Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Here are some good words about Frosina from Boston's Mayor Tom Menino. Click on the image to read the text:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Boston: Kosova oil painting for sale?

As I recently walked by the display window of a  Boylston Street shoppe called Bartevian in Boston, I couldn't help but notice an oil-painting on display for sale. It instantly reminded me of mountain scene in Kosova showing a typical wooden/stone house situated before three  looming, beautiful  white mountains. I went inside the shop and asked Pat, the owner, about the possible locale of the painting who informed me that she believed it was a scene in the Swiss Alps.

What aroused my curiosity, however, was what I perceived to be the top portion  of a tall Muslim minaret behind the house making me believe that I was possibly looking at a Kosova locale. So, as long as the painting is still on display, perhaps some person in the Boston Common area  can also view the oil painting in the window to determine if it represents a Kosova scene or not. The shop is located next to the Steinway Piano Building in Boston at the address below.  However, ask for PAT to make sure the painting ($300) is still on display.

160 Boylston Street
Boston. MA 02116
Tel: 617 423-0266

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

BOSTON: Two younsters from Albania need medical $$.

Dear Friends,

We would like to introduce you to two little heroes, Daria, a 5-year old girl from Korca, Albania and Gentian, a 14-year old boy from Peja, Kosova. The stories of Gentian and Daria are unusual. They did not travel to Boston to visit family or friends. Dana Farber Hospital has been their residence since they landed in Boston. Despite their young age, they are both currently engaged in fighting an unfair battle against cancer.

Gentian's and Daria's parents are not allowed to work in the US and the expensive cost of life in Boston is draining their financial resources. Therefore, MAASBESA is starting a fundraising campaign to help the children and their families. We are conscious, however, that we cannot do this alone. WE NEED YOUR HELP and here is how you can help:
  1. Visit to learn more about their stories and to make a donation online
  2. Spread the word by sharing this fundraising campaign everywhere you can: familiy, friends, work, facebook, email, twitter, linkedin, etc
  3. Join us on a Picnic Fundraising Event on April 29th, 2012 at Blue Hills Park in Milton: hiking, picnic, games, music and food for an unforgettable experience and a noble cause. Suggested donation is $10 per person or $30 per family. All proceeds will be distributed to Daria and Gentian's families. For more information, please visit
In times of need, communities stick together. We Albanians are often regarded as generous and close to each other when death strikes. Let's be even more generous and close as a community in sustaining LIFE! For in times of peace kids should outlive their parents, never the other way around!!!!

Wishing you a good health,


A Frosina Infobit      _______________________________________________________________________________________


In 1918, disaffected Kosova Albanians, who had rallied around Hasan Prishtina, formed a "Committee for the National Defence of Kosova" in Shkodra (in northern Albania – ED), their main demand being the reunification of Albanian lands.  A general revolt started, known as the Kaçak (outlaw) movement, led by Azem Betja-Galica against the incorporation of Kosova into the newly proclaimed 'kingdom of Serbia, Croats, and Slovenes' otherwise known as the first Yugoslavia. The Committee issued strict guidelines to the Kaçak fighters, urging insurgents not to harm local Slavs, burn houses or churches, or mistreat victims -- instructions which were in stark contrast to Serbian activities in Kosova.  

The movement enjoyed considerable support from Albania, especially after 1920 when three well-known Kosovar Albanians became senior officials in Albania's government -- Hasan Prishtina, a member of parliament, Hoxhe Kadriu, Minister of Justice, and Bajram Curri, Minister of War.  The key task for Belgrade, therefore, was to destabilize Albania, and an effort was made to this end, with the encouragement of the Catholic areas in Mirdita, north-east of Tirana, to proclaim an independent republic -- something that the Montenegrins had several times attempted in the past, with some success.  But the new interior minister, Ahmet Zogu, managed to route the Mirdita rebels, who returned with Yugoslav forces to take some territory in northern Albania.

The Kaçak movement began to suffer, mostly as a result of politics inside Albania.  The Kosova leaders fell out with Zog, and Prishtina, who briefly became Albania's prime minister, tried to dismiss him, but this ended in street fighting between the rivals' supporters.  Zog became prime minister on 2 December 1922. His squabbles with the Kosova leaders had turned him into a fierce opponent of the Kaçak rebellion, and of Kosova in particular; hence the end of Albania's short-lived support of Kosova.  Zog sentenced the Kaçak leader, Betja, and Prishtina to death in absentia and had Prishtina assassinated in 1933.  Betja died after being wounded in 1924. And the  Kaçak movement withered away afterwards.

