Photo Credit: GPO
Albania's President Ilir Meta with Israel's President Reuven Rivlin at the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem

The concept of “Hakarat Hatov” — saying “thanks” and acknowledging someone’s efforts on your behalf — is one of the strongest ethical directives found in Jewish life. Albania’s President Ilir Meta is among those “strong ethical people” who also hold by this standard.


The Albanian leader arrived in Israel last week carrying with him his nation’s Golden Eagle Decoration. It’s one of the highest honors in the country.

Israel Sends Search & Rescue Team After 6.4-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Albania

President Meta brought the award with him in order to present the award to the Israel Defense Force National Search & Rescue Unit during a visit to the Ramla military base while in the country for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum.

The IDF sent a rescue team to help the nation of Albania after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake – the worst in decades – struck the nation’s coastal cities last November. Fifty-two people were killed, 3,000 were injured and thousands more were left homeless as a result of the quake.

President Meta said he was making the presentation “In appreciation and gratitude for the excellent work in helping our institutions and communities severely affected by the aftermath of the tragic earthquake.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.