It was cold and the snow was flying but the weather was much better than it was for the unveiling and dedication of the statue of Mother Teresa in the Albanian Cultural Garden and the visit by Albanian president Bujar Nishani last year.
A delegation from Albania including Fier Mayor Baftjar Zeqaj and the Prefect who represented Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama joined Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Councilwoman Dona Brady and members of the Albanian community to dedicate Phase 2 of the Albanian Cultural Garden.
The event began with Kleida Spirollari, Treasurer of the Albanian American Association of Cleveland who welcomed the crowd to the Albanian Cultural Garden in Cleveland Ohio.
She introduced Board Member Ilir Pipa who explained the newly completed Phase 2 of the Albanian Garden which includes walkways, a fountain and lights so that the garden can be used by the community and for events.
Kleida Spirollari then introduced Albanian American Association of Cleveland Board Chairman Adem Meta who told of the Mother Teresa statue and thanked the board members and committee members who make it all possible.
Albanian American Association of Cleveland Board Chairman Adem Meta
Councilwoman Dona Brady told the story of the new fountain in the Albanian Garden.
Councilwoman Dona Brady
She said that just the base of the granite statue weighs 5000 lbs.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson welcomed Mayor Baftjar Zeqaj of Cleveland's sister city Fier in Albania and the entire delegation from Albania back to Cleveland.
Mayor Frank Jackson
Councilwoman Dona Brady introduced the Prefect of Fier Albania at the dedication of Phase II of the Albanian Cultural Garden. Brady said that the delegation travelled 5000 miles to be here. The Prefect was representing Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama. He spoke to the crowd in Albanian.
Next, Baftjar Zeqaj, Mayor of Cleveland's Sister City of Fier in Albania, spoke to the crowd in Albanian.
Mayor Baftjar Zeqaj
Soil from Albania that was blessed by Father John Loejos was tossed into the soil of the Albanian Cultural Garden in Cleveland Ohio. Two young girls joined Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Fier Mayor Baftjar Zeqaj and members of the delegation from Fier Albania.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Fier Mayor Baftjar Zeqaj and Cleveland Councilwoman Dona Brady cut a ribbon as part of the dedication of Phase II of the Albanian Cultural Garden.
Dona Brady, Mayor Baftjar Zeqaj and Mayor Frank Jackson cut the ribbon
The ceremony concluded with Fier Mayor Baftjar Zeqaj, Cleveland Councilwoman Dona Brady and members of the Albanian delegation walking up to the new fountain at the dedication of Phase II of the Albanian Cultural Garden.
Enjoy these other photos from the Phase 2 dedication.
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Ilir Shyte and Bujar Musai in front of Mother Teresa
Cleveland Cultural Garden Federation president Sheila Murphy Crawford
and Adem Meta
TV 20 Interview with Fier Mayor Baftjar Zeqaj
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson welcomes Fier Mayor Baftjar Zeqaj
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