And there is the story of this iniciative…
In summer 2012 I accepted the invitation to be External Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania. After 20 years leaving in Paris, in parallel with my work in Radio France Internationale, I followed especially almost every Albanian Cultural and Politic activity in France. I early understood the importance of Cultural Centers for the promotion of a country. Cultural Centers, in opposite of some dominant thought in Albania, aren’t “leech” of public money, but a real help in the international recognition of a country and an inestimable help for attracting foreign investors.
This is the reason I proposed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania to work in this direction.
But the members of the team of Diaspora Direction in this Ministry expressed doubt that this kind of initiatives, which failed for years can be done in such a short period (the mandate of the Minister was less then a year until the future elections in Albania.)
While nobody believed that the Albanian government could finalize this kind of project in the last year of its mandate, and others that this is not a priority in the actual economic condition of Albania, I decided to work myself for this goal, seeing on it a good way to contributing in Albanian Culture.
But working for building the concept, I faced the dominant doubt that this kind of projects cannot succeed. I made it my personal challenge!
And because I always considered important that this center represent the Albanian culture on its totality, I had the idea of a commune center between Kosovo and Albania. The Albanian of Foreign Affairs of Albania, Mr. PANARITI, supported my idea and took the initiative to propose it to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, Mr. HOXHAJ, during his first visit in Kosovo, in July 2011. They agree that the Promotion Centers for Albanian Culture and Arts will be a joint project between Albania and Kosovo.
This initiative was launched at a meeting with New Yorkers Diaspora that took place on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 in NYC.
Both countries will finance for the conception, the establishment and functioning of the Promotion Center for Albanian Culture and Art in New York. Long-term objective is that these structures can be self-financed to a large extent up to full self-financing over a period of 3-7 years.
But some others, having a better knowledge of the fonctionment of Albanian government in power, including the represent ant of Albania in Nations Unis, wished me ironically “ good lock” in this initiative in New York City. They continue to be skeptic and keep asking me if now I was member of the “klan”? When I answered that I was not member of any politic party, which is incompatible with my first profession as journalist and that I provided a technical aid as external advised to the Albanian Minister, they prevent me that until I was not member of the “klan”, my project will never see the day.
While I truncate the glass with Mr. Rama in the inauguration of Israeli Embassy in Tirana, in August 2011, I told him about the project.
He shakes his head skeptic too, “ That cannot happen!” Mr. Rama said. I shake my head also sceptic concerning his prediction, but as my other friends, he was right.
The Directory of Diaspora was transferred to the Prime Minister (right government in power in this time) and the PM announced in the end of his term that the first Albanian Center would be open in Istanbul.