Pharmacists, entrepreneurs, orchestras, trade unionists, bus drivers, restaurateurs, artisans, workers ... They arrived in Bolzano and found a new homeland, integration, and even professional fulfillment. Yesterday the party of the Alto Adige Albanian community was held: about 7.000 people have been integrated for twenty years and among the first to try to emigrate to the province.
A very solid community, which managed to demolish - with tenacity and hard work - prejudices and hostility. A meeting, the one of yesterday, to celebrate the anniversary of the first landings, but also an opportunity to collect personal stories that are unbelievable. Many of them arrived on the boats of hope. Dumped by the thousands in the ports of Puglia, loaded on trains with destinations that they didn't say anything to them. The abandoned barracks of Alto Adige or Piedmont where they were housed as refugees. From there, a new life began for them.
Besnik Doshiani remembers his escape from Tirana with emotion: "In 24 hours later they shot me to kill me. I was a member of the Tiranian boarder and when the administration wanted to replace our theater with a casino, we opposed it strenuously. We also went on a hunger strike and the population was with us, unlike the power and the mafia. I had to run away for the safety of my family and I had relatives here in Bolzano. Within 30 days I went from a national caliber musician to a tiler in Corvara, but I found peace and at home, however, our orchestra is remembered as heroic: the theater we defended, in fact, is still there ”.
Albanian is also the president of the immigrant Consulta Artan Mullaymeri: «I am proud to be part of such an integrated community. Today we face new challenges, but the size of our roots gives it a couple of data: the 22% of us start buying a house and the 30% of the second generations speak German ».
Servet Camberaj, on the other hand, must thank his brother "who pushed me to join him in Bolzano. In Albania I was an Army warehouseman, here I did various jobs in important companies. It was good advice ". The celebration, however, has a Pan-Albanian character with the doors open, therefore, also to the Kosovars and Macedonians: "We feel part of this culture and community - explains Rifat Bajrami - but Bolzano welcomed us splendidly. I was a teacher in high school and had read a lot about your city, well-being and culture. I really consciously chose it after a few days in Puglia ».
Opre Oshan, on the other hand, is Macedonian and today manages the restaurant "Diana" in via Orazio with his wife. "Both graduates, we escaped from the war. Before Bolzano, recommended by some fellow Italians, we spent 10 years in Caserta. As foreigners one does not imagine that the difference between the North and the Italian South can be so great, but here we are very well ».
Adrian Mezini and Luan Agaj met in the Monguelfo barracks "where the sorting documents were brought to us. The dream in Albania is called Germany, so Bolzano can be reached by following that promised land or through friendships or family ties. Once known Alto Adige, however, it is difficult to leave it ".
Words to honey for the provincial reality also come from Fathir Braholli: «There are those who seek America I have found it here. Italy and Bolzano have guaranteed me peace, security and well-being, logical that there is enormous gratitude. I am head of the "Eisenstecken", we say primary of bread, and at this party I brought the whole family, including the little girls ".
Before the screening of a documentary dedicated to Albania, Armand Caku, who is now a technician at Röchling of Laives, and Tritan Myftiu, representatives of the Albanian community in South Tyrol took the floor. "This land - they said - welcomed us and was perfectly integrated. We cannot but have great respect and thank all those who believed in our immigration. Today we are happy to be the most rooted community. However, new challenges await us, such as the right to vote, which is the salt of European democracies ».
Also heard the greeting of the mayor Luigi Spagnolli: "In this days of euphoria for the 150esimo of unity, in a territory that did not initially belong to the sacred Italian soil, I have not heard anyone thank Italy and Bolzano with the same transport leaked from our Albanian fellow citizens ».
Source: Bolzano South Tyrolean newspaper
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