Author: Toplica

Arber the Albanian barber who lived through the Kosovo war and now cuts hair in New Plymouth

When Arber the barber reflects on his childhood living through the Kosovo war, he says he is lucky to be alive. Arber Kikaj, of Arber’s Barbers in Fitzroy, New Plymouth, was 12 when the war began and he witnessed his father being locked up. “I remember they put my Dad in prison just because he was a teacher, he was just teaching kids,” the 32-year-old said. “I don’t know what they were gaining by going out and killing innocent people. “Being brought up that way made me think differently, it made me stronger, it made me who I am...

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“The Marriage”, an Albanian film screening in London, 21 April 2018

DATE: Apr 21 2018 TIME: 09:00 PM LOCATION: Genesis, 93-95 Mile End Rd, London E1 4UJ Ten years after the Kosovo War, Bekim and Anita are getting married. Amidst the preparations, Nol, an old friend of Bekim, is visiting from abroad. What Anita doesn’t know is that Bekim and Nol used to be lovers and that they are still in love with each other. With three brilliant performances in its core, Blerta Zeqiri’s debut feature is a heartbreaking yet sincere relationship drama that delves into Kosovo’s troubled past through the lens of two crumbling relationships clinging to both hope...

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An Albanian business affected by the Salisbury poisoning

Niko Elezi who has been running his pizza shop, Amigos Pizza in Salisbury, for five years, is worried about the future of his business which has been affected by the Salisbury poisoning  that happened on 4 March 2018, during which former Russian military intelligence officer and British spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal were poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent. Elezi said that the profit is 60% down as a result of Salisbury poisoning and the business is struggling considering that the clean up of the area affected by the poisoning will take several months, although this business isn’t in the potentially contaminated area. Source:...

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Albania gets recommendation from European Commission and Kosovo wants EU to be clearer on membership path

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama hailed on Tuesday the positive recommendation made earlier in the day by the European Commission (EC) for the opening of negotiations for his country’s European Union (EU) membership. Albania just opened a new chapter in its history, Rama said, noting that Albania, which became an official EU candidate country in 2014, still has a lot of challenges ahead. “Albania has now a new status in the international arena and finally came out from another crossroad between the past and the future,” Rama said, adding that the recommendation was a recognition of Albania’s merits. “Albania...

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Dalmatian pelicans return to their lagoon ‘kingdom’ in Albania

With feathers on its head that make it look like it is wearing a wig, it does not go unnoticed – the Dalmatian pelican is back with a flourish in the Divjaka Lagoon in western Albania. The expansive site is one of the most important wetlands in the Adriatic basin, key for migratory wildlife and as a breeding area for the large elegant pelican. But like other spots in Europe, the picturesque lagoon has suffered extensive damage at the hands of man and the Dalmatian pelican came close to deserting it. Now a return in force of the bird,...

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