Saturday, February 16, 2019

Today is the National Day of Albania - reposting my experiences & involvement with my Albanian friends

Privilege .. .. .. 
............. today Joan and me were invited to a special event.
A Privilege.

I was invited to receive an award, like an Oscar or Grammy...... maybe a Bafta!
It was a Presentation from the Albanian Community in London - the ones who publish the newspaper 'The Albanian' which is circulated here in the UK and in Albania. 

The cameras whirred and flashed and the speeches given. 
The Albanian Ambassador was the Chief guest and I was given top-of-the-bill slot to speak.

It was all due to their recognition that when they first came to the UK some eight years ago, from the slaughtering Kosova, they found refuge in a community which I led and Joan was the Chair of the International Committee. Thousands were driven from their homes in that land - thousands more slaughtered.

They reminded me of the trauma they were in - as if I didn't remember.
They were voiceless- no English, the poorest of the poor- no possessions, scared - surrounded by others who only knew the London/UK context.
They remember and so do I.

Now they are working like mad to integrate themselves into the British culture.
Working hard - and also working hard to support many of their own people so that they can also integrate into our multi-racial population.

It was great to be with them.

You yani person ebuko

Below is an article translated from Albanian, by a Albanian, into English.

In search of the peace missionaries and supporters for the Albanian community in Great Britain

Pip Wilson – 
“How blobs in the trees explain
our overcrowded lives”

Translated by: Tomorr Bahja

The article was published in the “ALBANIAN” newspaper
in February 2006 edition

He says that “…the studying, involvement or even the understanding of these Blobs is the best way to understand our overcrowded lives…”. ‘Blobs’ as he calls it, in one of the books that Mr Pip Wilson published, he says, 
“Welcome in the great book of Blobs of a tree diagram"

This is all about Mr Pip Wilson, the former Executive Director of YMCA mission in East London, Romford. Mr Wilson has lived a life full of different experiences. During the time he was Executive Director of YMCA, his sincere contribution and his support for the Albanian community in Great Britain was a noticeable experience.

He enabled us [the Albanian community] to use the beautiful [hostel] building of YMCA and turn it into a center for gathering of all grateful help from a variety of people, such as food, clothes, medication and academic books with destination Kosovo. It is to be noted that Mr Wilson has always been willing to help integration of our [Albanian] community within the English society.

The first time I met Mr Wilson was through a very close friend of mine, one of the greater contributors of our national cause and the cause of our community in Great Britain, Mr Xhevair Gjini. As a member of the governing board of the mission of YMCA, Mr Gjini offered me the chance to see Mr Pip Wilson. I was impressed from the first meeting, since Mr Wilson had managed to learn some words in Albanian, our beautiful and sweet language.

Once I had a chance to thanking Mr. Pip Wilson for everything he did to help the Kosovar people, during the 1999 Kosovo war, together with him [Mr Pip Wilson] and Mr Gjini, we started to discuss various issues of our cultural heritage, national history, language, religion and our ethnic origin. It appeared that Mr Wilson was really impressed from our history, but in the same time was very supportive and sympathetic towards our people’ sufferings and sacrifices. He did not hesitate and enabled us to use his offices for the organisation of the KOSOVA association in East London. This was a great help from a great friend of Albanians [Kosovars], as it enabled our organisation, chaired by Mr Gjini, to achieve tremendous results in gathering a considerable amount of food and other financial help to sent to Kosovo in time of need. The transfer of this help from Great Britain to Kosovo was made possible thanks to the cooperation offered by Mr. Wilson.

It is also to be noted that the staff of the hostel and the office of YMCA under the chairmanship of Mr Wilson made a great contribution towards the help they gave to our community. It was a long time I had not seen Mr Wilson since, but he remained the same person, a sincere man with a great heart, and great communication skills. I remembered the time we spent together; it is undoubtedly a memorable time. We stayed for a while with Mr Gjini and Mr Wilson remembering the excellent time we spent together.

Recently, Mr Wilson published a voluminous and fantastic book that speaks about life, emotional perceptions and personification of individuals through various blobs, placed in different positions on a tree diagram. Through this book of illustrations, he [Pip Wilson] shows various phenomenon, behaviours, emotions and the attitudes of every individual in nowadays’ life, full of dynamism.

Certainly, the book is recommended for reading, since Mr Wilson possesses not only the qualities, but also his style of storytelling is amazing. The way he tries to communicate his emotion with his readers and exploration of the idea, help us to understand in more details the today’s world. I hope that in the near future we will be able and would have the privilege to publish a full interview with Mr. Pip Wilson in the Albanian newspaper’s pages.

Finally, through this article, I want to express my sympathy and our many thanks to Mr Pip Wilson for his great help, his love, sincerity, and dedication for a long period and in our most difficult time we re-lived as a nation. Naturally, he is a missioner of peace, love and a humanity, an individual who works so hard not only for our community but for everyone. In the same time, our thanks goes for Mr Gjini and his willingness that enabled us to have such important relationship between the Albanian community in London and the people of Great Britain.

By Emanuel Bajra