Stream running through Tirana in the 1990s before Edi Rama took office

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Comments (2) in support of
Edi Rama, Mayor of Tirana

Further comments

Supporting Edi Rama:
I appreciate your work; by organizing this worldwide vote for the World Mayor 2004, you invite people to focus primarily on the main point: what’s the change, and what service the Mayor has done for the city and its people.

I give my vote for Mr. Edi Rama, Mayor of Tirana, first and foremost for the fact that he has changed the face of Tirana, and through it he has made its people optimistic about the future, the city and the country. And to think that he has achieved so much with a very low financial income and financial expenditures, and with so many mental and physical efforts and so much energy on his part and the part of the team that he leads.

There is no doubt about the results for other mayors all over the world, but I would like to strongly recommend that you see what Mr. Rama has done in a short period and with very limited financial resources for Tirana and its people: such important, essential, optimistic work. If you see Tirana today, it gives a strong message for the future to its people and to the people of the whole country. This is the main reason that I vote for Mr. Rama, who has the support of the people of Tirana, especially of the youth. By winning the title the World Mayor 2004, Mr. Rama would be an example of the kind of mayor that the world’s cities are looking for.

Supporting Edi Rama:
There is no doubt on my part in selecting Mr. Edi Rama for this honourable award.

I am an Albanian who left Albania two years ago. When I was there, I was able to understand and touch the wonderful job he was doing.

Still, I am aware of almost everything he is doing to transform not only the infrustructure of the city, but, the most important thing, to touch the spirits of people, to bring hope and faith amongst the citizens.

Lots of Albanians now see Tirana and Albania as possible choices for returning to and contributing to as their own country. This is because of politicans like Mr.Edi Rama as well.

I strongly believe that winning this award for their outstanding mayor will, for Albanian citizens, translate into more responsibility for and commitment to their country.

Supporting Edi Rama:
Edi's challenge was not only the small budget that the city had or the lack of other resources that richer cities have. His greater challenge was to change the mentality of Tirana’s citizens. He overcame this challenge, and this can be seen by the fact that more and more of Tirana’s citizens now know that being a citizen means having responsibilities: the responsibility of doing everything that’s possible for you as a citizen to contribute in your city's progress.

Supporting Edi Rama:
Edi Rama is the best Mayor in world. He is working very hard and with modern vision for the building of the capital Tirana, and is creating in people a modern mentality for democracy and prosperity, in the difficult place that is Tirana after the hardest period of communism.

Supporting Edi Rama:
The reason I and a lot of people from Tirana vote for Mr. Edi Rama is that all Albanian people, most of all Tirana’s residents, know how much he has worked to make Tirana a better place. Everybody knows how much he has contributed to Tirana’s culture. He has opened movie theatres, he has brought the best singers to Albania from around the world. In total, he’s the best Mayor in Albania’s history. I hope with all my heart that he will have, and I wish him, all the best and good luck.

Supporting Edi Rama:
The reason is that since he was voted in by the people of Tirana he has done a good job, and has kept his promises. The main reason is: Mr Rama has cleaned from Tirana the dirt, the garbage and the kiosks, which had made the capital look like a trash city.  A few years later, Tirana looks like a normal and clean city where you can live.  However, there is still a lot to be done and  I do believe he is going to continue the hard work, for two reasons: First, he loves what he does, and second, he has the support of the people of Tirana. Well done. I am sure this will encourage other mayors in other cities in Albania.  It is a great example to be followed for every other politician in the country.

Supporting Edi Rama:
I am an Albanian who lived and worked in Albania until 2001, when I left to work for a EU agency here in Turin. I vote for Edi Rama not only as an Albanian but, mainly, as somebody who is helping Albanian/Tirana citizens start trusting/believing and respecting the institutions/their representatives and, above all, their own community. It is an impossible mission to do that in a country like Albania, but Edi Rama has done it. I see all these changes in talking to people in Tirana and Albania and in its physical appearance. Also, Edi is challenging all of the old establishment. 

