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The First Albanian Youth Festival "Tradita"

The First Albanian Youth Festival "Tradita"

Kraja association based in New York closed its activity for 2019 with the Youth Festival "Tradita"

This festival, the first of its kind dedicated to Albanian children in New York, attracted the attention of many of our compatriots in New York as well as the Albanian and American media.

During the two-hour performance, the children danced and sang Albanian songs, surprising the many spectators who had filled the school's theater in Staten Island.

All the children were dressed in traditional Krajan costumes, but also from other regions such as Ana e Mali, Tropoja and Ulqini.

The show is moderated by Kozeta Turishta, former TopChanel journalist, while the opening speech was made by Fatmira Curaj, winner of the first prize at the New York Science and Engineering Fair.

Those present were greeted by the Imam of the Albanian-American Islamic Center in Staten Island, Mr. Tahir Kukaj, as well as the candidate for the New York State Assembly, Mr. Marko Kepi. Among those present at the festival were the chairman of the Dibra Patriotic Association, Mr. Dash Myftari, as well as the chairman of the Ana Mali Association, Mr. Safet Lllola.

In recent years, the Kraja Association has had a high intensity of activities both in New York and in its homeland.

Thanks to the support of the community and donors, the Kraja Association has successfully contributed to the humanitarian level by donating scholarships for students from the Kraja as well as financial and food aid to families in need.

The Youth Festival "Tradita" has aroused the interest of other associations, mainly in Staten Island, and we hope that the next festival will have even more children from other Albanian territories.

At the end, the Chairman of the Kraja Association, Mr. Dul Perashi, greeted the attendees, thanking them for their participation and continuous support that our community has given to the Kraja Association.

The full text of the speech of President Dul Perashi:

"Dear ladies and gentlemen, dear friends and well-wishers of the Kraja association, dear members, dear parents, dear Albanian sisters and brothers, welcome to the first Albanian Youth Festival "Tradita". I have the honor to be here today. in front of you in a manifestation that is the fruit of the hard work and good will of the Krajans. The Kraja Association, as well as other Albanian associations here in the USA, aim to serve as a bridge that provides the diaspora with the homeland. This is done through humanitarian activities, sports and cultural activities organized entirely with voluntary work. But this work is not without sacrifices, it requires sacrificing free time and sacrificing financial means, and all without compensation, without reward and without praise. But for me, as well as those who are sincere in their mission, the reward comes in the form of spiritual satisfaction that you cannot buy with money, the reward comes from the tears of joy of a mother who forgives a scholarship or school financial aid and wants this opportunity to educate her child, the reward it comes from the parent who, with tears of joy, says thank you for enabling me to heal his son, and the reward comes when he sees the boys and girls dressed in traditional regional costumes dancing the beautiful Albanian dance. There is no greater reward than this. A month ago, the group of dancers from the Kraja participated in the Festival of 29 Albanians in the Bronx, it was the first time that the Kraja participated in such a festival, there the Kraja dance was danced for the first time, for me and for all the Krajas present there was no greater pride than this, this was a spiritual pleasure worth every sacrifice. But the spiritual reward is not only for us but for all the members and donors who continuously contributed and continue to contribute to our mission. I want to thank all of them from the bottom of my heart. Thank you very much. Thanks to your contribution, the Kraja Association for the last four years has distributed over 40,000 dollars in scholarships or financial aid for students in the Kraja.                                                                                                   Thanks to your contribution, Shoqata Kraja has for three years distributed over 10,000 dollars in food packages to families with economic difficulties in Kraja. Thanks to your contribution, Shoqata Kraja has built a new house worth over 40,000 dollars for a family whose house was destroyed by snow. Thanks to your contribution, the Kraja Association has collected 31,000 dollars for the treatment of a young man in the Kraja with cancer. Thanks to your contribution, the Kraja Association has collected over 30,000 dollars for the victims of the earthquake in Albania. These are just some of the activities that are worth mentioning and all of this is made possible thanks to your generosity. Donors from other Albanian regions have also contributed to the activities of the Kraja Association, for this I have a special thanks to the donors from Ana Mali who have constantly contributed to our activities. Thank you very much. Special thanks to all the guests of honor who graced us with their presence. I want to thank the advisers and volunteers of the Kraja Association, whose work and will made it possible to carry out our activities. I also want to thank the parents and children in the dance program who enthusiastically came and learned the Albanian dance. It was especially pleasing that even though these children were born and raised in exile, the love for their parents' homeland is not lacking. Now, I have a special thanks for a deserving artist, for a great master of Albanian dance without whom this festival would not be possible, she is Angjelina Nika. Now it is the turn of a very talented local girl to be thanked. She has now become a master of Albanian dance and was always present with Angjelina teaching choreography to our students. Please Nadia Hoxha on stage. And finally, special thanks also to a very talented girl, she is from Shkodran but also from the region and I have the honor that she accepted our invitation to present this program. Ladies and gentlemen before you Kozeta Turishta. Thanks for participating and see you at the next festival." After the festival, there were various foods, sweets and drinks for the attendees. Special thanks for their contribution to the realization of the program: "TRATTORIA TOSCANA" with owner Adrian Lakja, Shkelqim Lakja and Ergyl Kopshti, "EVERYTHING BAGEL AND DELI" with owner Vedat Gjençiqi "ROZAFA PRO" with owner Isuf Gjoni, DJ MIRSAD GJINA, SALON ILLUSION with owner Sadete Vukaj.

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