Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jane Christo inducted into Mass. Broadcasters Hall of Fame

I'm extremely proud that my wife, Jane Christo - a true friend of the Albanians - will be inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in September, 2012.

Here's the link announcing that good news: 

The Honorees:

Jane's BIO:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Try Our Distance Learning classes on the internet!

What is a class on the internet?

You do class work on the internet from a computer anytime convenient for you.
You communicate with the teacher by phone, webcam or email.


- Boston Residents with Basic to Intermediate English
- Be able to study on a computer at least 5 hours a week 

To sign up, Please email:  Diana Satin /
Or call:  Vicky Ge /617 426-9492, Ext. 251

Asian American Civic Association

Monday, July 23, 2012

About Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau Spends Night in Jail

I 1846, Henry David Thoreau left his cabin at Walden Pond for a brief walk into town and ended up in the Concord jail for refusing to pay his poll tax. A fervent abolitionist, Thoreau explained, "I cannot for an instant recognize . . . as my government [that] which is the slave's government also." The next morning, he learned that someone had paid the tax. He never knew who. Although Thoreau objected, the constable insisted on releasing him. This experience led him to write a powerful lecture on the "relation of the individual to the State." The lecture was published in 1849 as "Resistance to Civil Government," and is now known as "Civil Disobedience." This masterful essay has influenced generations of activists, including Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Henry David Thoreau was on an errand in town when he encountered Sam Staples, the Concord constable, tax collector, and jailer. Staples took the opportunity to ask Thoreau to pay his back taxes. The independent-minded, highly principled naturalist refused, and Staples politely escorted him to jail.
"The best place for each is where he stands," Thoreau once wrote. When he found himself incarcerated, he took full advantage of the new experience. Fascinated, he "pumped" his cellmate for "the history of the various occupants of that room [and] found that even here there was a history and a gossip which never circulated beyond the walls of the jail." The next morning, his fellow-prisoner was sent "to work at haying in a neighboring field," while Thoreau was told he must leave the jail.

It was not the brevity of his stay that angered him but the interference with his act of conscience and the fuss it caused. For the past six years, he had refused to pay the poll tax (imposed on all males 20 to 70 years old) to protest the institution of slavery. To his great annoyance during his short stay in jail, someone paid it for him.
His mother and sisters were active in the Women's Anti-Slavery Society of Concord, founded in 1837, and he had long been involved in the anti-slavery movement, but he preferred to protest through individual action. His family sheltered a number of fugitive slaves, and he would escort them to the next safe house or to an out-of-the-way train station. He delivered powerful lectures against slavery. And he withheld his taxes.

As he later wrote in "Civil Disobedience," he believed "it is not a man's duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and . . . not to give it practically his support."
Henry David Thoreau always had "other concerns to engage him." Born in Concord on July 12, 1817, he attended school there, and except for short trips, primarily in New England, rarely left the town he described as "the most estimable place in all the world." After graduating from Harvard in 1837, he taught school for three years and then joined his father at the family pencil factory.

Exceptionally practical and resourceful, Thoreau improved pencil lead by baking the graphite mixture into cylinders and invented a machine that drilled a hole in the wood so the lead cylinder could simply be slipped in. John Thoreau & Company pencils were considered the best on the market. But once Henry had mastered the problem, he moved on. Life, he declared, "is too valuable to put into lead-pencils."

Having never married, Henry Thoreau could choose not "to keep pace with his companions," and, indeed, he heeded "a different drummer." He kept his needs simple. Other than a rowboat and his books, he owned almost nothing. He boarded mostly with his family, and on several occasions, with the Emersons. When he ran out of money, he took a paid job until he was flush again. He could always find work as a surveyor, and he was a skilled carpenter. "He chose to be rich," wrote his friend Emerson, "by making his wants few and supplying them himself."

