“I am Albanian” was inaugurated on International Immigration Day. This initiative was taken by the Minister of State for Diaspora Mr.Pandeli Majko in cooperation with the National Historical Museum. Diplomatic corps in Tirana were present in this exhibition too.
Dr. Dorian Koçi said in his opening speech: “Albanian Diaspora is present everywhere in the world. The economic activity of Albanian emigrants remained an important economic factor in the budget of their families at all times. Diaspora has made great efforts to integrate into the economic, political and cultural life of the countries where it has migrated. It also serves as a bridge between home and host countries. In many of the host countries, emigrants have established their own associations. Inva Mula, a world-famous soprano, noted: “I left Tirana 27 years ago and followed my dream in Paris. After me, many other great Albanian artists have made a career in the world scenes. We pride ourselves with the fact that we are Albanians.” The Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj, also praised the work of Albanian emigrants in further development of the country. The slogan “It’s good to be Albanian” does not work only in Albania. Immigration has defined us as a cosmopolitan nation, and today it is an asset”, said Mayor Veliaj, who later added that he himself was also an emigration product. Then the audience, through a large screen, watched a video where the greetings of Albanian emigrants were assembled from many cities around the world. The exhibition begins chronologically with the picture of Gjergj Kastriot Skënderbeu (Albania’s National Hero), as a representative of the most glorious era of Albanians, and the period when the first Albanian emigration waves began. The exhibition features photos of the first arbëresh with their settlements in southern Italy, photos of Arvanites and Albanian Renaissance. The photo of the first immigrant in the US is an important moment in the exhibition, following photographs of the first patriotic societies in Sofia, Bucharest, Cairo, Istanbul and Vienna. The rest of the exhibition is presented through photographs of successful Albanian personalities in their countries of emigration.