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Out & About - Photos and Event Recaps

2022

Albanian Cultural Garden on One World Day 2022

The Cleveland Albanian community demonstrated their proud heritage at One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. One World Day has been the official event of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation since 1946. Over 40,000 people visited the gardens on One World Day 2022.

Albanian Cultural Garden in Parade of Flags

Albanian Cultural Garden in the Parade of Flags


The Albanian community participated in the Parade of Flags and then welcomed visitors to their Garden where the statue of Mother Teresa (who was Albanian - born AnjezŰ Gonxhe Bojaxhiu) was a highlight of course.

See more from the Albanian Cultural Garden on One World Day


A quick look at Albanian Culture

In the Albanian Cultural Garden on One World Day we spoke to Albian Thaqi and Ervis Mellani. We learned about the 2-stringed musical instrument called a cifetlia, the story behind the striking flag of Albania (double-headed eagle!), the Albanian alphabet (36 letters!) and more. Watch the short video




Albanian Ambassador to the United States Floreta Faber visits the Albanian Cultural Garden

Albanian Ambassador to the United States Floreta Faber was given a tour of the Albanian Cultural Garden in Cleveland Ohio by former Cleveland City Councilwoman Dona Brady and leaders of the Albanian community.

Juxhin Sazavari, Ajaz Emini, Ambassador Floreta Faber, Dona Brady and Soni Mihijat Albanian Cultural Garden

Juxhin Sazavari, Ajaz Emini, Ambassador Floreta Faber,
Dona Brady and Vilson Mihaj

She was especially impressed by the beautiful park-like setting and, of course, the Mother Teresa statue.

Photos and videos of the Ambassador at the Albanian Garden


Quick Video Walk-through of the Albanian Cultural Garden

Here is a quick look at two of the main features of the Albanian Cultural Garden in Cleveland Ohio - the fountain and the statue of Mother Teresa. The Albanian Cultural Garden is one of about 30 in the Cleveland Cultural gardens chain. It was dedicated in 2012. This garden was created through the efforts of Cleveland City Councilwoman Dona Brady, working in conjunction with the Albanian community here and in Cleveland's sister city, Fier, in Albania. Its dedication ceremony was attended by Albanian President Bujar Nishani and the Albanian Ambassador to the United States, Gilbert Galanxhi and Fier Mayor Baftjar Zeqaj.

The first phase of the Albanian Cultural Garden features a statue of the beloved humanitarian and sister to the poor, Mother Teresa. The piece was created by noted Albanian sculptor Kreshnik Xhiku. The statue and garden dedication in 2012 also commemorated the 100th anniversary of Albanian independence.

The upper level fountain was added later. It was originally built in the 1920s and was in Cleveland's Willard Park for many years until Councilwoman Brady discovered the fountain dismantled. She saved it and donated it to the Albanian Cultural Garden.




2019

Albanian Cultural Garden at One World Day

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation hosted the 74th annual One World Day on August 25, 2019. Police estimates say that over 30,000 people visited the Gardens and attended One World Day. There was a lot of activity in the beautiful Albanian Cultural Garden.

See more from the 2019 One World Day.

A highlight of One World Day is the Parade of Flags where people in costumes of their heritage carry the flags. This year was undoubtedly the largest and most colorful in memory.

Albanian Garden in the Parade of Flags

Albanian Garden in the Parade of Flags


Video and pictures from the Parade of Flags at 2019 One World Day


2018

Albanian Cultural Garden on One World Day 2018

The Cleveland Albanian community was out in full force at the 73rd annual One World Day on the site of the Albanian Cultural Garden. Members of the community marched in the annual Parade of Flags and later there was music, dancing, entertainment, food and fun as members of the Albanian community shared their culture with thousands of visitors on One World Day.

Albanian Cultural Garden group in front of Mother Teresa statue on One World Day

Albanian Cultural Garden group in front of
Mother Teresa statue on One World Day


Albanian kids on One World Day


Albanian Cultural Garden  on One World Day


Albanian Garden in Parade of Flags at 73rd annual One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens

Albanian Garden in Parade of Flags


Albanian Garden in Parade of Flags at 73rd annual One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens


Albanian Garden in Parade of Flags at 73rd annual One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens


Albanian Garden in Parade of Flags at 73rd annual One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens


Albanian Garden in Parade of Flags at 73rd annual One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens


Albanian Garden in Parade of Flags at 73rd annual One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens


Albanian Garden in Parade of Flags at 73rd annual One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens


Albanian Garden in Parade of Flags at 73rd annual One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens



See video, photos and more from the Parade of Flags

Back to the 2018 One World Day main page


Albanian visitors at Cleveland City Hall

Leaders of the Albanian community led by Cleveland City Council's Dona Brady met with Suela Košibellinj from Shkoder in Albania and others in the Red Room of Cleveland City Hall. The group offered advice and assistance.

