This week the historic center of Gjirokastra was buzzing with activity in preparation for US Ambassador Alexander Arvizu’s first visit to the city. During his stay in Gjirokastra on July 13-14, the Ambassador took the opportunity to tour the Babameto first category monument, which is an ongoing CHwB restoration project, as well as the old bazaar, the castle and a Communist-era bunker complex. He also spent a morning meeting with CHwB and other NGOs, in order to get a feel for the needs, hopes and initiatives of civil society organizations working in Gjirokastra.
Ambassador Arvizu spoke frankly and openly about the richness and importance of Albanian cultural heritage and was proud that the US could play a small part in helping to preserve that legacy. He emphasized, though, that individual Albanians must be the ones to come together to protect their rich cultural heritage.
This is one area, said Arvizu, where Albanians have an opportunity to volunteer and contribute their own efforts, something that the US Embassy is promoting through its ‘ACT Now’ campaign (Vepro tani). ‘ACT Now’ covers a broad range of civic engagement, but in the field of cultural heritage, it also reinforces CHwB’s ongoing campaign entitled ‘Make it Yours!’ (Bëje tënden!).
Local heritage is an essential piece of human identity, and a society’s active engagement with heritage is one sign of a dynamic and evolving culture. Therefore, ‘Make it yours!’ encourages everyone, from specialists to media to politicians to everyday people, to take an active role in using, preserving and promoting their heritage. In Albanian, the phrase ‘Bëje tënden!’ captures both the idea that people across the spectrum of society should take personal responsibility for their heritage and the idea that they need to do their part to conserve and advocate their heritage, in order to ensure that it remains a source of pride and inspiration for generations to come.
Ambassador Arvizu was invited to Gjirokastra by the Gjirokastra Foundation (formerly GCDO), which has been a partner organization of CHwB on several important restoration and revitalization projects in the historic center of Gjirokastra.
16 July 2012
Posljednji Newsletter (4/07)
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