Albanian Roots (Albanian: Rrënjët Shqiptare)[1] is a non-religious, Non-Profit Organization of young Albanian Professionals whose primary function is to strengthen the Albanian community by integrating the Albanians with each other and their respective adopted countries throughout the whole Albanian diaspora. Albanian Roots works primarily to build a strong relationship with other Albanian communities in order to share a more dynamic and cohesive partnership. Albanian Roots focuses on promoting the Albanian culture and heritage to the younger generations by improving the community in organizing events such as network events, picnics, art shows, festivals and its main event the Albanian Roots Parade in the Immigrants Day Parade in New York City.[2] Albanian Roots focuses on "cultural activities movements" as well as performing activist campaigns through a network of delegates, advisers, and analysts.

Albanian Roots - Rrënjët Shqiptare
AbbreviationAR-RS
Motto" Atdheu Mbi Te Gjitha"
Type501(c)(3) non-profit corporation
Legal statusNon-Government Organization
PurposeProtect Albanian diaspora interests via cultural activities, activist movements.
HeadquartersNew York City, New York, United States
Membership
1000 - 2500
Official language
Albanian, English
President
Marko Kepi
AffiliationsAlbanian American Civic League Vatra, Albanian American Student Organization, Ana e Malit, Fondacioni Plave-Guci, ISA.
Volunteers
100 - 200
Websitealbanianroots.org

GoalsEdit

The goals of Albanian Roots:

  • Foster educational Albanian History and language in Albanian Schools.
  • Promote for non-religious Albanian Community center in New York City.[3]
  • Promote the Albanian Block, "Blloku Shqiptare", in the Bronx on Arthur Ave.
  • Promote the development of an Albanian American Chambers of Commerce.[4]
  • Further the growing interest of Albanian immigrants worldwide in the Diaspora.[5]
  • Create closer cooperation among Albanian communities.[6]
  • Educate and uphold the general principles of Albanian Culture & Heritage.
  • Promote Prominent Albanian Talent.
  • Albanian Roots Parade.[7]

HistoryEdit

Albanian Roots was created as a result of national pride among young Albanian college students in New York City. The concept of gathering the Albanian student organizations was initialized as early as 2008. In 2009, Albanian Roots was a DBA of Albanian American Civic League and under the guidance of Joe DioGuardi. In 2011, the official organization paperwork was filed and Albanian Roots was an independent NGO with official 501c3 status.

In 2008, Albanian students wanted to replicate how the Italians, Irish, Puerto Ricans had their own day where they could express their pride and heritage. Consequently, the students decided to do the same thing and eventually built the foundations for the Albanian Roots Organization. In 2009, Marko Kepi, Ervin Toro and other Albanian students wanted to participate in the International day parade where they could represent Albania, they called it the Albanian Roots Parade Because Albania begins with the letter "A", they led the parade and where in front of most other floats and thus they received much acclaimed attention from the public and the media. Due to marketing on Facebook, thousands of Albanian Americans showed up in huge numbers. The students were shocked. Afterwards they realized that this was the start to something big. They eventually began the idea of constructing an Albanian Roots organization. The students wanted a more professional representation of Albanians in order to keep young Albanians engaged in their community and contribute to the greater cause.[8] They further built the organization to have support from well-known and respected entertainers, athletes, politicians, humanitarians, and the general public.[9][10]

On 26 November 2019, an earthquake struck the Durrës region of Albania. Albanian Roots raised 1.3 million dollars for earthquake victims.[11] [12]

EventsEdit

Albanian Roots hosts international dignitaries, delegates, in the greater good for the Albanian community. Albanian Roots annually participates in the Gift of Life events where they support and help to raise money for Albanian children to get the surgery necessary to save the children's lives. Albanian Roots also participates as frequent as possible with the Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Albanian community has very close ties with the Jewish communities and often partake in their Holocaust Remembrance Days, often giving speech on Albanians who saved the Jews during World War II. Albanian Roots, also, every single year hosts parties to celebrate the Albanian Independence Day, Flag Day, and Kosovo Independence Day.

AIDA Meeting- Promoting Albanian TradeEdit

In July 8, 2013 Albanian Roots hosted a meeting with the Albanian International Development Agency with the Albanian American Chambers of Commerce in promoting trade with Albanian companies in Albania to sell their products in the United States.

Rally to support Albanian Orthodoxy - Archbishop Janullatos CampaignEdit

In January 28, 2014 Albanian Roots held a campaign protesting a controversial award given to Greek born Archbishop Janullatos. There has been speculation that the orthodoxy in Albania is reverting to a Greek-style structure and architecture. Many believe that the Archbishop is influenced politically by the Greek state and is guided by the Greek church. Many of the Albanian Orthodox want to revert to the traditional ways of archbishop Fan Noli.

