Educate. Experience. Empower.
30 April 2012
In cooperation with the Victory University College in Prishtina, Kosova, TBG Foundation has facilitated the USA Study Tour 2012 - New York City and Washington, DC, so as to enable participating students a first-hand experience of two of the most important global centers of business and politics.
Eight Victory University College students along with two of their professors have participated in this tour from 22 April to 29 April 2012.
The agenda of the tour included a stay of four nights in New York City, followed by a three night stay in Washington, DC. While in NYC, tour participants that were escorted and guided by the President of TBG Foundation, Tony Bislimi, visited many of the cityís key attractions, including Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Empire State Building (86th floor observatory), World Trade Center, Central Park, and Wall Street.
On the more formal side, participants met the Ambassador of Albania to the UN, H.E. Ferit Hoxha, at the Permanent Mission of Albania in NYC. After a brief introduction by Ambassador Hoxha about the role of the Albanian mission to the UN and his job, participants were able to ask questions and discuss pressing issues with the Ambassador. Escorted by UN-accredited Albanian diplomat Ervin Nina, participants were given an insiderís tour of the UN building.
Students, faculty, and Mr Bislimi were also invited to a meeting with representatives of the Consulate General of Kosova in New York. At the Consulate General, a very friendly meeting was held with Consul Fatmir Zajmi and Councilor Imer Berisha.
A special tour of Fordham University, facilitated and guided by Mike Omboni, an economics student at Fordham, was also provided to the USA Study Tour 2012 participants.
Apart from its fame as the capital of the world, New York is also known, in the Albanian world, as the capital of the Albanian diaspora. The role of the Albanian-American diaspora has been crucial to Kosovaís freedom and independence. But, the true voice of the Albanian people in America has been made heard by the Albanian American Civic League. Participants were honored to have a working dinner with Hon. Joe DioGuardi and Balkans Affairs Adviser Shirley Cloyes of the Albanian American Civic League. At this working dinner, other members of the AACL Board of Directors participated as well, including Zef Balaj, Luan Bukolla, Agim Alickaj, etc.
On April 26, participants went from NYC to Washington, DC. In DC, they visited the Embassy of the Republic of Kosova and many of DCís historic sites and attractions. More important, however, with the help of Joe DioGuardi as a former Member of the US House of Representatives, who flew from NYC to DC to be with the participants of the USA Study Tour 2012, students and faculty of Victory University College had the experience of their life. They were able to get into off limits areas of the US Congress in Capitol Hill and were met, in his office, by US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California.
Congressman Rohrabacher presented an American flag that was flown over the Capitol Hill in honor of TBG Foundation to Tony Bislimi. In the views of Hon. Rohrabacher and Hon. DioGuardi, the work of our foundation is inspiring many young Kosovars and is proving to be especially helpful for building a peaceful and prosperous future for Kosova. The same honor was also presented for Victory University College to the Collegeís representative on this trip, Leonora Selmani.
While in Washington, DC, the Voice of America TV featured an interview with Tony Bislimi along with some statements made by student participants of this trip during their prime time news hour.
Kosovar media have also covered this trip, including national papers and local radios and TVs.
Given the success of this trip, TBG Foundation hopes to be able to offer this program to other interested groups of students and faculty from Kosova and the region in the near future.
At the UN, New York
Inside the UN General Assembly, UN, New York
Time to eat...
Inside the UN Security Council briefing area
At the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York