Prime Minister Edi Rama attended a meeting with young artists to honour Enkelejda Kamani, the soprano who ranked first in the competition of the prestigious Theatre "La Scala":
I apologise for my voice, after you listened to Enkelejda’s, but this is the voice I have, I don’t have another voice.
I am very honoured to be here today. It's one of those moments when the privilege of being in this position is overwhelming as you are given the opportunity to be very close to people like Enkelejda, an artist whom we feel honoured and lucky to have.
I am also very pleased to have the opportunity to greet Enkelejda here, not just for what she does on stage – for what she does on stage she is greeted by far more competent people in a field where I’m not competent at all, - but for her example. The strength of her example is a precious gift that Enkelejda makes to all the young people of this country as she shows them how somebody, who is not backed up by a renowned surname, whose family doesn’t have extraordinary opportunities, but rather it is an average family with average parents who live by their honest work; somebody who has grown in a city that is not a metropolis of music or arts, close to Tirana but at the same time far away from Tirana in many respects, can succeed if he or she follows his or her dream with courage, passion, will and sacrifice.
Of course, she’s not the first one but she is another amazing witness in the wake of those who have emerged from our little world and have conquered the stages of the big world of music, of the opera, with their talent and with what they certainly have very special since they stand out among the thousands or hundreds of thousands of others who come from much bigger countries, whose path is much easier, but at the very bottom they all face each other on stage with their inner strength and the ability to convey this strength.
I’m very glad also for Zana [Çela] who brought good luck to the Theatre of Opera and Ballet where she has been rightfully welcomed as the return of the “witch”, but where once again I am sure that she will prove that she is the right “witch” for Theatre of Opera and Ballet. This theatre is being finally reconstructed after many decades of abandonment, where the only shining thing was the performance of the artists on the stage, and where everything else radiated sadness, aging and a dereliction of this fantastic island that has provided Albania with much more than what politicians have given it in all these years, to name just a remarkable category.
I believe also that it is a fantastic example that the future is of those who believe in the beauty of their dreams, and that you can make your dreams come true, if you are willing to walk all through the way to that dream; it is an extremely difficult path, and the bigger the dream, the tougher the path. That’s why many people prefer killing their dreams in cafes, gossiping about everybody, why he or she did not become what he or she wanted to be.
Meanwhile, there are few people who are willing to cross the sea to succeed and who have succeed.
I don’t know what Enkelejda has told about the time she was a little girl, but I remember when Ermonela Jaho was a little girl and used to say, “I will sing at La Scala”. Everybody, not her neighbours, but those attending the School of Arts pitied her like somebody who had gone crazy. But Ermonela sang at “La Scala”, and she continues to sing on the most prestigious stages of the world, thanks to a special talent which she turned into power of communication through an extraordinary will, a unique faith and sacrifices only she could tell about. When we look at the shining stars on the stage, we just see their point of arrival, but only they know how much it took them and what it takes them to transform their bodies into a source of such a strong radiation.
I heard that Enkelejda is in love with Klodian. Lucky guy! I hope Enkelejda also says about herself “lucky me”, so it’s up to you to make her be always happy with you.
Meanwhile, I want to assure all of you that it is a great motivation for us when such great things happen. It is also a great motivation because we feel worse than usual, and I assure you that we feel usually bad about how many things have not been done in many years; things which could have been done for the Opera, for the museums, for the Academy of Arts, for the School of Ballet and for many other sectors, and how much people are entitled to be impatient and to want things be done immediately. It is not quite a good feeling, but at the same time it has an internal energy that increases motivation and awareness that the more we do to create conditions and to expand the space for talents, the more this country will be able to have its own talents and not lose them along the way hampered even more because of deprivations, shortcomings and large gaps.
I’ve received many messages about how many things the Ministry of Culture has done, but I won’t dwell on how much we have done. Actually, it is true that we have done a lot compared to where we were, but a lot more remains to be done if we look at ourselves in the mirror of what we want to be. A lot more remains to be done because a lot more can be done, but also because it must be done. A lot more can be done and should be done, so that the people of this country have the normal conditions to give life to their ideas by means of their talent.
The proved truth of these 20 something years is that individually, we Albanians are really special people, we have shown that we can face difficulties which people may find hard to believe that they can be overcome by somebody. We have shown this wherever we have gone. But we’ve lacked this capacity every time we have found ourselves in our homeland. Probably because we have tried here the easiest path, the path of our relatives, of the party, of the bribery, of the acquaintances, and so on. These things don’t exist beyond the border. There are us and the world, and between us and the world there’s a whole sea to cross by foot.
On the other hand, instead of stimulating an individual behaviour, like the one we have when we are abroad, the conditions created over the years have stimulated an entirely different behaviour. You know very well that no Albanian drives without fastening his or her seatbelt when they’re abroad, whereas here we’re still fighting the battle to convince people that they should fasten their seatbelts when they drive. There are endless of such examples, from the most ordinary to the most sophisticated. But the final simple conclusion is that we need to make state, and we need to create the conditions for every institution to be in their place and every individual have their place and be given the opportunity to work in order to find themselves, and then give the maximum for themselves and for their families.
Coming back to Enkelejda who has gathered us here tonight, I cannot but extend her once again my gratitude. You didn’t do it for us, but we also will benefit from this. You did it for yourselves, maybe you did it also for Klodian, for your parents, but I hope you thought also about us the moment you did it, because the truth is that we also receive something from the radiation of your example.
I hope this is only the beginning and that what we’ve seen so far is not a big deal, and I am sure it is not because I saw you while you were singing, and your eyes were far away. I wish you to reach where your eyes are when you sing!
We will do everything we can for you and for all those who come from the path of the average families of this country, from the path of hardships, of hopes and of dreams, so that they will have the opportunity to make their dreams and their hopes come true.
But it is sure that no matter how much we do, without the examples like yours, very few or nobody could be able to believe that they can achieve what you’ve achieved.
Thank you for being there! Maybe one day the two of you will sign together on the same stage, and we will say that there’s not only Enkelejda, but there’s also Klodian. Many thanks to everybody!