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Astoria Characters: The Old Kid on the Block

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 08.03.2014 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

It's going on six decades. Even Jimmy Bejanis is astounded when he does the math. That's a long time -- his entire life -- to stay in one place and in one house.

How Muslims Saved This Jewish Family During The Holocaust

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 05.14.2014 | Religion

Johanna Neumann was nine years old when her family escaped from Nazi Germany to seek refuge in Albania. They spent six years there and survived the wa...

4 Steps To Finding Inner Strength After Divorce

Shelly Ulaj | Posted 02.12.2014 | Divorce
Shelly Ulaj

I was so used to being taken care of by family and then my husband that I never realized what I truly meant to be a self-sufficient adult.

A Child of 1989

John Feffer | Posted 02.01.2014 | World
John Feffer

The changes that took place in East-Central Europe in 1989 were not just an inflection point for people in the region. The lives of many outsiders were profoundly altered by what happened that year.

Syria's Chemical Weapons May Be Destroyed In.. Albania

AP | MIKE CORDER | Posted 01.23.2014 | World

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The international chemical weapons watchdog was meeting Friday to endorse a plan to destroy Syria's deadly poison gas ...

Start of EU Membership Negotiations With Serbia Could Further Stabilize the Western Balkans

Dominik Tolksdorf | Posted 01.23.2014 | World
Dominik Tolksdorf

The past year has demonstrated that the prospect of EU membership can be a powerful incentive for governments to take unprecedented decisions toward stability and conflict resolution.

The Race From the Bottom

John Feffer | Posted 11.04.2013 | World
John Feffer

It's almost never an advantage to be at the bottom. But when it comes to the list of poorest countries in Europe, there appears to be a slight advantage.

The PR Man: Savvy New Leader Aims to Tackle Albania's Image Problem

Andi Balla | Posted 10.06.2013 | World
Andi Balla

For Albania's newly-elected prime minister, Edi Rama, much of the fame outside this small Southeast European country has come from his painting. He is now set to work again on the country's image, which still needs a makeover to recover from its, mostly unfair, association with backwardness and crime.

The Joy of the Unexpected

Sanjay Surana | Posted 08.01.2013 | Travel
Sanjay Surana

One of the delights of travel is the people that you meet, people to whom you have no obvious connection, except that for some brief moments you inhabit the same physical space.

Combating Corruption in Albania: Superman, Where Are You?

Fron Nahzi | Posted 09.29.2013 | World
Fron Nahzi

Albania needs committed, law-abiding public servants and funding for government services that improve the livelihood of citizens. Unfortunately, this can only be achieved if Rama can free Albania from the grip of organized crime. This is possible with help from friends.

Balkans Road Trip (Part 1)

Stewart A. Swerdlow | Posted 09.15.2013 | Travel
Stewart A. Swerdlow

After a one hour delay at O'Hare Airport in Chicago due to an air-conditioning issues on the plane, we took off for Dusseldorf and what we expected to...

In Albania, It's the Institutions

Fred Abrahams | Posted 08.31.2013 | World
Fred Abrahams

In Albania, it's not a lack of democratic spirit or knowledge that prevents the construction of independent institutions. It is the prevailing economic powers' lack of interest in having them be truly independent.

Country's National Elections Marred By Violence

AP | LLAZAR SEMINI | Posted 08.23.2013 | World

TIRANA, Albania — Albania's national elections Sunday were marred by violence after an exchange of gunfire wounded a candidate and killed a supp...

Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha: His Way or the Highway

Fron Nahzi | Posted 08.17.2013 | World
Fron Nahzi

Prime Minister Sali Berisha's reelection bid centers on building the country's first motorway. But his poor track record in combating corruption and upholding the rule of law has many wondering if Berisha is taking Albania down the wrong road.

Albanian Elections: Promises of Change, Really?

Fron Nahzi | Posted 08.06.2013 | World
Fron Nahzi

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Campaign. Much like the 1963 epic American comedy, the runoff to Albania's June 23 national elections has brought together a c...

One Insane Day in Albania. (Yes, Albania.)

Peter Mandel | Posted 07.08.2013 | Travel
Peter Mandel

Color is coming back to the now-independent free-market democracy. A bit of the Balkan Peninsula, it's only slightly larger than Maryland. But there's variety inside that space, including a mountain-studded interior and an unspoiled Adriatic coastline.

Paranoid Dictator's Communist-Era Bunkers Now A National Nuisance

Wired | Pete Brook | Posted 03.12.2013 | World

In Albania, 750,000 Communist-era bunkers populate the landscape, relics of the paranoia and skewed priorities of former dictator Enver Hoxha. Now the...

Five Years of Kosova Independence

Rep. Eliot Engel | Posted 04.21.2013 | World
Rep. Eliot Engel

February 17 marked the fifth anniversary of Kosova's independence. It has been a honor and a pleasure to stand by the people of Kosova as they have moved from tragedy to triumph over the last 20 years. But the struggle is not yet over.

A Surprise Recommendation For 2013

Leyla Giray | Posted 02.26.2013 | Travel
Leyla Giray

Isolated for decades under a dictatorship that was harsh even by Communist standards, Albania opened up in the 1990s and has since been hustling to catch up to the rest of Europe.

How Albania's Religious Mix Offers An Example For The Rest Of The World

Stephen Schwartz | Posted 11.28.2012 | Religion
Stephen Schwartz

It has been said often that small nations may produce great ideas. Albania suffers economically, but it maintains its dignity. For Albania's example of cooperation between believers, it deserve the congratulations of the world in the 100th year of its independence.

Money, Corruption and Slavery

Monique Villa | Posted 12.18.2012 | World
Monique Villa

Human trafficking and slavery depend on corruption, which depends on cash. Cutting off the global flow of money that is essential to greasing palms of corrupt officials would go a long way toward ending this barbarity. How to achieve that is another story.

Movie Review -- Taken 2, A Near Miss

Carole Mallory | Posted 12.09.2012 | Entertainment
Carole Mallory

Taken 2 is a good sequel for those who were fans of the original, but it is not great.

HORROR: Former Political Prisoner Sets Self On Fire

AP | Posted 10.08.2012 | World

TIRANA, Albania -- A former Albanian political prisoner has been hospitalized after setting himself on fire to demand quicker payment of compensation ...

Albania: Our Optimistic Ally

Rob Taub | Posted 11.28.2012 | World
Rob Taub

Sometimes our country reminds me of the rich, successful friend we all have who does nothing but complain about the difficulties in their life.

Baba Rexheb: A Balkan And American Sufi Saint

Stephen Schwartz | Posted 08.23.2012 | Religion
Stephen Schwartz

Sunday brought a distinctive commemoration of Muslim spirituality. The occasion was Baba Rexheb Appreciation Day, honoring an Albanian-born Sufi.