Sunday, November 14, 2004

Speakers Panel from left to right, Nikoll Berisha, Pertefe Leka, Drita Ivanaj and Luke Gjokaj..

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The Ivanaj Foundations of New York and Tirana, in cooperation with the Nikolle Ivanaj Humanitarian Association of Tuz, Montenegro, held a cultural event on Sunday, November 14, 2004, in the halls of the Gymnasium of Tuz, Podgoriça.

The theme of the meeting was: “The Ivanaj brothers, great personalities of the Nation and Albanian culture”.

Four speakers addressed a very attentive and large audience notwithstanding the bad weather.  Some came from as far away as the Adriatic Coast, and the local Albanian TV stations and newspapers taped the meeting, which was broadcasted in its entirety the following day.

Dr. Luke Gjokaj, Director of the Nikolle Ivanaj Association, opened the meeting and greeted the attendees, while Mrs. Pertefe Leka, Vice President of the Ivanaj Foundation Institute in Tirana, Albania, spoke about the foundation’s goals as a continuation of all the educational and cultural contributions of the Ivanaj brothers since their youth, and whose life was fervently dedicated to Albania and Albanians everywhere.

Nikolle Berisha, President of the Nikolle Ivanaj Association, reviewed the historic and political contributions of the Ivanaj brothers’ nephew, Nikolle Ivanaj, who was quite an activist and who traveled extensively abroad to advocate the Albanian cause and independence during his life time. He and Prof. Mirash Ivanaj originally founded in 1923 the newspaper “Republika” that is still today regularly published in Tirana.

Drita Ivanaj, President of the Ivanaj Foundations of New York and Tirana, spoke not only about the projects currently being planned by the organizations she founded, but also about the necessity of opening additional avenues of collaboration among institutions with common goals that benefit the young Albanian generations of today and tomorrow.  Just like the predecessors who were able to joint forces and produce everlasting results, today’s advocated partnerships can even be more imperative and significantly essential. Moreover, with the aid of technology and electronic communication, greater accomplishments can be produced in shorter time periods, thus speeding the progress of needed changes for a better future for Albanians.

At the meeting’s conclusion, two Albanian children, in their native costumes, presented Drita Ivanaj and Pertefe Leka with beautiful bouquets of flowers.

A magnificent reception followed in a great hall, where 20 large panels, brought from Tirana, of archival documents and photographs of the Ivanaj brothers: Dr. Martin and Prof. Mirash, were displayed to the public, while Drita Ivanaj was interviewed by the BOIN and Mali i Zi TV stations, and the Albanian newspaper “Koha Javore”.

The attendees appreciated very much this event and wished that more similar happenings could be organized in the near future.


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