The chairmanship of the Albanian-American association “Skënderbej” Inc. organized a festive program on the occasion of the end of the year holidays for the residents of Westchester County, within the 100th anniversary of Albanian-American relations.
The artistic group “Skënderbej” gave a performance for the residents of Westchester County, wishing all the residents of this area: Happy Holidays and New Year 2023! The prepared show was given at the cultural center “Mother Teresa” near the Catholic church, “Our Lady of Shkodra” in Hurstdale, New York.
The atmosphere created was magical and the entire artistic group danced happily to the delight of all participants. The entire 5-year history of the association was displayed on the screen, while the band performed on stage. The opening speech was delivered by the chairman of the Albanian-American association “Skënderbej”, Mr. Imer Lacaj, who thanked all the participants and wished that the relations between the two states, the Albanian and the American, would be strengthened even more. Mr. Lacaj said: “Happy New Year 2023 and may you find as much happiness as possible in your families, the artistic group has prepared a short and beautiful program and we invite you to enjoy it.” In addition to the residents of the area, Mr. Santiago Cacares and Ken Switzer, representatives from the Westchester County Legislator’s office, Mr. David Tubiolo, the two former presidents who now hold the title of Honorary President, Mr. Bashkim Shehu and Mr. Mark Qehaja, as well as the president of the League of Writers, Mr. Mhill Velaj. Elisa Qehaja added charm to this program with her presentation full of delicacy.
The entire artistic program could not be realized without the extraordinary contribution of the dancer Mr. Klevis Tafaj and the hard work of Mrs. Adelina Lacaj. The program was opened by the artistic leader of the “Skënderbej” group, Klevis Tafaj, who performed the solo dance “Arrëthyesi” (Prince Variation Nutcracker). KLA soldier, Mr. Qerim Gjocaj, sang a song dedicated to our national hero, Skenderbeu. Then the Tropoja dance was performed on stage. The future ballerina, Ilira Memija, brilliantly performed the ballet “The Nutcracker”. Mr. Paulin Gega and his son sang the song: 3 Gjergjat fighting for our nation.
Another performance of the future ballerina, Ilira Memija, which combined classical and modern ballet, would electrify the hall and then a poem about Adem Jashari performed by Mr. Isa Brecani. And how could Albanian culture and tradition be passed on without the instrument inherited over the centuries that gave life and vitality to the hall, the ancient lute played by Mr. Marash Pali. Mr. Pali said that “it is a wonderful thing that you created this association and cultivate our culture, that our culture is a culture that the whole world knows and it is a great sin to neglect it.” Also, Mr. Marashi said that he feels that the lute is telling him not to neglect it, that the lute is the first instrument that served as a means of communication when there was neither writing nor singing”.
The Korça serenades sung by the group brought the flavor and love of Korçë to the hall as well as the message of the end of the year holidays. Artistic director, Mr. Klevis Tafaj and Erla Lamçe danced the waltz “Daddy’s Princess” from Waltz Dance. The waltz was applauded by the children in the hall and they did not hesitate to join in and dance along with them. The artistic director of the program, maestro Mr. Klevis Tafaj, thanking all those present, thanked in a special way the whole group for the hard work for the preparation of this program, as in this way we present our culture and properly present our community. Then a traditional dance from Pogon where the guests could also dance. The closing red and black song representing the colors of the most beautiful flag in the world, which was danced with Albanian flags in their hands, gave us emotions that can only be understood by those who live far from the motherland. DJ Brian Qela entertained the attendees with festive music.
The members of the artistic group themselves were overwhelmed by the success they had, as it was the first time they performed for the Albanian-American community and realized how much power they have when they come together and how much we shine united. Happy from the successful conclusion of this year, the presidency of the Albanian-American association wishes all Albanians around the world: Happy New Year 2023!