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Albanian Student Association? - Qëllimi i Marigona Duraj (studente në Calgary)

December 10, 2018

 

Qe nje shoqate te jete sa me shendetshme, duhet te mendoje per te ardhmen, sepse pikerisht duke pasur qellime aftagjata, do te kete mundesi te krijoje themelet e duhura per te ruajtur traditat dhe kulturen Shqiptare. Nje nga keto pika themelesh eshte rinija Shqiptare ne Calgary dhe integrimi i tyre ne komunitetin Shqiptar.  Kemi fatin qe nje nga keto pjestar te rinise i eshte afruar shoqates per te bere dicka me teper per komunitetin tone. Ajo eshte nje vajze e zgjuar dhe me nje zemer te madhe.  Eshte pikerisht kjo vajze qe na ka afruar partneritetin me Best Buy te cilet po na ndihmojne me donacione te ndryshme gjate aktiviteteve rreth shkolles Shqipe"Foleja e Shqiponjave", turneut te golfit etj.  Ajo quhet Marigona Duraj, vajza e biznesmenit shqiptar te European Bakery, Shaqir Duraj. Per te komunikuar kete mesazh per te gjithe ata studente qe duan te ndihmojne, ky artikull do te shkruhet ne dy gjuhe, shqip dhe anglisht.

 

To have a strong community association, one has to think about the future and create a strong foundation so that the Albanian culture and tradition survive the test of time. One of the ways to accomplish this feat is to integrate the young Albanian community. We are lucky to have in our community a young woman who has a big heart. It is the same woman that gave us the opportunity to partner with Best Buy who have donated in several of our events, from the Albanian School "Eagle's Nest" to our golf tournament.  She is Marigona Duraj, the daughter of the Albanian businessman of European Bakery, Shaqir Duraj.  To communicate her message and the association's support of this message, we have chosen to advertise this interview in both English and Albanian Language.

 

Para se te tregojme intervisten me Marigonen eshte e rendesishme te dihet se shoqata po pergatit plane per te krijuar mundesi burse dhe ndihme informacioni per studentet e ri ne komunitet se si te aplikojne per bursa te ndryshme. Qellimi eshte qe nese Albanian Student Association krijohet, atehere lajmerimi rreth ndihmes se rinise ne komunitet do te behet edhe me i thjesht. 

 

Before we start with our interview of Marigona, it is important to know that the Albanian Canadian Association of Calgary has plans to introduce a scholarship for our community of young Albanians, but also share with the community different opportunities through other scholarships.  When this student association is created, it will be even easier for us to inform all the student members of different events that will encourage them to learn and benefit from different scholarship opportunities.

 

 

Marigona,thank you for reaching out to the Albanian Canadian Association about your desire to create the Albanian Student Association of Calgary.  Before we ask about your goals with this association, I want to know more about Marigona Duraj. -  Marigona, ju falenderojme qe treguat interes per te krijuar shoqaten e studentit ne Calgary.  Para se t'ju pyesim rreth qellimeve ne kete shoqate, dua te di me shume rreth Mariogones.

 

 

Who is Marigona? - Kush eshte Marigona?

 

I like to think of myself as an open book. I love to learn and interact with my environment and have new experiences. I also believe I’m energetic, independent, and very outspoken. I tend to  make my presence known everywhere I go. 

 

E shikoj veten si nje liber te hapur. Pelqej te mesoj dhe te keme eksperienca te reja.  Mendoj qe jam energjike, indipendete dhe e hapur ne mendime. Jam e vetedishme qe perpiqem te pasqyroj mendimet e mija ne cdo vent ku shkoj.

 

Where were you born? - Ku keni lindur?

 

I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta.

 

Kam lindur dhe jetoj ne qytetin e Calgary, Alberta.

 

How have you been able to identify yourself as an Albanian when you were born in Canada? - Si ja ke arritur ta identifikosh veten si Shqiptare kur ke lindur ne Calgary?

 

I think all of us either born in Canada or brought here at a young age can relate to the disconnect in our sense of identity. Personally, I struggled tremendously, especially early on. I visited Kosovo for the first time at the age of 4 with my older sister and my mom. All I remember from that trip is meeting what seemed like hundreds of cousins and eating a lot of ice cream. I spent the next 10 years slowly distancing myself from that life, and eventually it became somewhat of a memory. To this day, it is difficult for me to genuinely understand what it means to be Albanian and how important it is to acknowledge my culture.

 

Te gjithe ne qe kemi lindur ne Kanada apo kemi ardhur ne Kanada ne nje moshe shume te re, e kemi pak te veshtire te kemi nje ndjenje identiteti te forte.  Personalisht e kam pasur shume te veshtire, sidomos kur isha e vogel. E vizitova Kosoven per here te pare ne moshen 4 vjece me motren e madhe dhe mamane. Te vetmen gje qe mbaja mend eshte qe takova qindra kushuri dhe qe u ushqeva me shume akullore. Harxhova 10 vjetet e ardhshme duke u larguar nga kjo jete dhe ndoshta ngeli thjesht si nje memorje.  Deri ne keto dite, e kam pasur te veshtire te di se cdo te thote te jesh Shqiptar dhe sa e rendesishme eshte te pasqyroje kulturen Shqiptare.

 

Which University are you a student of and what is your field of study? - Ne cilin universitet studjoni, dhe c'fare dege ushtroni?