On July 4, 1845, Thoreau moved into the one-room cabin he had built on land Emerson owned on the shores of Walden Pond. "I went to the woods," he wrote, "because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

In the months that followed, he worked in his two-and-a-half-acre vegetable garden, rowed his boat, and observed the smallest details of nature around him. He read, walked, and wrote A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers and the first of seven drafts of Walden. He received visitors often and was himself a frequent dinner guest at his parents' or friends' homes. Besides his one-night stay in jail, his time at Walden was interrupted by a trip north into the Maine forests.

Then two years, two months, and two days after he had moved to Walden, Thoreau "left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one."

Walden, or, Life in the Woods was published on August 9, 1854. Unlike his first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, which sold poorly, sales of Walden were strong from the start. With the exception of a three-year period (1859-1862), the book has never been out of print. It has been translated into almost every language and has sold tens of millions of copies.

Henry David Thoreau was an original thinker and a gifted writer, who produced an extraordinary body of work — journals, essays, poetry, and books. He was also a magnificent naturalist. Taking a walk with him, Emerson remembered, was like walking with an encyclopedia. Thoreau recognized every animal track, every wildflower, and every bird call. He died of tuberculosis in 1862 at the age of 44 and is buried on Authors' Ridge at Concord's Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

The Cambridge Companion to Henry David Thoreau,ed. by Joel Myerson (Cambridge University Press, 1995).
Concord: Stories to Be Told, by Liz Nelson (Commonwealth Editions, 2002).
The Days of Henry Thoreau: A Biography, by Walter Harding (Princeton University Press, 1982).
The Writings of Henry David Thoreau with Biographical Sketch, by Ralph Waldo Emerson (Houghton

Lakrori e Birra Korça from The Balkan Web

23 Korrik 2012 - 09:49 | Shqiperi

Lakrori e Birra Korça 'harbojnë' turistët
Lakrori e Birra Korça KORCE- Sezoni turistik i verës në qytetin e Korçës ka vijuar me festën e lakrorit duke tërhequr vëmendjen e qindra turistëve. Për të pestin vit me radhë festa e lakrorit me dy petë dhe e pjekur në saç është zhvilluar në Korçë për të ekspozuar traditën e hershme të qytetit juglindor, ndërsa e ka kthyer Korçën në një arenë të madhe festive. Kështu, mbrëmja e së shtunës, e nisur pikërisht në orën 19:00, mblodhi në ambientet e parkut "Rinia" të qytetit të Korçës qindra banorë, vizitorë, por edhe turistë të huaj.

Amvisat korçare, por edhe ato të ardhura nga fshatrat Polenë, Dardhë dhe Boboshticë, mes zjarreve, shkarpave dhe tavolinave të improvizuara, gatuan në park mes gjelbërimit dhe freskisë lakrorë me dy petë, duke i pjekur më pas në saç. Ndërkaq qindra qytetarë dhe turistë kanë shijuar këtë festë deri në detaj, jo vetëm duke shijuar lakrorin e famshëm korçar, por edhe duke shijuar Birra "Korça" deri në orët e para të mëngjesit. Një kombinim që i ka lënë tejet të kënaqur turistët, të cilët kanë konsumuar litra pafund të birrës së njohur të këtij qyteti dhe të gjithë Shqipërisë. Më shumë se 300 lakrorë u përgatitën dhe u poqën mbrëmjen e së shtunës dhe më pas u tregtuan për personat e pranishëm në këtë festë. "Ne e kemi traditë gatimin e lakrorit me dy petë, njihet gjithandej lakrori ynë i pjekur në saç, - thotë Mirjeta Braçe, një prej amvisave korçare, - është traditë e jona që e përcjellim brez pas brezi. Kjo festë na ka mbledhur këtu për të gatuar lakror në natyrë. Secila nga ne gatuan më shumë se 50 lakrorë me dy petë dhe sinqerisht këtë vit është preferuar shumë nga turistët", - shton ajo.

