Monday, October 31, 2011

Albania to become European landfill.

Albania will soon adopt a law that will turn this country into a major European trashcan. The country that for centuries has been a black hole of Europe is not just planning to gather trash from the neighboring countries, but also make profit on its processing, counting on generous investment from the neighbors. Meanwhile, Europe has to pick up Albanian trash.

The Adriatic coast of Croatia is now cleaned by ships, divers and locals. The sea brought piles of garbage to the beaches of the Peljesac Peninsula and Mljet Island. We are talking about approximately 100 tons of municipal garbage, dead animals and cane. All this "goods" came to the coast after traveling down the river Bojana in Albania after the recent heavy rains in the region.

The trash on the streets of Tirana (and other places) is not removed but burned when the waste mountain grows to obscene proportions. The country with a long sea coastline cannot make money on tourism. Sheep, dogs and other domesticated animals digging in the mountains of garbage on Albanian beaches is a usual sight. However, a number of beaches used by the Europeans are maintained in order. 
The EU does not need such a trashcan of a country. In 2004, Italy agreed with the Albanian Government to build a waste incinerator 5 km from Tirana that burned up to 1,200 tons of Italian waste on a daily basis.

However, incinerators are known to heavily pollute the air and Tirana abandoned the idea of developing this area, not without the help of the outraged public.
The government said that it will not allow bringing toxic waste to Albania. The country acceded to the Basel Convention, which prohibits such practices. Therefore, the Albanians are going to import the regular garbage, and the transaction will be even signed by the Prime Minister, who will endorse each party, reported.

At the same time in Albania the new government idea did not meet unanimous support. The country applied for the EU membership in 2009. However, this year the European Commission in Tirana again refused even to receive candidate status, that is, stringent environmental regulations of the EU do not apply in this country.

The opponents of trash specialization of the country among the socialists say that building waste processing plants in four cities will not help to get rid of the Albanian trash, because their power will be occupied by recycling waste from all over Europe. In addition, some debris will be buried. They believe that the government succumbed to the pressure of the Italian mafia (controlling the trash business at home) and fear that the country would become a dumping ground for toxic waste.
 Albanian President Topi brought the law for reconsideration, but the government is confident that it will still be adopted.

The Russians also began to think about the need for the development of waste treatment. In June, "Russian Technologies" and "United Russia" announced the creation of "national operator for handling solid waste of municipal districts, industrial waste from GC" Russian Technologies ", and third parties."

So far this association exists only on paper. Yet, the creation by the government of the rules of the game easy for the refiners is one of the key factors in the successful development of a very opaque industry and improving of its environmental and economic performance. Russia buries virtually 100% of its waste. In the EU, a good indicator is considered 20%.

Anatoly Miranovsky

FINAL REMINDER: "Being Greek and Albanian" talk at Harvard !!

Being Greek and Albanian: The “No Man’s Land” of a Double Identity in the Balkans

Dr. Gazmend Kapllani, writer and journalist

Wednesday, November 9 – 4:15 p.m.
Guido Goldman Room, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, 27 Kirkland St. at Cabot Way

Co-sponsored with the Southeastern Europe Study Group, Center for European Studies

Dr. Gazmend Kapllani, a native of Albania, immigrated to Greece in 1991, where he has lived and worked since. In 2007, he completed his doctoral thesis on “The Quest of Otherness in Modernity, as Prerequisite for the Redefinition of the Self: Images of Greeks and Albanians in Greek and Albanian Press” at Panteion University, Athens. He is the author of My Name is Europe and A Short Border Handbook, the first two volumes of a planned trilogy dealing with issues of migration and identity, and writes a regular series for To Vima, one of Greece’s largest daily newspapers, that profiles Greeks whose lives have transversed borders and continents.

Kapllani’s writing – which also includes book chapters, journal articles and poetry – reveals Greece’s growing social turmoil, a hornet’s nest of economic crisis, political disillusionment, and an influx of migrants and refugees from South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. As Kapka Kassabova writes in the Guardian, “Kapllani brings borders closer to home and ruffles our notions of 21st-century Europe and the price some pay to live in it.” By exploring deep-rooted preconceptions about movement and migration in Europe and beyond, Kapllani alerts his readers to the multiple borders – both physical and psychological – that divide today’s supposedly open and inter-connected world.

