaspora is an extraordinary asset because it preserves the links to the country, to the Albanian places and it may also be of bilateral profit: Keeping alive the teaching of Albanian in order to have these people near us and thus be a communication link between the country they live in and our country,” said Murati.

Some countries like Sweden offer institutional support to the ethnic minorities living there, something that is not present in many other countries.

 
                    [post_title] => Joint Albania-Kosovo program aims to teach Albanian to Diaspora children
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            [post_date] => 2018-07-16 12:13:08
            [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-16 10:13:08
            [post_content] => TIRANA, July 16 -  The Biberaj Foundation announced on Saturday its first project - the co-funding of the Albanian-American Development Foundation Master’s Degree Fellowship program. 

The Master’s and Internship Program (MIP) was launched in 2016 by the Albanian-American Development Foundation (AADF) to give young professionals the opportunity to acquire a degree or experience in the fields of Business Administration and Management, Cultural Heritage, Eco-Tourism and Hospitality, Education, Public Policy, etc.

“The Biberaj family is honored to co-sponsor, with a $2,5 million, the AADF’s Master’s Degree Fellowship Program, intended for Albanian young professionals seeking to advance themselves through studies in the United States,” foundation spokesman Ken Biberaj said.

The Biberaj Foundation was established on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Biberaj family’s arrival in the United States in 1968. 

After fleeing repression in communist Albania, and arriving in the U.S., their story is a testament to the American Dream. Through their individual and collective hard work and entrepreneurial spirit, the Biberaj family established their own businesses and pursued careers ranging from education, technology, law, public service, finance, retail, real estate, philanthropy, and the arts.

As such, they know have a strong belief in supporting their communities and making sure the opportunities that higher education has afforded them continue to help others.

“We have deep gratitude to the United States for the success we have achieved, and great pride in our Albanian heritage. It is our hope that this Fellowship will empower a new generation of Albanian students to strive for excellence in academia, while fulfilling a commitment to giving back to their Albanian community,” Biberaj concluded.

Elez Biberaj, one of the initiators of the current co-sponsoring program and founders of the Biberaj Foundation,  is a prominent Albanian-American political scholar and thinker, who has also been essential in explaining post-communist Albania and has authored three very important books on the topic.

Biberaj’s book, ‘Albania in Transition: the Rocky Road to Democracy’, first published in 1998, to be republished by the Albanian Institute for International Studies in 2010, is an all-inclusive political account of post-communist transition. 

The book has served not only to clarify the Albanian transition, but also to foster international awareness of a small place like Albania, as well as the entire regionנcontributing to a sparking of Western interest for peace and stability in the Balkans.

His other works, also published by AIIS, include ‘Albania and China: a Study of An Unequal Alliance’ and ‘Albania: a Socialist Maverick.’ 

Elez has been Director of Voice of America’s Eurasia Division since 2005. He is responsible for planning, directing, and developing VOA’s radio, television, and Internet programming in Russian, Ukrainian, Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, Greek, Macedonian, and Serbian, while holding a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.

He has also published articles in Encyclopedia Britannica, Conflict Studies, Problems of Communism, Survey, The World Today, East European Quarterly, The Wall Street Journal/Europe, etc.

The mission of the Biberaj Foundation is to support the pursuit of educational opportunities by Albanian students from the Balkans through study at American institutions.

After any course work, the Fellowship requires recipients to return to their country of origin and work there to strengthen the foundation of democratic societies. 

 

 
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