Two years after coming to power, Zog experienced the first and only significant challenge to his authority when he was forced out of office by a liberal coalition led by Bishop Fan Noli and supported by Bajram Curri.  Zog retreated to Yugoslavia where he was supplied with money andmen and returned to stage a coup six months later.  From then onwards, he became a virtual vassal of the Serbs, and the question of Kosova was buried.  However, his Serbian vassalage did not last long and Zog's government and chances of survival were to remain subject to the whims of Italy and Yugoslavia.  When, in 1928, Zog proclaimed himself King Zog I, transforming the country into a monarchy, political pragmatism had led him to abandon the Serbs in favor of Italian promises of economic assistance.  With Italian blessing, Zog proceeded to style himself 'King of the Albanians'.  The title infuriated Belgrade as it signalled territorial claims to Kosova and other Albanian-inhabited lands in Yugoslavia although Zog displayed no intention of planning any such thing.

The plight of the Albanians annexed into the first Yugoslavia worsened when a Belgrade programme aimed at changing the ethnic composition of Kosova and Macedonia had begun after the Balkan wars, pursuant to the 'Decree on the Settlement of Newly Liberated and Annexed Regions of the Kingdom of Serbia' of 20 February 1914.  However, its implementation had been interrupted by the start of hostilities. When the war ended, the agrarian reform began, culminating  in decrees passed in 1931 aimed at forcing Albanians out of their lands, with, among other things, new regulations requiring all land to pass into state property unless the owner could produce Yugoslav title-deeds -- something few Albanians had been issued with. 

A fuller platform for the colonization of Kosova was worked out by Vaso Cubrilovic in 1937 in the form of a memorandum called 'The Expulsion of Arnauts' (old Turkish for 'Albanian'- ED).   Some of its draconian measures were implemented in the interwar period -- which coincided with the signing in 1938 of an agreement between the Yugoslav and Turkish governments on the deportation to Turkey of huge numbers of Albanians.  But the Italian occupation of Albania in April 1939 and the onset of World War II subjected the country and its people to a different kind of fate.

 PP 18-20, "The Myth of Greater Albania"  by Paulin Kola, New York University Press, 2003

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

About the Massachusetts Cultural Council

The Massachusetts Cultural Council is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences, to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities. The Council pursues this mission through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. With state funding, an annual state partnership grant from the National Endowment from the Arts, and funds from Bank of America, MCC’s total fiscal year 2012 budget is $10.8 million.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Longfellow describes Scanderbeg in a famous Poem

Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The following poem about Scanderbeg can be found in Longfellow's poem "Tales of a Wayside Inn"


The battle is fought and won

By King Ladislaus the Hun,
In fire of hell and death's frost,
On the day of Pentecost.
And in rout before his path
From the field of battle red
Flee all that are not dead
Of the army of Amurath.

In the darkness of the night

Iskander, the pride and boast
Of that mighty Othman host,
With his routed Turks, takes flight
>From the battle fought and lost
On the day of Pentecost;
Leaving behind him dead
The army of Amurath,
The vanguard as it led,
The rearguard as it fled,
Mown down in the bloody swath
Of the battle's aftermath.

But he cared not for Hospodars,

Nor for Baron or Voivode,
As on through the night he rode
And gazed at the fateful stars,
That were shining overhead
But smote his steed with his staff,
And smiled to himself, and said;
"This is the time to laugh."

In the middle of the night,

In a halt of the hurrying flight,
There came a Scribe of the King
Wearing his signet ring,
And said in a voice severe:
"This is the first dark blot
On thy name, George Castriot!
Alas why art thou here,
And the army of Amurath slain,
And left on the battle plain?"

And Iskander answered and said:

"They lie on the bloody sod
By the hoofs of horses trod;
But this was the decree
Of the watchers overhead;
For the war belongeth to God,
And in battle who are we,
Who are we, that shall withstand
The wind of his lifted hand?"

Then he bade them bind with chains

This man of books and brains;
And the Scribe said: "What misdeed
Have I done, that, without need,
Thou doest to me this thing?"
And Iskander answering
Said unto him: "Not one
Misdeed to me hast thou done;
But for fear that thou shouldst run
And hide thyself from me,
Have I done this unto thee.

"Now write me a writing, O Scribe,

And a blessing be on thy tribe!
A writing sealed with thy ring,
To King Amurath's Pasha
In the city of Croia,
The city moated and walled,
That he surrender the same
In the name of my master, the King;
For what is writ in his name
Can never be recalled."

And the Scribe bowed low in dread,

And unto Iskander said:
"Allah is great and just,
But we are as ashes and dust;
How shall I do this thing,
When I know that my guilty head
Will be forfeit to the King?"