Supporting Edi Rama:
He is one of the most courageous and toughest people, who is trying to do something good for his city and country. Due to his strong personality, he is trying to put aside all the grumblings, by concentrating only on the most necessary priorities, which for this city are immense. He will remain the best mayor, not only in Tirana, but also in Albania. Tirana’s face is changing every day, and everybody (even most of his opponents, in silence) supports this mayor for the radical improvements [he has made]. He is determined to keep his commitments, no matter what politicians of any party might think. My country has been in agony for about 14 years as a result of the unaccountable politicians of both main parties. Before, people thought my country would never be like its counterparts in Europe, but being selected for the second time as the mayor of Tirana city, Edi Rama has shown that he is an extraordinary leader with enormous skills, and the outlook is positive. The attitude of people has changed, and they are very keen about the future. In my opinion, he is a survivor, and everyone has something to learn from him. In the end, my family and I will never hesitate to vote for Edi Rama. My country is desperately in need of such great people. 

Supporting Edi Rama:
I hope that once he fixes the capital, he takes over the country. He is clearly the only one that has a vision and the courage to do anything in Albania. I wish there were more Edi’s in Albania.

Supporting Edi Rama:
My vote goes to the mayor of Tirana, Mr. Edi Rama. I went to Albania in 2002, after a period of 5.5 years, and saw colossal changes. The face of the city had drastically changed for the better. The Lana River was not any longer a nest of filth, but a clean river with lush green lawns and colorful flowers. For the first time I saw families sitting on benches and enjoying the view. The gray and depressing looking executive buildings now looked polished, warm and inviting. The [formerly] garbage filled streets looked cleaner than ever. These are not all, but only a few, of Mr. Rama’s achievements during his years as mayor. Despite all the attacks by other politicians, he continues to prevail in his work and be an excellent public servant. In the near future, after completing my graduate studies in the US, I would like to go back and join his team in the effort of serving Albania’s citizens.

Supporting Edi Rama:
You should first make a very big distinction between these mayors and Mr. Rama. Albania is a poor little country. It has been under communist dictatorship for fifty years. Albania is a country where Coke was tasted for the first time in 1992. People have watched tv massively since 1992. People went abroad for the first time in 1990. Don’t forget the terrible civil war of 1997. It happened only because of money and poverty. This black picture reflects every single city of poor little Albania. Even its capital. Edi Rama changed everything. He is not only the mayor of Tirana, but mayor of Albania. I am a nineteen years old student who hasn’t lived in Albania for one year. I am a resident of Canada, but Edi will be my hero. I have the courage to call him Edi because he is the friend of all the young people, and he is the best friend of all the old. He was the first who made a REVOLUTION in my country. I am pretty sure that you will not believe me if I say to you that I went to a cinema for the first time when I was 17. I didn’t live in Tirana, but Edi made the mayors of all the other cities build the new and modern cinemas. He made a cultural and economic REVOLUTION. You won’t believe me if I tell you that political life in Albania is very, very hot, and Mr. Rama was one of the last people who fought to calm down the situation. If Mr. Rama would appear on tv, I assure you that all the people would leave everything and watch him with admiration. I am sure that he will not be a winner, because it is ridiculous to challenge the mayors of New York, of Paris, of Toronto, because it is quite normal that nobody knows him, but personally I am very honoured to write these words. I am doing this to thank him, even though he doesn’t know anything, for the hope that he brought among us.

Supporting Edi Rama:
I really believe that he is a symbol of hope, of development and of the future for Albania. Over four years in his position as a Mayor, he has shown clear [leadership] and taken the necessary actions in the following fields:
1. Reduction of poverty
2. Education and schools for the new generation
3. Health care and improving conditions in hospitals
4. Setting up certain standards on running a local government
5. Enforced rule of law in the city of Tirana
6. Improving the city’s face and raising the hopes of people in Tirana
7. Being a symbol of hope and the future of Albania

I think it is time for development and change in Eastern European countries, and Albania specifically. We are still being governed by ex-communists, who have changed their skin and face but not, and never, their mentality and way of governing the people. It is time to show to them that in this country there are new people with great vision for the future of Albania such as Edi Rama, that should lead the country toward development, prosperity and a better future for the Albanian people.

And I am sure that by qualifying Mr. Edi Rama as a best Mayor of the World, you will have raised the hopes of the Albanian people and increased the pressure on the ex-communists and current leaders to leave their chairs and positions and lead the new generation taking over the country, and lead the people of Albania towards Europe.

I thank you for this opportunity, and I’m very hopeful that Mr. Edi Rama will qualify as a best Mayor of the world at this time.