 

I am currently working towards my undergraduate degree with a major in history and minor in law and society at the University of Calgary. I am planning on finishing my undergraduate degree and applying to law school.

 

Jam studente tek universiteti i Calgaryt dhe po studjoj per Degen kryesore historin dhe nen dege per Ligj dhe qyteterim.  Kam plane te vazhdoj studimet per avokate.

 

Do you speak Albanian and how did you learn it? - A flisni shqip dhe si e mesuat?

 

I do speak Albanian, though not as fluently as I would like. Growing up, my family spoke a combination of Albanian and English was ultimately my biggest downfall. My vocabulary grew tremendously when I started working at my dad’s bakery around the age of 14, mainly due to the fact that I was interacting with more Albanians than ever. These interactions ultimately formed the foundation for my love and curiosity about exploring our culture.

 

Flas shqip, por jo dhe aq rrjedhshem.  Gjate rritjes, familja ime fliste Shqip dhe Anglisht dhe ndoshta e kisha pak me te veshtire. Fjalori I gjuhes mu rrit edhe me shume, kur fillova pune ne moshen 14 vjece tek byrektorja e babait. Aty mu dha mundesia te flisja me plot shqiptar c'do dite dhe ndoshta aty mu dha deshira qe te mesoja me shume the te eksploroja kulturen Shqiptare.

 

What drove you to the idea of creating the Albanian Student Association? - Si tu rrit deshira per tu perpjekur qe te formosh shoqaten e studenteve Shqiptar ne Calgary?

 

As prior mentioned, my generation tends to either be born here or brought here at a young age, and most of us are now beginning to branch out into the real world. For as long as I can remember, I have fought with the fact that I am too foreign to both Albanian and Canadian culture to be able to assimilate to either. Having a sense of community and people we can relate to as well as connect with on different levels is vital in the survival of our culture. The Albanian Student Association will provide an environment that will support the growth of this symbiotic relationship amongst all of us.

 

Sic e permenda me pare, shumica nga ne ka lindur ne Kanada ose kane ardhur ne nje moshe shume te vogel.  Kam luftuar me faktin qe nuk e gjej vete ne kulturen Kanadeze apo ate Shqiptare. Duke pasur nje komunitet rinor, do te na jepet mundesia te krijojme lidhje te reja midis njeri tjetrit dhe te krijojme nje identitet te plote Shqiptar.

 

What will be the mission of the association?-Cili do te jete misioni i shoqates?

 

The mission for this association is to inspire and empower our youth to be proud of their heritage. Together, we will be able to create a safe environment where we are encouraged to support and connect with each other in ways we did not even know were possible.

 

Misioni i shoqates do te jete te inspirojme dhe ti japim ndjenjen e te qenit Shqiptar komunitetit tone ketu dhe sidomos rinise te ciles i perkasim.

 

 

What is your perception of the Albanian Youth in Calgary?-Cili eshte mendimi yt rreth rinise Shqiptare ketu ne Calgary?

 

I believe we are extremely under represented. The focus tends to be more on the needs of the younger community and the wants of the older community. It is difficult to explain, but there is an indisputable sense of disconnect with us in the middle. It is challenging to relate to the older generation’s ties to the community as they have a much stronger connection to the culture, similarly with the younger generation, where there is a sense of urgency in creating a space for them to grow into. I believe our youth are among the most independent, resilient, and innovative in the city. I hope we have to opportunity to showcase it.

 

Mendoj qe jemi shume pak te prezantuar ne komunitet. Perqendrimi duhet te jete me shume rreth nevojave te rinise ne komunitet dhe jo te rriturve. Eshte pak e veshtire ta pershkruaj, por eshte nje ndjenje e percare midis rinise ketu. Eshte pak e veshtire ti pershtates kultures se vjeter te komunitetit dhe ndoshta na duhet pak hapsire per te treguar dhe ne aftesite tona. Shpresoj te na jepet mundesia, sepse ne brezi i ri kemi shume per te dhene ne komunitet.

 

What is your message for the Albanian Youth here in our community? - Cili eshte mesazhi juaj per rinine Shqiptare ne Calgary?

 

My message is to take the bull by the horns. Contend with the different aspects of your identity and what it means to you to be Albanian. It is so vital that we acknowledge and maintain the rare beauty that we are blessed to be connected to. We must work to bridge the gaps between what it means to be a proud Canadian and an even prouder Albanian.

 

Mesazhi im eshte ta realizojme kete qellim te gjithe sebashku. Te perpiqemi te kuptojme me mire cdo te thote te jesh Shqiptar por edhe cdo te thote te jesh Kanadez. Kemi fatin qe e dime nga rrjedhim. Le ta festojme se bashku kete identitet!

 

Shoqata falenderon Marigonen per deshiren e saj te ndezur, dhe i bejme thirrje cdo studenti - (mosha 16 - 25 vjec), te na shkruani tek info@albcanyyc.org dhe se shpejti do t'ju informojme kur te behet mbledhja e pare e studentave te Calgaryt, ku qellimi eshte te formohet grupi i studentit. 

 

The Albanian Canadian Association of Calgary would like to thank Marigona for her desire to help and we call all of the Albanian youth (16yr-25yr old) to write us at info@albcanyyc.org to show your interest.  We will also notify when the first Albanian Student Association meeting will take place so a student board can be created.

 

 

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