Thursday, April 30, 2009

Unexpected holiday paradise in southern Albania !

It warmed the cockles of my heart while, at the same time, sent a slight shiver down my spine, that a still-pristine, sun-drenched, beautiful seaside beach locale in southern Albania might be trampled by hordes of worldwide sunworshipers desperately seeking an innovative - but affordable - holiday site in which to frolic and have fun. So, check out the remarkable (and very temporary!) personal discovery of paradise by a first-time visitor to Albania in his own words at the link below:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Remembering Faik Konitza

This Tuesday, I have been asked to participate in a forum at Harvard University, remembering Faik Konitza. I look forward to being part of an event that honors a great Albanian patriot who did much in the 1930's to enhance the image of Albania in America as the representative of Albania to the United States.

I will add more after the event, however, I hope that those of you who can attend will do so.



Chaired by:
Ardeta Gjikola, Harvard University, GSAS, PhD, 2012

Van S. Christo
Frosina Information Network, contemporary of Konitza and Noli.
"Visiting Konitza"

Prof. Gregory Pano
Salem State College
"Konitza, Noli and VATRA"

V. Rev. Arthur Liolin
"Impressions on Konitza"

Agron Alibali, LL.M.
"New Findings on Konitza from American Archives"

Dudley House
Graduate Lounge
Graduate School or Arts and Science
Harvard University

April 28, 2009
16:00 - 18:00 PM

For more information, please contact:
Ms. Ardeta Gjikola at

Friday, April 17, 2009

DVD Albanian Church Documentary

I frequently receive many requests to cross link on Frosina's website that I invariably refuse simply because there have been so many of them. However, I will make a one-time exception because it's about an event that happens once in a hundred years. Metropolitan Fan S. Noli was for a short time in 1924, the Prime Minister of Albania, but, perhaps, more important, he founded the Albanian Orthodox church in America. Saint George Cathedral, the seat of the Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America, in South Boston, recently celebrated its Centennial. In honor of this 100-year milestone, a DVD has been produced documenting the history of the Cathedral and the immigration of Albanians to America.

The title of the English language DVD is “In Their Own Tongue,” reflecting the fact that Albanians were finally able to celebrate the Divine Liturgy in their own native tongue after almost 500 years of Turkish subjugation. I purchased the CD soon after it came out and have been pleased to show it non-Albanian friends.

Copies of the DVD are being offered for sale at Saint George Cathedral in South Boston following Sunday Liturgy and through the Cathedral’s Web site (

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Are Immigration Arrests Unfair?

On Saturday, March 28th, there was an article in the Boston Globe titled Marchers Urge an end to Immigrants Jailing by Globe reporter Maria Sacchetti and in last Thursday's Globe, Kevin Cullen's column, Absence of Reason, explored the same subject recounting the story of how one immigrant family is torn apart because the father, who has been in the United States for seventeen years, has been incarcerated to be deported at any time. I reread both articles with deepening frustration as it brought to mind, a long forgotten incident in my life as a youngster.

I am also an immigrant brought to America from Albania when I was one year old. My family had immigrated legally under circumstances which at that time were a far more welcoming atmosphere than is present today.

I joined the U.S. Navy during WWII and served aboard a Destroyer Escort, the U.S. S. Chaffee, DE 230, that was on its way to Bayonne, New Jersey from Boston for outfitting before our assignment in Paciifc Ocean War Areas. Our crew knew that in a few moments, we would be passing the Statue of Liberty - an image I had seen many times in newspaper photos, school books, and in newsreels. But, now, it was about to happen. All members of the crew stood on the starboard side of the ship as we came in view of the Statue. We stood at attention as we cruised by the Statue in dead silence, and frankly, I am not ashamed to say there were tears in the eyes of many of my shipmates. For, here, before us, was this majestic symbol of America that our fathers and mothers had sailed by and gazed at with such hope for us, their children, many years before. I was not the only immigrant aboard my ship - there were other immigrants from Austria, Poland, France, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere in the world. Passing the Statue of Liberty doubled my pride, that as an immigrant from Albania, I was in the service of my adopted country in a time of war.

Kevin Cullen, in his April 2nd column, describes the story of an Honduran immigrant, Adalid Artega, who was working as a stone mason, paying his taxes and providing for his family. Now, he is in jail, leaving his family without income and due to be deported. He is a man with the same dreams our parents had when they came as immigrants to the United States. Kevin Cullen quotes Leah Artega as saying, " My children will lose a father. I will lose a husband. We will lose our house, and what will this accomplish?" I defy any one to give a reasonable answer to that question!

Maria Sacchetti's article described a demonstration by hundreds before Boston's John F. Kennedy's federal building to protest a surge in the number of immigrants who are jailed pending deportation. In New England, for example, immigrant detainees have tripled from an average of 1,365 a day a decade ago. I was extremely proud of the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Coalition (MIRA), Albanian-born Eva Millona, who exclaimed, "It is time for us to stand up and say enough," and called on Congress to create a path to legal residency for the 11 million immigrants in the United States. I most passionately share Eva's opinion!

Links to both of these articles are listed below.

I have given you my opinion, you have read Kevin Cullen's and Eva Millona's opinions, so please let me know what you think.,