Kokkalis Program on Southeast and East-Central Europe
Harvard Kennedy School
79 JFK St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

posted by Van Christo @ 2:58 PM

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Van Christo Uncovers Two 18th Century Scanderbeg Operas about Albania's greatest hero

By Del Brebner

Liria's annual dinner dance celebrating Albania's historic Independence Day
(Dita e Flamurit) was held Sunday, November 24, 1986, at the world-famous Anthony's Pier 4 waterfront restaurant. On that occasion, an announcement was made that bears cultural significance to the Albanian people in Albania and to people of Albanian origin throughout the world.

Master of Ceremonies at the Liria dinner, David Kosta, made the following announcement after guest speaker, Van Christo, had just finished his talk. "Ladies and gentlemen," Kosta said, "Van Christo has just informed me that he will soon donate photocopies of the two Skanderbeg operas by Vivaldi and Francouer, along with English translations to, first of all, the Fan Noli Library, the Skanderbeg Museum in Kruja, Albania, the Department of Music at Harvard University, the School for the Arts at Boston University, and the Boston Conservatory of Music."

This striking announcement was the fitting climax to years of search and research on the part of Van Christo, Boston's well-known steward of Albanian culture and proponent of cultural unity among Albanians of differing political persuasions.

Van Christo, owner and President of the Van Christo Advertising Agency, and in recent years, creator/director of the popular WCRB and WBUR radio programs, the Van Christo Radio Theatre, has held as a major personal responsibility, the preservation of the art and culture of Albania. From 1979 to 1983, he regularly made weekly trips from Boston to Worcester where he served as conductor and musical director of Kor' i Usterit which translated into Albanian means "Worcester Choir." Many remember the impressive concerts of that Albanian men's chorale group in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and several other cities in New England.

In 1982 Christo was reading a newly-acquired book, "The Albanians" by Anton Logoreci, an Englishman of Albanian origins. It was with a great sense of excitement, of discovery, that he read the following paragraph: "Scanderbeg's posthumous renown was by no means confined to his own country. Voltaire thought the Byzantine Empire would have survived had it possessed a leader of his quality. A number of poets and composers have also drawn inspiration from his military career. The French sixteenth-century poet, Ronsard, wrote a poem about it, and so did the nineteenth-century American poet, Longfellow. Antonio Vivaldi's list of rarely performed compositions includes an opera entitled Scanderbeg."

Van Christo admits that on reading the paragraph he was virtually trembling with excitement. A Vivaldi opera about Scanderbeg, the 15th century Albanian folk hero who for 25 years successfully repelled, vanquished and baffled the Ottoman hordes in their attempts to conquer Albania? The Scanderbeg who, in effect, created Albania through his military genius and his extraordinary leadership that made a strong and unified nation from a discordant mass of feudal lords and unruly tribesmen?

Van Christo's mind raced with questions. Did the opera still exist? Where could it be? How could one find it? Not one to sit back and wait for answers, Van Christo embarked on what he calls "the search." For the next three years he committed emotion, time, and money to finding and preserving the Vivaldi opera.

He found that the opera was originally performed at the Teatro de la Pergola in Florence, Italy, on June 22, 1718. The occasion was the re-opening of the theatre, to this day a pearl among Florentine theatres. For the event Vivaldi had been chosen to produce an opera, testimony to Vivaldi's standing in the music world at that time. That Vivaldi had selected Scanderbeg as the subject of an opera especially composed for that momentous opccasion confirms the impact that the Albanian folk hero still had on the civilized world almost 300 years after his heroic life.

This, Van Christo learned along with other details from consultations with musicologists in England, Italy, France, and the United States, from a voluminous correspondence extending over a three-year period with music librarians in Italy, from extensive research, and numerous paid consultants.

Complicating matters and adding further excitement was another discovery. In the course of his research on the Vivaldi opera, Van Christo uncovered another opera entitled "Scanderbeg," this one by the 18th century composer, Francois Francouer. While still hunting down the Vivaldi, Van Christo also initiated the search for the Francouer opera, encountering many of the same difficulties and frustrations he was experiencing with the Vivaldi search.

This time, though, from sources in Paris, he was eventually to find the entire opera (both the original plus a revised version by Francouer), librettos and musical scores, and to learn that the Francouer "Scanderbeg" had been given in command performance before their majesties, King Louis XV and Queen Marie Charlotte Leszczynska of France at Fontainebleu on October 22, 1763.

