Wednesday, February 29, 2012

BOSTON: Urgently seeking Albanian Interpreter II

To Van Christo

We are looking for Albanian speaking person to help us with interpreter on 03/01 at 9.45 am at:
PT Faulkner Hospital
1153 Centre Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Interpreter will be needed for about an hour to help a patient with a paper work and
communicate with a patient.
Payment is: $35 an hr with 2 hrs min.
Please advise if you are available or you know someone who would be able and interested
to do this interpretation job.
Thank You.
Iryna Gorovets
Director of Operations
LNG Consulting
1421 Sheepshead Bay Rd # 328
Brooklyn, NY 11235
phone: 347-322-2292
fax: 718-228-7541

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Best Low-Income Nation: Albania

(Honorable mention: best education)

Albania rarely makes headlines and seems an unlikely model for other countries, but this new democracy actually outperforms all other low-income countries. Among the nations in its category, it consistently ranks highest in education, health, and quality of life. Nearly 99 percent of Albanians are literate. Despite being a citizen of one of the poorest countries in Europe, the average Albanian can expect to live to be 78, the average Albanian woman to be 81—a pretty good statistic, considering that the average citizen of wealthy Germany will live only until age 79.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

BOSTON: Need a good electrician?

I was delighted to see my old friend, Ilir Gjata, at the screening of the Albanian movie "Forgiveness of Blood" at the University of Massachusetts Boston last Tuesday night since he had once resolved  some electrical work  in my apartment.

 I had originally retained another electrician to install ceiling fans in several rooms who ran into wiring problems that he couldn't quite handle.  I quickly decided to contact Ilir Gjata, who came to our apartment almost immediately and began reworking  some of the installations by the other electrician, and then guided him until the work was finally and efficiently completed.

I was truly amazed at the speed and the manner with which Ilir mentored the other electrician who, in point of fact, actually learned much from Ilir as he watched him handle different tools while utilizing  various methods to pull ceiling wiring. Naturally, I was extremely grateful to Ilir for taking over the electrical project, who, moreover, absolutely refused to accept any payment from me for all his diligent work.

So, if you need a great electrician for any job, large or small,  I am delighted to recommend Ilir Gjata, a Master Electrician,  who can be reached at or  CEL (617) 834-8700!

Trust me, you'll be glad you did!

American Ambassador salutes Albanian troops bound for Afganistan

Arvizu saluted on Thursday the 
military contingent OMLT-A

16.02.2012,  ora 16:32

Aleksander Arvizu 4

U.S. Ambassador in Tirana, Alexander Arvizu saluted on Thursday the military contingent OMLT-A, which will depart soon for Afghanistan, noting that Albania is the second NATO member country that have contributed with more troops in Afghanistan, after the USA. "Albania′s constant contribution to NATO missions is now a reality," said Arvizu, stressing that "I am convinced that Albania will continue to support any mission". He thanked Albania for its ongoing support to NATO missions in Afghanistan and welcomed its contribution to future missions. "Everyone in Albania is proud of what you do," said Arvizu, addressing OMLT-A military troops. /

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA)

    Reply All
MIRA BULLETIN: Quiet Good News vs.Shouting Bad: Wed. Feb. 15, 2012
Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm
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MIRA Coalition
Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Dear Members and Allies,
Perhaps the most important recent news for immigrants in Massachusetts is the most seemingly mundane. Last week, the Commonwealth Connector began re-enrolling eligible immigrants into the regular state-sponsored health program, Commonwealth Care.(See below). This culminates a two-year fight to restore coverage for immigrants who were shut out of the system after the budget crisis of 2009. It once again brings Massachusetts closer to meeting the noble ideal of providing affordable, quality health care coverage for all its residents.
Unfortunately, this quiet conclusion comes on the heels of another loud set of anti-immigrant measures introduced in the Massachusetts State House, copying the onerous and punitive bills introduced in state legislatures across the nation.
That is one reason we are in the middle of a campaign with the Greater Boston Citizenship Initiative (GBCI)  to help as many eligible immigrants as possible complete their citizenship applications — so that immigrants can represent their interests more powerfully and directly through civic participation. GBCI's third clinic, on February 4, was the initiative's largest yet, serving over 200 Legal Permanent Residents with the help of staff from six partnering organizations and dozens of volunteers. We hope you can help us top that number by spreading the word about our next clinic, at Notre Dame Education Center, 200 Old Colony Ave, South Boston (near the Andrew T Stop), on Saturday, March 3 from 11am to 2pm. Click here to register online, or call 617-65-READY for more information.
MIRA also plans to branch out with citizenship work state-wide in the coming months, and we will soon be alerting you about clinics for eligible Legal Permanent Residents  throughout the Commonwealth.
Yet another way to build power together is to save Thursday, May 31 from 6 - 8 p.m. for MIRA's major annual fundraising event, Give Liberty a Hand. Please visit our newly launched website to learn about all the exciting people and events that will form a part of our 25th anniversary celebration. Thank you as always for your support.
Eva A. Millona
Executive Director

February 4 Greater Boston Citizenship Initiative clinic, February 4, at SEIU 615
Federal Updates
USCIS to Hold Chinese-language Engagement Sessions
USCIS will conduct a national Chinese-language engagement (Jiao liú) session on Thursday, February 16, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m part of the ongoing series of multilingual public engagements. Each Jiao liú session focuses on an immigration-related topic and includes a presentation and Q&A session during which USCIS spokespersons provide explanations of the law, regulations, and forms, but do not offer legal advice or provide case specific information.

