Albania and the Albanians
Van Christo

1. Introduction

The Albanians are the direct descendents of the ancient Illyrians whose territories in
1225 BC included all of former Yugoslavia, that is, Dalmatia, Croatia, Bosnia, Herzogovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and portions of Macedonia and northern Greece. It was from one of the Illyrian tribes called the "Albanoi" located in central Albania, that the country derives its name. However, the Albanians call themselves " Shqipëtarë " and their country " Shqipëria" -- generally accepted to mean "landd of the eagles" because two of the Albanian words for eagle are "Shqipë" and "Shqiponjë." Shkodra, now one of the largest cities in Albania and located in the northern part of the country, was also the capital of Illyria so it has deep historic roots.

The Romans conquered Illyria in 227 BC for which they had to pay dearly by making frequent expeditions across the Adriatic Sea to quell the insurrections that had become chronic. During the civil war between Caesar and Pompeii, Albania served as the battlegound for the contest of the supremacy of Rome. The decisive battle between Octavius and Antony for the imperial throne of Rome was also fought on the Albanian seacoast, and in commemoration of his naval victory at Actium, the future Emperor Augustus built the new city of Nicopolos on the southernmost part of the Albanian seaboard whose ruins may be seen in the modern-day city of Preveza which was taken away from Albania and assigned to Greece by the Ambassadors Conference of London in 1913.

When the capital of the Roman Empire was transferred from Rome to Byzantium in 325 AD, Albania, then known as the Thema of Illyricum, became a province of the eastern section of the empire and remained part of the Byzantine Empire up until the early Middle Ages when certain feudal families managed to form independent principalities which eventually evolved into a medieval Arberia (Albania) -- that is, territories where the population was almost exclusively Albanian-speaking and Albanian in terms of history, laws, tradition, and culture.
The Ottoman Conquest of Europe began in 1354 when the Turks captured the Byzantine fortress at Gallipoli located on a narrow peninsula where the Dardanelles opens into the Sea of Marmara. This military victory established their first stronghold on European soil. The defeat of the Bulgarians at Maritsa in 1371 and also the defeat by the Turks of a Balkan coalition of Hungarians, Bulgarians, Romanians, Poles, Serbs, and Albanians on the plain of Kosova in1389 marked the eventual collapse of Serbia, Bulgaria, and Albania which all then came under Turkish rule.

As in other occupied Balkan territories, the Turks, after they conquered ethnic Albania, established a system of adminstration by dividing it into 4 provinces or "vilayets" -- the vilayets of Shkodra, Kosova, Manastir, and Janina (see map at end of article).
The Ottoman Conquest of Europe lasted for more than 400 hundred years before it went into decline, in large measure because of persistent unrest and nationalism in the conquered territories and the corruptive self-rot of its own body politic. After the defeat of the Turks by the Russians in the war of 1877, the Great Powers evoked the Treaty of San Stefano the following year signifying the break-up of the Ottoman Empire.

Ethnic Albania, still comprised of the 4 vilayets, was penalized by the Great Powers because it was considered part of the Ottoman Empire for almost 5 centuries. As a result, the Albania of 1878 was divided by ceding the major portions of the vilayet of Shkodra to Montenegro, the vilayet of Kosova to Serbia, the vilayet of Manastir to Macedonia, and the vilayet of Janina to Greece. Thus, what remained after the partitioning is, essentially, the nation of Albania as it is known today. It should also be noted that Albania's neighbors wanted the total partitioning of Albania so that it would no longer exist as a separate entity and nationality. The one person who prevented that from happening at the Paris Peace Conference in1919 which eventually confirmed Albania's official boundaries was President Woodrow Wilson of the United States of America who declared, "I shall have but one voice at the Peace Conference, and I will use that voice in behalf of Albania."

Today, northwest of Albania beginning clockwise, there are approximately 70,000 Albanians living in Montenegro along its border with Albania, about 2 million in Kosova, 100,000 in South Serbia, 600,000 in Macedonia, and at least 250,000 in northern Greece. In other words, there are as many Albanians living just outside of Albania's borders as there within it. Albania, indeed, is a country compeletely surrounded by itself.

2. Location and homeland

Present day Albania is a small country located on the Adriatic Sea some 50 miles opposite Italy. It is surrounded, beginning in the northwest in a clockwise direction, by Montenegro, the Kosova province of Serbia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and, finally, Greece in the south. In physical size, Albania is about 230 miles long by about 90 miles at its widest point making it about the size of the state of Maryland. It has a population of approximately 3 million, 200 thousand people or, about the same population as Greater Boston.

