From the 20th to the 23rh of October 2004, the 8th Edition of the International Poetry Festival “Ditët e Naimit” was hold in Tetova


The Magic of the Word like a breeze over Tetova After three days jammed with literary, artistic, and musical activities, the fine arts, and book promotions in the Poetry City of Tetova, Macedonia, the International Poetry Festival “Ditët e Naimit 2004” was closed. The participants were 33 poets from different countries of the world as well as many poets from the Albanian regions and diaspora. The spectacular inauguration with the parade of traditional costumes of the members of the Cultural-Artistic Association “Sources of Sharri” and the magic created by the fireworks and flambeaus induced unprecedented feelings in the numerous citizens of Tetova, who had gathered in front of the Palace of Culture. First, the exhibition with pictures painters from Tunisia, Poland, Iraq, Albania, and Macedonia was inaugurated in the hall of the Palace of Culture. The 8th Edition of the International Poetry Festival “Ditët e Naimit 2004” was opened by the director Shaip Emërllahu, who said among others: “Three days in succession, we will move inside the poetic sky of the City of Poetry, Tetova. The geography of the participating poets, which includes two wings of the globe numerous kilometers away, the USA and South Korea, means for us that the dimensions of the window of this edition are extended. This proves the magical force of poetry, which has built up codes of communication with the reader. Persistent until the end, we continue to walk this path in order to climb to bridges, which our literary folk knows to build.” This edition of the Festival was welcomed by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, Musa Xhaferi, and the Mayor of Tetova, Murtezan Ismaili. The lecture about the life and work of our national poet Naim Frashëri was held by the known scholar for literature, Prof. Dr. Floresha Dado. The solemn staging was accompanied by musical pieces and artistic plays by artists from Korça, Albania, under the leadership of Dhimitër Orgocka. In the Great Hall of the Palace, in an impressive scenery thought up by the painter Savash Veliu and realized by the company “Korona”, two literary hours were staged before the lovers of the written word, “In the World of Poetry” and “Poetic Globe”, where poets from the most diverse countries of the world read their poems. The poets featured in the Anthology of the Festival were: Desmond Egan – Ireland, Craig Czury and John J. Rigo – USA; Moon Chung Hee – South Korea; Abdul Hadi Sadoun and Rassim al Ismail – Iraq; Rafaelo Patino – Columbia; Ana Istaru – Costa Rica; Silke Liria Blumbach, and Chryssanthi Sahar Scharf – Germany; Juan Camerun – Chile; Alper Çeker and Cevdet Karal – Turkey; Katia Ermenkova and Polina Todorova – Bulgaria; Abdelkerim Khalki and Houda Ben Driss – Tunisia; Marta Iszak, Vinicius Paul Gheorghe, and Joan Es Pop – Romania; Ashour Fenni, Nouar Abidi, and Yousef Chagra – Algeria; Psaraldis Elena – Greece; Maria Adele Giommarini and Silvia Raccichini – Italy; Tone Škrjanec – Slovenia; Natalie Moseshvili and Shota Iatashvili – Georgia; Bistra Ilin and Iskra Peneva – Serbia; Ivo Ledergerber and Fred Kurer – Switzerland; Małgorzata Rudowic – Poland; Fatos Arapi, Agron Tufa, Arian Leka, Ilir Levonja, Vitore Stefa Leka, and Elvana Zaimi – Albania; Sali Bashota, Osman Gashi, and Ragip Sylaj – Kosova; Murat Isaku, Vasil Tocinovski, Hristo Petreski, Iljaz Osmani, Salajdin Salihu, Isuf Sherifi, Shaip Emërllahu, and Ismail Iljazi – Macedonia. In the South-East Europe University of Tetova, the laureate of the “Naim Frashëri” Award was presented, the Irish poet Desmond Egan. His poems were recited, and the poet Desmond Egan himself answered to the interested public’s questions. At the end of the meeting, a movie about his life and work was shown. During this edition, the newest publications of the “Ditët e Naimit” Edition were promoted, too: the Anthology of the poems of the participating poets, “Knocking on the Wall”; the poetry volumes “Hand in Hand with Tragedy” by Fatos Arapi, “Strabism” by Arian Leka, “Portal of Stars” by Artan Asllani, and “Courtly Dream”, a translation of Shaip Emërllahu’s poetry into Macedonian. The critic Ahmet Selmani analyzed the poetic universe of the authors of these books, whereas the Macedonian literary critic, Prof. Dr. Vasil Tocinovski, spoke about the work translated into Macedonian, “Courtly Dream”. The Literary Committee, consisting of Prof. Dr. Floresha Dado (President), Dr. Osman Gashi, and Ahmet Selmani, awarded at the end of the Festival the known Irish poet Desmond Egan with the great “Naim Frashëri” Literary Prize of the Festival. The poet from South Corea, Moon Chung Hee, was awarded the Literary Prize “Naim’s Candle”. Sali Bashota from Prishtina, Kosova, received the Literary Prize “Menada”, whereas the Literary Prize “Oeneum” was given to the poet Agron Tufa from Tirana, Albania. They were given the prizes by the director of the International Poetry Festival “Ditët e Naimit”, Shaip Emërllahu. The participating poets of this festival visited the historical-cultural monuments of Tetova and of the Macedonian capital Skopje. At the end of the Festival, a gala dinner was organized in the restaurant “Ara” in Tetova in honour of the participating poets, who enjoyed themselves until midnight with Albanian songs and music performed by the singers Jetmir Rexhepi and Jeton Pustina. The direction of the artistic by-programme was in the hands of the theatre director from Korça, Dhimitër Orgocka, who recited also poetry of the national poet Naim Frashëri and of contemporary Albanian and foreign poets. During the three days of the festival, many musical pieces were played, too, whereas the verses of the poets on stage were accompanied by flute and piano music by artists from Korça. The scenery of the Festival of this year was magnificent and at the same time quite functional. It was designed by the known painter Savash Veliu and realized by the company “Korona”, Tetova. Declarations of the prizewinners of the International Poetry Festival “Ditët e Naimit” The winner of the main award “Naim Frashëri”, the well-known Irish poet Desmond EGAN “I will never forget that night, which rewarded me with this splendid prize, that came like a sign of gratitude and recognition through the evaluation of the Commission of the Festival Direction. I would like to greet the director Shaip Emërllahu, who created a wonderful event with a great organization, and therefore I would like to thank him for this honour you grant me at this Festival.” The winner of the Literary Award “Menada”, Sali BASHOTA “It is a great honour and joy for me to receive this literary award, which will remain for me an eternal memory from Tetova.” The laureate of the “Oeneumi” Award, Agron TUFA “If my poetry brings me the same satisfaction as this prize has brought me, I will keep this prize as a relic for all the activities which took place, as a symbol of poetry, which has put up its national Albanian centre in Tetova, including international poetry as well.” The laureate of the Award “Naim’s Candle”, the known poet from South Korea Moon Chung Hee “This festival, which was organized so well, where had come together poets from diverse countries of the world, constitutes an important event, first of all for the Albanian people, but simultaneously also for all of us, who have traveled thousands of kilometres in order to be an integral part of this poetry celebration. I return with an appreciation given to me as a present by the Albanians. This is ‘Naim’s Candle’, which will shine also in my Korea.” A. Arsllani