Vasil Prifti: Living the American Dream

Christian Gardner, Sports Editor

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As Americans, we often take the simplest things for granted. Often times, there’s more to the surface. This was evident when talking with lunch staff employee Vasil Prifti. Prifti is an immigrant from Albania, a small country above Greece. “The most beautiful country ever!” said Prifti. Albanians are descendants from the Illyrians who lived in the Bronze Age in 2000 BCE. Albania gained independence in 1912. However, according to The World Bank, Albania became one of the poorest countries in Europe in the early 1990s. This lead Prifti to America. “In my country, this is the promise land.”

When Prifti arrived in America four years ago one of his biggest struggles was the language. “Not talking and not expressing myself. It was like there was a big wall in front of me,” said Prifti. As Americans we take the English language for granted. We are given the luxury that only one language is all we’ve ever needed. Most of us have never had a problem in expressing ourselves. We haven’t experienced the struggle of not being able to communicate to the person next to us. This is the first major challenge that immigrants have to face when arriving in America. “When you don’t have language, you have no skills.” said Prifti.

Throughout the interview, Prifti made it clear how he loved this country. He often spoke about the beauty of America and the American Dream. Prifti said that in America “You have all the opportunity, all the possibility. If you dream it, you can make it a reality.” While talking about finding success he said, “If you want you can find it. If you don’t want to look for it, you get nothing. If you stay at home and watch TV, nothing comes up.” He added that “Whatever you can see, you can do it.” Prifti shared his biggest dream was to be in America. He reiterated how America is the “promised land.”

Image of Tavë Kosi authentic Albanian dish Credit – sbs.com.au

Since Prifti works with the lunch staff, I asked him about his favorite Albanian delicacies. He said that Tavë Kosi (baked lamb, rice and yoghurt), oven roasted vegetables, stuffed green peppers, stuffed eggplant and stuffed zucchini are some of his favorite dishes. “Very delicious, I can tell you that. Not just because it’s my food, but I can tell you this is the best food ever!” said Prifti.  He shared that Albanian food is a lot like Greek food. “If you’d like to try Albanian food, you can go to a Greek restaurant. You’re really gonna find the good stuff.”

Prifti has found love for his new home. “When I say Albania, I say America. It’s the same,” said Prifti.

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