Van Christo believes it is entirely conceivable that, properly presented to various opera companies in the United States and abroad, several of them would accept the Francouer "Scanderbeg" for performance. In an interview following the Liria dinner he was asked about the possibility.

"It has both historical and musical value," he said, "I have had it evaluated and authenticated by a qualified musicologist, Dr. Graham Sadler of the Department of Music at the University of Hull in England. It is intact. Ready for production. It is imperative that opera companies honor their expressed responsibility to restore and preserve masterworks of former times. The Francouer "Scanderbeg" is a sure bet for successful revival."

He was then asked about chances of a revival of the Vivaldi "Scanderbeg." Van Christo muses. "In my heart of hearts," he says, "I'd like to be able to retain someone of -- let's say -- the stature of Gian Carlo Menotti to compose a new Scanderbeg opera based on the Vivaldi libretto and incorporating the four authentic remaining Vivaldi arias. These have been evaluated by an eminent Vivaldi scholar, Professor Michael Talbot of the University of Liverpool, and I have his recommendations for revitalizing and exploiting the work." Christo adds that a composer of Menotti's reputation would, clearly, lead to performance by major opera companies in this country and elsewhere.

"My consultants tell me that it would cost about a quarter of a million dollars to engage someone of the caliber of Gian Carlo Menotti." He tugs thoughtfully as his crisp beard. "What is needed is for a significant number of American-Albanians to come forward and help, especially the younger generation who can bring vitality, imagination, and sophistication to the project." He smiles into space. "Imagine! A Vivaldi-Menotti collaboration on a Scanderbeg opera!" He closes his eyes. Dreaming?
"Ah!" he says suddenly, "It could be done. It could be done."

If it can be done, one senses that Van Christo is the person who could make of the project another successful labor of love and perseverance.


According to data subsequently provided to Van Christo by Peter Rennie of London's Anglo-Albanian Association, there was a third opera about Scanderbeg composed by Bernard Germain le Comte de Lacepede (1765-1805), a French naturalist, politician, and musician. Better known for his later political activities as President of the French Senate and of the Grand Chancelier de la Legion d'honneur, Lacepede was also the composer of five operas. One of these was Scanderbeg which was commissioned by a committee of the Academie Royale de Musique in 1785. The opera, however, was never performed since Lacepede for some reason has destroyed it.

Scanderbeg, the national hero of Albania and a military and political leader of international importance was born in 1405 in northern Albania to the Kastrioti family of feudal leaders, and as the child, Gjergj Kastrioti, he was taken as a hostage from his father, Gjon Kastrioti, to be raised and educated in Turkey and to serve in the Ottoman army. Under the name of Skënder (meaning Alexander, after Alexander the Great), he gained distinction in fighting in the Balkans and Asia Minor. He was awarded the title of Bey (Lord of the Land), adopting the name Scanderbeg (Albanian: Skënderbeu).

In 1443, Scanderbeg led a revolt in Krujë (northern Albania) against the Ottomans and scored repeated victories over them usually against great numerical odds. His successes were due to his firsthand knowledge of Turkish military tactics, his own sound tactics and strategies, brilliant leadership, the mountainous terrain, and the support of the Albanian people.

The revolt ultimately failed because of the overwhelming odds ranged against it and because of Scanderbeg's death in 1468. The revolt's astonishing achievements have ever since inspired and heartened Albanians everywhere they are located in the world.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hospitalized Albanian children need translators in New York

Dear Friends,

After successful life saving cardiac surgery of the first two children from Kosova at Children's Hospital Boston, the third child in need of cardiac surgery is in the process of coming to Schneider Children's Hospital in New York. Her name is Anisa and she is 5 years old. Her surgery is scheduled in early May.

This is a program of Gift of Life International, which offers cardiac surgery with the help of more than 50 Cardiac Surgery Departments across the United States, to children of the world who live in countries that don't have cardiac surgery services. The surgery is offered completely free of charge for the patients.

We have founded Gift of Life Kosova (GOLKOS) based in Prishtina as a functional structure to coordinate the process of selecting, screening and preparing patients prior to their departure to the United States.

However, children and their parents don't speak any English and we would need Albanians of goodwill who would be able to offer some translation during their free time while this child and her mother are here for heart surgery.

