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GENEVA, January 24, 2015 (Presheva Jone) – Albanian authors were cordially invited to participate at a literary evening hosted by the United Nations Society of Writers (UNSW) whose members are former and current United Nations staffers, who besides writing resolutions and reports indulge their literary vein by producing poetry, essays and short stories.
The 19th annual Ex Tempore salon in Geneva was held from 7 p.m. to midnight on a frosty Friday 23 January at the home of the editor-in-chief of the UN literary journal Ex Tempore, Dr. Alfred de Zayas, the UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, who graciously invited Albanian authors to the event.
Marko Stanovic, President of UNSW and economist at UNCTAD welcomed an audience of sixty enthusiasts and highlighted the objective of the UNSW to promote peace and understanding through literature, to enjoy the commonalities of all cultures and peoples who can and should be united through literature.
At the 19th Ex Tempore salon, poets declaimed in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish – only Chinese was missing this year from the menu. But we also heard some German, Latin and Vietnamese. For the first time poems were read in Albanian by Blerim Mustafa with subsequent English translation.
Poems in Albanian were presented after Albanian authors submitted their poems to the news agency.
In February 2014, Presheva Jone launched a poetry competition with Dr. de Zayas seeking to promote Albanian poetry among Geneva’s diplomatic community.
Bilal Maliqi’s, the Head of the Albanian association of writers in the town of Presevo in Southern Serbia, poem entitled “One Love”, and a self-written poem by Blerim Mustafa entitled “My Homeland” were presented to the audience.
Participants at the soirée included staff members from UNOG, UNHCR, ILO, OHCHR, UNCTAD, the European Broadcasting System, some of whom are also members of literary societies including PEN International and the Société génévoise des écrivains.
The editor-in-chief of the magazine stated “ This 19th edition of the Ex Tempore salon has proven once again that UN staffers have considerable literary talent that should be recognized beyond the confines of the UN. Our magazine is gradually obtaining international recognition and many libraries have all 25 volumes of Ex Tempore in their collections, including the Library of Congress, the UN library, the Bibliothèque de la Cité in Geneva, the Bibliothèque Nationale Suisse in Bern, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, etc.“
The United Nations writers association was founded on 14 August 1989 by Leonor Sampaio (Brazil), Sergio Chavez (Argentina) and Alfred de Zayas (USA), who served as its president until his retirement in 2005. The United Nations Library held a very successful “Library event” on 14 October 2014 to celebrate 25 years of UN writers for peace.
According to Ex Tempore’s website, membership is open to active and retired staff of the UN, specialized agencies, CERN, Permanent Missions and Observer Missions, inter-governmental organisations, NGO’s and the press corps.
Presheva Jone would like to thank the UN Society of Writers for this enjoyable evening and would like to encourage Albanian UN staff members and diplomats to contribute at the forthcoming 2016 annual event by presenting Albanian literature, and to submit poems and essays for publication in the 2015 edition of Ex Tempore (number XXVI, to be published in the fall of 2015).
* This article was written by the author in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not represent the view of Leidar
** Disclaimer: Blerim Mustafa represented Presheva Jone as a freelance news reporter and is not associated as staff