Then swift as a shooting star

The curved and shining blade
Of Iskander's scimetar
>From its sheath, with jewels bright,
Shot, as he thundered: "Write!"
And the trembling Scribe obeyed,
And wrote in the fitful glare
Of the bivouac fire apart,
With the chill of the midnight air
On his forehead white and bare,
And the chill of death in his heart.

Then again Iskander cried:

"Now follow whither I ride,
For here thou must not stay.
Thou shalt be as my dearest friend,
And honors without end
Shall surround thee on every side,
And attend thee night and day."
But the sullen Scribe replied
"Our pathways here divide;
Mine leadeth not thy way."

And even as he spoke

Fell a sudden scimetar-stroke,
When no one else was near;
And the Scribe sank to the ground,
As a stone, pushed from the brink
Of a black pool, might sink
With a sob and disappear;
And no one saw the deed;
And in the stillness around
No sound was heard but the sound
Of the hoofs of Iskander's steed,
As forward he sprang with a bound.

Then onward he rode and afar,

With scarce three hundred men,
Through river and forest and fen,
O'er the mountains of Argentar;
And his heart was merry within,
When he crossed the river Drin,
And saw in the gleam of the morn
The White Castle Ak-Hissar,
The city Croia called,
The city moated and walled,
The city where he was born,--
And above it the morning star.

Then his trumpeters in the van

On their silver bugles blew,
And in crowds about him ran
Albanian and Turkoman,
That the sound together drew.
And he feasted with his friends,
And when they were warm with wine,
He said: "O friends of mine,
Behold what fortune sends,
And what the fates design!
King Amurath commands
That my father's wide domain,
This city and all its lands,
Shall be given to me again."

Then to the Castle White

He rode in regal state,
And entered in at the gate
In all his arms bedight,
And gave to the Pasha
Who ruled in Croia
The writing of the King,
Sealed with his signet ring.
And the Pasha bowed his head,
And after a silence said:
"Allah is just and great!
I yield to the will divine,
The city and lands are thine;
Who shall contend with fate?"

Anon from the castle walls

The crescent banner falls,
And the crowd beholds instead,
Like a portent in the sky,
Iskander's banner fly,
The Black Eagle with double head;
And a shout ascends on high,
For men's souls are tired of the Turks,
And their wicked ways and works,
That have made of Ak-Hissar
A city of the plague;
And the loud, exultant cry
That echoes wide and far
Is: "Long live Scanderbeg!"

It was thus Iskander came

Once more unto his own;
And the tidings, like the flame
Of a conflagration blown
By the winds of summer, ran,
Till the land was in a blaze,
And the cities far and near,
Sayeth Ben Joshua Ben Meir,
In his Book of the Words of the Days,
"Were taken as a man
Would take the tip of his ear."

 (Also visit The Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring 2012 Consumer Information Catalog

A Frosina Advisory        __________________________________________________________________________________________

SPRING 2012 Consumer Information Catalog
Free and low-cost information
Albanians and other newcomers to the USA should visit to read, download (pdf) and order useful publications online in the SPRING 2012 Consumer Information Catalog from the U.S. Government Printing Office. The Federal Citizen Information Center (FCIC) publishes the Consumer Information Catalog to deliver useful consumer information from federal agencies to the public.
The current SPRING 2012 Catalog lists useful information about, for example:
 “Your Social Security Number and Card 515X”, Free / “For Public Sale! Used Federal Government Property,”  ONLINE ONLY

“Job Dislocation: Managing the Financial Impact of Unexpected Job Loss,” 527X, Free,  “Work Changes Require Health Choices. Protect Your Rights”  520X, Free

“Smart Savings for College,” 598X, Free / “Catch the Spirit: A Student’s Guide to Comm8nity Services,” 501X, Free

“Understanding Vehicle Financing” 306W, $1.50 / "Buying a Used Car" 301W, $1.50  
/ “Buying a New Car” 302W, $1.50  
 “Health Scams” 576W, Free  / “Pap Tests” 612W, Free / “Diabetes Medicines” 596W, Free / “High Blood Pressure – Medicines to Help You” 559W, Free

 “A Guide for Seniors: Protect Yourself Against Investment Fraud” 577W, Free / “Get the Facts on Saving and Investing” 584W, Free / ”Consumer Guide to Financial Self-Defense” 580W, Free

 Find new publications. View reader comments. Download e-books. Order copies of many new titles. Check out Online-Only publications. Learn about special offers!
Over 100 booklets are free of charge (except for a $2.00 service fee* to accompany an order) with other costs beginning at 50 cents and up per booklet. Multiple copies of some free titles are available. Please call toll-free 1-719-948-2995 Monday-Friday 9-5 Eastern Time or for more information. 
*INTERNET:  Save the $2.00 service fee!  Check out where you can                      read, download (pdf) and order all publications online. No more phone or Fax orders.

