Alfred Papuçiu: Requiem for Albania and Europe
| E Shtune, 01.08.2009, 11:21 AM |

Requiem for Albania and Europe

By Alfred Papuçiu

For more than 40 years, I have acted as a journalist, a translator and publisher, once in Albania, now in Switzerland, collaborating with both the Swiss free press and several foreign organizations. Lately, I have been driven to write regarding of both Europe and my home nation of Albania. The impel to write on such a subject has mainly risen from the recent conflict of sorts between the highly industrialized northern Europe and the new, uprising “Other Europe” of southern nations, where in the north refuses to accept any sort of their contributions, despite my view that they should be in equilibrium. Keeping this in mind, it can be said that only the United States of America, as the name implies, can truly be considered a “nation” in being truly united, whereas the twenty-seven countries within the European Union have yet to reach this state enough so to be referred to as “The United States of Europe.” This is evident in the given contrast between continents in differing ideologies, where one proclaims “Yes, we can!” and the other “We should have!”; where the Europeans remain in a state refusing to address the current conditions, there is no set way to even compare US president Barack Obama and EU leader José Manuel Barosso. What Europe truly needs at this point is another Jacques Delor, as she does not deserve her current suffering she faces under the leaders of today. The drudgingly low voter turnout in the previous EU election is evident in showing the lack of unionized citizenry in Europe as well as the overall lack of Europeans globally. Should the residents of the European Union wish to receive success, they should be forthcoming to the remaining citizens of Europe, particularly the rationed duo of Albania and Kosovo, whose assistance is evident in the fact that their emigrants are well-spread across Europe and integral in Europe’s given accomplishments.

            Being a general member of the Diaspora from my own country, I have lately been a mere spectator of the events for the passing years, namely after 1990. To be frank, the position I held as a foreign envoy to the United Nations, free from any interest groups, left me stricken for time to publish any analyses in Albanian media. Nevertheless, however, I have continued an upkeep as to the situations at hand, perusing all media published by those who have both the country’s best interests at heart, as well as those internally opposed (who, I am glad to see , have experienced a dwindling in number). However, as I have, and will, continuously publish pieces against such groups in utmost rage at their practices, particularly at this time when we must stand united in defense of national interests in the face of the dominant European circles. The main focus that I stress being that we maintain a status of equilibrium in the foreign policy, particularly in regard to our adjacent neighbors, to the north and south, to the east or west; as well as foresight in regard to Europe. My writings also extend to the events within the United States themselves in consideration of the new administration run by what I perceive to be a highly promising president, Mr. Barack Obama. In my opinion, the United States is the apex of the world nations nowadays, the epitome of liberty and democracy. It is the sole location in our world, where, either Western or Albanian, wherever you may be in New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Florida, greets you amiably with a “Hello, how do you do?”. Switzerland itself has also been a fervent subject for her magnificent topical countryside and villas, which, without hesitation, are easily considered as brilliant cities and towns wherein, upon their state filled balconies of flowers, both the national flag and those of the cantons are visible. Switzerland and her neighbors are divided merely by fictional borders, near-identical landmasses, planted largely with flowers or wheat yet, below the surface, contain their own internal forces to monitor the movement of evil-doers.

            These facts, all in their details, lead me to think of our nation of Albania; while no longer hermitically closed as before, my fellow compatriots are, to this day, obliged to stand within lines for hours or days to seize this visa and travel to this hierarchical group of 27 European countries, whether for tourism, or to tire in labor as slaves.

            I have worked with international organizations such as the UN in Geneva, UN Economic Commission for Europe, UN CTAD, International Job Bureau, with colleagues from all over Europe and North America, and I observed sincere relationships amongst us. We all helped each other and worked as effective teams. I remember Oti the composer, Shaban the analyst, Ladi, Arshi, Iliriana, Maks, Marika, Bujar, etc.

            My only wish is to contribute to the goodness of our home country already a democratic country and member of NATO. Some time ago I talked to Prof. Photis Beris, Head of the Hematology at the University Hospitals of Geneva Canton. After our conversation, I fell into thinking. He is both a gentleman and a devoted man to the research for curing Thasalemia. He told me that he could help Albanian physicists to be specialized in Switzerland for curing Thasalemia, but he emphasized that they should do this based on a contract, which oblige them to return to Albania thereafter. Their return would be much needed for patient residing in remote areas and who do not know they have such illness. It seemed that Prof. Betis knew that many Albanian professionals had left Albania mostly towards the West for a better life, for more possibilities to educate their children, for a better organized country, for a better environment for their children and themselves, for being away from violent behavior, etc.

            I express sympathy to the Foreign Minister of Switzerland, Micheline Calmy-Rey, because she is brave and committed to the interest of her country, and all political parties esteem her. I wish the same situation be in Albania and Kosova. If this does not happen, it keeps the democracy at the brittle level of 1991. Personally, I do not know Prime-Minister Sali Berisha, but I applause his continuing reforms undertaken amid corruption and obstacles. I liked his speech: “The reform undertaken is the reform based on the widest consensus with the Albanian representatives”. He respects Albanians living abroad and hugged and wished welcome to me when we met at Rogner Hotel in Tirana.

            Are all recent MPs or governors like acts? I do not think so, because an Albanian MP whom I know said to me: “You, that are living abroad, are out of the game; you should not give ideas for the country” (?!). He might be does know that Switzerland considers her nationals residing throughout the world as honored ambassadors of Switzerland. There are 640’000 Swiss living abroad and Switzerland itself has 7.4 million inhabitants, from which 20% are non-Swiss. Swiss people created their own community wherever they relocated in North America; for instance, there are 15 towns named Lucerne in the USA. It happened the same with Arbans from the mountains of Dukagjini who relocated to Zara in Croatia, where the Albanian language is openly used. The same was also with Arbans of Greece (Arvanits), Nubians, or Albanian colonies in Ukraine, Argentine, Australia, etc.  

            I would like to make an open discussion about the role of Albanian Embassies and Missions abroad. The question for them is: What have they done to be close by the Albanians living abroad? What help did they provide for Albanians who do not receive fair treatment, e.g. not receiving entry Visas? There are 8000 Albanians living in Geneva and 200’000 in all Switzerland only. The Institution of Diaspora should ask all these experienced Albanians for finding best solutions for problems. All of us should not stay silent and withdrawn when Albania is not allowed to be part of European Union.  I believe that all of us are capable of reaching success. Yes, we can!


Geneva, 24 July 2009

(Vota: 4 . Mesatare: 5/5)

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