Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

IMG 1264


Begaj: “RAI Calabria”, An Advocate of Ethnolinguistic Minorities!

The President of the Republic of Albania, His Excellency Bajram Begaj, visited “RAI Calabria”, a media institution that protects the rights of ethnolinguistic minorities, while staying in the province of Cosenza in Calabria. The prefect of Cosenza and the director of “RAI Calabria” were present during the ceremony.

In his speech, President Begaj recalled the early connections between Albanians and RAI during the communist isolation. He expressed gratitude for RAI Calabria’s commitment and contribution to promoting the Arbëresh language, culture, and traditions.

IMG 1265

“This visit’s coincidence with the Italian Public Broadcasting Supervision Commission’s approval of a resolution supporting RAI Calabria to transmit programs in the Arbëresh language from 2023 to 2028 further adds to my satisfaction. 

I am confident that regular broadcasting in the Arbëresh language will significantly contribute to preserving this centuries-old language, which is in danger of extinction owing to global developments. The broadcast of such programs by RAI Calabria, in compliance with Italy’s policy of minority language preservation, will help preserve and transmit this language. When comparing the Arbëresh language to modern Albanian, Çabej observed that an Albanian from Albania hearing an Arbëresh from San Marzanosspeaking would have the same impression as a contemporary Italian hearing an Italian from Dante’s era.” 

IMG 1263

The President of the Republic of Albania, His Excellency Bajram Begaj, appreciated RAI’s contribution over the decades through documentaries and numerous journalistic works on the linguistic heritage and cultural promotion of the Calabria’s Arbëresh community and its roots in Albania. “A significant contribution,” stated President Begaj, “is also the support for the nomination of the Arbëresh heritage called ‘The Great Time’ to be included on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Heritage.” To ensure this initiative becomes part of the global heritage, President Begaj assured there is excellent and well-coordinated cooperation between Italian and Albanian authorities.


The President of the Republic of Albania, His Excellency Bajram Begaj, underlined the need for the Arbëresh language to be taught in community schools alongside Italian subjects in compliance with Italian law.

“However, there is still much work ahead. For instance, when Albanian researchers began studying the Arbëresh culture, they found limited resources. The only sources they could find were the ones from the LUCE Institute. Although RAI has made available some documents, they remain scant. Today, thanks to the digital age, we have the means to cross geographical and structural distances. The good news is that the UN has listed the Arbëresh language among the 3,000 rarest languages out of 7,000 currently spoken in the world in danger of extinction. This encourages us to undertake everything possible to preserve the Arbëresh language.”

IMG 1267

The President of the Republic of Albania, His Excellency Bajram Begaj, honoured the television channel “RAI Calabria” with the decoration “Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu“. 

“In recognition of the contribution made to preserving and promoting the Arbëreshlanguage, its history, values, and traditions of the Arbëresh people living in Calabria. Grateful for the continuous efforts to promote socio-cultural tourism in the Arbëria of Calabria” – this was President Begaj’s rationale for awarding “RAI Calabria” the decoration.

IMG 1266