An official website of the United States government

Remarks by Ambassador Yuri Kim at the Israel-Albania Culture Festival
September 14, 2021

A woman speaking at a podium in front of a futuristic looking display

Përshëndetje, shalom. It’s very wonderful to be here, and I want to thank the Israel-Albania Culture Festival for including me in tonight’s activities. It’s a wonderful way to think about history, culture and art. I’m hoping that tonight as people watch Yael Katzir’s film “The Albanian Code”, it will remind them of the best of the Jewish culture and the best of Albanian culture.

There are lots of things that are said about Albania and Albanians, but for me, the most important thing, the truest thing, is that Albanians are a people of hospitality and not only hospitality but courage. When someone is in need, Albanians are the first ones to extend a hand. They did it in World War II, they’re doing it again. In situations where the world heaps scorn, an Albanian will offer bukë, dhe kripë dhe zemër.

I’m so proud to be among you, and I know that as a human being if I ever get into trouble, I know where I’m coming – I’m coming to Albania. I think these are lessons that the whole world should learn from this tiny little country. And as Megi said, it’s a tiny country with a huge heart. Thank you very much.