Archbishop Anastasios Honored with the Title “Honorary Citizen” of Durresi

On the afternoon of November 16th, 2016, a ceremony to bestow the title “Honorary Citizen” was held on the premises of the Aleksander Moisiu Theater. The ceremony was organized by the Municipality of Durres to honor the heads of the four traditional religious communities of the country, respectively Mr. Haxhi Hafiz Sabri Koci (posthumously), Prof. Dr. Anastasios, Archbishop of Tirana, Durres and All Albania, Mr. Rrok Mirdita, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Catholics of Tirana and Durres (posthumously), and the Head Grandfather Mr. Haxhi Dede Reshat Bardhi (posthumously).

The event began with a video montage that contained a brief biography and summary of the work each of the honorees.

Then, in front of a crowded hall, full of the clergy, dignitaries, intellectuals and believers (of which a significant percentage were Orthodox believers), Mr. Vangjush Dako, the Mayor of Durres, gave and address. After praising the senior clergy for their outstanding contribution towards the restoration faith in Albania, he bestowed the honorary titles upon the recipients. First, the title of honor was given to Mr. Sabri Koci, which was recieved by his son, next Archbishop Anastasios proceeded to the stage to receive the honorary title given by Mr. Dako.

His Beatitude praised the honor attributed to him and addressed the audience, saying, ‘I heartily thank you for such a special honor. Now I am a young 25 year-old Albanian from Durres. I would like to add something here regarding my dear brethren, with whom, in those early years, we did not only make an effort to get to know one another, but also to become brothers. And we all worked together, not only towards religious tolerance, but also towards a brotherly cooperation between us. It is very moving for me to remember them here today. Again and again I wish with all my heart many blessings for all communities.”

Mr. Reshat Bardhi’s title was received by the current Head Grandfather, Baba Edmond Brahimaj, whereas Mr. Rrok Mirdita’s title was received by a cleric of Durres. After a joint photo on the occasion, the participants attended an artistic program organized by the cast of the Aleksander Moisiu Theater.

For Archbishop Anastasios, this was an additional Title of Honor added to those received in Tirana, Korca and Kelcyra. In the cities of Korca and Kelcyra, two streets also bear the name of the Archbishop.

Source: OCP