Supporting Edi Rama:
I think he has done the impossible: that of bringing hope to his people by his admirable work and determination. He works tirelessly under extremely difficult conditions and, as one student said to a British journalist last summer, when asked about their city: “We can finally now hope, dream and work for a good future: all thanks to Edi Rama.... I just wish that every city in Albania had a mayor like him.” I can wholeheartedly say there is a reason now to live and work in and travel to Tirana... That of good will and cheer, and all thanks to Edi Rama! Giving him the ‘World Mayor 2004’ will mean a lot to the under-listened-to people of Albania. Do the right thing and praise their saviour!   

Supporting Edi Rama:
Please don’t give it to Edi because he will see it as a stimulus to work even harder. We all know that he works up to his limit every day and minute to give the city of Tirana its deserved assests back, and we don’t want to overload him. We like him as he is, working at his pace, and that is good enough for us. Edi Rama has already won in our hearts. 

Supporting Edi Rama:
Hi, I am an intellectual from Tirana, Albania. I am voting for Mr. Rama because he did a lot for my city. The most important thing is, he made us proud to say, “We are from Tirana”.
He is an artist in mind and in spirit. I don’t think that any of the mayors all over the world have so much popularity.  You must all know that being a mayor in Tirana is nobody’s dream, but he did it. WE ALL TRUST HIM. CAN OTHER MAYORS SAY THE SAME?!

Supporting Edi Rama:
I am an Albanian, and it is the first time in Albanian history that a mayor has a clear vision for the future of the city Tirana. Now Tirana belongs to Europe, and when the people go there they feel themselves as if in New York, Paris or whatever. I live in Toronto, Canada, and I know Mr. EDI RAMA personally, and I think he has more brains then George Bush or John Kerry.

Supporting Edi Rama:
I am Albanian and I have lived in Toronto, Canada for around four years. I think Mr. Edi Rama is one of the best mayors of the world for many reasons. He changed the look of the city. He changed the bad image of the communist capital of Albania. Now Tirana belongs to Europe, and everybody feels himself at home. Now Tirana is Paris, New York, London, etc.  Tirana is even better. Thank you, Edi Rama.

Supporting Edi Rama:
I believe he stands out as the most devoted, passionate and successful mayor. He had to deal with technical difficulties and the lack of professionalism that characterized the two previous mayors of Tirana (since the democratic system was established in 1992), as well as assassination attempts. He has restored the lost respect for and belief in [the office of] mayor. He has done great things for the city of Tirana.  I did visit Tirana this year, and was transfixed by the changes; he has done so much, in such a short period.

Supporting Edi Rama:
Hi, I’m Sokol from Tirana, actually a student at Cairo University. Years ago I saw some thousands of citizens protesting against the government, shown on the front page of a newspaper. There was a black and white picture of Mister Rama one step away from Paradise. It was a miracle that kept him alive. Times changed, and the tall, talented artist became the one who gave me and my friends the chance to see the latest movies, to participate more in the youth life of Tirana and many other opportunities. He was Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports then. Since 2000 to 2002 we have had lots of meetings and consultations with his staff to help in increasing the participation of the youth of Tirana. Many of us, the youth of Albania, study abroad, and we touch and feel a lot of changes during our vacations. Mister Rama is changing Tirana’s face. He knows how to get things done and to protect his work. To be emphasized also is the fact that he is the best friend of the youth of Tirana, and one day, I’m sure, he will be the best friend of all Albanian youth. He is the only one who deserves our votes.

Supporting Edi Rama:
He is simply the best, and because of that he deserve to be the winner. He is the one who changed the face of Tirana. Come and see Tirana now!!! Once you come you always will ask to come!! Many visitors have been surprised while visiting Tirana – such a lovely, colorful, friendly and beautiful city. Only he, with his will, his grin, his spectacular ideas/attitude and his determination made possible that great change for little Albania. Go Edi go.

Supporting Edi Rama:
I returned to Albania after two years and I was amazed with the amount of work and the changes that Edi has brought to Tirana. He has turned what I remember as a city of dirt and buildings in the parks, pathways basically everywhere, into a place where now there is space to walk, there is a clear infrastructure and, furthermore, his work continues to tackle the problems in Tirana. I think he should win World Mayor 2004 for the job he has done with the limited resources he has.

Supporting Edi Rama:
Si on fait une visite à Tirana on peut se rendre facilement compte pourquoi il faut voter pour Edi Rama. (If one visits Tirana, one can easily see why it is necessary to vote for Edi Rama.)

Supporting Edi Rama:
It is my opinion that this man is one of the greatest that Albania has ever had. This man gave Tirana a new vision for developing and changing it. This is a vision that is very artistic and full of color, combined with a very positive energy, force, intelligence and will, such as any great leader would envy. He is a man who has many new and brilliant ideas for changing not only the capital for which he is responsible, but also the mentality of the people in general, and the mentality of politicians in particular.