Albania has an incredibly beautiful seacoast that runs the entire length of the country with gorgeous white sandy beaches plus breathtakingly-impressive mountainous areas with tremendous ski resort and winter sports potential. It has a typical Mediterranean climate along its southern part where palm trees, oranges, and other citrus fruits grow in abundance. 36% of Albania is forested usually in the hills and mountains away from the fertile plains that hug the shoreline.

Albania has less land and air pollution than its neighbors such as Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland. Awaiting only further development by foreign investors, it is the world's third largest producer of chromium and has significant natural resources such as petroleum, copper, nickel, and coal. Up until 1991, Albania, because of its mountaineous terrain that resulted in the construction of a network of high-rise dams, shipped hydroelectric power all over the Balkans and as far west as Austria.

Its forests are used essentially for five purposes: to supply the timber and paper industries, for firewood, as grazing, as a source for forest plants, and for recreation. Forest plants such as herbs and essential oils, pine resin, juniper berries, and dog roses are a minor export. Although Albania had developed an internal railroad system, it was only in 1982 that it established a link into then-Yugoslavia thereby providing direct railway access to the rest of Europe for the first time in its history.

3. Language

The Albanian language is not derived from any other language, that is, it does not have a Slavic or Greek base as is commonly believed, but is, in point of fact, one of the nine original Indo-European languages -- the other eight Indo-European languages being Armenian, Balto-Slavic, Germanic, Hellenic, Indian, Iranian, Latin, and Keltic. As such, Albanian is one of Europe's oldest languages. The Albanian alphabet is Latin-based, and similar to that of English except that it is comprised of 36 letters including ë and ç and nine digraphs dh, gj, ll, nj, rr, sh, th, xh, and zh which are regarded as a single character. The Albanian alphabet does not have the letter w.

The Albanians are essentially a homogenous people but have been divided traditionally into two basic groups, the Ghegs in the North, and the Tosks in the South, the dividing line being the Shkumbini River which runs west-east almost across the center of Albania. Both Ghegs and Tosks speak the same language but pronounce it with some difference. A simple example is the Albanian word for the English verb "is". A Tosk would say " është " (EH-shtah) whereas a Gheg would pronounce it as "asht" (AH-sht). The Tosk dialect is the official dialect of the entire country.

4. Folklore

Fairies, snakes, and dragons are among the principal figures in Albanian mythology. Numerous words allude to some phenomenon in folklore such as kuçedër ( a snake or dragon with many heads), shtrigë (witch) and stuhi (a flame-throwing winged being that guards treasures). To call someone a kukudh (goblin) is the ultimate insult, its full meaning being "a dwarf with seven tails who can't find rest in his grave." Zana, mythological figures of Albanian women who help mountainfolk in distress are legendary, while the ore (fairy) also appears frequently in Albanian folklore but sometimes as an expression of fate -- i vdiq ora (his luck ran out).

5. Religion

Until the 16th century, almost all of Albania was Christian, the Orthodox religion being dominant in the south and the Roman Catholic in the north. In the 17th century, the Turks began a policy of Islamization by using, among other methods, economic incentives to convert the population. A simple example is that some Albanians who adopted Islam received land and had their taxes lowered. By the 19th century, Islam became predominant in Albania with about 70% of the population while some 20% remained Orthodox and 10% Roman Catholic.

These groupings remained in effect until the communist government outlawed religion in 1967 making it the world's only atheist state. Freedom of religion in Albania was restored only in1989-90 but it must be noted that the overwhelming majority of Albania's population was born under a communist regime which pursued an aggresively atheistic policy. Although reliable statistics are lacking, observations and anecdotes demonstrate that the historical
70-20-10 percentages are no longer valid. The collapse of the old communist order has seen a religious revival of sorts, and some now believe that the religion with the most new adherents in Albania are Christian evangelicals such as the Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and others. The current Albanian government is comprised of Catholic, Muslim, and Orthodox members.

