'New Rules' Singer Dua Lipa Has Been Granted Albanian Citizenship
Pop singer Dua Lipa has been granted Albanian citizenship for bringing attention to the country around the world. Sunday, President Bajram Begaj of Albania gave citizenship to a British singer whose parents were Albanian immigrants.
Lipa was born in London to parents who came from Albania. In 2016, she and her father started the Sunny Hill Foundation to help people in Albania who were having a hard time. Her becoming an Albanian citizen comes before the 110th anniversary of Albania's freedom from the Ottoman Empire.
Pop star Dua Lipa was given Albanian citizenship because she has used her music and fame to bring attention to the country. The star was born in London to Kosovan-Albanian parents in 1995. When he was a teenager, he went back to the area for a short time.
The president of Albania, Bajram Begaj, said that Lipa made the country "proud with her global career and engagement in important social causes".
The New Rules singer said that becoming a citizen was "an indescribable great joy" to accept citizenship. After taking pictures with President Begaj at Tirana City Hall, Lipa took an oath of citizenship, gave her fingerprints, and signed an application form for an ID card and passport.
Lipa's parents left Kosovo around 1992 when the tensions that led to the war in 1998-1999 were just starting to show.
Seit Lipa, the singer's grandfather, was in charge of the Institute for the Historyof Kosovo when it was shut down by Serbian law in 1992. This was seen by a UN special rapporteur as a sign of growing human rights abuses.
When Lipa's family moved to Camden, they taught her about her culture. Even after she fell in love with Western pop stars like Pink and Nelly Furtado, she still spoke Albanian as her first language. But her parents always planned to go back home, which they did when Lipa was 11 and finished primary school. She told NPR earlier this year:
It took me a really long time to find my feet there, it took me a really long time to find my feet there.- Dua Lipa
Eventually, the singer decided to go back to London to try to become a singer. She lived with a family friend until she was 16 years old. she told BBC Newsin 2016:
I guess it was scary for [my parents], but I was constantly on the phone to them: 'Ok, I've woken up. OK, I'm at school. OK, I'm back at home.' For them it must have been a rollercoaster of emotions. For me, it was the best time of my life.- Dua Lipa
Since she became famous with songs like "New Rules," "Be the One," "Don't Start Now," and "Levitating," the singer has made sure to honor her roots. In 2018, she and her father started the Sunny Hill Festival to raise money for the Sunny Hill Foundation, which helps vulnerable and needy people.
This week, she will end her world tour with a show in Tirana, the capital of Albania, to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the country's independence from the Ottoman Empire.
But in 2020, when she posted a map that seemed to show Albania, Kosovo, and parts of other Balkan countries as one nation and a caption that said Albanians were native to the area, she got a lot of backlash.
Ultranationalists who want to expand Albania's borders are linked to the controversial picture. The pop star quickly responded to criticism by saying that her post "was never meant to make people hate each other." In a statement, she said:
It makes me sad and angry that my post has been wilfully misinterpreted by some groups and individuals who promote ethnic separatism, something I completely reject. We all deserve to be proud of our ethnicity and where we are from. I simply 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 mother country.- Dua Lipa