One of the best qualities that he has is the fact that he never gives up, and he always does what he promises. He never gives up for all the things he knows that are right, conform to the law and benefit  public interests. In a word, he is ahead of his time here in Albania, but this is why such people are great, because they’re ahead of their time. With leaders like him, people are never pessimistic or afraid that things will go wrong for them. The bad thing is that there is no other politician, mayor, or leader like him here in Albania, or anyone with such high and upright principles as him. There are many characters in the political and intellectual area that are very good lawyers, excellent financiers or academics, but they don’t have the strength to go on, or to go against the barbaric energies that often pull back our country and keep it far from integration.

I really thank you for the opportunity that you give us to express ourselves, and not only the voting process. I hope that these comments will be worthy somehow to evaluate the best mayor of the world.
Sincerely, I don’t have the time to know all the mayors that are in competition, but I hope for the jury to have patience and time to read the letters of their electors just to give an objective decision.

Supporting Edi Rama:
I think that Mr. Edi Rama should win the title of World Mayor 2004 because he is the mayor that Tirana needs after a long period of bad management. He is doing a lot of things that anyone can see without difficulty, and the difference from Tirana of four years before is evident. He is doing a lot of work to mobilize the young people to take concrete initiatives for improving the quality of life in Tirana in order to change the mentality of people, the passivity created during the communist period.

Supporting Edi Rama:
Edi Rama should win the title because of the phenomenal job he has done to change the face of Tirana. Not only he has worked diligently to eradicate and clean up the urban mess he inherited from previous local governments, but he has worked with a vision and followed a plan that will give Tirana a European look. The most important thing is that Mr. Rama’s example instills in the minds and hearts of young people in Albania the idea of working together for a better life. His courage in making hard decisions and standing up for what is right has given him great popularity among the citizens of Tirana. It’s a shame that the work of the central government in Albania, with its level of management, cannot be compared with that of the local government as managed by Mr. Edi Rama. For that, I would be (and I think a lot of Albanians would be too) delighted to see Mr. Rama as Prime Minister of Albania in the near future.

Supporting Edi Rama:
Vote for Edi? I can’t do anything else. I’m an Albanian student living in Italy and, even though I’m not from Tirana, I go there every time I go back to Albania. More than ever, Albania now needs political and social leaders to be just, strong, fast and humanitarian in their work. I guess Edi’s got that stuff. I think the best part of the Albanian people, just as I do, would like Edi to be not only their mayor; they want him to be the Prime Minister of Albania. Go Edi, go!

Supporting Edi Rama:
It’s simply because he is one of the rare people who has changed the face of the capital of Albania, making it a metropolis. I’m voting for him not only for his work, but also for his intelligence and his humanity.

Supporting Edi Rama:
Probably the only Albanian public figure who deserves any recognition during the last 13 years that Albania has enjoyed democracy.  By commiting himself 100 per cent to his job, he has, above all, inspired the people of Tirana that there is hope for improvement and a better social environment.  He has tremendously changed the face of Tirana by rebuilding its beautiful parks and its roadways, as well as by improving the infrastructure.  With the help of this energetic man, Albania and Albanians, wherever they are, can start inviting their friends and tourists and offer them a very pleasant and unique experience.  Best of luck to Edi Rama.

Further comments

Stream running through Tirana
four years after Edi Rama became Mayor

World Mayor 2006

The World Mayor project is now in its third year. As in 2004 and 2005, this year’s World Mayor will again be seeking out mayors who have the vision, passion and skills to make their cities amazing places to live in, work in and visit. The World Mayor project aims to show what outstanding mayors can achieve and raise their profiles. It honours those who have served their communities well and who have made contributions to the well-being of cities nationally and internationally. The most outstanding mayor of 2006 will be presented with the World Mayor award.

In 2004, Edi Rama, Mayor of Tirana, won the Award. The 2005 winner was Dora Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens and now Greek Foreign Minister.

Between January and May each year, citizens from across the world are invited to nominate mayors for the World Mayor Award. They are also asked to provide reasons for their choice. After the close of the nomination stage, City Mayors, the organisers of the contest, prepare a shortlist of mayors who go forward to the second round of the World Mayor contest. In 2006, the list of finalists includes 50 mayors from North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australasia as well as Africa.