They are our pride, they are our ispiration,
they are from Albania , an old and fascinating Land.
Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg
Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg is the Albanian National Hero. He lived in the period 1405 – 1468. At the age of 30 he left the ottoman army in the battlefield and returned to Albania to get the Ottomans out of the country. Scanderbeg commanded the Albanian joint armies in 29 battles against the Ottomans being victorious in all of those. He was officially proclaimed by the Pope at that time “Prince of Arberia Protector of Christianism blessed by Jesus of Nazareth”. The momunemts of Scanderbeg are erased in 17 cities and capitals around the world as Rome, London, Bukarest, Vienna and Geneve . He is considered as one of the 4 best military commanders of all times.
Karl Gega is an Albanian railway engineer and architect. He studied in Padua, Italy and achieved enormous success designign and supervising railways accross the Austrian Empire. Karl Gega, alias Carl Ritter von Ghega, is the designer of the railway lines Brno-Breclaw, Emperor Ferdinand North Railway Wien-Krakow, as well as the railway Vienna-Trieste comprising the Semmering segment which was believed to be an impossible one. Gega achieved this by modeling changes in the train locomotives. In 1853 he became the chief planner for the railway network of the Austrian Empire. He is considered as one of the most prominent figures in Austria along with figures like Strauss, Mozart, Brahms and others.
Ismail Kadare is an Albanian writer whose books have been translated in French, English, Italian, Chinese, Hebrew, Romanian, German languages. Kadare had many of his books banned by the Communist regime before the 90’s as his style of writing was considered offensive and not in line with the, at that time, socialist realism type of literature. Kadare received in 1992 the Prix Mondial Cino de Duca Prize, in 1998 the Herder Prize, in 2005 the Man Booker International Prize, in 2009 the Prince of Asturias Award, in 2015 the Jerusalem Prize, in 2006 the Commandeur de la Legion de Honor in France. At the age of 83 he continues to write and many international writers consider it is time to nominate Kadare for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Bekim Fehmiu is an Albanian actor who has played in some 50 movies in the Yugoslav, Italian, French, Spanish cinemas as well as in the US. Fehmiu is best remembered for the role of Ulysses in the movie l’Oddissea directed by Dino de Laurentiis. He was the first East European actor to be called by the US film industry.
Ermonela Jaho is an Albanian operatic soprano. She has achieved major success in almost all world renowned Operahouses mainly in the acts of Madame Butterfly, Michaela in Carmen, Giulietta in i Capuleti, Violetta in La Traviata, etc. Ermonela has studied Opera in Tirana and in Mantua, Italy. She has received many prestigious prices.
Tedi Papavrami. Papavrami was born in Tirana in 1971 and started to play the violin at the age of four. He studied violin with his father, well known Prof. Robert Papavrami, which impacted heavily on the artistic future of his son. At age 8 he interpreted Sarasate’s “Arie Bohemienne” with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Tirana, and three years later Paganini’s first violin concerto. In September 1982, the French government offered him a scholarship to study at the Conservatoire de Paris under the direction of Pierre Amoyal. In 1985 he won the “International Rodolfo Lipizer Violin Competition” in Gorizia and in 1986 he won with unanimity the “First Award” of the Conservatory of Paris. In 1987 he received a degree at the Lausanne Conservatory. Tedi Papavrami has played in Europe, South Africa, Turkey, Japan, Israel, with the Orchestra of Bologna, Bamberger Symphoniker, Orchestre de Paris, etc.
Ibrahim Kodra was born in Ishëm (Ishmi), Albania, son of Murat and Xhixhe. His mother died when he was very young, and he did not receive adequate treatment from his stepmother. His father was working in the Commercial Marine. Ibrahim took art classes from Odhise Paskali during 1929. While taking drawing classes, one of his drawings would come into the focus of Queen Geraldine. In 1938, he went to Italy to study fine arts supported by a scholarship from the Albanian Kingdom, and there he won a second scholarship from the Italian government as an emerging talent. He went to study in Milano in the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera. In 1944 he opened his first workshop in Milan in 1948 he opened a personal and group exposition in the “Art Club” in Rome, where he met and become friend of Pablo Picasso, which often will be contested on artistic reflections. In 1950 he painted frescos in the most important museums and buildings of Milan.
Dr. Egesta Lopci lives, studies and works for 20 years in Italy. Egesta belongs to a family of Shkodra citizens of the Islamic faith, which has not prevented her from studying in Italy, and even choose to maintain the distinctive garb of this belief – the headscarf. She completed the high school in Shkodra – Albania , and after applying, she was granted the right to study for “Medical” at the University of Bologna in Italy, where her first cycle of studies ended in 2006 with maximum results. Some scientific efforts of her are the working as a doctor in “Humanitas” hospital in Milan, speaker for the master of Pediatric Hematology at “La Sapienza” in Rome, a member of the Ethics Commission and the European Pediatric Medical Association. She received the award from the European Nuclear Medicine. On the days of the scientific research Egesta Lopci received a nominal invitation from the Italian president Sergio Mattarella.
Desar Sulejmani born Shkodra citty – Albania, he is pianist and conductor. Desar Sulejmani has made appearances as a conductor both in Germany and abroad since 2003. To date he has conducted such ensembles as the Bochum Symphony Orchestra, the Bergisch Symphony Orchestra of Remscheid and Solingen, the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen of Recklinghausen, the Folkwang Chamber Orchestra of Essen, Rotary-Orchester Deutschland, the Kosovo Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra of Uzbekistan, the Albanian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra of the Albanian National Theatre of Opera and Ballet. From 2009 to 2012 he was also a member of the artistic team at Musiktheater im Revier in Gelsenkirchen, working as deputy choir director and rehearsal pianist.