Although frequently referred to as a "Muslim" country, there is no state religion in Albania, and the Albanians are renowned for their extraordinary religious tolerance. It is a little-known fact worldwide that the Albanians protected their own Jews during the Holocaust while also offering shelter to other Jews who had escaped into Albania from Austria, Serbia and Greece. The names of Muslim and Christian Albanian rescuers of Jews are commemorated as "Righteous Among the Nations" at the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem and are inscribed on the famous "Rescuers Wall" at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. At the unveiling of the names of Albanian rescuers, the Museum's director, Miles Lerman, gratefully stated, "Albania was the only country in Europe which had a larger Jewish population at the end of the war than before it!"

A joint Israeli-Albanian concert was held in Tirana on November 4, 1995 to commemorate the protection of Jews by Albanians from Nazi occupiers of Albania during the Holocaust -- its participants were the Kibbutz Orchestra of Israel, the Opera Orchestra of Tirana, the National Choir of Tirana, and the Israel-Albania Society.

6. Major Holidays

Albanian Christians celebrate the traditional holidays of Christmas, Easter, etc. while Albanian Muslims observe Ramadan and other religious holidays. Whereas other peoples in the Balkans refer to themselves as Christians or Muslims, an Albanian invariably says, "I am an Albanian" rather than a "Christian" or "Muslim." Dita e Verës (Spring Day), derived from an ancient pagan holiday, is still celebrated in mid-March in Elbasan. However, all Albanians wherever they are located in the world, joyously commemorate November 28th as Albanian Independence Day (Dita e Flamurit) for it was on that day in 1912 in the Albanian seacoast town of Vlora, that the venerable Albanian patriot, Ismail Qemali, first raised the Albanian red and black, double-headed eagle flag and proclaimed Albanian independence from the Ottoman Turks after almost 500 years.

7. Rites of passage

Albanians are taught early on to respect their elders. Indeed, to this day in some villages and smaller cities of Albania, youngsters frequently kiss the hand of an elder male visitor when first greeting him. An eldest son, almost from the date of his birth, is groomed to become the eventual head of family upon the death of his father. It is the general custom in Albania for even men to embrace each other upon first meeting, kissing each other on the cheeks, and for them to walk along together with their arms linked. With the absence of funeral parlors, the deceased are generally waked at home for a period of two or three days before burial.

8. Interpersonal relations

To this day, there is an elaborate protocol of greeting exchanges when entering the home of an Albanian family. For example, after first being served the "qerasje" (treat) consisting of "liko" (a jam-like sweet) along with a drink or Turkish coffee by the hostess or other female member of the family, the visitor would inquire about the health of each member of the hostess' family in a careful and deliberate manner, and then the hostess would, in turn, inquire about the health of each member of the visitor's family. Only after this procedure is completed, would people relax and begin normal conversation. The Albanians are very expressive people, using their eyes (rolling upwards), hands (approval/disapproval), and bodies (shoulder shrugging, etc) to reinforce their statements. They are great mimics and have a good sense of humor. Before WWII, dating was an unheard of affair, and then dating with a betrothed was almost always chaperoned.

Sacrosanct to all Albanians from olden days to more recent times is the concept of the "besa" or pledged word. More respected than a written contract was the verbal "besa-besën" agreement sealed by a handshake or embrace, and woe to the person who violated it! The greatest insult in Albania is to call a man "i-pabëse", that is to say someone who has broken his word or who is disloyal or without honor.

9. Living conditions

Under the rule of President Ahmed Zogu who later became King Zog (1927-1939) the first rudimentary attempts were made to establish a system of healthcare in Albania. However, the post WWII government of Albania undertook the construction of hospitals and clinics and expanded preventive health care by draining malaria swamps and instituting the inoculation of children against diseases such as measles, polio, etc. Under a rigid communist government from 1946 to 1991, many Albanians were forced to live in large, poorly-constructed apartment buildings that provided only a couple of rooms to accommodate a family of 4 or more people. There is no central heating , and there is still a shortage of water and frequent electric power outages in the larger cities. With the advent of democracy in 1992, new constructions are already underway to rectify those problems.

The standard of living and creature comforts have also improved with the new availability of clothes-washing machines, dishwashers, microwave ovens, and other household conveniences -- items many Albanian people did without until 1992. Because of the absence of nursing homes as they are known in the west, elderly parents still reside with their children where they are treated with honor and respect.

