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Frequently Asked Questions
1. What got you interested in Albanians and why have you taken this so far?
I’m not, but my partner is. I (Ashley Wood) am from Atlanta, Georgia, born and raised an English speaker. Bora Shehu, my partner and co-founder of the organization is from Tirana, Albania, but has lived in Atlanta for the past 20 years. She was born and raised speaking Albanian and English.
3. Why are you doing this if you aren’t Albanian?
Simply because I want to support the Albanian culture. My life was saved by Albanians when I was traveling in Latin America and that sparked my interest in the culture, language and people. I think the differences between Albanian and American culture are fascinating and that many people can learn from it. By learning about how other cultures think and operate, we can better understand ourselves and perhaps incorporate positive aspects of another culture into our own.
4. Weren’t you writing a book about Albania? What happened to that?
I wrote a book about my experience being saved by the Albanians in the D.R.. It is currently being edited for publication. This organization was inspired by the large number of Albanians who wanted to participate in telling their story for the book.
5. What is the point of Albanian Voices?
The point is to increase awareness of the Albanian culture worldwide and serve as a base for the Albanian community. We do this by presenting personal narratives and stories which humanize the Albanian experience.
6. How will you increase awareness?
With a strong social media presence and by networking and connecting with other Albanian organizations and non-profits.
7. How will you sustain the organization financially?
With 501(c)(3) tax status, we will be able to apply for grants and funding that will maintain our organization’s goals and allow us to sponsor Albanian cultural events.
8. Is there a large Albanian community in Atlanta?
No, but there is one. Albanian Voices is currently organizing events to bring this community together and create stronger bonds, raise awareness of the Albanian culture and support each other.