Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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President Begaj in Elbasan: A City Preserving its Significant Historical, Cultural, and Industrial Heritage for Albania, Promoting Knowledge and Interfaith Dialogue

Today, the President of the Republic, H.E. Mr. Bajram Begaj, visited the city of Elbasan, where he met with city leaders, entrepreneurs, vocational school students, educators, representatives of the arts, culture, and religious communities, and citizens of Elbasan.

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After becoming acquainted with developmental projects and the work being done in cooperation with the community by the Municipality of Elbasan, the President appreciated the institution’s attention to strengthening civil society for expert and community consultation towards improving citizens’ lives.

“It’s a pleasure to be in Elbasan, a city with significant historical, cultural, and industrial heritage for Albania, inhabited by hardworking and generous people, sacrificing for the well-being of their families,” said the President.

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Subsequently, President Begaj had discussions with writers, artists, and cultural life representatives in a meeting held at the city’s library, where he praised the staff for preserving the wealth of the archival fund, maintaining the heritage of books, and access to knowledge. “The preservation of rare copies is indeed commendable,” remarked the President while visiting the “Qemal Baholli” Library and its Albanology fund “Lef Nosi.”

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“Elbasan, the city of the father of the Albanian language, ‘Kostandin Kristoforidhi’. The city of education, which has prepared teachers for decades for Albania, Kosova, and Macedonia, deserves to become the most visited city in Albania from this perspective.

“I highly value meeting you as the most significant contributors to language and culture. Prioritizing attention to all those who contribute to the pure preservation of the Albanian language is essential. Those who engage with books enrich themselves and enrich Albania,” further emphasized President Begaj.

“I am delighted to see that the cultural heritage in Elbasan seems fulfilled,” he expressed, appreciating the presence of both new and old writers at this meeting, the first one conducted by a President of the Republic with this representation.

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During his visit to Elbasan, the President gave special importance to the culture of interfaith dialogue and respect. He met with representatives of various religious communities in Elbasan, who have an Interfaith Cooperation Center known for joint community issues and exchanging religious values. One of them is the Peace March, a symbolic activity of civic interaction of all religious faiths.

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The President considered this as a model of interfaith harmony among Albanians.

“I am glad you have this interfaith harmony and share religious values, such as faith and brotherhood, respect for each other. Thank you for what you do, for the values you convey. To promote value against anti-value is a challenging but sacred mission, even if costly. We are different people belonging to different religious beliefs, but this should not and does not stop us from sitting together, from dialoguing. I see your organization as a model for conveying values, helping people. I highly appreciate the peace march you organize at the beginning of the year; it is extraordinary, a model of peace, interfaith respect.”

The studio of the painter Gazmend Xhaferri was another stop for President Begaj, where he learned about Elbasan’s history through paintings by this family of four artists, preserving the tradition of the painter Sefedin Xhaferri.

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During his visit to the vocational school, future culinary masters displayed their dishes. “I am sure,” said the President to the students, “you chose this professional school with love, and when things are done with love, they are done better. You have a vast market offering countless opportunities, but I wish and hope you become the best chefs of ‘Made in Albania’ products.” He also visited this school’s practical mechanic departments.

Later, the President also met with entrepreneurs in the production and export of sofas at “Today Sofa,” an Italian company run by Albanians, employing about 75 people.

During his stay in Elbasan, the Head of State visited the Elbasan Ethnographic Museum, known as “The House of Sejdinis,” an 18th-century building, as well as the church and monastery of Saint John Vladimir, where Kristoforidhi and many other Elbasan’s linguists and activists lived and worked.

During his visit to Elbasan, the President was received and accompanied by the Mayor of Elbasan, Gledis Zllatja, the Prefect, and the Chairperson of the Region.