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On October 27, at the Tirana Congress Hall, 1200 couples representing all regions and major cities of Albania participated in a marriage rededication ceremony officiated by UPF Co-Founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. The event was the culmination of a three-year campaign to revive traditional family values in Albania, during which thousands of couples from throughout the country participated in Family Blessing Festivals organized by the Family Federation for World Peace.

The Festival began with songs and dance by well-known Albanian singers and young folk dancers. An interfaith prayer was offered by Sheikh Mansour Diouf, a Muslim leader of the Mouride community in Senegal, and by Czech Pastor Dr. Mikuláš Vymětal, from the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren. After the ceremony, a congratulatory message was given by Mrs. Monika Kryemadhi, a well-known political figure and party leader and the wife of Albanian President Ilir Meta.

Extract of the speech by Mrs. Monika Kryemadhi:

Even though a few days ago the European Union gave us a desperate answer, the only thing that we value and of which we are proud is the family. It is the basis of our society. A strong family will lead to a strong society. Most of the pensioners in Albania today would not be able to survive for a whole week with their pension, never mind a month. With their income, they could not pay for their medicine, electricity and other expenditures, but it is the family that is the strength behind them; their children who have been educated to have love for their parents, and this fact makes us proud today in front of our international friends present in this hall.

In the globalized world today, with its free movement of peoples, we have heterogeneous families from different backgrounds, ethnical and religious backgrounds; we have Albanian men and women with spouses from other countries, with different nationalities. I have often been invited into such families. Regardless of what the man or woman is, what impresses me the most is the fact that the traditions, the customs, the languages are passed on with love and care to their children. I wish all these mothers and fathers a happy life, a warm family and a lot of love for their children.

Dr. Moon reaffirmed her hope that strong family values could foster peace and unity in the Balkan peninsula, and asked President Alfred Moisiu to lead the Steering Committee of the International Summit Council for Peace in the region, offering publicly her support for this initiative. She concluded the Festival by offering a donation to three charities, one run by the Mother Teresa Foundation, a handicapped children’s organization, and the World Bektashi Order.

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