The first national Jiao liú session will promote the Office of Citizenship’s initiative: The Naturalization Process – Becoming a United States Citizen.  The event will be broadcast live from the San Francisco Field Office and stakeholders may participate via teleconference by calling 1-800-475-8388 (password: Jiao liú), or via live Web stream at
Live.  For further information on this event, please email and enter the word “Jiao liu” in the subject line. 

State Updates
Commonwealth Care Restoration for "Special Status" Immigrants

On Monday, February 6, the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority began sending notices to persons currently enrolled in the Commonwealth Care Bridge program, informing them that they may enroll in Commonwealth Care as a result of the recent Supreme Judicial Court decision in Finch v. Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority.

  • Individuals will be able to select a Commonwealth Care plan from February 13 - 24, with an effective coverage date of March 1.
  • To enroll in Commonwealth Care, persons in Bridge may either call the Connector or complete and mail a form, but will not be able to enroll via website. 
  • If you are currently enrolled in Bridge and do not select a Commonwealth Care plan between February 13 and 24, you will be automatically enrolled in CeltiCare's Commonwealth Care Plan on March 1.
  • "Special status" immigrants who were unable to receive Bridge coverage, because they were not enrolled in Commonwealth Care on August 31, 2009, will receive a notice from the Connector after March 26 informing them that they may enroll in Commonwealth Care.  At that time, persons will be able to enroll in Commonwealth Care by phone, mail or website, for an effective coverage date of May 1. 
  • If you are on the Bridge waitlist, it is important that you enroll in Commonwealth Care after you receive a letter from the Connector, as there will be no auto-enrollment for this population (unlike for those currently enrolled by Bridge).  If you do not enroll within 90 days of the date in your letter from the Connector, you will lose whatever state health coverage you may currently have (whether MassHealth Limited or Health Safety Net).
If you have questions about this process, or about whether you are a "special status" immigrant eligible for Commonwealth Care, you can call the MIRA Coalition's health care line at 617-350-5480 x222, or the Health Care for All Help Line at 1-800-272-4232.
Immigrant Legislation Hearings, Pro and Con

At the State House this week, MIRA stood for one bill and against another heard before their committees. To stave off anti-immigrant legislation,  MIRA submitted testimony to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary in opposition to H 2189, "An act relative to bail factors," which would add "immigration status" to the factors that must be considered when setting bail. This bill would impose high costs to fully train courts on the complexities of immigration law, and could also violate defendants' Constitutional rights.

MIRA also submitted testimony to the Joint Committee on Transportation in support of H 3073, "An Act relative to commercial driver licensing," sponsored by New Bedford Representative Antonio Cabral.  This bill would 
direct the registrar of motor vehicles to provide commercial driver's license exams, when requested, in Portuguese and Spanish, as well as other languages if needed.  This bill represents a positive, constructive proposal to promote integration of Limited English Proficient immigrants in Massachusetts.

Hearing Scheduled for Anti-Immigrant Bill SB 2061

A hearing for anti-immigrant bill SB 2061 has been tentatively slated before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary on Tuesday, February 28 at 1:00 p.m.  Hearings are open to the public, and anyone may submit written or oral testimony. Among its measures, the bill would:

  • Force the state report on the status of implementing the notorious Secure Communities program, and  force local police to perform federal immigration checks on anyone held in police custody.
  • Force small businesses and others contracting with the state to implement the flawed and expensive E-Verify immigration check system.
  • Permanently bar undocumented immigrant children who have graduated from Massachusetts high schools from receiving in-state tuition rates (changing the current regulation into a law)
  • Force the attorney general to  investigate any allegation that a worker is undocumented, no matter how spurious.
  • Force the Department of Revenue to produce official anti-immigrant propaganda on the "strain" caused by undocumented immigrants, with no mention of any possible benefits.
  • Evict families with undocumented members from state-sponsored public housing, even if those families include impoverished U.S. citizen children.
You can read more on this sweeping measure in our press release.  If you have questions about this bill or the process for testifying, please contact MIRA State Policy Director Shannon Erwin at 617-350-5480 x222.
MIRA Messages

Next Citizenship Clinic March 3
Saturday, March 3, 2012 • 11am—2pm
Notre Dame Education Center
200 Old Colony Ave • South Boston, MA

Register Today!