We had 8 volunteer Albanians from Boston area last fall who helped tremendously via verbal translations the two children from Kosova while they were at Children's Hospital Boston. Gift of Life branches and Rotary Clubs involved with Kosova children have issued letters of recommendation and support for our volunteer Albanian students who have assisted our patients, which letters have had a very positive impact as proof of community service and volunteer work when Albanian students wanted to apply for degree programs and scholarships in American Universities.

As volunteer work for patients in need is highly valued and appreciated, and our patient and her mother would need translation help, I would like to invite all those Albanians that live in New York close to Schneider Chidren's Hospital, 269-01 76th Avenue, New Hyde Park, New York 11040, to offer some volunteer verbal translation services at their convenience for Anisa and her mother when they come for surgery in early May.

Learning from our experience with the two children already operated and returned to Kosova, in the process of helping our patients that come for life saving surgery through Gift of Life program, everybody is welcome to contribute and that contribution is most appreciated. However, organizational, business or personal promotions, social marketing or other ways of advertising through our Gift of Life program are strongly discouraged, as it is in violation with the ethical frameworks that Rotary International maintains and in violation of HIPAA protocols our hospitals here in the U.S. are enforced by law to respect. And this is very important for us to be able to bring more children from Kosova for heart surgery in the months and years to come.

I would appreciate if you would forward this email to our Albanian organizations and Albanians of goodwill in New York area and urge Albanian students and people of goodwill to give their volunteer services at their convenience through verbal translation for this patient and her mother. As soon as they contact me I would be happy to put them in touch with Gift of Life Branch in New York that is in charge for the care for Anisa.

I also want to thank once again the 8 Albanian volunteers from Boston area who did a wonderful job translating for our two patients, Endrit and Beqir last fall in Children's Hospital Boston.

I want to thank all of you for your help and consideration for our children from Kosova going for life saving cardiac surgery here in the United States.

Warm regards,

Dr. Gani Abazi

Gani S. Abazi, MD, MPH
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Neurosurgery Department
Children's Hospital Boston & Harvard Medical School
300 Longwood Avenue, Hunnewell 2,
Boston, MA, 02115, USA

Friday, October 21, 2011

Albania and Kosovo to Unify Consular Services

Albania’s government has ratified an agreement which unifies consular services and practices with Kosovo and halves costs for both countries.

Besar Likmeta

“Albanians should feel the same in Tirana and Pristina,”
Prime Minister Sali Berisha during a cabinet meeting yesterday.

He added that similar practices should be followed in other areas like customs, culture and education in order to cut down on bureaucracy and bring the two sister countries closer together.

“It’s necessary to consolidate the trend of cooperation with [a] common legal framework and common legal practices, alleviating the bureaucratic hurdles for the citizens of Albania and Kosovo,” he said.

Since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, the two governments in Tirana and Pristina have worked closely to strengthen business and cultural ties.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thoms Simaku nominated for BASCA Award 2011

Albanians everywhere can be proud of Albanian-born Thomas Simaku who has been nominated for a British Composer Award 2011 in London. I just received this piece of good news from my longtime friend, Peter Rennie, who, at one time, was the Secretary of the Anglo-Albanian Association.

Please join me in extending sincerest compliments to Composer Simaku for his latest classical musical achievement!


Soliloquy IV for Bass Clarinet has been nominated for a British Composer Award 2011 as one of the three finalists in the Instrumental Solo or Duo Category. The nomination shortlists were announced on BBC Radio 3 on Tuesday 18th October. The prestigious awards are presented by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) and sponsored by PRS in association with BBC Radio 3 providing exclusive broadcast coverage of the Awards.

Basca shortlist 2011

This piece is part of the Soliloquy Cycle - a series of virtuoso works for various solo instruments. As the composer explains 'the idiosyncratic quality of the Bass Clarinet piece is to be found in the rich and powerful (but also delicate) sonorities of the instrument, as well as the high degree of virtuosity, which lies at the edge of what's possible!'

The UK premiere was given by Sarah Watts on 18th September 2010 at St Leonard's Shoreditch Church in London, as part of the 'Rare-scale Premiere Series'. Thomas Simaku won a 2009 BASCA Award with his recorder piece, which the judging panel described as 'visionary and entirely original'.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

REMINDER: "Being Greek and Albanian" talk at Harvard !!

