The Embassy of Albania in the Hague celebrated the 106th of the anniversary of the independence of Albania

The Embassy of Albania in the Hague celebrated the 106th of the anniversary of the independence of Albania on 27th November. During the event Himara Polyphonic Group performed excellent music that evokes the deepest elements and emotions  of the albanian traditional music.
The event was attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in the Hague and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, dutch music lovers and friends of Albania, as well as representatives of the Albanian Diaspora in the Netherlands.
The interest of the audience was great and the concert was recorded by fans of this particular musical genre.
Among the most beloved songs were the Girl of Waves, Farewell my friend, and many others.
Please find below the opening speech of the Ambassador of Albania in the Netherlands, Ms. Adia Sakiqi.
Ladies and gentelman,
Dear Friends,
I would like to welcome you to this celebration marking three very important moments in the formation of the Republic of Albania.

  1. The 106th anniversary of the independence, declared in Vlora in 2012,
  2. Secondly on 29 November Albania also celebrates its 74th anniversary of its liberation. This year also marks the commemoration of Skanderbeg, known as (George Castriot), the noteworthy element of this commemoration with regards to tonight’s event, is the role Skanderbeg played in forging a European presence and relationship with the Balkans states of the time, 600 years ago.

In order to mark these celebrations, I believe it is only right to showcase an imperative piece of Albania’s cultural heritage also as part of a European Identity.
Tonight’s performance adds a cultural aspect to an already strong relationship shared between Albania and Netherlands.
A relationship highlighted with strong political and economic ties. The formation of diplomatic ties between the Netherlands and Albania dates back to 1970, in the 48 years since, great leaps have been made that have allowed for these ties to thrive. The Netherlands is the second investor in Albania, represented by companies who are also present tonight.
Along with economic ties, the relationship between Netherlands and Albania is increasingly extending to tourism.
Albania offers an oeuvre of gifts for travellers, interested in visiting a nation steeped in culture and forward-thinking development. The efficient and cost –friendly direct flights Amsterdam-Tirana allow for citizens of both the Netherlands and Albania to visit each respective nation, and enjoy all that each has to offer.
It would be negligent to not mention the significant role The Netherlands has with regards to development in Albania. The creation of a more independent impartial, efficient and professional judicial system in Albania, is encapsulated in the expert legal Dutch presence in Albania.
The Netherlands has been a significant contributor to the rule of law reforms in Albania has therefore, aided in the facilitation of change in the Albanian judicial system.  The embrace of the rule of law reforms also comes to signify Albania’s eagerness to embrace the EU. The presence of initiatives such as EURALIUS, with predominantly Dutch composition from the EU level, as well as Matra Rule of Law Program of Foreign Affairs, and project like CILC of Ministry of Justice and Security are very important in supporting the democratisation processes in my country. I would like to extend my personal gratitude to all involved, and I believe that further co-operation will spawn further beneficial reforms.
Albania is steadfastly driven and already working hard towards membership in the EU. Building further long-term relationships with EU member states including the Netherlands, the founding father of EU is pivotal.  
The importance of 2018 as Castriot year, 550 years after his death, as Albania’s EU year is evident. CASTRIOTS mission of forging ties with Western Europe and amalgamating Balkan states, OR BETTER SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE, into the European system is continued to this day.
To a large degree tonight’s proceedings come to further that very mission, in the sense that individuals represented many nation states and multiple perspectives can come to understand an integral part of Albanian culture.
The music you are going to hear tonight, are described by UNESCO as Masterpiece of Oral heritage of Mankind, as well as a treasured national art form.  The group from South of Albania performing tonight has recently performed on Podium Witteman in Amsterdam on Sunday. It was great to be at the show because I have the impression that nothing compares to the live as in Podim Witteman, as I am sure today’s performances will be, in venues like this. I would like to thank the Lutherse Kerk and Henk for his kind cooperation, I would like to thank my colleagues at the embassy, Xhuli Leda Suela and also recently established Stichting Nederlands Albanees Vriendschapsvordering. I would also take the opportunity to thank our sponsors, Da Lucca restaurant, Domi groep, KIVO, Ardian Lekaj, Abkons Albania and also our main sponsor, Bavaria – Swinkels family. Thank you for making these performances possible.
This group sings familiar feelings, EVEN in polyphony. What we have tonight is a form of singing that evokes the deepest elements, deepest emotions, in its origin it is associated with mourning and lament. These songs are as it were handpicked for you by the group, had many discussions on the programme, on what to offer to you tonight.
Often with vocal performances the issue of language and translation comes to the fore. For your curiosity, Neco Muko Himara Polyphony will be introduced to you by two renown Albanian artists working in the Netherlands. Pianist Mirsa Adami and renown former ballet dancer Altin Kaftira of de Nationale Opera. Funnily enough I also am convinced that these emotions need no translation, just storytelling, because these sounds are also universal.
It is the notion of sympathizing and understanding others that underpins tonight’s proceedings.
In my time as Ambassador, I have become acquainted with many of the traditions and cultural nuances of The Netherlands, of which I am grateful for cherishing. Through encountering Dutch culture in the Netherlands my viewpoints and perspectives have been enriched.
The Music showcased tonight comes to act as a form of reciprocation, so others can come to understand Albania through Culture.
The events of tonight also come to illustrate a continuation of a long-term relationship with the Netherlands, now being forged through the illustration of cultural treasures.   
Ladie and gentleman, enjoy the show!"

Postal Address

Embasy of Albania
Hoge Nieuwstraat 22, 2514 EL The Hague ,
2518 BD The Hague

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Tel. +31 70 427 2101
Fax. +31 70 427 2083



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