In collaboration with MIRA, the Fish Family Foundation and community organizations,  the Greater Boston Citizenship Initiative will provide free application assistance for Legal Permanent Residents eligible to apply for US Citizenship.  To be eligible, you must:
  • Have had a green card for at least 5 years (3 years in certain limited circumstances);
  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Be able to read, write, and speak basic English (unless you qualify for an age exemption or a disability waiver); and
  • Have no serious criminal issue.
Applicants who are not able to afford the $680 application fee will receive assistance with a fee waiver application if they (1) receive means-tested benefits or (2) have a household income below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Enter to Win Prizes!

GBCI is pleased to announce that applicants who provide proof that they have submitted their application to USCIS will be entered into a drawing to receive either (1) paid citizenship application fees for you and a family members ($1360 total) OR (2) a gift card for $500 in groceries!

For informational fliers in other languages, please visit our website.
Member to Member
15th Annual International Women's Day Breakfast

Simmons College
Linda K. Paresky Conference Center
Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ending Violence Against Women: Pathways to Power, Resilience & Leadership

Please RSVP at
Suggested donation of $6 at the door

Commemorate International Women’s Day
Hosted by Association of Haitian Women
Guest Speaker
Natacha Clerger, US Army/USAR

Mèt Kò Veye Kò:  Defann Tèt Ou
Protecting Your Body:  Self Defense
Saturday, March 10, 2012
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Boston Public Library/Mattapan Branch
1350 Blue Hill Ave
Mattapan, MA 02124

Refreshments will be served
For more information please call AFAB at (617) 287-0096

Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS) Hosts Public Office Workshops
The Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS), in partnership with MassVOTE and with support from the CPCU Credit Union, is pleased to invite you to participate in Ready, Set, Run! – a new 4-part workshop series designed to train community leaders on how to run for public office. We think this is an important way to build Portuguese-speaking leadership capacity and empower our communities. The workshops will be held at the MAPS office at 1046 Cambridge Street in Cambridge on 4 consecutive Tuesdays in March, from 7-9 pm, beginning Tuesday, March 6th. The registration fee is $50.00 per person.
Workshop Schedule:
Session 1: Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Why run for office? What does it take to win?
Session 2: Tuesday, March 13, 2012
How many votes does it take to win?
Session 3: Tuesday, March 20, 2012
How do I get volunteers and campaign money?
Session 4: Tuesday, March 27, 2012
What's my message? How do I get elected and keep everything organized and legal?

For more information and to register visit or contact Deolinda Da Veiga at (617) 864-7600 or by e-mail at

The Anti-Defamation League Sponsors 5th Annual 'A Nation of Immigrants' Community Seder
Sunday, March 11, 2012
UMASS Boston

For more information, contact or call 617-406-6364.
Sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, New England

How to Start a Small Business Information Session
Hosted by The Workplace
Tuesday, February 21

11:00 am sharp
29 Winter Street 4th Floor
Downtown Boston 02108

Space is limited. You MUST sign up to reserve a seat!
(617) 737-0093 x 3001-

Starting and managing a business takes motivation, desire and talent. It also takes research and planning. Come learn how the U.S. Small Business Administration can help you achieve your goal starting and expanding your business. General information will be provided on the following programs and services:
  • SCORE – Counselors to America’s Small Business
  • Small Business Development Centers
  • Women’s Business Centers
  • SBA Loan Guaranty Program
  • 8(a) Business Development Program
  • HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zones) Program
  • Government Contracting Opportunities

Seeking Volunteers to Teach Conversation Groups
St. Mark Community Education Program is a community-based ESOL and Citizenship program for adult immigrants, offering 5 ESOL classes, evenings and weekends to serve working adult immigrants.  The Citizenship program, in partnership with the Irish International Immigrant Center, offers a Saturday morning class to help applicants with the literacy skills, speaking skills, and knowledge of U.S. history and government necessary to pass their Citizenship interviews. 
In addition, the St. Mark Community Education Program is offering volunteer-run Conversation Groups on Thursday evenings 7-8:30pm and Saturday mornings 10-11:30am.  These groups provide more opportunity to learn and practice English for students in the classes and provide a place for any community members to learn and improve their speaking and listening abilities in English. If you are interested in teaching adults and supporting immigrants in our communities, please contact Donna Kaye, Executive Director, at 617 288-8515 or

Job Opportunities
AmeriCorps New American Integration Program Positions Available
A Partnership of the MA Office for Refugees and Immigrants, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, and English for New Bostonians
The New American Integration Program recruits committed individuals from diverse backgrounds to assist and strengthen the work of community based organizations that serve refugees and immigrants. Our diverse group represents 21 different countries and speaks 23 different languages. Members will assist refugee and immigrant communities in obtaining essential services and educational opportunities that enable them to improve their quality of life. NAIP members receive intensive training to teach English for Speakers of Other Languages, serve as medical interpreters, and assist eligible Legal Permanent Residents in their applications for citizenship.
The term of the service for this position continues from the start of service through August 31, 2012, with the possibility to reapply for a full-year position (Sep 2012-Aug 2013).  The member will be expected to complete at least 900 hours of service at their host site through the duration of their service.
Members interested in this service opportunity will receive:
  • A living allowance
  • Education Award upon successfully completing term of service
  • Childcare assistance
  • Health Coverage
Positions are available immediately.
If interested, please send email to

