Afghan photos show Albania’s welcome
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Afghan evacuees in Albania opened an exhibit on Monday about their impressions of the small Western Balkan country.
The “Albania Seen from My Eyes” exhibition opened at the Tirana Art Gallery with photos of around 20 Afghans who fled to Albania last fall.
For Madina Talash, 20, a medical student who came with her sister, also a student, the exhibition showed the “beauty of a country”.
“This exhibition shows how another people see the beauty of Albania,” she told The Associated Press.
Arriving in Albania was difficult for everyone. Some 70 Afghan employees of the American Councils for International Education and their families had come in October while others supported by global soccer body FIFA arrived a month later. All now find themselves housed in tourist resorts along the Adriatic Sea.
Some 2,400 Afghans evacuated after the Taliban came to power last August have been accommodated in Albania. Some 300 have already left, mostly for the United States.
“The photos show how beautiful and colorful Albania is and how grateful our Afghan people are,” said 34-year-old university professor Mohammad Zafar Jaamay.
Anisa Ruseti, the deputy mayor of Tirana, was so happy to see how Afghans saw Tirana, the capital.
“We are so happy that they found this way to show our hospitality,” she said. “We now call each other friends.”
Firroz Mashoof, 34, a photographer who came to Albania with his wife, said Afghans have a lot to say to the world.
“I do my best to forget my past in Afghanistan, and I want to tell the world that Afghans will never be silenced,” he said.
“We couldn’t live there anymore. Schools closed for girls and for a girl who lived there, it was so difficult,” Talash said, adding that she hopes to join her family in Washington DC soon. “The situation has gotten so much worse.
Aria Mushahed, a doctor, was happy to give birth to a baby in a safe country.
Many Afghan women in Albania did not feel comfortable talking about their experiences back home, but all said they hoped to one day return to their beautiful country.
“I hope the country will find peace and I will be back home one day,” Talash said.
Llazar Semini on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lsemini