Being Greek and Albanian: The “No Man’s Land” of a Double Identity in the Balkans

Dr. Gazmend Kapllani, writer and journalist

Wednesday, November 9 – 4:15 p.m.
Guido Goldman Room, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, 27 Kirkland St. at Cabot Way

Co-sponsored with the Southeastern Europe Study Group, Center for European Studies

Dr. Gazmend Kapllani, a native of Albania, immigrated to Greece in 1991, where he has lived and worked since. In 2007, he completed his doctoral thesis on “The Quest of Otherness in Modernity, as Prerequisite for the Redefinition of the Self: Images of Greeks and Albanians in Greek and Albanian Press” at Panteion University, Athens. He is the author of My Name is Europe and A Short Border Handbook, the first two volumes of a planned trilogy dealing with issues of migration and identity, and writes a regular series for To Vima, one of Greece’s largest daily newspapers, that profiles Greeks whose lives have transversed borders and continents.

Kapllani’s writing – which also includes book chapters, journal articles and poetry – reveals Greece’s growing social turmoil, a hornet’s nest of economic crisis, political disillusionment, and an influx of migrants and refugees from South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. As Kapka Kassabova writes in the Guardian, “Kapllani brings borders closer to home and ruffles our notions of 21st-century Europe and the price some pay to live in it.” By exploring deep-rooted preconceptions about movement and migration in Europe and beyond, Kapllani alerts his readers to the multiple borders – both physical and psychological – that divide today’s supposedly open and inter-connected world.

Friday, October 14, 2011

BOSTON: Free English Evening Classes

Good Morning,

we are a teaching school located in the Quincy Market, Boston downtown. We would like to let your association know that we are offering FREE ENGLISH EVENING CLASSES. Please find attached information about it. If you know some people who are interested in attending to these classes, please send them to our offices, they can start next Monday 17th October. They can do a placement test here to check their levels, and then attending to the classes with english native speakers teachers.

If you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact with us. Thank you very much for your time.

Carolina Perez Baso
International House Boston
101 Faneuil Hall | Boston
T: + 1 857 239 9243 | F: +1 646.219.7759
International House World

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Obituary of a fascinating American-Albanian!

I urge everyone to open the link below to read the recent obituary of a fascinating man who was born in Albania. I headed an advertising agency (for 33 years) as did he in California, and now wish I had known him. It's a pity most Albanian-Americans weren't aware of this distinguished and talented man sooner!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Frosina website passes half-million visits mark

Agron Alibali is a most meaningful activist in the Albanian community of Boston and elsewhere. He has continuously enriched the cultural and social life of our community by organizing, among other important events, An Evening of Albanian Poetry Readings and a Presentation of the Works of Albania's Nobel Prize in Literature nominee, the author Ismail Kadare.

After Frosina's website - - passed the half-million visitor's mark, Agron generously posted the notice below to MASS BESA'S massalbanians@yahoogroups.


Dear all,

I learned with great pleasure that the website of the Frosina Information Network - one of the best internet resources on Albanian culture, history and issues - hit the 500,000 clicks milestone.

This is certainly due to the immense efforts and work of the Frosina's Founder and President, Van S. Christo, who has spent countless hours in making Frosina a great success.

I only wish that the-one-million-hits mark comes soon, and that we could find a way to transform those hits into financial contributions for Frosina.



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bikinis and hijabs contrast on Albanian beach

Yes, indeed, I thought that a Bikinis and hijabs contrast especially amongst Albanians would make interesting reading, so here's an article about it that I came across from The Balkan Chronicle.


Bikinis and hijabs contrast on Albanian beach

Thursday, 22 September 2011 22:44
Editorial / tha Balkan Chronicle

Arta, an Albanian citizen"To each their own," said Selim, a Muslim who gave only his first name.

September has seen devout Muslims again flocking to Albania's only "burqa beach" after the Ramadan holy month, where women bathe in full hijab − a short distance from the "other" Albania where girls romp in scanty bikinis.

The contrast is not to everyone's liking but is a testament to Albania's centuries-old tradition of religious tolerance, which even survived nearly half a century of a communist rule that tried to stamp out all religion.

