Sportsman, politician and missionary of peace

(Notes about the sportsman Muharrem Berisha, Director of Politics of the international organization Diplomatic Mission Peace and Prosperity)
He has been a champion of the Balkans in weightlifting, many times champion and winner of several Gold Medals in the country and in international events; a successful politician, but also a man that gives his contribution for peace, this is the great Muharrem Berisha.

To be a champion like Muharrem Berisha
Muharrem Berisha, Champion of the Balkans in weightlifting, has started his career as an amateur, but very fast, since 15, he was proclaimed champion for the first time and ever since then, in 1979, he becomes the absolute champion in the country, but years later even in the Balkans. But Muharrem Berisha is not good only in sport. After 1990, after having gone abroad, he returned in homeland and was first called to the political force of the National Front. Later, he didn’t feel well there, he went to the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI), where he continues his political career with much success. Muharrem Berisha also gives his contribution for peace.

Weightlifting
The beginnings in weightlifting career have been quite random for Muharrem Berisha, but then took the path of success by ranking him among the golden weightlifters of Albania with some gold medals and was declared champion of the Balkans. But even though he is one of the best, he is not one of those that sees the others from up. On the contrary he is simple, communicative and attentive when he talks with someone. Regarding the simplicity, he says: “People once told me you are a great sportsman. Among these great men of today, I feel small”.
And this says a lot about the Champion of the Balkans in weightlifting. He likes the beauty and loves humor. He is keen on travel, reading and many other hobbies. The champion in weightlifting, Muharrem Berisha, is one of those figures that not only honors the Albanian sport, but all Albanian nation making the Albanians feel proud of his name. His coach has been Ferid Barber, another champion in this sport, who said that he is one of the best that he has prepared.

The sport of weightlifting neglected
Talking with Muharrem Berisha is not difficult at all, on the contrary he is opened, gives concrete ideas, especially for sport, but why not also for politics and many other fields where he analyzes, but he also gives philosophical thoughts or imposes sentences by different authors or his own statements. During the converation with him, firstly we talked about sport. He says that weightlifting is the only sport that has brought in Albania more Gold Medals, but it is also the sport which has lack of attention from the government. “Government should take care of this”, Berisha says and adds that this kind of sport has made Albania known in those years when Albania was isolated and was almost unknown around the world.
“When we were asked where we came from, they confused Albania with other states. Noone knew where it extended. It was us, the sportsmen that more than its diplomats, made Albania known around the world”, Muharrem Berisha reminds not without regret the time of dictatorship when they went abroad in olympics or championships.
Asked for his colleagues who achieve excellent results, he answers that he is very proud whereas in cases where his younger colleagues were announced as users of banned substances in competition, he says that even here the government should intervene. So, it is needed more assistance from the government to know in depth the problems of sport.
“In our country as in other states should be taken measures against those who commit these offenses”, – emphasizes Muharram Berisha, while adding that even coaches who are today, leave much to be desired.

The entrance in politics
He is not the first sportsman that is in politics. In 1997, when he came back from abroad, the first “station” has been that of politics. And he had his success always guaranteed thanks to his dedicated work that characterizes always and in everything. “My success is not based on the fame that I have, but based on my work and dedication”, – he says when starts to tell about his career in politics. First he has been with the National Front inspired by such national historical figures like Mid’hat Frasheri and even by “Decalogue”, so “10 Items”, of the program of this political force, which he liked very much and he felt that this political force was for him, but he states that this political force was very sealed: “When I went there for the first time, they asked me what was my attachment to this political force and I didn’t like this for the reason that this question was also made by the leaders of the Communist Party while competing at the sport. So, in my opinion, a political force should be opened”… Some years later, for these features, he went to the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI). He adds that in this political force he has found what was missing to all Albanian political forces, because according to him this force is open and does not discriminate. “In LSI everyone regardless of which political party comes can be integrated, it is enough to give its contribution to democratic processes and for integration of the country in EU”.
He has also clear the visions regarding the national issues, that disturb his country. He says that Chameria, Kosovo and all the other Albanian territories will be within a single line border and this will be achieved without war, but with the integration of the country in EU. While regarding the head of LSI, Ilir Meta, he says that Meta is a politician who is giving Albania more than all the other political forces together. Regarding this, he tells that the ideas of Ilir Meta for Albania and issues as Chameria or integration of Albania, are accepted even by foreign politicians. Thus he says: “I was in Greece when I saw an interview of Papandreu and during the interview he was asked why he met ilir Meta and he replied that Ilir Meta is a politician with vision and as we seek the Great Greece he requires the Great Albania. With this that Muharrem Berisha tells, he gives a lot of messages for our politicians as well as for those foreigners, who try to express no values towards the Albanian state and our personalities.
He does not pretend for a career in politics, but seeks the best for his country, Albania, integration in Europe, assesses that the political force he belongs to, so LSI is the best option and the optimal one for the country and wishes to see his friends in the peaks of success. He is not greedy for political career, he is a dedicated family man, energetic in everyday life, gives opinions and analyzes with arguments in politics as well as in sports especially to weightlifting. He is dedicated even as a missionary for peace by giving his contribution as a part of “Diplomatic Mission Peace and Prosperity”, diplomatic office based in Tirana, designed by former U.S diplomat Richard Holbrooke, which is led by the writer and publicist Dr. Shefki Hysa.

I am indebted to my family
Beside sport and political life in LSI where he is also member of the Steering Committee, the champion Muharrem Berisha is also a dedicated family man and responsible. In family life he has always tried to be a good husband and parent, but he says he still feels indebted. “I haven’t dedicated the right time to my family, because my life has been all the time full of commitments”, adds further Muharrem Berisha, father of two daughters, who admire and are proud of their father.

But, who is Muharrem Berisha?
Born in 1964, while he was 15, Muharrem Berisha was announced for the first time a champion. National absolute champion in Albania in the years 1982-1992, in the weights 60, 67 and 75 kg. “Best Sportsman of the country,” gold and silver medals in European and world championships and the Balkans Champion. Muharram Berisha had a very high technical as sportsman. Since 1979, he becomes the absolute champion in five weight, ranging from 52 kilograms to finish in 75 kilograms and breaking 100 national records. He is become an absolute champion of five weights. In 1984, in Spain he took the fifth place, bringing for the first time in Albania such a result. In the Balkans championship in Albania in 1987, in the weight till 67 kilograms, he achieves to take for the first time in the history of Albania three gold medals. He had declared a month ago the result, but being in the ten best results of the world for the year, was another success. He has the title Sport Master, Deserved Master of Sport and Honor of Albanian Sport, but also the medals for distinguished merits in sport, taken after leaving the career. His best result is in 1983, only 19 years old, when Muharrem Berisha lift 140 kilograms, two more than the world champion of that year.

Honors and titles:
Muharrem Berisha has merited during his career many honors and titles like: “Master of sport”, “The deserved master of sport”, “The honor of Albanian nation”, winner of the survey 10 best sportsmen of Albania., etc. In the club of Dinamo he is declared for ten consecutive years the best sportsman. He has been leader of the weightlifting team of Dinamo and national team for a short period.

Journalist
Ylldije Sulka

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