The six students in our 2018-19 class of International Peacemaking Program fellows will spend a year at Hartford Seminary studying mediation, interfaith dialogue and public speaking while earning a Graduate Certificate.
We asked each of them to answer the same set of questions.
Q. Briefly tell us about your educational background.
A. I have finished my high school at Medreseja e Korces Turkish college. After that I graduated from Beder College University in Tirana for Islamic Sciences.
Q. How did you learn about Hartford Seminary’s International Peacemaking Program?
A. I have a friend in Waterbury [CT]. He is an imam and the leader of the Albanian-Muslim Community in Waterbury. He told me about this great seminary. I applied and then got accepted, thank God. As for the IPP, I learned from the admission’s staff of Hartford Seminary.
Q. Why are you interested in learning about peacemaking?
A. Nowadays there is so much of a need for peace, in my opinion. Not only inside our soul but also peace between each other. Being in interfaith leadership for me is being like a flower in the middle of the desert. Everyone may think that the flower will die, but for me the challenge is to find water so I can live. It is hard but not impossible as long as we have faith and hope in our hearts. So I, Albi, as one person cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person.
Q. How do you hope to use your skills after a year of training as a peacemaker?
A. We never know what will happen with our life, but I say with all my heart that I will use my skills for commitment to society whenever and wherever needed.
Q. Tell us a little about your home country and the interreligious conflict it faces.
A. My country is a small country, therefore people don’t know too much about interreligious conflict except academic people and the people who work toward solving conflict. Up to now I haven’t seen too much conflict. There is, for sure, conflict that sometimes is hidden, but in general people don’t know the interreligious conflict and its characteristics.
Q. Give us a quick description of your home life and any interesting facts about yourself!
A. My family has four people. My dad, my mom and my little sister. I also have nine cats and one dog. I live in a small village in district oe Devoll called Bitincke. My dad works in Greece as an immigrant for 26 years. My mom doesn’t work and my sister is in the second grade of high school. I love fishing, swimming, playing soccer, hanging out with friends, and I love electronics so much. … Also, my name means my heart. It comes from Arabic language. I love making other people happy and making them smile.