On the occasion of her upcoming lecture at IWP on September 27th, 2012, Prof. Musaraj shared some of her thoughts in an interview with IWP student Peter Tase.
An academic career in Vlora
Prof. Musaraj has spent much of her academic career in the resort city of Vlora, Albania. Although Tirana, Albania's capital, is an intellectual center of the country, the city of Vlora does not fall behind with regards to university campuses and academic research. Vlora is home to two universities: Pavaresia University and Ismail Qemali University.
Although she conducts much of her research in Vlora, Prof. Musaraj has lectured in various well known European universities, and has not felt that her academic achievements have been constrained by her geographical location.
Her lecture at IWP, however, will be one of the few that she has given in the United States. Professor Musaraj was invited by Ambassador Thomas Melady to address the students and staff of IWP, "an academic institution that has served for [her] as a place of great intellectual integrity and has inspired [her] to embark further into the field of international studies."
The current academic environment in Albania
Prof. Musaraj observes, "In Albania, there is a constant lack of innovation and an academic community that has fallen asleep. Fortunately, I have been able to escape from this unproductive attitude. During my time as a chancellor of Pavaresia University, I had the opportunity to stimulate open discussion with faculty and staff."
Prof. Musaraj is one of the few members of the Albanian academic community who have made possible for themselves an international career from Vlora and who encourage young generations to pursue a career in foreign relations.
Indeed, she considers her advancement in her academic career "an opportunity to contribute towards the intellectual growth of the city of Vlora and involve as many participants as possible in town hall meetings, as well as in university events in the company of foreign guests and diplomats." She hopes that these public gatherings will help shape a new generation of Albanian intellectuals. In particular, Prof. Musaraj works to create an international environment for her students, and help immerse them in international cultures.
Prof. Musaraj believes that education should also contain a moral component: "Universities should not develop only technicians. Indeed the opposite is true; these institutions should foster citizenship and responsibility. When I speak of successful people, I am referring to those with the latter values, since we can never consider professional accomplishments alone."
Many of Prof. Musaraj's students have become successful people. She feels great professional satisfaction when encountering her former students in public administration offices and private enterprises. She finds that students are the best feedback for what professors have done in fostering professional success in each one of them.
The tourism industry in Albania
"I think that we should not be happy with the constant increase of foreign visitors who visit Albania for the first time out of curiosity. Although it is more complicated to do so, Albania should encourage tourists to return rather than only to bring first-time tourists every year. Albania has a long way to go towards a sustainable management model of touristic resources and guaranteeing the principal necessities for large number of western tourists.
"The case of Vlora is the perfect of example of poor project integration between the local government and the private sector. The former has lost interest in improving local beach resorts, and the latter has taken autonomous initiatives towards increasing the quality and standard of service in every tourist season."
Dr. Musaraj at IWP
Dr. Musaraj will discuss "Intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue in the Balkans" on September 27, 2012 at 4:30 PM. Please click here for more information.
Arta Musaraj, Ph.D.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Management from the University of Tirana, 1996; Master of Business Administration, University of Tirana, 2001; Doctor of Economic Sciences, 2004; Associate professor in Business Communication and Administration, 2007; Received the academic title of Professor Doctor in the field of Economics and Communication. 2012.
Professional Experience: Arta Musaraj was the dean of the Faculty of Economics and Law in the "Ismail Qemali" University in Vlora. Musaraj served as the founding chancellor of the Pavarësia University in Vlora. She is professor of communication sciences in the La Sapienza University in Rome and the University of Cognitive Sciences in Vienna, Austria.
Musaraj is the founding director of the Editorial Board of Academicus International Scientific Journal, headquarters in Vlora; a magazine with global reach that contributes towards the creation of a sole reality in connection to scientific research and academic participation beyond national angles.
She is the recipient of "Socrates Science Award," 2011 Award, and Harvard University has selected her twice to participate in the Woman in Leadership Forum, 2009-2010. She is the Coordinator for Western Balkans for the Canadian Institute of Economy. Prof. Dr. Musaraj is the CEO of the Entrepreneurship Training Center Albania. She is the author of many articles and essays in foreign and domestic newspapers and academic journals.