Albanian leaders in Cleveland City Hall - Juxhin Sazavari, Suela Košibellinj, Councilman Dona Brady and Soni Mihij

Juxhin Sazavari, Suela Košibellinj, Councilman Dona Brady and Soni Mihij


Suela works with Vizion Ojf non profit organization which is focused in humanitarian aid for families in need, mostly women and children in rural poor areas of north Albania. They intend to give sustainable help for communities focusing on schools, reconstruction and equipment, as the only possibilities of the children living in these areas to learn and to have a better future. They also give direct help with food and clothes for families in need. They support the empowerment of the women through training and possible job opportunities.


2017

Opera in the Albanian Cultural Garden

he Albanian Cultural Garden hosted an opera performance on August 20, 2017 and hundreds of people showed up to enjoy the beautiful setting, great food and music from the Cleveland Opera Theater. The stage was set on the upper level of the Albanian Garden by the fountain.

Armend Axhenti and Councilwoman Dona Brady

Albanian Cultural Garden delegate Armend Axhenti
and Councilwoman Dona Brady


See photos and videos from opera in the Albanian Cultural Garden


2016

Mother Teresa Canonization Ceremony - Albanian Cultural Garden

The Albanian Cultural Garden hosted a canonization ceremony for Blessed Mother Teresa on Sunday September 4, 2016. "Many people don't know Mother Teresa was Albanian," said Cleveland Councilwoman Dona Brady, one of the founders of the garden and leader of the ceremony. Albanian-American Councilwoman Brady also served as mistress of ceremonies for the event.

Sheila Crawford, Sister Ryan, Bishop Gries, Dona Bradt, Sister Karam and Adem Meta

Sheila Crawford, Sister Ryan, Bishop Gries, Dona Brady,
Sister Karam and Adem Meta

See photos and videos of the Mother Teresa ceremony


2014

Albanian Delegation and Artist Fate Velaj Exhibit

Cleveland City Hall
November 10, 2014

Photographs from highly acclaimed Albanian artist Fate Velaj were on display in the Cleveland City Hall Rotunda in an exhibit called "Albania - seen differently." Velaj is the recipient of many awards, including the "Albanian Excellence Award" given to him in 2012 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Albania's independence.

The photographic display was part of a visit from a delegation from Cleveland's Sister City Fier in Albania. The delegation, which included Fier Mayor Baftjar Zeqaj met with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Council president Kevin Kelley, Councilwoman Dona Brady and other dignitaries during their visit. Mr. Velaj and the Albanian delegation were also recognized at the Cleveland City Council meeting on November 10th.

Mayor Jackson, Fate Velaj and Dona Brady

Mayor Jackson, Fate Velaj and Dona Brady


Photos and Videos of the Albanian Exhibit and Visit


2013

Albanian Cultural Garden Phase 2 Dedication

November 24, 2013

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 newly completed Phase 2 of the Albanian Garden includes walkways, a fountain and lights so that the garden can be used by the community and for events. Phase 1 featured the monumental statue of Mother Teresa.

Dona Brady, Mayor Baftjar Zeqaj and Mayor Frank Jackson cut the ribbon

Dona Brady, Mayor Baftjar Zeqaj and Mayor Frank Jackson cut the ribbon

Photos and Videos of the Albanian Cultural Garden event


Albanian Display at Culture Shock 2013
Tri-C West April 18, 2013

The Cleveland Albanian community was represented at the 2013 Culture Shock event which was put on by Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) West and the Parma City School District.

Albanian Table

Albanian display



2012

Albanian Cultural Garden Dedication
September 22, 2012
6 pages from the Garden dedication, visit from the Honorable Bujar Nishani, President of Albania and unveiling of the Mother Teresa Statue.

Fier Albania Mayor Baftjar Zeqaj

Fier Albania Mayor Baftjar Zeqaj



The Honorable Bujar Nishani, President of Albania
September 22, 2012
The Honorable Bujar Nishani, President of Albania spoke at the Garden Dedication and unveiling of the Mother Teresa Statue.

The Honorable Bujar Nishani, President of Albania

The Honorable Bujar Nishani, President of Albania




Unveiling of Mother Teresa Statue
September 22, 2012
The formal dedication of the Albanian Garden and unveiling of the Mother Teresa Statue.

Mother Teresa statue covered before unveiling

Mother Teresa statue covered before unveiling


Mother Teresa of Albania - The person beyond the image
by Kleida Spirollari


Mother Teresa statue in Albanian Cultural Garden in Cleveland

Mother Teresa statue in Albanian Cultural Garden in Cleveland

Mother Teresa statue in Albanian Cultural Garden in Cleveland



Albanian soil mixed with others in Cultural Gardens of Cleveland

The 65th annual One World Day in Cleveland featured the depositing of soil from Albania into a crypt containing soil from other nations that have Cultural Gardens.

Soil from Albania was then deposited in the crypt and mixed with soil of other nations

Soil from Albania deposited in the crypt



On May 30, 2012, an intercultural group of people came together to raise funds for the Mother Teresa statue in the Albanian Cultural Garden as well as to meet new friends and have some fun. The event was created by immigration attorney and author Richard Herman, City Councilwoman Dona Brady and Federation Of India Community Associations of NE Ohio (FICA) president Asim Datta.

Members of the Albanian Cultural Garden Committee

Members of the Albanian Cultural Garden Committee


Photos & Videos from the Mother Teresa Statue event at FICA


Submit your Cleveland Albanian Photos and Event recaps


Organizations and Resources for Albanians in Cleveland

Albanian-American Association of Cleveland

The Albanian-American Association of Cleveland was established in 1998. The association is a voluntary organization for the Albanian-American community and works without any benefit payment to members of Officer (practitioners of tasks). Any incomes will only the purposes and goals of the association.

The aim of the Association is to preserve, develop and augment the traditions of Albanian-Americans who reside in Northeast Ohio.




Submit your Cleveland Albanian organizations and resources.

Consulate General of Albania in Cleveland, United States
1200 W. 58th. Street
Cleveland, OH 44102
216-631-1755

Albanian Orthodox Church of St E Premte
10716 Jasper Rd
Cleveland, OH 44111
216-941-1508

Business, Education and Employment Information



Submit your Cleveland Albanian jobs, classes and other opportunities.


Cleveland Albanian Feedback and Memories


Albanian History and Culture


Tell us about the music, food, holidays, traditions, costumes, language and other qualities that make Albanians so special.

Submit your Cleveland Albanian cultural items.




Albania

Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, but was conquered by Italy in 1939. Communist partisans took over the country in 1944.

Albania allied itself first with the USSR (until 1960), and then with China (to 1978). In the early 1990s, Albania ended 46 years of xenophobic Communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven challenging as successive governments have tried to deal with high unemployment, widespread corruption, a dilapidated physical infrastructure, powerful organized crime networks, and combative political opponents.

Albania has made progress in its democratic development since first holding multiparty elections in 1991, but deficiencies remain. International observers judged elections to be largely free and fair since the restoration of political stability following the collapse of pyramid schemes in 1997; however, there have been claims of electoral fraud in every one of Albania's post-communist elections.

In the 2005 general elections, the Democratic Party and its allies won a decisive victory on pledges to reduce crime and corruption, promote economic growth, and decrease the size of government. The election, and particularly the orderly transition of power, was considered an important step forward.

Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and is a potential candidate for EU accession. Although Albania's economy continues to grow, the country is still one of the poorest in Europe, hampered by a large informal economy and an inadequate energy and transportation infrastructure.

(facts courtesy of CIA World Fact Book)


Map of Albania


Profiles of Albanians in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio

Portrait of Skanderbeg in the Uffizi, Florence. During the fifteenth century Albania enjoyed a brief period of independence under the legendary hero, Skanderbeg

Portrait of Skanderbeg in the Uffizi, Florence. During the fifteenth century Albania enjoyed a brief period of independence under the legendary hero, Skanderbeg



If you know of a Cleveland Albanian who should be profiled,
please let us know.
ClevelandPeople.Com - Albanian Ambassadors

Dona Brady - Albanian Ambassador

Dona Brady


Dona Brady was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Dona has been actively engaged in the Albanian American community for many years. Dona is of Albanian descent. She was one of the founders and first President of the Albanian American Association of Cleveland and currently serves as the Chairwoman of the organization. Dona also was instrumental in establishing a Sister City relationship with Fier, Albania and Cleveland, Ohio. She currently is Chair of the Sister City Program.

Following the war in Kosova, Dona led the relief and resettlement efforts of the Kosovar refugees in Cleveland along with the Albanian American Association and many other religious and philanthropic groups. Dona received an award of recognition from the International Services Center for her humanitarian efforts resettling refugees from the war in Kosovo and continuing work on behalf of the Albanian Community.

Dona spearheaded the creation of the Albanian Cultural Garden in Rockefeller Park. She worked with the community to erect a statue of Saint Teresa of Kolkata (Mother Teresa). The statue was created by renowned Albanian sculptor Kreshnik Xhiku. In 2012, Albanian President Bujar Nishani, Albanian Ambassador Gilbert Galanxhi, Fier Albania Mayor Baftjar Zeqaj and many dignitaries attended the ribbon cutting event.

Dona earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, Cum Laude, in Urban Studies with a major in neighborhood revitalization from Cleveland State University Levin College of Urban Affairs. She also graduated from CSU's Leadership Academy.

Dona Brady was inducted into the Golden Key National Honor Society and was awarded the 2005 Outstanding Elected Official's Award from CSU Leadership Academy.

Dona recently retired from the Cleveland City Council after serving 20 years. "I look forward to continuing my work with the Albanian and international community. It is rewarding and gratifying", said Brady.


Dona Brady
Anila Niklos
Dona Brady
Anila Niklos

Read more about the Albanian and other Ambassadors. If you are interested in being considered to be an official ClevelandPeople.com Ambassador to the Cleveland Albanian community, please contact us.





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