NAIP AmeriCorps Members at a training

The Barbara Lee Family Foundation / Barbara Lee Political Office is Hiring

Two open positions for a Communications Manager and an Administrative Assistant.
The Communications Manager works with the Principal and Executive Director to promote the work of the Foundation and Political Office. This position reports to the Executive Director.
The Administrative Assistant supports the Executive Director and other staff, as assigned. This position reports to the Executive Director. The Barbara Lee Family Foundation (BLFF) supports progressive initiatives in two primary program areas: women in politics and contemporary art. The Barbara Lee Political Office (BLPO) manages Barbara Lee’s political projects, fundraising, and contributions to organizations and candidates. The Lee Family Office (LFO) manages administrative functions for Barbara Lee.
Interested candidates should contact Moire Carmody at to receive a full job description and application instructions.
In This Bulletin
Federal Updates
State Updates
MIRA Messages
Member to Member
Job Opportunities

Save the Date
FREE Citizenship Clinic
Saturday, March 3
Notre Dame
Education Center
200 Old Colony Ave •
South Boston, MA

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For more information contact us at  
P: 617-350-5480 F: 617-350-5499
MIRA Coalition, 105 Chauncy St, Suite 901, Boston, MA, 02111
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A new post has been added to the E-Verify blog:  The Wait is Over – E-Verify Self Check Is Now Available Nationwide

If you’re hunting for a job, you should know that more and more employers use E-Verify to confirm their new hires’ work eligibility. If you are job hunting, you should know that Self Check is now available nationwide in both English and Spanish. Self Check lets you verify your employment eligibility before your next employer does. Read The Wait is Over – E-Verify Self Check Is Now Available Nationwide to learn more.
Please do not reply to this message.  See our Contact E-Verify page for phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

Please do not reply to this message.  See our Contact Us page for phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

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Useful info from City of Boston

February School Break Youth Resources & Opportunities
Important information for making the most of your school vacation! 

HOPELINE SUMMER 2012 JOB REGISTRATION: Register TODAY with the HOPELINE to work for the Boston Youth Fund during the summer of 2012! All applicants must be residents of Boston and be between the ages of 15 and 17 years old. You must turn 15 on or before Jul 8, 2012 and cannot turn 18 on or before Aug 17, 2012. Register online 24 hours a day until Mar 2 at 11:59pm. Or, call 617-635-HOPE (4673) on Feb 21, 22, or 23 from 10am-2pm. Registering with the HOPELINE does NOT guarantee a summer job. Please call the Boston Youth Fund with any questions, 617-635-4202. Check out a list of Summer Work Sites that offered HOPELINE jobs last summer.

ABCD SummerWorks Registration: Apply for a summer job with SummerWorks! Register online 24 hours a day and follow the step-by-step instructions (requires a working email account). Read and complete the application with a parent or guardian. A complete application includes a signed application, CORI form, checklist, and eligibility documentation. You can also apply in person at your local neighborhood ABCD office. Applicants must be residents of Boston, be between the ages of 14 and 21 years old, and be income eligible. Submitting an application does NOT guarantee a summer job.  617-348-6548,

R.O.C.K. IT!!!
Boston R.O.C.K. It!!! Launch into Summer: Check out the many opportunities available for summer 2012 at Emmanuel College’s Yawkey Center gymnasium tomorrow,  Feb 22, 11am-1pm. Boston youth and their families are welcome to have fun with special guests, entertainment, interactive games, and more! Emmanuel College, 400 The Fenway, Boston. 617-635-4920,

Check Out What Boston Centers for Youth & Families Have to Offer Over February Break!: Participate in one of the many programs and activities offered by BCYF during February School Vacation. Play sports, go on field trips, participate in a modeling workshop, and more! For information on what various centers are offering visit,

Apply for the 2012-13 Mayor's Youth Council!: Are you a high school sophomore or junior who wants to make a difference in your community? Each year, teens from all over the city are selected as volunteer representatives to outreach to peers, advocate for youth issues, and meet with city officials. Applications available at Applications due: Mar 30.  617-635-2240,

February Newsletter: Don’t forget to check out our February Newsletter for a complete list of things to do over February School Vacation! Go to the Winter Festival at Franklin Park, visit the MFA for free, and more! For more ideas for February Vacation, check out

