Novruz and his brother are quite famous in their village. They are the DJ and singer to call for every event: weddings, anniversaries, baptisms, etc. Even the municipality and the local school hire them from time-to-time for some events such as national or religious celebrations.
Katund i Ri is a village in the western part of Albania. The road leading to the village is newly paved and the migrants’ remittances contributed to the presence of nice-looking houses on both sides of the main road. Farming and agriculture are main income generating activities in the area, but remittances remain a strong contributor to the local economy.
Novruz’s father works in the family’s plot and also as an occasional agricultural worker in Greece. Novruz’s mother receives a small pension due to the family’s large number. He lives with his three brothers, two sisters and three sisters-in-law. The male family members occasionally work in construction, while the women take care of the house and of a 3 year old nephew.
With his job as a DJ, Novruz contributes to the family budget, especially during summer when many people living abroad come back to the village to get married. Many villagers have immigrated especially to the UK.
Novruz also tried to go to the UK in November 2014. He flew to the Netherlands but at the Rotterdam port before taking the ferryboat he was found with an Italian fake passport. At that time he was a minor so consequently he was sent to a reception community for unaccompanied minors and got included in a voluntary return program.
Several steps were taken in order to ensure his normal reintegration in Albania, such as the family tracing conducted in Tirana. IOM supported Novruz’s return and reintegration and helped with the purchase of the DJ set and kit, allowing him to restart his dream job. “I've always loved music and I was fascinated by musicians. I love to contribute with music and celebrate happy moments for my people.”
Nevruz has kept only one memory of his shortlived stay in the Netherlands, a Christmas tree that he won at a raffle and that he keeps in the living room as a souvenir.