Dua Lipa obtains Albanian citizenship : NPR
@BajramBegajAL/Screenshot by NPR
The Albanian president on Sunday granted Albanian citizenship to pop star Dua Lipa for promoting the country through her international fame.
President Bajram Begaj said he was happy to recognize Lipa, the daughter of Albanian immigrants, for her musical talents and contribution to Albania’s international awareness.
“Happy to give the one and only Dua Lipa the decree of Albanian citizenship,” he said. “She made us proud of her global career and her commitment to important social causes.”
“It’s an indescribably great joy with such acceptance and love and everything,” Lipa told The Associated Press. “I will also be an Albanian with papers.”
Lipa was born in London in 1995 to immigrant parents from Kosovo, making Albanian her first language. Her parents had always wanted to go back to Kosovo, she told NPR in April, and when she was 11, they all came back.
“It took me a long time to find my feet there,” she said. “It’s interesting to approach that at 11, but I don’t think I would change that for the world because it really helped me become who I am.”
Lipa and her father co-founded the Sunny Hill Foundation in 2016 to raise funds for people in financial difficulty in Albania. They organized the annual Sunny Hill Festival to raise money for the foundation and support young people in the creative arts.
His support for Albania sparked a backlash in 2020 after the pop sensation took to Twitter and posted a Photo with a “Greater Albania” flag. The controversial flag is associated with ultra-nationalists who believe Albania’s borders should be expanded to include parts of Kosovo, Serbia, Greece and North Macedonia.
She captioned the photo, “adjective au•toch•tho•nous (of an inhabitant of a place) indigenous rather than descended from migrants or settlers”.
Lipa said the post was misinterpreted to promote ethnic separatism, which she said she “completely rejects.”
“We all deserve to be proud of our ethnicity and where we come from,” she wrote in a statement. “I just want my country to be represented on a map and to be able to speak with pride and joy about my Albanian roots and my homeland.”
The granting of citizenship comes just before Albania’s 110e anniversary of independence from the Ottoman Empire.