Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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President’s Visit to Calabria, welcomed by the Arbëresh people, Italians, and Recent Albanian Immigrants Begaj: Together, we are stronger!

President’s Visit to Calabria, welcomed by the Arbëresh people, Italians, and Recent Albanian Immigrants

Begaj: Together, we are stronger!

The Arbëresh language will soon be taught in all schools of the Calabria region.

Begaj visits Sant’ Adriano College, the educational institution of some of the most significant figures of the Albanian Renaissance and thought.

The Arbëresh community and local authorities welcomed the President of the Republic of Albania, H.E. Bajram Begaj, as he stopped in “Spezzano Albanese” on the second day of his visit to Cosenza in Calabria. Albanians who had just left their home country and lived in other Italian cities joined in welcoming the Head of State to Calabrian Arbëria. Following greetings and meetings, President Begaj visited the “Spezzano Albanese” museum, which preserves the history of the Arbëresh community.

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In meetings with local authorities in “Spezzano Albanese”, the mayor announced the initiative to introduce the Arbëresh language in schools. This promise was also made to President Begaj by representatives of Calabria, engaging the Regional Council of Calabria in promoting this project.

The Head of State expressed his gratitude and promised support for this initiative.

Following that, President Begaj met with mayors of Arbëresh municipalities in “San Demetrio Corone” with the participation of the prefect of Cosenza. The Albanian President’s visit was commemorated with the unveiling of a unique plaque at Sant’ Adriano College.

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The Head of State recognised the College for producing renowned figures in the literary, academic, and intellectual world and patriots like Luigj Gurakuqi and Aleksandër Xhuvani, among others, known for their contribution to Albania and Italy.

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President Begaj appreciated the two countries’ solidarity throughout critical periods and the role of the Calabrian people in maintaining ties with their home country.

“This College has fostered discussions on significant historical topics, from the need for national freedom to contemporary issues like the necessity for cultural harmony. This is one of the most significant cultural and educational centres in all Italian Arbëria. The International Institute of San Demetrio for Albania, which operated in this place, educated young students from my country and still teaches the Albanian language: from Jeronim De Rada, who taught Albanian, to Anselmo Lorecchio, who assisted many Albanian students in this College. You are among the most inspiring examples of the cause for preserving identity values,” President Begaj noted.

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The Head of State added, “In a world where, unfortunately, we often see tragic events driven by ideological, cultural, or religious divides, places like Sant’ Adriano College should and must promote respect for human rights and coexistence among peoples and cultures.”

President Begaj emphasised the significance of solidarity and cooperation in preserving relations between Albania and Italy, referring to historical examples of welcoming the people of Arbëresh centuries ago and, later, the Albanians escaping isolation following the regime’s fall.

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 “The Arbëresh community and recent Albanian immigrants to Italy represent a long-standing close connection that Albania and Italy have shared. These deep historical, cultural, and human ties should be translated into more extensive bilateral cooperation, emphasising economic cooperation, trading high-quality agri-food products, and unquestionably expanding cultural, educational, social, and other exchanges.”

The President of the Republic of Albania, H.E. Bajram Begaj, honoured the Regional Institute of the Arbëresh Community of Calabria with the prestigious award “Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu” in recognition of the institute’s contribution to preserving, supporting, and promoting the Arbëresh language, culture, and traditions through collective actions involving all possible influential factors.

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