Lakrori me dy petë, i pjekur në saç, ekspozon traditën e hershme të qytetit të Korçës dhe rrethinave të tij si Boboshtica, Dardha etj. Festa më e veçantë e organizuar në këtë qytet ka vijuar deri në orët e vona të natës nën shoqërinë e lakrorëve të pjekur në saç, freskisë së pyllit, serenatave korçare dhe shijes së Birra "Korça". Kjo festë vjen si një paketë e Bashkisë së Korçës për të ofruar ditë të gëzueshme, jo vetëm për banorët e këtij qyteti, por edhe për turistët e huaj. Por, kulmi i aktiviteteve festive në këtë qytet pritet të arrihet në mes të muajit Gusht me festën gjigande të Birrës "Korça".

TURISTËT "Është një festë shumë e veçantë në fakt unë këtu isha për pushime, por më vjen mirë që u provova dhe lakrorin korçar, - thotë Ana Timo, një prej turisteve. "Gjithçka është organizuar mirë, duke nisur nga tavolinat e improvizuara, muzika që të shoqëron vetëm serenatë e gjithashtu freskia e pyllit na pëlqen shumë. Është interesante edhe fakti i gatimit të amvisave korçare, pasi ato kanë zhvendosur traditën e tyre në pyll, gatuajnë lakror për gjithë qytetit dhe për ne turistët. Urime për organizimin, megjithëse kemi dëgjuar që Korça është qytet i festave. Do doja shumë të shijoja edhe festën e "Birrës Korça", pasi kam qenë vjet dhe kam kaluar net të paharru-eshme. Natyrisht janë festa që vetëm Korça di t'i organizojë", - shprehet më tej ajo.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

NYC: An Albanian, Ken Biberaj, running for City Council

The restaurant industry is rallying behind one of its own to be elected to City Council in 2013.
Ken Biberaj, a vice president at The Russian Tea Room, who is running for Councilwoman Gale Brewer's seat on the Upper West Side, raised more than $20,000 from over 35 donors who are involved in the restaurant business. Ms. Brewer is prevented from running for her seat next year by term limits.
The industry's support represents more than 15% of the amount Mr. Biberaj has raised in the four and a half months since he announced his candidacy. In fact, Mr. Biberaj is among just a handful of candidates who has completed his fundraising efforts, reaching $130,000 last weekthe amount needed for public matching funds.

Among his supporters are Marc Murphy, chef and co-owner of Landmarc and Ditch Plains, Stephen Hanson, president of B.R. Guest Hospitality and Tracy Nieporent, a partner in Myriad Restaurant Group.

"Ken is a small business man so he understands what we go through on a broad range of issues in operating our restaurants," said Mr. Nieporent. "I think he'll be a good voice on the council."
Mr. Biberaj is also a member of NYC & Company's restaurant committee, of which Mr. Nieporent is chairman.

Mr. Biberaj, whose donation filings were just posted on the New York City Campaign Finance Board web site, is of Albanian descent. That helped him draw support from the Albanian culinary community, including Sergio Zherka, of Acappella Restaurant, who donated $500, and Shaban "Ben" Sinanaj, of Ben & Jack's Steak House, who gave $2,000.

"There has never been an Albanian elected to City Council," said Mr. Biberaj.
Mr. Biberaj's fundraising success is surprising, given his status as a first-time candidate.
"To have maxed out this early [in the race] is impressive," said Kimberly Peeler-Allen, a political fundraiser. "I think 15% is a substantial number," from one sector.

Mr. Biberaj continues to run the Russian Tea Room while he campaigns. This morning, he said, he was handing out flyers at the subway station at 72nd and Broadway and in the afternoon was at the restaurant for the first day of Restaurant Week.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

POEM: "Immigrants" by Rozi Theohari


Two eyes
Two eyes
In their homeland
Have not
Five senses
But ten
One part
On their heart
Pours blood
Another - tears.

If you are
Close to a Cambodian
Don't call them
Their bewilderment
Is real
Because they
Live with double vision
Night and day.

Between push/pull feelings
Winners of the "American Dream"

For a Vietnamese
A skycraper
Seems to be
A Buddhist Temple
An Albanian imagines
A high snowy mountain.

