I am thankful this week for the diversity of cultures we have here in Seattle.
A special thanks for Ferhat Ymeraga, a native of Gjakova, Kosovo, and his wife, Anne Fontaine for inviting us to a celebration in Seattle in honor of the 101st anniversary of Albania's independence on November 28. (My grandfather was born in the Italian hill town of Greci, settled by Albanian soldiers in the 15th century).
It was heartwarming to see all the families - many dressed in the country's traditional colors of red and black - dancing their traditional dances (some in 6-inch heels!) to music by Merita Halili, a well-known Albanian singer from New Jersey, and her husband's, Raif Hyseni, orchestra.
Ferhat, founding and current president of the Association Drita e Arberise (Albanian American Association of Washington State), is poet, an interpreter, translator of poetry, and now a friend. It was an honor to join in this celebration.