10. Family life

Women were previously relegated to a secondary role to men in Albania, especially to the eldest son. They were taught by the age of 10 to get ready for marriage by preparing doweries, but that procedure was largely abandoned by 1950 even though it is occasionally practiced by some Albanians. During WWII, women came into their own serving, first, courageously in the partisan fighting forces against Italian and German invaders, and, after liberation, they were encouraged to enter the professions (medical, educational, political, etc). The Albanian husband is not generally a helpmate to his wife believing that the household is the province of the female. Albanian families tend to be small with the average being two children. Arranged marriages were once a common occurence in Albania but a prospective bride or groom almost always had the option to refuse to accept the proffered candidate and could hold out until a more suitable one was found. There is no word for "pet" in the Albanian language, so dogs, for example, are used mainly for keeping guard or to herd sheep and other livestock. Cats in single family homes in larger cities are quite common.

11. Clothing

In olden days, Albanians could identify each other by the way they dressed because each region had its own characteristic style of clothing which was influenced by ethnic tradition and religion and differentiated by region, clan (fis), sex, and age. In medieval times, Albanians tended to spend a remarkably high proportion of their income on dress. Lord Byron, visiting southern Albania in 1805 (where he wrote a good portion of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage), called Albanian dress "the most wonderful in the world." Nowadays, this type of distinctive clothing (see examples) may be seen chiefly at theatrical or folkdance performances.

Up until 1991, clothing styles in Albania reflected those of almost all former communist countries. That is, there was no sense of "fashion" and because Albania was so isolated from other countries of Europe for almost 50 years (both television and news were heavily monitored so the Albanian people had no sense of hair/clothing styles of the west). Albanian men and women now have easy access to the latest worldwide fashion vogues through magazines and TV, and this is readily seen in their dress and grooming.

12. Food

As a result of almost 500 years of Turkish subjugation, Albanian cuisine has been thoroughly influenced by those occupiers, while it is Italian along the coast. An unusual pinkish trout (Koran) is found in Lake Ohri at Pogradec, Albania, which only with Lake Baikal in central Asia, is where this rare (and very tasty) fish is found. However, bread consumption per capita is sizable -- it looms unusually large in the Albanian diet. In fact, the word bukë (bread) is the normal word for "meal." Some dishes have their own names in the Albanian language and may be more specific, such as lakror (a mixture of eggs, vegetables, or meat, and butter encased in thin, multilayered pastry sheets, or fërgesë (a dish frequently made with minced meat, eggs, and Ricotta cheese). Lamb, rather than beef or pork, is a relatively staple Albanian dish. Albania is also blessed with truly delicious seasonal fruits such as grapes, cherries, figs, watermelon, peaches, quince, and oranges along with almond, walnut, hazelnut, and olive trees that grow in abundance everywhere. Albania manufactures beer and both red and white wines although the national drink is "Raki", a clear, colorless brandy produced from grapes. Albania also produces an award-winning, 3-star cognac named "Skanderbeg" (after its legendary folkhero) that is prized throughout Europe.

13. Education

Education in Albania has been stimulated and nurtured by nationalistic roots. It is supposed to have been developed in Albania during Illyrian times chiefly for military and physical purposes. Under the Ottoman yoke for almost 500 years, the teaching of the Albanian language was strictly forbidden, and Albanians of the then-Greek Orthodox religious faith were required to attend Greek schools, while Catholics were taught Italian or Austrian German, and Muslims, Turkish. The opening of the first school (Mësonjtorja) in Korçe in 1887 to teach in the Albanian language was a landmark. The first Albanian-language elementary school for girls was opened also in Korçe in 1892. Higher education in Albania really began with the American Vocational School (Shkolla Teknike) established by the American Red Cross in 1921 which eventually became part of the University of Tirana when it was founded in 1957. Other institutes of higher education were located in Shkodra, Gjirokaster and Elbasan. Since the overthrow of communist power in 1992, new universities have been founded in Korçe and Vlora. Albania has one of the highest literacy ratings in the Balkans (88%).

