Sunday, December 30, 2012

Author of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" also wrote a history of Scanderbeg

In 1850, Clement C. Moore, who wrote the much-beloved Yuletide classic "Twas the Night Before Christmas..." also wrote a history about Albania's great, 15th century folkhero titled "George Castriot Surnamed Scanderbeg."

Friday, December 21, 2012

Worth Supporting: One Hundred Albanians: One Heart-Saturday Night!!

Please see attached the latest MAASBESA Newsletter on Saturday's One Hundred Albanians One Heart Event, and please make your reservation if you plan to come at

So far we have 76 adults and 24 kids reserved online for the event, and 21 families have pledged to donate $10 per month beginning in 2013.  We are quite sure this will go much higher in the coming weeks.

Since there will be a fair number of kids at the party (including myself, of course), we are also expecting a visit from Santa Claus at around 8:00PM -- we really need someone to be Santa Claus every year for Albanian community events, and Saturday night is a good time to start.

Finally, due to unforeseen changes, we decided to include the drinks for adults and soft drinks for kids, add bread butter and salad as well as provide a holiday cake from the Plluska Family of Brian's Fine Desserts in Braintree.

We will have 3 bottles of wine per table for adults (no bartender) and 2 ½ liter coke and sprite per kid’s table, and entree choices will be chicken or fish only.

Final price will be $30/adult and $15/kid (including salad, drinks, desert) so it should actually cost less for adults than the original price of $25 without drinks or dessert

We apologize for any confusion or misunderstanding, but there were some changes this week from the restaurant that we could only address by making a package deal including the drinks.

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you on Saturday night

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Worth repeating: Christmas Poem by Rozi Theohari



As 2005 comes to an end
Saturday, 24 December, 12:00 Noon
In broad daylight
Two jet planes in the Atlantic sky
Laying down the white puffy contrails
One, straight North-South
The other -- East to West
Through Boston Bay and beyond its shores
Create a big bright, silver, vaporized cross
Fixed in the middle by a dazzling Apollo-Sungod!
The presence of the eye of the Universe...
"O come, O come Emmanuel !"
A melody echoing of angels songs
Surrounding Boston from
Horizon to horizon.
Higher and higher the trail's prophecy cross
Stretches its wings
From Massachusetts -- the free Commonwealth--
To the World.
A messenger of grace for the planet:

Truth, Hope, and heavenly Peace on Earth.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Here's a very interesting and worthy request that I received from my friend, Lou Foundos, about preserving photographs by an early Albanian photographer in Korce, Kristaq Sotiri,  that certainly should be supported!


It seems that there was a photographer who worked throughout the Korce region dating back to the early part of the 1900's. His original negatives are fading and someone has taken the task of digitizing them to save them for history. This project will take about 5000 Euros. Al and I think it is worth supporting  so I am trying to find  others who are willing to donate $500- $1000 toward this project. I have commitments for $3500 but we need about $3000 more. Can you participate and know of some others that may have an interest?

This is the email from the fellow who is spearheading the project.

Dear Lou, 
The photographer we are speaking of is: Kristaq Sotiri. He his author of similar works such as: (Tefta Tashko Koco) or but of course a large number of the pictures are expected to represent daily life, happiness or sorrow in the peoples of Korca's sorroundings ( 

 After the digitalization of photo-Marubi, this should be the largest project of photo digitalization in Albania

There is an immediate need to preserve them. Beside the economical aspects of the heirs of the archive, there are also other incentives like tourists or specific people buying the photo-negatives (on glass) as reliques or for other purposes. The digitization will at least create a full snapshot of this archive as it is today, because small part of it have been lost already.

The digitalization will be carried away by "Qendra Kombëtare e Inventarizimit të Pasurive Kulturore", a Governmental Institution concerned with cultural heritage. The problem is that they did not have the funds (and their proposal to the Ministry of Culture was rejected). Basically all the money I asked Rich to help me raise, will go to this process. Beside that, I will add personally another 1000€ to present the effort of the donors in a exposition which is necessary in this case. 
Rich has also mentioned the idea of a printed album (and we have an agreement for this as well) with the best pictures (should be free to distribute thought), but I have not included it in the price list before and honestly I am not so much concerned about that right now.

We have an agreement with the heirs of the archive, but in Albania there is a dynamicity in these things. Normally if someone has an agreement he should act quick or the other party might change the mind ("per sa kohe hekuri eshte i nxehte"). In fact I was hoping that the process of raising this fund would have been instant considering the value of the project and the required budget. Apparently I was too enthusiast and got carried away.
Let me know your thoughts and some other people we may approach.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


After my older son, Jeff, who is Executive VP at ARTCO, had  donated the printing of the complete stationary program for Frosina (a new, non-profit Albanian cultural and immigration resource), from time to time  I publish ARTCO's e-grams offering helpful  business marketing tips.  Here's the latest one:

The Role of Print in Cross-Media

Print is the foundation of an increasingly complex cross media environment. Consumers are enjoying more connectivity and control than ever before. This requires a fresh look at your creative approach, value proposition, media mix and budget— not only the cost of individual elements of a campaign, but also any required investment in technology and training. A clear strategy is essential for success, building on the fundamentals of marketing: understanding your customers and meeting their wants, needs and desires.

Identify the purpose of each tactic. The idea isn't to throw every cool new technology into the mix; it's to combine the components in such a way that the result is a successful campaign based on reach, frequency and response rate. Establish contact by mailing a customized postcard, letter or self-mailer that drives the reader to a personalized URL. Offer the option of connecting to the site by either entering a Web address or scanning a QR code. Here the respondent can sign up for an email list and find links to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, opening the door to regular communication. Make sure content is consistent in message, look and feel across print and digital platforms.

Move beyond simple demographics. It's tempting to use basic information, such as gender, age and income, to guide your marketing efforts. Go a step further to understand what your prospects care about. Today's consumer wants to be an individual, not a segment. The more personalized an offer is (the right message delivered in the right way), the more inclined the target audience is to respond favorably.

Measure your success. The diverse spectrum of media options has created an intense demand to demonstrate return on investment. How will you define success? Connect each element of the cross-media campaign to a reasonable target. For example, state that the direct mail piece will drive a certain number of hits on your website, and the website will entice a defined percentage of visitors to request more information. This, in turn, will result in a specific amount of new business.

The convergence of print, online, mobile, and social media empowers consumers to respond in the way they prefer. Keep an eye to the future; be ready to embrace the next innovation that will give you one more option for delivering relevant content to your target customers.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sign the Petition?

I just signed the petition "Google: Have a doodle for Albania's 100 Year Anniversary of Independence." on

I believe it's important so will you sign it too? Here's the link:

Thank you!

Van Christo

Monday, November 19, 2012

Resources for Prospective College Students

Visitors to the Frosina Blog may find the info below of possible interest to prospective college students.

From: "Rachel Higgins"
To "Van Christo"

Subject: Resources For Prospective Students

The project -- -- is a comprehensive college directory with many resources useful to prospective students and parents interested in advancing their education. A school’s accreditation status should play a large role in choosing which school to attend and with, we provide the tools to make this research easier than ever. This site enables individuals to search for an institution by a number of criteria including location, subject, size, and graduation rates. As a valuable resource to anyone pursuing a college degree, I thought the project could be of interest to yourself and others who frequently visit your site. Take a look and let me know what you think. If interested, it would be great to see it listed as a resource for those interested to refer to.