Dubai: The Republic of Albania celebrated its National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai, showcasing its rich cultural heritage and highlighting the UAE’s humanitarian efforts in the Balkan country.
Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania, was welcomed to the ceremony in Al Wasl Plaza on March 9 by Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai.
The Albanian leader said: “It is with a sense of pride and gratitude that we are here today, invited to celebrate the Albanian participation among a record number of 192 countries that have gathered in this magnificent [World] Expo in Dubai
In his speech, Rama highlighted “the touching on the ties of solidarity, humanity and friendship between Albania and the UAE, including the latter’s support following the 2019 Albania earthquake”.
He noted: “In this great [World] Expo, everyone has a chance to see, in these very turbulent times, how great the potential is for good — all the countries and the peoples of the world, if they come together, if they work together and if they walk together. And, of course, among so many countries big and small, we are a humble presence here. But we strongly believe that we are among those countries that are yet to be discovered and among those destinations that are yet to be enjoyed by people from Europe, the Middle East and all over the world.”
Bridge between people and cultures
Sheikh Nahayan, for his part, said: “As a country that has been at a crossroads between Eastern and Western Europe since antiquity, Albania’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai positions it as an important bridge between people and cultures, while also highlighting the key investment prospects on offer in the fields of infrastructure and renewable energy, among others.
“We are pleased to share a strong relationship with Albania, and are keen to widen the horizon of our collaboration across various areas of shared interest, such as renewable energy, industry, and trade, among others,” he added.
Albania’s National Day ceremony was highlighted with a cultural performance featuring soprano Vikena Kamenica and pianist Merita Rexha alongside the Albanian Dance Ensemble, presenting the Balkan country’s rich traditional and contemporary folk song and dance, accompanied by Albanian instruments.
Later in the evening at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Earth Stage, the Albania Pavilion presented Future Meets Origin, an exploration of the past and present of Albania’s three ethnographic areas through music, dance and fashion design.
The Albania pavilion features a host of examples of national dress, paintings and musical instruments, as well as handmade products from around Albania providing an in-depth insight into the country’s culture and heritage. It also uses videos and audio tours, as well as the latest in virtual reality technology, to take visitors on an interactive journey, moving from mountains to beaches, from grassland to lakes, with each journey highlighting Albania’s connectivity and its cultural and geographic diversity.
Expo 2020 Dubai will run until March 31.