Albania: Juliana Pasha campaigns against blood vengeance

by Stella Floras 102 views

After placing 16th in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest final, Juliana Pasha went straight back to work as she is soon to release a Christian CD in her native language as well as English. At the same time, she is actively involved in the fight against the vendetta, a gruesome tradition which has been plaguing many families, in Northern Albania mainly.

Juliana Pasha is currently involved in the Hannah Albania project, using her fame to help abolish the blood vengeance (Gjakmarrja) which is still practised in northern parts of the country, where she comes from, tormenting thousands of families. Juliana can now be seen on a poster which says "Choose forgiveness, choose freedom, stop blood vengeance". The popular singer has dedicated much of her time visiting victims of blood vengeance in prisons and talking on radio programs advocating forgiveness instead of murder.Women and children are the ones suffering the most from this ancient tradition as they live in constant fear not knowing whether they will see their loved ones alive again. Some are even driven to murder themselves out of fear.

Although Albania is not as enthusiastic about the Eurovision Song Contest as some of their neighbours, hopes were high for Juliana as she is one of the country's most popular professional singers. Interest in the media was low with only one newspaper, Shekulli, following Juliana closely on the way to Oslo. Hopes were raised when she managed to qualify to the final but local media showed their disappointment by the low placement on the final scoreboard writing: "We get the same place even when we send a professional singer like Juliana Pasha."

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Stella Floras

Thanks to Johnny Logan and Hold me now I fell in love with the Eurovision Song Contest, a love that's been going strong ever since with undiminished passion. My first memories date back to 1977 and the lyrics of Rock bottom, Dschinghis Khan and A ba ni bi are still engraved in my brain.

I joined in 2006 as a junior editor after being invited by Barry Viniker, I soon became Senior Editor and during the 2007 contest in Helsinki I was appointed Head of Communications. Today I hold the post of Head of Human Resources and I am proud to be working with the best editorial team in the world.