The Sun
Is cold
For immigrants
Would you mind
Substituting this
    Warm words of

   Poems by

   Publishing House "Mesonjetorja e Pare"
   Tirana 2002

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Tale of the Eagle
EagleA youth was hunting in the mountains. An eagle flying above him set down on top of a crag. The eagle was especially large and had a snake in its beak. After a while, the eagle flew away from the crag where it had its nest. The youth then climbed to the top of the crag where he saw, in the nest, an eaglet playing with the dead snake. But the snake wasn't really dead! Suddenly it stirred, revealed its fangs and was ready to pierce the eaglet with its deadly venom. Quickly, the youth took out his bow and arrow and killed the snake. Then he took the eaglet and started for his home. Suddenly the youth heard above him the loud whirring sound of the large eagle's wings.

"Why do you kidnap my child?" cried out the eagle.

"The child is mine because I saved it from the snake which you didn't kill, " answered the youth.

"Give me back my child, and I will give you as a reward the sharpness of my eyes and the powerful strength of my wings. You well become invincible, and you well be called by my name!"

Thus the youth handed over the eaglet. After the eaglet grew, it would always fly above the head of the youth, now a full-grown man, who, with his bow and arrows, killed many wild beasts of the forest, and who, with his sword, slew many enemies of the land. During all of these feats, the eagle faithfully watched over and guided him.

Amazed by the valiant hunter's deeds, the people of the land elected him king and called him "Albanian" which is to say "Son of the Eagle." And his kingdom became known as Albania or Land of the Eagles.

(Translated tnto English by Fehime Pipa and Van Christo. Artwork by Paul Doyle)

Friday, July 6, 2012

A positive link you might enjoy!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Boston's famous Copley Square

For the benefit of Albanian and other immigrants to Boston, here's the son of immigrants after whom Boston's famous COPLEY SQUARE - the site of the Boston Public Library - is named...             
    1738, John Singleton Copley was born in Boston to recent Irish immigrants. From these humble beginnings, he became the foremost artist in colonial America. His natural talent, attention to detail, and determination made up for his lack of formal artistic training. A key ingredient in his success was his ability to paint his subjects in poses and settings borrowed from the English aristocracy they so admired. Although he and his family lived in an elegant mansion on Beacon Hill, Copley was "mortified" that his countrymen considered an artist "little better than a carpenter or shoemaker." When the coming Revolution caused most of his wealthy clients to leave Boston, he left, too. He never returned to his native land.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

AGAIN: Introducing the Irish International Immigrant Center

IIIC Logo Masthead

Happy 4th of July!

eNewsletter 12-07 - Boston Pops

Celebrating the American Dream

Dear Friends, as we celebrate the birth of our nation with friends and family, spare a thought for the many hardworking immigrants, often separated from their families, who face daily challenges as they strive toward their own American Dream.

With this in mind, we begin our July eNewsletter by showcasing three very successful IIIC programs that prepare immigrants for the workforce and life in the US, enabling them to progress along the path to fuller social integration, and citizenship. Providing immigrants with employment and language skills is vital if they are to find solid employment and become productive, fully integrated members of American society who contribute to the community. We all gain from this.

Wishing you all a very happy 4th of July and a wonderful summer,

From your friends at the Irish International Immigrant Center

Please consider making a donation here today to fund IIIC programs that bring over 2,100 immigrants each year closer to their American Dream.

IIIC Spring classes provide immigrants with new life opportunities

IIIC Programs

Since the start of 2012, three very successful IIIC classes have provided 237 immigrants with new employment skills and life opportunities:
  • IIIC Home Health Aide Course graduated 43 immigrants with a recognized qualification.
  • IIIC ESOL Program enrolled 137 adult learners with intermediate English reading and writing skills.
  • IIIC Citizenship Class prepared 57 eligible students for their citizenship exam.