Friday, February 17, 2012

Albania's Growth in 2011

Albania’s Posts Growth of 2.6% in Third Quarter of 2011

Albania’s gross domestic product grew by 2.6 percent compared with the same period in 2010, according to Albania’s National Institute of Statistics, INSTAT.
Besar Likmeta
Highway construcion in Albania | Photo by : Besar Likmeta
"In the third quarter, the sectors that registered the highest growth were transportation, trade and industry," INSTAT said in a statement.
Transportation grew by 19.7 percent compared with the same period in 2010, trade was up 6.2 percent and industry expanded 4.7 percent.
The sectors that saw a decline in the third quarter of last year were services and post/telecommunications.
INSTAT has published quarterly data on economic growth since 2008.
Since then, positive preliminary estimates have often been revised to reveal downward trends, prompting debate about the credibility of preliminary government estimates. Some experts have complained that positive forecasts are issued due to political pressure.
The positive estimate for the third quarter of 2011 came after INSTAT cut the growth figure for the same period in 2010.
Albania’s government has often been at odds with the International Monetary Fund and with opposition politicians over economic growth forecasts.

An Albanian Cookbook

Regrettably, I had been notified by the publisher that the book " Best of Albanian Cooking: Favorite Family Recipes" by  Klementina Hysa and R. John Hysa, that Frosina had offered in exchange for donations for several years, is no longer in print.  Therefore, I would like to recommend another, excellent Albanian cookbook that can be purchased directly from an Albanian Women's Guild  in Worcester, Massachusetts, as described below:


An Albanian Cookbook created by the Women's Guild of St. Mary's Assumption Albanian Orthodox Church in Worcester, MA can be found at

Price of a single copy of Albanian Cookbook is $22.50 plus shipping and handling.
Accompanying Albanian Cookbook DVD is also available for purchase as a single item or in combination with the cookbook for a discounted price.  Please visit our website for further information:

Gezuar Parvarsine e Kosoves!

Gezuar Parvarsine e Kosoves!

Jane (Xhejn) dhe Van (Sotiraqi) Christo

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

free application assistance for Legal Permanent Residents eligible to apply for US Citizenship. To be eligible, you must:

MIRA Messages

Next Citizenship Clinic March 3
Saturday, March 3, 2012 • 11am—2pm
Notre Dame Education Center
200 Old Colony Ave • South Boston, MA

Register Today!

In collaboration with MIRA, the Fish Family Foundation and community organizations, 
 the Greater Boston Citizenship Initiative will provide free application assistance for
Legal Permanent Residents eligible to apply for US Citizenship.  To be eligible, you must:
  • Have had a green card for at least 5 years (3 years in certain limited circumstances);
  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Be able to read, write, and speak basic English (unless you qualify for an age
     exemption or a disability waiver); and
  • Have no serious criminal issue.
Applicants who are not able to afford the $680 application fee will receive assistance 
with a fee waiver application if they (1) receive means-tested benefits or (2) have a
 household income below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Another meaning for the word "Koran" in Albania.

Here's another little-known word, "Koran," in Albania:

An unusual, pinkish trout called "Koran" is found in Lake Ohri at Pogradec, Albania, which, only with Lake Baikal in central Asia, is where this rare (and very tasty) fish is found.

Monday, February 13, 2012

On Valentine's Day

On Valentine's Day

"Who, being loved, is poor?"

 - Oscar Wilde -

Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund

Albanian artists and others should check out the grants and other information that are offered below by this Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Governor Deval Patrick has allocated a new appropriation for the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund. These funds will allow the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and MassDevelopment to support capital projects in the arts, humanities and sciences that create jobs, educate adults, and improve the quality of life in cities and towns across the state.

Guidelines for both capital grants and planning grants are now available. Visit for the new guidelines, application deadlines, and details on public information sessions that the MCC will host in communities across the state.

Albanian Folk Music Festival in northern Albania

Here's a great opportunity to hear some authentic Albanian folk music from a BBC broadcast of  a recent Music Festival in  northern Albania. It's worth listening to!!


Dear Members-

This music program :"Lucy Duran heads to the mountainous north of Albania to a folk festival in the remote town of Bajram Curri to hear musicians from across northern Albania and neighbouring Kosovo" is on radio 3 today. It has just come to our attention from Edit Pulaj. Please see the email from Edit Pulaj below who explains about it how to see the pictures.

"Dear Friends

The 3rd Albanian Music Program  i worked on will broadcast from London to the World this Sunday. Another party in it's honor ,more dancing and  Raki planned  from this end and you will certainly be missed  . i  wish you could all be here,however tune in on Sunday 10pm  or listen online if you can,drag down the page on the link to see the pictures and I'm sure you will feel  part of our amazing journey . This episode (i just listen to it) i particularly like  as North Albania was as a discovery to me as to a foreign ear or eye must be.  I hope  you'll enjoy too.

coming up .Episode 3 -North Albania

Friday, February 10, 2012

BRAVO! to the Albanian-Lawyers Association for its active role in sponsoring the important event described below!
Trafficking Speaking Event
Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 8:04 pm
Hi everyone,

I wanted to let you all know about a great event that Suffolk Law's Albanian American Law Society and two other student organizations are putting on next week. The event will be held Thursday, February 16 at 6pm and will consist of a speakers panel of a couple fascinating speakers. 
Attached please find the flyer for the event and the list of speakers. If you can make it, I hope to see you all there, whether you are interested in the event or just out of support for AALS. 