About two-thirds of this Mediterranean state's 3.2 million residents are Muslim. Much of the rest is Christian − both Orthodox and Catholic − and co-habitation among the different faiths is the norm in EU-hopeful Albania.

But "why do some people think that showing off their buttocks is a sign of civilization and freedom, while protecting one's body from other people's glances is an expression of underdevelopment?" he asked.

Selim sat on a small, remote part of the long stretch of beach in Spille, which lies about 100 kilometers (60 miles) southwest of the capital Tirana.

There is nothing official about the patch, nicknamed "burqa beach." It's been informally claimed by conservative Muslims who do not wish to expose their bodies while bathing, and is the sole spot of its kind on Albania's lengthy Adriatic and Ionian coastline.

Empty during Ramadan in August when fasting Muslims avoid swimming for fear of swallowing water, "burqa beach" is again busy as temperatures in recent weeks soared into the 30s C (high 80s F) and often continue so into October.

Despite the rarity of such beaches in Europe, the few dozen families who come here resent the fact there are no facilities and that they must walk a half hour from Spille's main beach to reach the spot.

But "everyone is free to choose, even those girls in bikinis who line the length of this beach while our women and children only have this little space," said Selim, carefully watching his wife and sister as they wade into the waves, at the ready since neither know how to swim.

While most Albanians are Muslims, the majority are moderate. Only a handful of women can be seen in the streets of Tirana with their heads covered, and the consumption of alcohol − prohibited in Islam − is commonplace.

Post-communist Albania has seen a revival in all faiths after the complete ban on religion during a half-century of Stalinist rule, which cut Albania off from the outside world.

"Islam does not forbid a woman to bathe, but only if she covers herself in a decent way, to protect herself from the looks and please only God," insisted Fatima, a mother of two emerging from the water in a long black robe.

"Those who have money go to Turkey or other countries instead of this out-of-the-way spot in Spille that lacks the intimacy and infrastructure for devout Muslims women who must not undress in public or attract any glances," grumbled 40-something Hasan as his wife went to change in one of the tents set up nearby.

Ermir Gjinishi, a professor of Islamic studies in Tirana, feels Albania should have more women-only beaches for devout Muslim women, as separated from men "they are even allowed to wear bathing suits."

Over on "bikini" beach, the mood is tolerant but defiant.

"I have nothing to hide, neither from God, nor from the sun," said psychology student Arjana as she adjusted her bikini strap and insisted swimming in a hijab was no more modest than in a two-piece.

A little way up, several women went further and sunbathed topless − a practice not without risk. Last year police were called in to remove some foreigners who went topless after local families complained.

"Albanian beaches have room for everyone: hijab, burka, bikini, bathing suit," said Arta, sunning herself on the public beach. "Modesty is a personal issue. It is important that everyone is free to choose and accept the other without any complex."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Organ Trafficking Probe in Kosovo

Persisitent claims of organ trafficking by the Kosovo Liberation Army have helped to prevent Kosovo's entry in the EU so perhaps the BIRN story below can help resolve those claims once and for all!


Albania-EULEX to Cooperate on Organ Trafficking Probe

EULEX chief Xavier Bout De Marnhac and Albanian Minister of Interior Bujar Nishani, have signed an agreement on police cooperation in Tirana.

Besar Likmeta

The agreement aims to strengthen cooperation on the investigation into allegations of organ trafficking by the Kosovo Liberation Army in Albania

“The Ministry of Interior and the police will offer cooperation on the organ trafficking probe,” Nishani said in a statement after the agreement was signed.

The agreement reached between Albania and the EU Mission for the Rule of Law in Kosovo, EULEX, also provides for police cooperation on border control, smuggling and exchange of information between agencies.

Marnhac was in Albania ahead of the visit of US Prosecutor John Clint Williamson, appointed in August as the lead prosecutor for the investigation. Williamson will head a seven-member task force headquartered in Brussels and operating under the jurisdiction of EULEX.

Marnhac also met on Thursday with Albanian Foreign Minister Edmond Haxhinasto and Prime Minister Sali Berisha who also pledged to support the probe into the organ trafficking allegations.

Marnhac meetings in Tirana on Thursday follow direct contacts between Albania’s General Prosecutor Ina Rama and EULEX prosecutor Isabell Arnal in January.

Rama and Arnal had discussed a joint strategy to investigate the allegations made in a report by the Council of Europe.

