Dear Members and Friends of the Society Farsarotul:
I wanted to take this opportunity to announce to one and all an exciting new initiative we are undertaking here at the Society Farsarotul: our Overseas Task Force.
Immigrant communities such as ours are most alive when they maintain contact with their homelands — in our case, with our communities in Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, and Thrace. The harsh realities of global politics, however, have cut our community off from the old country; instead, we have drawn into ourselves, our families, and our communities in America. The focus of the Society Farsarotul also narrowed down to preserving and enhancing our community in America. This has worked for us, but only up to a point — as a community, we cannot survive indefinitely cut off from our roots.
Today, the collapse of communism has opened up the possibility of renewing our contact with the other countries which host communities of Aromanians. We have decided to take advantage of this unique opportunity by sending two of our most highly trained scholars to reach out to our people in Europe.
Nick Balamaci, Secretary of the Society — and founder and editor of this wonderful Newsletter — will travel to our communities in Greece, Albania, and Yugoslavia. Nick is a summa cum laude graduate of Queens College with honors in History. He made Phi Beta Kappa and won a prestigious Mellon Fellowship to pursue his study of European History, specializing in the Balkan Peninsula. In addition to being a graduate of the summer school of the Balkan Studies Institute in Thessaloniki, Greece, he holds a Master of Arts degree from Rutgers University and has published several articles about our people in academic and lay journals.
Beverlee Fatse Dacey, Assistant Secretary of our Society, will visit our communities in Romania. An anthropologist with Bachelor’s degree from Wheaton and Master’s from the University of Chicago, Beverlee has won several grants to study our community in America. But she is also uniquely experienced for this assignment — she has the distinction of being the only member of our community to have been recognized by the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars with the coveted Fulbright Grant, which allowed her to live in Romania and study our communities there for a full year. During that time, she gathered much information and made many valuable contacts. This visit will be like a return home for her.
Nick and Beverlee will be donating their own hard-earned vacation time from work for this important project, which is estimated to take 2 to 4 weeks. They will spend that time away from their spouses — all of this for the good of the Society, and for the good of our people. Their dedication awes and inspires me, and I know I speak for all of us in thanking them and in wishing them safe and successful voyages. Cali ambar!
Robert J. Nicola
President, Soc. Farsarotul