SPOTLIGHT ON: IIIC Home Health Aide Course

Since the program began in the summer of 2009, almost 360 immigrants have completed IIIC's 8 week Home Health Aide course, providing them with a Pre-CNA (Certified Nurse’s Aide) Certification, moving them a step closer to finding jobs in a very rewarding career. These classes were held in partnership with CARE, and the Irish Cultural Center in Canton. This course enables our students to be the next generations of counties care-givers.
  • Going into the course, 20% of students were employed in the care-giving field.
  • After the course, 80% of graduates gain employment within 6 months.
  • At our six month follow up, 95% of graduates stated what they learned continues to be "invaluable."
Did you know that a gift of $1080 will sponsor one student to take our Home Health Aide course

Donate here.


Each year around 100 students from 25 different countries enroll in our English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program. Classes provide skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking. The curriculum includes the use of technology as a tool for learning and career advancement:
  • 80% of students increased their reading and writing scores on standardized testing.
  • Our curriculum is based on the guidelines set forth by the Massachusetts Department of Education, Adult and Community Learning Services.
  • Classroom activities focus on the acquisition of communication skills necessary for students to function in real life situations such as health, family, home maintenance, shopping, job safety, following and giving directions and finances.
This year a computer lab was added to the ESOL program through a generous grant from the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation.

Did you know that a gift of $35 will pay for resources for one student in IIIC's ESOL program.
Donate here.

SPOTLIGHT ON: IIIC Citizenship Class

Since January, 57 Legal Permanent Residents successfully completed the IIIC Citizenship Class whose goals are to prepare eligible applicants for the USCIS naturalization interview / test and to become engaged citizens.
  • Students come from 25 different countries.
  • 15 have already passed the test/interview and are now on their way to full citizenship with all the benefits that offers.
  • Hundreds of others have been helped to become US Citizens this pass year in our Citizenship Services program
Did you know that a gift of $400 will sponsor one student on the IIIC's Citizenship course?

Donate here.

IIIC Spring classes provide immigrants with new life opportunities

IIIC Programs

Since the start of 2012, three very successful IIIC classes have provided 237 immigrants with new employment skills and life opportunities:
  • IIIC Home Health Aide Course graduated 43 immigrants with a recognized qualification.
  • IIIC ESOL Program enrolled 137 adult learners with intermediate English reading and writing skills.
  • IIIC Citizenship Class prepared 57 eligible students for their citizenship exam.

J-1 IWT visa program - one young man's story

eNews 12-07 - Kevin Walsh and Kevin KelleyKevin Walsh, a native of county Meath, arrived in Boston excited to search for his “dream job” on the IIIC J-1 IWT visa program. He had a Masters Degree in International Trade and Finance from Leeds Metropolitan University. 
Even though Kevin had dotted all of his i’s and crossed all of his t’s, performed extensive research, and submitted dozens of applications he still needed help to find that great internship placement. He then reached out to IIIC's Jude Clarke, and director of intern placements, Megan Carroll for help.

IIIC welcomes new Managing Attorney

eNewsletter 12-07 - Jeanne KainWe are delighted to welcome new Managing Attorney Jeannie Kain to the IIIC family. Jeannie brings with with her a wealth of immigration law experience. A graduate of the American University and Northeastern University School of Law, prior to joining the IIIC, Jeannie worked as an Associate at the immigration law firm of Kaplan, O’Sullivan and Friedman, and as an Immigration Law Specialist at the Committee for Public Counsel Services (the Massachusetts public defender’s office). Jeannie is currently the Vice-Chair of the New England chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Jeannie lives in Quincy with her husband and two children.

Immigration Reform

A step in the right direction for DREAMers

On June 15, 2012 President Obama made a bold move by issuing the "Deferred Action" executive order. The announcement temporarily addresses a humanitarian need faced by young people living in danger of being deported to a country they never knew, having been brought here by their parents. Without a DREAM Act, the DREAMers, as these young hopefuls are known have no chance to become part of our society, even if they were brought here as babies in their parents’ arms, later graduating from an American high school. President Obama's order provides DREAMers a chance at the American dream, even if it is temporary. He halted the deportation of at least 800,000 immigrants who were brought here as children.

If you would like to place your name on a mailing list, we will be happy to contact you once more information is available. Call us at 617-542-7654.