14. Cultural heritage

Albanian folkmusic is national in character but to some degree is influenced by Turkish and Persian influences. It sounds typically Balkan but mainly polyphonic in the south and homophonic in north and central Albania. Music is played on folk instruments such as the çifteli (a long-necked two-stringed mandolin) and the gërnetë (a type of clarinet for popular music). Other instruments are the gajda and bishnica (wind instruments) and the sharkia and lahuta (stringed ones). Before World War II, there was no real effort by the Albanian government to provide education in the field of music simply because it had no money, however, Albania eventually produced seven symphony orchestras, or, ten times more symphony orchestras per capita than Great Britain!
The Albanian flag is a deep red color with a black, double-headed eagle at its center. It is derived from the personal standard of Albania's great 15th century folkhero, Gjergj Kastrioti surnamed Skanderbeg which, translated into English, means "Lord Alexander", after Alexander the Great. Skanderbeg, as the leader of the Kastrioti clan, united all of the other fiercely-independent Albanian feudal clans to fight the Ottoman Turks for some 25 years until his death in 1468 thereby preventing them from overunning all of Europe and postponing the inevitable conquest by the Turks of the entire Balkan peninsula. Such was Skanderbeg's fame at that time in Europe that the famous Italian composer Vivaldi and and French composer Francoeur both composed operas about him, and Voltaire believed that the Byzantine Empire would have survived had it possessed a leader of Skanderbeg's quality.
Albania has also produced writers of international reputation such as Ismail Kadare, Albania's most influential and important writer, who many believe has Nobel Prize rank. Kadare is the author of "The General of the Dead Army", a novel describing how an Italian general accompanied by a Catholic priest returned to Albania after WWII to collect the remains of Italian soldiers who had fallen in battle. Kadare's book was made into an Italian film in 1982 starring Marcello Maestroiani as the general and Michel Picolli as the priest, an unheard of recognition by the west of a then- communist author. Other important Albanian novelists are Dritero Agolli, Fatos Arapi, Rexhep Qosja, Xhevair Spahiu, short story writer, Naum Prifti, and the humorist, Qamil Buxheli.

Famous Albanians:

-The emperors that Albania contributed to the Roman Empire were Diocletian, Julian, Probus, Claudius Probus, Constantine the Great, and one of its most famous emperors, Justinian the First.

-The Byzantine Emperor, Anastasius (491-518 AD), was an Albanian who was a native of Durrës on the Albanian coast.

-The Grand Viziers who ruled the Ottoman Empire during the entire 17th century were all Albanians and came from just one family named Koprulu! Indeed, some 26 Grand Viziers or Prime Ministers of Albanian blood directed the affairs of the Ottoman Empire since the 1500s.

-Pope Clement VII of Rome (his reign: 1700-1721) was an Albanian as were numerous cardinals.

-The chief builder of the incomparable Taj Mahal in India was an Albanian, Mehmet Isa!
And that another Albanian, Sadefqar Mehmeti, is the architect credited with the design of the famous Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

-Karl Von Ghega, the builder of the famous Semmering railway in Austria that became the model for all of Europe was an Albanian (his last name, of course, stems from the Albanian word "Gheg" signifying someone from the northern part of Albania. People of the southern part are called "Tosks").

-Sir William Woodthorpe Tarn, a Fellow of the British Academy, regarded worldwide by historians as having written the definitive work on Alexander the Great, states in the opening paragraph of his book "Alexander the Great" that Alexander certainly had from his father (Philip II) and probably from his mother (Olymbia) Illyrian, or Albanian, blood.

-Mother Teresa was an Albanian. Her real name was Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu. "Gonxhe" in the Albanian language means "bud" while "Bojaxhi" means "painter."

15. Work

During the communist era, Albanians (especially "youth brigades") were often conscripted to provide "volunteer" labor such as building roads, railway beds, and preparation of new ground for agriculture. Students were required to "donate" one month of free labor during their summer vacations to terrace the hills, for example, and to plant citrus and olive trees. Although Albania was ideally suited for agriculture and tourism, the
then-Albanian government undertook a program of heavy industry that employed many people. Because there was no real incentive to work, some western observers believe that communism destroyed the Albanian work ethic. After 1992, however, a new spirit of entrepreneurism was introduced, and Albanians quickly developed a rather surprising number of private enterprises. Also, in 1992, Albanians finally experienced the 5-day work week, a welcome relief from the previous 6-day work week under communism. Today, Albania is increasing its tourism potential with the construction of new 4-star hotels and the undergoing development of world class recreational facilities. It is believed that in the near future Albania will have developed its own "Riviera" in favorable competition with similar international recreational sites.

16. Sports

Without question, football (USA: Soccer) is Albania's favorite sport. Championship matches in Albania date from 1930, and an Albanian Football Federation was founded in 1932 which became a member of the International Football Federation (FIFA). Albanian teams have taken part in both Balkan and European championships. For example, in 1967, an Albanian team eliminated the Federal German team while in 1965, one eliminated Northern Ireland (by draws in both cases). Today, Albanians fervently follow the fortunes of British, German, and Italian football teams. Second only to football is volleyball where both men and womens' teams have become Balkan champions. Basketball is becoming increasingly popular, and many Albanian cities have fielded teams of both sexes who enter into their respective national and international competitions. Chess continues to gain favor -- especially with youngsters, and tennis, having been long touted by the communists as a "capitalist" sport, is steadily winning enthusiasts.