Very best,
Alyssa Tochka

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pope Clement XI and the Albani Family

The Arberesh: the Christian Albanian emigration to Italy

Year CXLI - N 139 (42.777), Vatican City,Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Part Two

Pope Clement XI and the Albani Family

The ongoing objective of Clement XI (Gian Francesco Albani, b. 1649, 1700-21) to unify Christianity had significant results in Albania where the Catholic and Orthodox churches were united for a period of time. Clement XI, after becoming aware of his Albanian origins, became very interested in the political and religious rebirth of his fatherland. During this period the "First Albanian National Council" (1703) took place which decisively proclaimed clerical guidelines relative to dogmatic, moral, canon and pastoral questions. Meanwhile there was good news even for the orthodox church. After a first attempt to arrive at some sort of unification did not work, a second attempt was made to establish archbishoprics in Ocrida and Skopje. From 1628, a mission of Byzantine rite had already taken hold in Himara. In the 18th century in the northeastern and central areas of Albania appeared the phenomena of crypto-Christianity, which is present even in our time (in particular during the Enverist period). Among those who embraced Islam, many preferred the sect that was the most heterodox and closer to Christianity - the Bektashi.

The Albani family was founded by two Albanian brothers, George and Fillip of Michele deí Lazi, previously fighters under Skenderbeg. They found refuge in Urbino, where Federico and Guidobaldo from Montefeltro entrusted them with diplomatic matters during wartime. They took the last name"Albanesi" that Altobello (1445-1564) son of George, changed to "Albani." The Albani family, besides Clement XI, produced other illustrious personages -- cardinals, diplomats, and important statesmen: Giovanni Girolamo, (1509-91), cardinal, vice commander of armed forces of the Serenissima Republic, in two conclaves candidate in Soglio di Pietro, stereograph and personal judicial consultant of Gregorio XIII (1572-85) and Sisto V (1585-90); Orazio (1576-1653): diplomat, appointed senator of Rome by Urbano VIII (1623-44); Anibale (1682-1751): canon of St. Peter, president of the Apostolic Council, secretary of Memoriali, cardinal (1711) and extraordinary diplomatic representative in Vienna, where he worked for the ratification of the election of Emperor Carlo VI (1711-40), representative of St. Romana church, arch-priest in Vatican Basilica, bishop of Sabina and then of Porto and Santa Rufina, vice doyen at the Sacred College; Alessandro (1692-1779); at the age of fifteen colonel of the armed pontificate who gave up a military career, secretary of Memoriali, correspondent in Vienna, cardinal (1721), librarian in St. Romana church, Austrian ambassador in Rome, protector of the Sardinian kingdom, protector and friend of Winckelmann, constructor of the Albani Villa, and an extraordinary patron; Gian Francesco (1720-1803) cardinal (1753), protector of Polish Affairs, participated in the negotiation with Caterina II (1762-93) to regulate the situation of Catholics in Russia, bishop of Sabina then of Porto and Santa Rufina until in 1775 when he became doyen of the Sacred College, bishop in Ostia and Valletri, defender of the Pontific State against the French revolution and supporter of the election of Clement XIII (1758-1769) and Pius VII (1800-23); Giuseppe (1750-1834): representative of the counsel of Pius VI (1755-99), was sent to Vienna to get the blessed strip for the baptism of archbishop Ferdinando who afterwards became Emperor (1833-48), cardinal (1801), protector of the Austrian Empire, pre-secretary of Brevi and the League of Bologna, Secretary of State for Pius VIII (1829-30), librarian in Santa Romana church, bishop of Urbino and legate of Pesaro and Urbino. In 1852 the family tree was extended with Filippo. In the East, we find another great Albanian family of royal vizirs of the Ottoman Empire, contemporaries of the Albani in XVII-XVIII century: the Kepryly (Koprulu).

Even before Clement XI, we find there were three other pontiffs of Albanian origin: Saint Eleutherius, (175-189), Saint Caius, (283-296) and John IV (640-642). 