Frosina Information Network | 162 Boylston St, / Boston, MA 02116 | Telephone: 617 / 482-2002 | Fax: 617 / 482-0014
Van Christo, Executive Director / Harold B. Dondis, Esq., Clerk and Legal Counsel
 email: / Website: / Blog:
Tirana Office: Vladimir L. Misha, Director / email:
Frosina is a Section 501 (3)(C) Non-Profit, Charitable, Tax Exempt Albanian Immigrant and Cultural Resource

Happy Easter! / Gëzuar Pashkët!

 Urime vëllezërve të mi të krishterë - Gëzuar Pashkët!
Urimet më të përzemërta me rastin e Festës së Pashkëve të gjithë shqiptarëve të besimit të Krishter.
Këto Pashkë le të ringjallin zemërgjerësinë, tolerancën, respektin dhe dashurin në mes njëri-tjetrit.

Gëzuar dhe për shumë mot Pashkët

Your Easter get out guide


Albanian National Child Helpline (ANCH)

In the Spirit of Easter, please see the attached from Altin Hazizaj who is the Executive Director of the Children's Human Rights Centre of Albania/Qendra per Mbrojtjen e te Drejtave te Femijeve ne Shqiperi (CRCA) --

I knew Altin when I lived and worked in Albania in the 1990s and he is a great guy and his sister (Aurela Pano) lives in Worcester.  He plans to be in Boston and Worcester for the last two weeks of April if any of you would like to meet him.

Anyway, I just want to encourage people to donate whatever they can to ALO 116 since it is obviously an important cause to promote children's rights, provide counseling, and protect against child abuse in Albania.  You can read more of the details on their work below and view a short video (3 minutes). For now, their objective is to raise $4,000 in additional support for their work in Albania.  

If you just want to give $10, you can do that via text -- Text GIVE 10312 to 80088 to donate $10 to ALO 116- Albania National Child Helpline (ANCH). 

You can also read more about ALO 116 here -- -- the top of the page is Albanian, scroll down for English if you prefer

Finally, it is a bit too early to judge, but perhaps MAASBESA will also explore ways to work together with the Children's Human Rights Centre of Albania on these issues and help to raise money in the future.

Please forward this email to others.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Albanian Recipe - Tave Kosi

A non-Albanian lady from Delaware, MD, phoned me last year where, after searching for an "unusual" recipe for a small dinner party that she was planning, she came across the "Albanian Recipes" listing at However, not knowing anything about Albanian food, she asked me if I would recommend a particular recipe since she wanted the dinner to be a complete surprise.

I immediately recommended "Tave Kosi" which is a favorite of mine but I urged her to try it out first. Then, if she liked it, she'd feel comfortable serving it. Well, a couple of weeks later, she phoned me again with many, many thanks saying the dinner was a BIG hit! that she planned on serving again soon.  

So, with the same advice that I gave that lady, try it first!


Albanian Recipe  

Baked Lamb and Yogurt (Tavë Kosi)
1-1/2 lbs lamb
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
2 tablespoons rice
Salt, pepper
Cut meat in 4 serving pieces, sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper, and bake in a moderately-heated oven with half the butter, sprinkling the meat with its gravy now and then. When meat is half-baked, add rice; remove the baking pan from the oven and set it aside while you prepare the yogurt sauce:

For Yogurt sauce

1 tablespoon flour
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
2 lbs. yogurt
5 eggs
Salt, pepper
Saute flour in butter until mixed thoroughly. Mix yogurt with salt, pepper and eggs until a uniform mixture is obtained, and finally stir in the flour. Put the sauce mixture in the baking pan; stir it with the meat pieces and bake at 375 degrees F for about 45 minutes.
Serve hot.
Serves 4 people

NOTE: This recipe appears in The Best of Albanian Cooking
           by Klementina  and R. John Hysa.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Early Albanian Documents

The earliest evidence of the existence of Albanian-language literature is a written statement by the French Dominican Father Brocardus, then Archbishop of Tivar. In a written report in Latin in 1332 he said, "Although the Arbërs (Albanians) have a language different from Latin, still they have Albanian letters in daily use, as well as in all their books." From this it becomes evident that the Albanian language was in common use and written with the Latin alphabet at least as early as the beginning of the fourteenth century.

