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Getting Ready 2

People have been busy over the last few days putting up more signs and posters and banners for President Bush's visit. The Pyramid now had an illuminated welcome sign on top.

A small but significant change has been made to the banner over the entrance. See if you can spot the difference between the banner as it is now in the picture above and as it was a few days ago.

Posters proclaiming the message Proud to be Partners have been appearing across the city and a huge version of this was being put together when I passed the University in Nene Teresa Square yesterday.

Today the Citizens Advocacy Office released the results of an opinion poll regarding the Bush visit. According to this poll, the two areas where people expect the visit to have a positive impact concern the final status of Kosova (61.7%) and Albanian membership of NATO (71%).

The President himself touched on both of those issues in his television interview with Andi Bejtja of Vision Plus. There is a English transcript of the interview on the White House website. You can also see the interview, dubbed into Albanian at YouTube.

I've been doing my own informal and unscientific polling by asking Albanian friends what people they know think about the visit. Most of these are younger people and the most common response is that they don't really think about it much at all.

On the one hand the President is welcome and they don't intend to take to the streets in protest; on the other hand they aren't planning to line the streets waving Albanian and American flags either. They see the visit as being all about politics and politicians, and don't believe it will make any difference for them personally.

I have no data to back this up, but I get the impression that this is a fairly accurate reflection of how ordinary younger people view these events.


Sokol said…
As an Albanian American I feel extremely proud to see my president visit my home country.I do not care about the opinion polls here and those in Albania. President Bush is not on a private visit. He is on a state visit, as president of the United States, and to me it means a lot. It's an event! Too bad I didn't know beforehand that he was going to visit Albania. Otherwise, I'd have wanted to be there. More as a personal fulfillment, something that is special, really special, especially after having lived in two different worlds, and finally having seen my Albania make a real U-turn, belatedly. But, better late than never. And also for a second reason. June 10th is special for Albanians in Kosova and all of us in the U.S. and U.K.
Sounding sentimental? I have a million reasons for that.
ローラ said…
Hmm. there are no words to describe the revulsion I feel at the sight of Bush. As an American he terrifies and embarrasses me. As an Albanian, it makes me sad that a visit by this dimwitted bastard is such a big political event.

The only thing I expect from this visit would be maybe some attention on the status of Kosovo.

About the flag; what's up with the flag?
Anonymous said…
the stars were moved to the right so that it does not look "dipped" anymore!! What a relief!
Still, I'm of the opinion to rotate it horizontally and to use more American flags than Albanian.
Anonymous said…
to the left I mean

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Welcome to Our Man in Tirana. I moved to Tirana, capital of Albania, in October 2005 and left in October 2007. This blog is a mix of photographs, reports, links, impressions and, undoubtedly, prejudices relating to the city and the country.

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