2012 Massachusetts Nonprofit Network Excellence Awards

eNews 12-07 - Mass Nonprofit Network LogoThis year's Excellence Awards were presented as part of 2012 Nonprofit Awareness Day, organized by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network to celebrate the critical work of the nonprofit sector across the commonwealth.
In all, 27 excellence award nominees including the IIIC's own Sister Lena Deevy LSA were honored, along with the seven winners:
  • Excellence in Advocacy: MotherWoman
  • Excellence in Board Leadership: Friday Night Supper Program
  • Excellence in Collaboration: Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project
  • Excellence in Communications: The School for Field Studies
  • Excellence in Innovation: The School for Field Studies
  • Excellence in Leadership: Dorcas Grigg-Saito
  • 2012 Young Professional: Nicki Eastburn
Listening to the citations for each of the nominees, it was both inspiring and humbling to learn about the selfless and truly amazing work that so many of our fellow citizens are doing in the service of our communities. Congratulations and thank you to each of them for all that they do.

Learn more about the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

Please consider making a donation here today to fund IIIC programs that bring over 2,100 immigrants each year closer to their American Dream.

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Upcoming IIIC events

eNewsletter 12-07 - Calendar Icon
Legal Clinics
 Check Summer clinic times and locations

“The IIIC is a
model for work with immigrants”
Frances Fitzgerald TD        Irish Minister for Children and Youth Affairs 

Congratulations to all our 2012 graduates

eNews 12-07 - HHA Graduation
Home Health Aide Course graduates proudly display their Pre-CNA certificates.

eNews 12-07 - ESOL Spring 2012 Group Photo
ESOL Program students celebrate with a graduation party.

eNews 12-07- Citizenship Class
Citizenship Course students pose in front of the American flag that they hope to soon call their own.

Farewell Ally

Sadly, we say goodbye to Ally Tzovaras, our Volunteer and Operations Coordinator who recently moved to London.
Any of you who have visited the IIIC over the past few years will know Ally for her warmth and kindness. Good luck in London Ally, you will be greatly missed.

Bloomsday event raises almost $2,000 !

eNews 12-07 - Leopold Bloom Plaque
Many thanks to all who attended our Bloomsday celebrations. We are very grateful to the Here Comes Everybody Players, tenor Stephen Mark Brown, pianist Linda Paptopoli and all the volunteers and staff who gave so much of their free time to make the event such a success. 

Rod Stewart Night!

Thursday, October 4, 2012
Irish American Club
177 West Street, Malden
Doors open at 7:00pm.
eNews 12-07 - Malden Save the Date

Put on your dancing shoes and join us to kick of your Columbus holiday weekend, enjoying a night of entertainment with Rod Stewart impersonator, Rick Larrimore.
Tickets $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

Reserve your tickets
here or by calling 617-542-7654.

Solas Awards Celebration

Thursday, December 6, 2012
JFK Library & Museum,
eNews 12-07 - Solas Logo
Please plan to join us for this wonderful annual event to honor local community leaders.
Register your Interest here

For further details
contact Mary Kerr at (617) 695-1554 or at

Volunteer and Intern opportunities

eNews 12-07 - Julia Williams - Volunteer
Julia Williams offers a warm welcome to IIIC visitors

Volunteering at the IIIC is a great way to acquire valuable skills and experience. Internships for credit are also available. All positions offer an enjoyable and rewarding opportunity for those interested in immigration or social justice. Ours is a friendly and warmly welcoming environment; a team of people dedicated to helping newcomers to this country.

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The Irish International Immigrant Center has supported Irish immigrants since 1989 and has grown into a multiservice center for people from 120 countries helping them find their place in our shared society. Promoting civic engagement and facilitating cultural integration, we work in the US and also in Ireland. Advocating for social change, our vision is one of an integrated society in which all people are treated with respect, dignity and enjoy equal opportunities and protections.

The IIIC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.  All donations are tax-deductible.  |  100 Franklin Street, LL-1, Boston, MA 02110  |  (617) 542-7654

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