17. Recreation

Albanians are inveterate story-tellers, and in the many coffee shops that dot their country, men (sans wives) are often found regaling each other with humorous stories (especially about the former communist regime) or listening with reverence to the deeds of Albanian folkheroes. Until 1991, the Albanian film studio, (Shqipëria e Re /New Albania), used to produce between 10-20 movies each year. Currently, it turns out only documentaries and other short subjects so TV is exceptionally popular.

Albania presents several extensive folkdance/song festivals that attract international visitors, and its citizens are faithful attendees of classical music performances as evidenced by the previously-cited fact that Albania has 7 symphony orchestras. With the advent of democracy in 1992, Albanians are now more exposed to dramatic and concert performances from the countries of Europe, the Mid-east and elsewhere, which they attend in growing numbers. Albanians are great socializers, and after taking a late afternoon nap, they promenade leisurely along the wide streets during the evening on the way to meet friends and relatives before partaking of a late dinner. Discos are extremely popular with the younger set.

18. Folk art, crafts, and hobbies

Albanian women and even girls as young as 8 have always been praised for their intricate embroideries (qëndisje) which they create to decorate dwelling interiors. Indeed, in preparation of their doweries, several young ladies will get together to make beautiful doilies (çentro) to place on furniture. Using a small loom (vegël), they create colorful rugs for floors and with other hand tools produce sweaters, socks, gloves, etc. using wool, cotton, acrlics, and fur. "Punë me grep" (lacemaking) is a traditional folk art form that's been passed down from generation to generation.

Men usually work with metals such as copper, brass, and aluminum to craft decorative plates, wall-hangings, and utensils. Portraits of Skanderbeg abound as well as pastoral scenes featuring the beautiful mountains and lakes of Albania. The capital, Tirana, is becoming well known for its delicate pen-and-ink drawings as well as for its acrylic, watercolor, and oil paintings. An outstanding ceramicist, Mira Kuçuku (see photo), has a fashionable gallery on Rruga Zhon Dark in downtown Tirana -- her beautiful pottery has already been exhibited in several countries of Europe.

Regular hobbies such as stamp-collecting, birdwatching, plants, butterfly- collecting, story-telling, etc., are favorite pastimes all over Albania.

19. Social problems

Having emerged only in 1991 from almost 50 years under the most repressive and isolated communist government in Europe, Albanians are slowly learning the ways of democracy. As such, the concepts of respect for human and civil rights are still new and, in large measure, remain unpracticed. Where freedom of speech was expressly forbidden during the communist era, the present democratically-elected government of President Sali Berisha, has been accused by both opposition parties and several countries of the west of assuming some of the same autocratic methods as its communist predecessor such as the oppression of political dissent, clampdown of freedom of the press, and rigging of recent national elections. For example, journalists who vigorously criticize the government can be either heavily-fined or imprisoned -- it is alleged by the Human Rights Watch/Helsinki that some journalists have even been tortured. Alcoholism seems to be about the same or less than other European countries.

Although there are several opposition newspapers (each political party publishes one) with comparatively small circulations, Albanian TV and radio stations which reach all over Albania and even beyond its borders are not yet privatized so they dutifully reflect the official positions of the government. At the time of this writing (March/1997), with the exception of a single, small radio station in Vlora, there are no private radio or TV stations in Albania.

20. Bibliography

Hutchins, Raymond, Historical Dictionary of Albania, The Scarecrow Press, Inc.,
Lanham, MD, and London, 1996

Jacques, Edwin E., The Albanians: An Ethnic History from Prehistoric Times to the Present,
McFarland & Comp[any, Inc., Jefferson, NC 28640, 1994

Konitza, Faik, Albania: The Rockgarden of Southeastern Europe, VATRA, Boston, 1957

Logoreci, Anton, The Albanians: Europe's Forgotten Survivors, Victor Gollancz, London, 1977

Skendi, Stavro, The Albanian National Awakening: 1878-1912, Princeton University Press,
Princeton, NJ, 1967

Sula, Abdul B., Albania's Struggle for Independence, privately published by his family,
New York, 1967

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