General Yearbook of the Italian towns and villages. ICI Milan, 1980; (Pontific Yearbookî, Editorial Libraries, Vatican City, 1999, p. 1161; Giuseppe Castellani (dir), History of Religion, UTET, Turin, 1971, 6th ed, vol. IV, p. 645; Catholic Encyclopedia, Vatican City, 1948, vol. 1, pp. 636-50, Italian Encyclopedia, Rome 1949, vol. II, p. 92; Vincenzo Fucci, On the Origins of Albanians of St. Giorgio Lucano, "Basillicata Region ñ News", Potenza, n. 1, 1996, p. 79-84 Hubert Jedin (dir), History of the Church, Juca Book, Milan, 1993, 2nd ed, vol. IX, P. 445-6, Allan Kruja, Kosovo, The Survival of a People, The right historic causes of a conflict, Illiria Edition, Rimini, 2000, 2nd ed, p. 52-4, ìLibertyî, Piacenza, August 22, 1990; Angelo Masci, discussions on Albanians of the Naples kingdom (1807) Marco Lungro, 1990; Mona, Pelzer (dirr), Ecclesiastical Dictionary, UTET, Turin, 1953, vol 1, p. 76; Bruno Pancini, A minority of Albanian origins in the province of Piacenza? Credible research conducted at the end of 400 or at the beginning of 500 shed light on the settlement of two family trees: the Toscs and the Albanians, "Albanian Reality", Rome I (1990), n. 1 April, p. 23-4; Ivana Tanga, The story of the Albanian community in Ivi, Italy. p. 24.

Frosina thanks Franka Misho for her translation from the original Italian into English

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Charles Dickens was born 200 years ago today, so to celebrate the birth of my favorite author, below are quotes from some of his books. Enjoy!

  • Bleak House
    "Think! I’ve got enough to do, and little enough to get for it, without thinking."
  • David Copperfield
    I am well aware that I am the 'umblest person going… let the other be where he may.
  • Oliver Twist
    There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.
  • A Christmas Carol, Stave I
    Secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.
  • Bleak House
    A word in earnest is as good as a speech.
  • Dombey and Son
    But what was a girl to Dombey and Son! In the capital of the House's name and dignity, such a child was merely a piece of base coin that couldn't be invested -- a bad Boy -- nothing more.
  • David Copperfield
    "When a man says he's willin'," said Mr. Barkis, "it's as much as to say, that man's a-waitin' for a answer."
  • Bleak House
    It's my girl that advises. She has the head. But I never own to it before her. Discipline must be maintained.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Massachusetts Cultural Council !!

All those Albanian artists and others out there should check out ARTIST NEWS, A Periodic eNewsletter from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, by getting on the mailing list of to get the latest news about Drawing, Painting, and Traditional Arts. Learn about grants, classes, competitions and other interesting 'artsy-craftsy' news!

Truly excellent primer on learning some Albanian!

From: Tedja Kokoneshi <>
Date: 2012/2/4
Subject: [Komiteti Prinderve] Loje per klasen e pare (e padetyruar)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Worth Exploring: check out

JVS’ Bridges to College will begin its new cycle on Monday Jan. 23. 

We are still trying to fill a few more seats in both morning and evening classes with qualified, motivated students. Requirements: 18+ High school diploma or GED Documented U.S. resident Immigrants must have high English level to function in classes with native speakers of English Commitment to enroll in college in 2012 See the attached flyer for remaining testing/information sessions and encourage students/clients to apply. After these dates, there will be no more of these sessions until the spring. 

Please contact Richard Goldberg if you have any questions.
Richard Goldberg Director,
Bridges to College 
29 Winter Street, 3rd Floor 
Boston, MA 02108 
(Direct Line) 617-399-3244 (Fax) 617-542-3992

Music Falls Silent in Kosova's Schools

I was a bit dismayed to read this important posting on BIRN ( about the poor condition of music schools in Kosova and would be willing to serve on a committee to help raise funds and, especially, musical instruments, for Kosova's schools.

Please help if you can!

Van Christo 


Music Falls Silent in Kosovo’s Schools Chronic shortages of cash and instruments have left Kosovo’s few dedicated music schools in a semi-ruined state, while music classes of any type at all in many ordinary schools are just a memory. Besiana Xharra BIRN Pristina Primary schools in Kosovo have a legal requirement to provide music lessons to pupils, but a chronic lack of space and equipment means that most of these lessons involve nothing more practical than reading a textbook. In Pristina municipality, 90 per cent of primary schools teach pupils without a dedicated music room and without musical instruments. Even specialist music students, according to our research, are taught in buildings with little equipment and in poor condition.

Professor Ahmet Derguti, who teaches singing in Pristina, said lack of investment in music in schools was stunting the development of musical talent in Kosovo.“Starting from the primary schools up to the top, music schools are in a terrible condition,” he said. “Classes take place in facilities that do not have even the most basic conditions for work and which have received no investment for decades.“This situation will remain as it is while we have leaders who do not value art or know what music is,” he added. “All they know is how to get rich.” Smashes windows in elite academy: Built after the Second World War, the Prenk Jakova Music School in Pristina started life as a carpet factory, then was used as a hospital, and today is the capital’s only professional, publicly funded music school. Despite that, it has a chronic lack of facilities. 