Marin Barleti, the famous historian and biographer of Skanderbeg, wrote in his Latin work of 1504 entitled The Siege of Shkodra,  "I have recently gotten hold of certain annals -- fragments rather than annals -- which, based on the legend, speak about the reconstruction rather than the construction of this city. In them we read in the native language that a certain 'Roza and his sister were the founders of the city of Shkodra' ".   This famous legend of the Rozafat fortress written "in the native language" would have been written not in Latin, but in Albanian. Unfortunately, "all their books" have been lost, either because of the contemporary Stephen Dushan's determination to eradicate heretical Roman Catholicism from his Orthodox realm, or because of the Ottoman determination to eradicate all evidence of Albanian culture from their domain.

While most written documents in the Albanian language were lost forever, a few did survive outside the country in various archives and libraries. Thus, in 1915 the Romanian scholar Nicola Jorga discovered in the Laurentian Library of Florence a circular letter written in 1462 by Pal Engjëll (1416-1470), the Catholic Archbishop of Durrës. Engjëll enjoyed the trust and respect of all Albanians, was a close collaborator of Skanderbeg and frequently traveled abroad as Skanderbeg's envoy to secure the aid of allies against the Ottomans.

While Engjëll's text was in Latin, it contained a one-sentence formula in the Albanian language, which Albanian parents could pronounce in baptizing their dying children.  The early text reads, "Un te paghesont pr' emenit Atit e t'birit e t' spertit senit." This is quite similar to the present official Albanian which would be written, "Une të pagezoj për emrin e Atit e të Birit e të Shpirtit të Shenjtë" (I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit).

This brief sentence is the earliest text written in Albanian which has yet come to light. It was written in Mat, northern Albania, during the heroic resistance of the Albanian people against the onslaughts of the Ottoman armies.     PP 277-278, "THE ALBANIANS: An Ethnic History from Prehistoric Times to the Present" by Edwin E. Jacques, McFarland & Company, Inc., Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640, 1995

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The League of Prizren Lidhja e Prizrenit

A Frosina infobit

The League of Prizren (Kosova)  Lidhja e Prizrenit

There is scarcely a book about Albania that does not contain some reference to the League of Prizren (Lidhja e Prizrenit) in Kosova as occupying a very special place in Albanian history -- not only because of its influence outside of Albanian-speaking territories after the League was formed but also because of its effect on the international scene. In point of fact, it was thanks to the League of Prizren, alone, that the question of a separate Albanian nation was posed in worldwide diplomatic circles for the first time.
Why was the League of Prizren in Kosova formed, what were its aims, and what did it accomplish? Concisely stated, as a result of the Russian victory in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877, the Porte (Turkish government) was forced to accept the terms of the Treaty of San Stefano the following year which, among other things, deprived Turkey of some important, integral parts of Albania which was then part of the Ottoman Empire. It should be noted that for purposes of administration and control, Turkey had divided Albania, after its subjugation, into the four vilayets of Shkodra, Kosova, Manastir*, and Janina.  Great Britain, however, demanded that Russia submit the Treaty to a European convention of six Great Powers (Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Austro-Hungary, and Russia), and on June 14, 1878, the Congress of Berlin was convened to resolve the issue.
The League commissioned two prominent Albanians, Abdyl Frasheri and Mehmed Vrioni, to the Berlin Congress to ask for national recognition of Albania, but, there, Prince Bismark of Germany uttered his now-infamous statement that "there is no such thing as an Albanian nationality."  Bismark also urged the exclusion of the Albanian question from further deliberations. In due course, the Great Powers ordered that certain Albanian territories including Antivari, Plava, and Gusije be ceded to Montenengro. Yet, when Montenegrin armies attempted to occupy those Albanian territories, they were met with such fierce Albanian resistance that the Great Powers immediately changed their minds about ceding inland Albanian territory to Montenegro giving it, instead, the coastal town of Ulqin. But this territory was also defended heroically by the Albanians who were forced to give it up because of the threat of bombardment by the combined fleets of the Great Powers.
Eventually, the will of the Great Powers was to have its way, and what remained after they ceded major portions of the vilayets of Shkodra, Kosova, Manastir*, and Janina to, respectively, Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia, and Greece, is, essentially, the nation of Albania as it is known to this day.

*The name of the city of Manastir (after which that vilayet was named) was changed to Bitola after WWII.

Reprinted from the article entitled "The League of Prizren" by Van Christo, LIRIA, November/1992

Visit and punch in "infobits" for  little-known or unusual FACTS About Albania and the Albanians

Frosina Information Network | 162 Boylston St, / Boston, MA 02116 | Telephone: 617 / 482-2002 | Fax: 617 / 482-0014
 E-Mail: / Website: / Blog:
Tirana Office: Vladimir L. Misha, Director / E-Mail: