BRONX, NEW YORK, November 29- Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and Assemblymember Mark Gjonaj were the honored guests of the Albanian-American Society Foundation and the Sons and Daughters of Albania in America in their celebration of 100th anniversary of Albanian Independence. A billboard in Times Square was illuminated to commemorate the occasion.
The celebration honored several groups and individuals who have given back to their community or have made significant contributions to Albania’s independence, including Dr. Elez Biberaj; Voice of America; The League of Prizren; Ismail Qemali (in memoriam); Adem Jashari (in memoriam) and Tahir Sinani (in memoriam).
Borough President Stringer took time to honor each of these distinguished leaders by issuing a special proclamation declaring an official “day of celebration in the borough of Manhattan.”
“Albanian-Americans are defined by a strong commitment to ethnic diversity, religious pluralism, and liberty and freedom for all,” said Borough President Stringer. “Almost 40 percent of New Yorkers are foreign-born--and Albanians are a vital part of that diverse tapestry.”
“I am proud to stand today with my friends in the Albanian community and beyond to celebrate this important milestone, the 100th anniversary of Albania’s independence from the Ottoman Empire. The Albanian community of the Bronx continues to grow and prosper, and their success is good for the Bronx and the entire City. The Bronx is home to the largest Albanian population in New York City, and on this day of great celebration we renew our commitment to working with the Albanian community of our borough to build and strengthen the entire Bronx,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
We live in the greatest country in the world, a country that allows you to celebrate your heritage and culture while becoming a productive member of American society,” said Assemblymember Mark Gjonaj. “On this momentous day, I wish Albanians throughout the world a happy celebration of this 100th anniversary. This is a proud day for Albanian Americans and Albanians worldwide.”
“What a historic, landmark day for the Albanian community. Albanian-Americans have contributed so much to our vibrant city, and it is fitting that New Yorkers are celebrating 100 years of Albanian independence by marking the special place that they have in our neighborhoods. Their small businesses and entrepreneurial spirit has helped grow our economy and their sense of civic duty and acts of kindness have made tremendous impact on countless lives. It is my privilege to join you in celebrating this auspicious occasion,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
“On this momentous occasion, the 100th anniversary of the independence of Albania from the Ottoman Empire – the largest event so far in the proud history of Albania – Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer has again opened the doors of Broadway and turned on the lights of Times Square, the cross-roads of the world, for all Albanians,” said Esad Rizai, Founder of Albanian American Society Foundation. “This celebration will be watched with joy and honor by Albanians everywhere, both here in the United States and around in the world. Scott M. Stinger has again shown his dedication to the Albanian peoples, and we know he proudly stands beside us as we celebrate this great day. In the spirit of Besa and our fore-fathers, here in America, Albania and all around the world, we express our sincere gratitude and thanks.”
“On this day, Albanians in Albania and everywhere in the world celebrate with joy and pride the Centenary of the Declaration of Independence,” said His Honor Mr. Ferit Hoxha, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Albania to the United Nations, New York. “Independence was the result of sustained efforts by the best among us and the genuine support by friendly nation, in the first place this blessed country of United States America. I am particularly grateful to President Scott Stringer and his team, for the diligence in co-organising this event, in this mythical world place. I consider this event in the City of Lights, in a Place of Splendour, a special and delicate present he made to us, Albanians."
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