New York City, June 14, 2015
‘Albanian Cultural Diplomacy launches “Mothers of Courage” project in New York City, with the participation of ethnic Albanians from all Albanian lands and Diaspora’
“Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.” I do not know why this quote from Elisabeth Stone, an American writer, popped to my head as soon as “Mothers of Courage” started. Maybe the atmosphere in the Lynn Redgrave Theater made the quote appropriate.
After several months in New York, I received an invitation to an Albanian event in Manhattan. The email proclaimed that the event would be different from the usual cultural diatribe and it was. I truly enjoyed participating in this event organized by Albanian Cultural Diplomacy.
The “Mothers of Courage” project is created and produced by the Albanian Cultural Diplomacy Inc (ACD) in NY, and aims to collect true stories of maternal courage into a documentary called “Mothers of Courage” as well. The project seeks to tell the several “incredible” stories of immigrant mothers, who gave their all to their children and families. Klara Buda, an Albanian writer and journalist based in New York, President of Albanian Cultural Diplomacy is the creator of the project and presented it in New York City last Saturday, June 6, 2015.
I understood Klara’s goal immediately: she wished to show mothers through their children’s eyes. Just imagine your own child presenting their vision of their mother to you, and doing it on film. Each one of us thinks that his or her own mother is unique and special, and each one is right. Our mothers are the most valuable jewels of the Albanian heritage, no matter which part of the Albanian lands we come from. It is true that all our mothers, from the simplest homemaker to the most intellectual and academically accomplished executive always put their children first. Their example has followed Albanian women wherever they are, even if the value of motherly sacrifice has somewhat diminished in light of individual freedom and equality in the modern world. However, Albanian mothers have managed to preserve its value, whether under the extreme conditions of immigration or war in Kosova.
Describing our mothers cannot be crammed into a short article. It is the work of a lifetime. I can still remember the way my sweet mother looked at me, with love and a bit of incredulity at the fact that we had left her in the old country. However, she was there for my siblings and me when we went home. She saw us to the airport when we left. This is the concept, the relationship Klara has sought to commemorate in her touching project. She opened the floor to all, inviting us to tell our stories and to present our version of the Mothers of Courage. Professional staff will prepare the stories and publish them in the AlbanianCulturalDiplomacy.org site. Five of them will be featured in a documentary, portraying courageous mothers.
The evening started with Ms. Buda’s simple introduction and invite, breaking the ice. Spontaneously, several men and women overcame their shyness and took the mike to share their unique mother stories with the participants. Klara Buda thanked Drenusha Prelvukaj of TV ALB Platform in New York, Jeton Prelvukaj of Wayne Steakhouse in New Jersey, and CIP the International Information Center in Washington DC for their support to the Albanian Cultural Diplomacy event.