Dick Marty, a Swiss MP, released a report in December that linked former Kosovo Liberation Army fighters, including Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, to organised crime and accused them of harvesting the organs of Serb prisoners and others in Albania.

The Kosovo government has denied the allegations and pledged to cooperate in the investigation.

FREE: Opening Our Doors Event in Boston



Happy 10th Anniversary to the Opening Our Doors event!

The event is this Monday, October 10th, 2011 from 10am-4pm. The day officially kicks off at 10am at the Christian Science Plaza, located at the intersection of Avenue of the Arts (Huntington Ave.) and the Avenue of Music (Mass. Ave.) with special guest speakers, performances by Boston Children's Chorus, and a children's parade led by the Hot Tamale Brass Band! There are over 60 events including music, theatre, dance performances, walking tours, art exhibitions, film screenings, chalk art, indoor kite flying and other interactive art opportunities. There are 21 institutions that make up the Fenway Alliance and 30 community partner organizations.

There will be a broad array of exciting activities, which include:

- 10th Anniversary/Birthday cupcake cake for all the visitors

- Glass blowing demonstrations with the Diablo Glass School

- Chalk art with Sidewalk Sam and Artstreet

- THE BIG DRAW at Evans Way Park

- Indoor kite flying with Kite Education

- Marshall's Fenway Farm Stand Pumpkin Patch

- Open House with the galleries of Fenway Studios

- Musical performances by Zili Misik, and famed children's musician, Stacey Peasley

The event is free and open to the public, for the full schedule visit to download the Opening Our Doors 2011 program booklet. For more information call the Fenway Alliance at 617-437-7544, or email

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Boatlifters: The unknown story of 9/11 Reuters

Just when you think you knew all there was to know about 9/11, here's a video narrated by Tom Hanks that my old U.S. Navy shipmate, Bob Christ, just distributed. If you can't open the link, just type it in or copy and paste. It's well worth it!!


Boatlifters: The unknown story of 9/11 Reuters

The stories of Sept. 11th are over for now, but there is one story yet to tell. I have never heard this story before and perhaps you haven't either. It is a story that needs to be told because it is very important. Please set a few minutes of your busy schedule aside and just sit and watch this. Just think about this one thing while watching it - 500,000 people in 9 hours, rescued.

Be sure to watch the video...and then please share it.

Note: If the above link doesn't work just type it into your Internet Browser.

Serbia-Kosovo Relations?

I was very interested in reading the following article about the latest developments in Serbia/Kosovo relations especially the role played by Germany's Merkel!

BOSTON: Special Fall Art & Book Fair: October 2, 9 & 16, 2011

Special Fall Art & Book Fair: October 2, 9 & 16, 2011

Keeping with St. George Cathedral's annual Book Fair tradition, all art and book lovers of our community are cordially invited to participate in two open events: 1. the New Open Library & Book Fair in St George's reception area, and 2. the upstairs Athanas Auditorium to view a new art exhibit.

1. The Open Library table offers a selection of newly published books by Massachusetts authors R. Theohari, Sh. Vranari and G. Stefani who will be present on two Sundays to introduce themselves and their works to the Albanian community of book lovers.

2. The upstairs Art Exhibit by well-known artist Sterjo Shkodrani will present his newest works in oil, watercolor, and graphics. We thank Sterjo for his passion and dedication in displaying his works at the Athanas Auditorium at St. George Cathedral.

Every one is invited for a memorable time!

Art & Book Fair Committee
Very Rev. Fr. Arthur Liolin

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

FREE: OCT. 16, 2011 Landmarks Orchestra Brass Ensemble

Join Us

Landmarks Orchestra Brass Ensemble

Will Perform at an Historic Event

The Old South Meeting House is raising a bell made by Paul Revere to its tower.

The bell that was made in 1801, is now on view at the Old South Meeting House at 310 Washington Street and will be on view outside on October 16 from 11 AM until 12:30 PM. As the grand finale, all the bells around the area will ring out at 2 PM for this historic occasion. Bring your own bell to join the chorus!

October 16, 2011

1 PM

On the plaza across from Old South Meeting House at 310 Washington Street

The Ensemble will be joined by

The Old South Church Choir

The Boston Children's Chorus

The Back Bay Bell Ringers

It's Free!

For More information Call Old South Meeting House at
(617) 482-6439 or email