Some 550 students of secondary school age are taught by 70 professors in rooms with smashed windows, broken floorboards and no insulation. Teachers and students have pleaded with the Municipality of Pristina and with the Ministry of Education for funds, but have yet to see any cash. “We made requests, we have protested, we have tried all options, but we have not managed to convince Pristina to invest,” former school director Elizabeta Musliu said. M.K, a professor at the school who asked not to be named, said they had received promises from the Ministry of Education to build a new school this year, but says this “remains just a hope, until we see the project realised”. The situation is no better for music lessons in the city’s primary schools where some 90 per cent lack dedicated music rooms. “Even schools that once had music rooms, in the absence of space in recent years have turned them into common classrooms,” 

Muhamet Gashi, spokesperson at Pristina municipality, said.“It has been calculated that around 90 per cent of elementary schools have no music rooms,” he added. “We know this is not okay, but schools are lacking other rooms too, and not only for music,” he continued. The Faik Konica elementary school, one of the most popular schools in Pristina, is one of the few to have such a space. It even has a piano.But no other instruments are available for pupils even here, so most of the tuition takes place through textbooks.“We only have a piano; as for other instruments, the students just learn the theory,” the deputy director of school,

Arsim Gashi, said. “But we hope that with a help of Ministry of Education, or through a donation in future, we will be supplied with other instruments.” Problems across Kosovo: Kosovo has a total of only six professional music schools and conditions in all but one of them are just as poor as they are in Pristina.Nexhat Cocaj, director of education in Prizren municipality, said that the city’s Lorenc Antoni professional music school, which has 150 students, lacks decent facilities.“There is no equipment, the building is old, there is no space – they don’t have even basic conditions,” he said. As for the presence of dedicated music rooms in primary schools, he believes the situation in the city is “alarming”. In Gjilan, Gezim Pirraj, a professor at the town’s professional music school, said their conditions were also poor. Mitrovica’s director of education told Balkan Insight that there were virtually no dedicated music rooms in this northern town.“I can say that hardly any elementary schools in Mitrovica have music rooms,” 

Ali Bejta said. Gjakova hits right note: While just three primary schools in the western town of Gjakova have dedicated rooms, the town’s one professional music school is well equipped following major investment.After 40 years of neglect, the Prenk Jakova school received a major facelift from the Ministry of Education with the help from Swiss funds in 2010. The school has produced some internationally well-known musician, some of whom have played with the Vienna Philharmonic, such as Shkelzen Doli and Rrauf Dhomi.“We are the only school in Kosovo to have a music building that offers all the necessary features,” the director, Astrit Pallaska, said.The school covers 1,420 square meters, has nine classrooms, a room for listening to music and a concert hall with 270 seats.

Ragip Gjoshi, spokesperson at the Ministry of Education, said that in their 2012 budget they come up with funds to construct a new facility for the Prenk Jakova school in Pristina, but there was no money as yet for any equipment.He said around 120,000 euro has been allocated for the building, and they were now looking for a site in the municipality for the new school.But this sum is well below the amount dedicated to its counterpart in Gjakova, which received 1 million euro. Gjoshi said that they would consider co-financing with Pristina municipality or were looking for donor funds to make up the rest.“Besides this investment, there were none [in musical education] during 2012,” Gjoshi said. 

As for the lack of music rooms in primary schools in Kosovo, he said that professors have to “compensate for the lack of rooms, as almost every school in Kosovo possesses at least one musical instrument through which music teachers can teach lessons in class”. Better back in the 1970s: Professor Derguti, a singing teacher in Prishtina, disagrees with this assessment. He says very few instruments of any type are available in schools. “Music, schools and opera indicate a civilized state, and every emancipated state invests in this direction, except Kosovo,” he said.“Music in Kosovo is the last thing that our institutions deal with. Kosovo is the only country in the region that does not have even an opera house,” 

Derguti said.“Conditions in Kosovo for students learn are so tough that I deeply regret that talented students here don’t have the opportunity to be educated properly,” he added. Derguti recalled that matters were better in the 1970s when Kosovo was part of Yugoslavia and when he studied in Belgrade.“At that time, Yugoslavia invested in this field. Although the music schools were in Serbian, Albanians were able to study there and the staff at that time were of a high standard.” He said that each municipality then provided scholarships to good students, which is how he was able to study in Belgrade, and completed a master degree in Sarajevo. He was the first Kosovo Albanian professor of music with a masters degree, he noted.

The situation had deteriorated markedly in the 1990s under the grim regime of Slobodan Milosevic, and has yet to recover.“Politics destroys everything, like music and many other fields,” he said. “From the time that Milosevic took away Kosovo’s autonomy in 1989 and destroyed the school system, removing Albanians from jobs, the professors had to hold classes in their own homes,” he recalled.“I taught students in my apartment for six years. This situation continued for 10 years until the war began in 1998,” he said.“But since we returned after the war in Kosovo, the teaching has continued in difficult conditions.” While schools received funding, he said, music did not. “Music has remained the same as before the war, stuck in the worst buildings which don’t offer basic conditions.“This situation will not change until our leaders are changed for other leaders who know what culture, art, music and opera are,” he concluded. 

This article is funded under the BICCED project, supported by the Swiss Cultural Programme.