A Celebration of Kosovo Independence at the CT Capitol

(Photo via Illyria)

(Photo via Illyria)

Albanian Americans celebrated the independence of Kosova (or Kosovo as it is commonly known in English) at the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford on Feb. 16. An Illyria article by Ruben Avxhiu documented the music, performances and speeches marking the 8th anniversary.

The event included a photography exhibit on the journey taken by Kosova war refugees in 1999, curated by Albulena Maloku, who came to the U.S. at the age of 10 and recounted her story at the capitol. “We had representatives from Asian community, Bosnian community, Hispanic community and Jamaican community,” she told Illyria, which added:

The organizers were encouraged by this presence from other ethnic communities at the Albanian-American celebration. It was another example of mutual respect for our different cultures and traditions.

Among the speakers were elected officials like Rep. John Barry Larson (D-CT) and Hartford mayor Luke Bronin, as well as esteemed community members such as Naim Maloku, a former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army and a signee of the Kosova Declaration of Independence.

The day also included a parade of traditional Albanian costumes, which can be seen in the many photos from the festivities found at Illyria.

[Editor’s note: According to CTPost, about 6.4 percent of Albanians Americans live in Connecticut, the highest percentage of any state.]

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