Rally to Support the Albanians of Montenegro- Protest against Djukanovic at the United NationsEdit

In April 8, 2014 Albanians Roots participated and supported other Albanian Organizations in protesting the prime minister of Montenegro for not respecting civil rights for Albanians in Montenegro. Albanian do not enjoy the same civil rights as others and are not officially recognized. The Albanian Organizations openly reprimanded the act of using religion, geography, and politics to assimilate people in order to control the Albanian minority.

President Bujar Nishani- 5 year Anniversary GalaEdit

In September 26-27th, 2014, Albanian Roots hosted a dinner celebrating their 5-year anniversary where they hosted the Albanian President, Bujar Nishani,[13] and exchanged awards. President Nisahni commented the young professional Albanians in the wonderful work they have been doing in integrating the Albanians Community through events and service.

Albanian Film FestivalEdit

In September 2014, Albanian Roots partnered up with Albanian Film Festival group in order to promote the Albanian Film Festival that is held annually every November.

Support "Albanian Equality Movement"Edit

In October 15, 2014 Albanian Roots reacted towards the senseless violence and discrimination that occurred during the Serbia v Albania soccer match by organizing a campaign named "Albanian Equality Movement". The movement composed of various methods in raising awareness and seeking actions towards the racism, prejudice, and discrimination the Albania national football team experienced on October 14, 2014. The movement's purpose was to achieve a long-term interest in the need to achieve peace and equilibrium in the Balkans by offering equal civil rights to Albanian minorities in neighboring Balkan countries. The campaign aimed at engaging the worldwide public in requesting international institutions to get involved and request for government officials in the Balkans to respect international Human Rights codes. The movement encompasses:

  • Creating awareness via social media and internet newspapers.
  • Official petition in the white house to promote equal rights for Albanians in the Balkans.
  • Phone banks to contact government officials to create a mandate and eventually open a committee to denounce the racist acts and eventually politically intervene.
  • Platform on how to contact international institutions and writing letters to them on the issue.
  • Writing letters to FIFA and UEFA.
  • Seeking support of Amnesty International and other human rights organizations.
  • Boycotting Serbian products and the official sponsors of the Serbian national soccer team; Umbro.
  • Interviews with media sources in the United States as well as in Albania.

The movement was spread to various Albanian organizations all across the world and received official declaration of support from Albanian organizations in Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, Presheva, Sanxhak, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Argentina, Canada, and of course numerous Albanian Organizations in the United States.

Executive LeadershipEdit

Position Name Contact
President/Co-Founder Marko Kepi
Vice President Bujar Gjata
Vice President Nick Beqi
Secretary Enkolana Cekaj Mundija

ChaptersEdit

Year Satellite Associate
2009 New York Marko Kepi
2012 Michigan N/A
2013 Texas Beso Buranaj Hoxha
2014 TBD TBD

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Gjeloshi, Duro (2014-05-30). "Albanian Roots". AR.
  2. ^ Gashi, Liza (June 1, 2014). "Albanian Roots are calling". Kosova Diaspora. Archived from the original on June 6, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  3. ^ Kepi, Marko (January 29, 2014). "Albanian Roots meeting with Bishops Joan Pelushi and Nikon Liolin". Illyria Press.
  4. ^ "Nishani takohet me përfaqësues të Organizatës "Rrënjët shqiptare"". Balkanweb. 2013-09-27. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-09-30.
  5. ^ Sina, Beqir (2013-11-15). "Artistet Shqiptare ne SHBA i Bashkon Organizates Rrenjet Shqiptare ne Protest para OKB'se". Bota Sot.
  6. ^ Sina, Beqir (2014-04-09). "Protesta E Madhe Shqiptare e dekades ne Washington". Illyria Newspaper.
  7. ^ Sina, Beqir (2013-05-13). "Rrenjat Shqiptare Synojne Pjesmarrjen e 5 mije Shqiptareve ne Paraden e Nju Jorkut". Gazeta Dielli.
  8. ^ Topaj, Miranda (2013-11-14). "Rrenjet Shqiptare Thuajni Jo Armeve Kimike nga Siria". Illyria Newspaper.
  9. ^ Avxhiu, Ruben (2013-10-23). "Rrenjet Shqiptare Marshojne Kunder Kancerit te Gjirit". Illyria Press.
  10. ^ Palokaj, Daor (April 6, 2014). "Kush Jan Shoqata Rrenjet Shqiptare !". Gazeta Dielli.
  11. ^ Mero, Armand; Agolli, Ilirian; Sulo, Pëllumb (27 November 2019). "Albania Death Toll Rises to 30 as State of Emergency Declared". Voice of America (VOA). Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  12. ^ "Mbi 13 milionë dollarë ndihma, brenda 3 ditëve, për pasojat e tërmetit". Gazeta Impakt. 28 November 2019. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  13. ^ Kryeziu, Luana (September 28, 2014). "SHBA, Nishani i ftuar në 5-vjetorin e Organizatës "Rrёnjёt Shqiptare"". Shqiptarja. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved September 30, 2014.

External linksEdit