Albanians raise money for domestic violence victim

Sunday, October 5 was the first day of the Hebrew School of the Pelham Parkway Jewish Center. Helen Siegel welcomed the students and their new school teacher Chaviva Pincus. Registration is open. Call (718) 931-6954 for more information. Pictured (l-r): Rachel Losak, Helen Siegel principal, Andrea Losak, Ariana Acosta, Brianna Matlins and Chaviva Pincus.

A recent immigrant who was the victim of a horrific stabbing at the hands of her estranged husband is now struggling for her life. Members of the Albanian American Society Foundation are trying to raise money for the children of the woman and the victim, who was stabbed 12 times, but miraculously survived.

Mimoza Smakaj became the victim of domestic violence at the hands of her husband, who stabbed her repeatedly in her apartment at 2502 Barnes Avenue, near Mace Avenue, on Thursday, September 11.

Smakaj is currently at Jacobi Hospital, where she is recovering from the vicious attack to her torso and chest. The Albanian American Society Foundation is asking for donations that will go towards helping her two children, a 2-year-old girl and 8-year-old boy.

“I know the woman, and thank god she is going to survive,” said Esad Rizai, the founder and president of AASF. “Jealousy reigns in every community.”

Rizai said he learned from his conversations with Mimoza Smakaj that she didn’t want to stay with her husband, who was a negative influence on both her and her children.

“He was a real loser,” Rizai said. “She didn’t want to stay with the guy. She will be in the hospital a long time. Someone who stabs his wife 12 times must be a beast.”

The owner of Palombo Pastry, former Fordham University professor Paolo Palmobo, joined Rizai in his fundraising efforts.

According to a complaint report, her husband Mikel Smakaj entered her apartment through a window at around 8:30 a.m., while both she and her children were asleep.

Mikel Smakaj said in a statement to the police that the couple was estranged for 16 months, and that he had just returned from living in Michigan when he found that his wife did not want him near the children.

Mikel Smakaj said that when he went into the kitchen to get a glass of water, after breaking into the apartment and watching his son while he was sleeping, he noticed his wife’s cell phone sitting on a table and became enraged when he went through the numbers she dialed and saw that she had recently called the police.

Mikel had allegedly made threats in person and over the telephone against his wife in the days before the attack.

When Mikel Smakaj threw the phone into a garbage can, it woke Mimoza up and a fight ensued, according to his statement. He said he then proceeded to stab his wife before fleeing the apartment.

Mikel Smakaj is charged with attempted murder, assault, burglary, criminal possession of a weapon, endangering the welfare of a child, and harassment.

To make a donation aiding both Mimoza and her two children, contact the Albanian American Society Foundation at (718) 295-2505.

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