Twelve times longing for worldwide culture
From 23 to 26 October, in the Poetry Town of Tetova, the 12th Edition of the International Poetry Festival “Ditët e Naimit” has taken place, where for three days a series of cultural, literary, artistic, musical activities, book presentations etc. were organized. Over 42 poets from 24 countries all over the world participated in it along with Albanian poets from Kosova , Albania , Montenegro , and Macedonia .
The opening ceremony of the Festival began in front of the Cultural Centre “Naim Frashëri” with a beautiful choreography of fireworks, which covered for five minutes the sky of Tetova, with the placement of wreaths of flowers by the laureate of the Festival, Abdellatif Laâbi, and the director of the Festival, Shaip Emërllahu, as well as a parade of Albanian national costumes by the members of the Cultural-Artistic Society “Burimet e Sharrit”, who were holding torches on flame.
In the foyer of the Cultural Centre, the exhibition of paintings “Pelican” of the painter Shazim Mehmeti was inaugurated. Reshat Ahmeti, professor for visual arts, spoke about his paintings. Meanwhile, in the Great Hall, the 12th Edition of the International Poetry Festival “Ditët e Naimit” was opened by the director of the Festival, Shaip Emërllahu, who said among others: “For this surviving edition let me thank all those co-travelers who for more than a decade have made sacrifices and worked to build this bridge of poetry, which has to confront situations such as: being called to the police for organizing a poetry festival, the statue of the national poet Naim Frashëri being knocked down and him being left with not even two square metres to rest in peace, to be summoned to court for launching fireworks like the ones of today, the door of the theatre being closed in order not to let in the poets, who had come from different corners of the world, media judges not allowing the Festival to take a breath, the scenery being demolished shortly after the opening of the event, and the withdrawal of the meager public finances…
If the International Poetry Festival ‘Ditët e Naimit’ is erased from the list of financial support by the Ministry of Culture, which of our cultural activities could pretend to occupy the throne of public monies instead? So you favour Struga with hundreds of thousands of Euros, only because it speaks Macedonian, and it is not dignified to decide to penalize Tetova because it speaks Albanian. Moreover, all of you who touches this edition can see the triumph of determination, insistence, courage and the readiness for sacrifice, work, passion for poetry and the goal to give Tetova a poetry festival, a cultural window… Naim Frashëri.
Anyway, you are all aware of the fact that poetry has triumphed… All of us without exception have won… Even those who croaked in the newspapers, asking for the Festival not receiving any subventions by the government…
During the literary hour “Poetic Globe”, the poets from all over the world were presented: Francoise Roy – Canada/Mexico, Abdellatif Laâbi – Morocco/France, Giuseppe Napolitano – Italy, Mathura – Estonia, Kristian Guttesen – Iceland, Trine Andersen – Denmark, Erik Lindner – Netherlands, Diti Ronen – Israel, Khaled Darvish – Palestine, Viktoria Ivanova – Bulgaria, Silke Liria Blumbach – Germany, Zeki Salih Tombak – Turkey, Iskra Peneva , Viktor Radonjic-Serbia, Adisa Basic (Bosna and Hercegovina), Agron Tufa – Albania, Agim Vinca, Kujtim M. Shala, Xhavit Beqiri, Vehbi Miftari, Sabit Gecaj – Kosova, Hristo Petrevski, Biba Ismail, Salajdin Salihu, Ejup Ajdini – Macedonia. After the motivation being read by the chairman of the Jury, Dr. Agron Tufa, the laureate Abdellatif Laâbi received the literary award “Naim Frashëri” for high artistic values, and he was given by the director Shaip Emërllahu the title of an Honorary Member of the Festival.
On the second day of the Festival, in the Hall of the Senate of the South East European University , where the participants were greeted by the dean of the Faculty for Languages and Cultures, Prof. Dr. Vehbi Bexheti, the laureate of the Festival, Abdellatif Laâbi, was presented. He answered the questions of the attending students and professors as well as the moderator, Dr. Agron Tufa (the chairman of the Jury of the Festival). Later, a literary hour took place in the Great Auditorium of the Rectorate of the University of Tetova , where the poets partaking in the festival read their literary creations to the students and professors. In the afternoon, the poets visited the Old Town of Skopje, and in the evening they held another literary hour in the Albanian restaurant “Matoshi”, where they read until the early morning hours.
On the third day in the morning, the “Anthology of Arvanite Poetry” by the author Teuta Kamberi was presented and discussed by the editor of the book, Ahmet Mehmeti, by Agron Tufa, Remzi Salihu etc.
In the framework of the programme, the poets visited also the Multicoloured Mosque in Tetova and the Teqe Arabati Baba. At that mystical place, the poets were welcomed by the leader of the Bektashi community, Baba Edmond Brahimaj, who informed the poets about Bektashism, the Teqe and the Albanians.
During the great literary hour “Poetic Meridians”, poems were read and the literary prizes of the Festival were awarded.
The Italian poet Giuseppe Napolitano was declared the winner of the literary award “Menada”, Françoise Roy from Canada was honoured with the literary prize “Ditët e Naimit”, the prize “Oeneum” was given to the Kosovar poet Kujtim M. Shala, whereas the prize “Naim’s Candle” was awarded to the poet Salajdin Salihu from Macedonia .
This year, too, the Festival published the anthology of the participating poets, prepared by Shaip Emërllahu and translated into Albanian by the poet Silke Liria Blumbach, with the title “Symphony of Resistance”.
The opening of the International Poetry Festival “Ditët e Naimit” was broadcasted live by the national television.
The impressing stage was conceived by the painter Savash Veliu.
The sponsors of the Festival were the businessman Lazim Destani, the company “Renova” and the company “Vezë Sharri”. The Festival was supported also by the travel agency “Euro Turist”, “Bashkimi Tours” from Tetova etc.