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Announcement
Thomas Simaku with a CD Release on Naxos
A CD comprising 6 works performed by the Kreutzer Quartet has just been released in the UK on Naxos records,and also in USA and Canada.
Thomas Simaku is an Albanian Composer among 21st Century Classics.For more information about individual tracks, please go to Naxos website.
A new CD release of Thomas Simaku

Monument to the Victims of Communism in Ottawa - Canada
Communist Sign the petition to support the building of a Monument to the Victims of Communism, in Ottawa, Canada

To: Parliament of Canada
While the horrors of Nazism are well known, who knows that the Soviet Union murdered 20 million people? Who knows that China's dictators have slaughtered an estimated 60 million? Who knows that the Communist holocaust has exacted a death toll surpassing that of all of the wars of the 20th century combined ? Just as we must grasp Communism's brutality, we must understand the true cause of this era's most significant event: the fall of the Soviet Union. While we believe that Vaclav Havel was right when he saw the fall of the Communist empire as an event on the same scale as the fall of the Roman Empire, it was not the end of Communism. Sign and Join this petition

Who recognised KOSOVA as an Independent State?
Countries that have recognized or Announced the recognition of Republic of Kosova
We are honored and humbled that it is our generation that lives to see that day and we are aware and ready to take up the path that begins from here. Our future is with Europe.Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, for standing by us in the worst times. In memory of those who gave and lost their lives, and loved ones. May peace and light prevail. Countries who recognized Kosova

Boycott of Greek products in Albania
Boycott of Greek products in Albania!

Albanian nationalists, who accuse Greece of turning the country into a non-conventional colony of Greece, are using the protest to halt the rising power of Greece in the country. In 2006 Greek Imports reached EUR 406mn, while Greek investments are estimated at over EUR 400mn. Greek companies and businesses own substantial shares in the telecommunication, petroleum and financial markets in the country. Strong protests were organized by the "Cham" population, ethnic Albanians that used to live in the territory of current Greece till the end of World War II. Afterwards, they forcedly expelled from their properties. Therefore we call on you to Boycott greek products in Albania

Donation for an Albanian Bridge in Shkoder City.
Has started a project to raise funds to build a bridge in the village of "Ure e Shtrenjte", near Shkoder. In need for donation to complete this project. More ..

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Albanian Culture:

Albanians Rediscover God, If Not Old-Time Religion

ALBANIA
    The Washington Post

    SHKODER, Albania -- The Catholic cathedral that communists turned into a basketball arena for two
    Ethem Bey Mosque(right) - Tirana, the only place in the world where mosques and churches are side by side
    decades is now busier than ever, drawing more than 2,000 people to a single Sunday Mass.

    By Mary Jordan - Washington Post

    An ornate Albanian Orthodox church with three grand, peach-colored domes is readying for Easter celebrations and popular midnight candlelit processions. And a few days ago, the latest of more than 50 mosques in the area opened with fanfare and a call to prayer.

    In a country that once officially outlawed God, religion is back -- but in a different way than before the long experiment in godlessness. Many Albanians have resumed spiritual practices with a faith strengthened by the years of suppression. At the same time, new practices and beliefs are being planted by a wave of foreign missionaries and money, making this tiny Adriatic country a remarkable example of the globalization of religion.

Posted by classiclady on Wednesday, April 04 @ 08:39:57 PDT (746 reads)
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Albanian Culture:

European classics you've never seen

Albanian Culture
    So Albanian film is the next big thing? No, this is not some kind of joke, nor another excuse to stage
    Margarita Xhepa in "Dear Enemy" of Gjergji Xhuvani
    a comeback for Norman Wisdom - a true-blue Tory who, as the bungling nemesis of capitalist running

    By Fiachra Gibbons- The Guardian

    dog Mr Grimshaw, was a star in Stalinist Albania.

    But stranger things have happened. Not a lot of people know this, but for a good decade from the late 1960s, Albanian films were among the most watched in the world.The reason was simple.
    That nice Mr Mao deemed them the only foreign fare ideologically safe enough to be shown to hundreds of millions of Chinese in the wake of the Cultural Revolution. Which is why, from time to time, you will come across Chinese directors paying handsome tribute to some "European classic" no one outside Tirana has heard of.

Posted by classiclady on Friday, March 16 @ 13:25:57 PDT (857 reads)
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Albanian Culture:

Albania’s Islamic Rebirth

Albanian Culture

    One Friday midday several months ago, hundreds of devout Muslims crowded into the Ethem Bey mosque in downtown Tiranë for
    Ethem Bey Mosque(right) - Tirana, the only place in the world where mosques and churches are side by side
    Albania's first legal Muslim prayer service in 24 years. Outside, some 15,000 onlookers listened in

    by Larry Luxner

    amazement as the long-forgotten call of the muezzin echoed through the city's streets.

    The scene would have been unthinkable in Albania only five years ago. But ever since the collapse of Communism throughout the nations of Eastern Europe, scenarios once unthinkable seem to be unfolding almost daily in Albania, the only European nation with a Muslim majority.

    On March 22 this year, nearly 50 years of Marxist rule ended when voters overwhelmingly chose a Muslim cardiologist, Sali Berisha, as president - the first democratically elected leader in Albanian history.

    "We want to build a society of free enterprise, a state built on law with full respect for human rights, and we want to see our people and our nation integrated into Europe," Berisha told reporters during a pre-election rally last February at Tiranë 's Qemal Stafa Stadium.

Posted by classiclady on Thursday, March 15 @ 15:49:21 PDT (856 reads)
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Albanian Culture:

Dora d'Istria - a well-known journalist

Albanian Culture
    Dora d'Istria (January 22, 1828 - 1888), pen-name of duchess Helena Koltsova-Massalskaya, born Elena Ghica (or Elena Gjika), was a Romanian-
    Dora d'Istria
    Albanian Romantic writer and feminist.

    Born in Bucharest as a member of the Gjica family (the daughter of Mihai Ghica and the niece of the reigning Prince Grigore IV Ghica), she received a thorough education, continued abroad - first at Dresden, then at Vienna, Venice and Berlin, where she gave a sample of her mastery of the ancient Greek language to Alexander Von Humboldt.

    D'Istria returned to her home country in 1849, married the Russian duke Alexander Koltsov-Massalski, and lived for several years in Russia, mostly in Saint Petersburg, but never cherished the Russian nationalist views of her husband, nor the Eastern Orthodox bigotry at the Court of the despotic Emperor Nicholas. As her health decayed in the Russian climate, she took her husband's advice and headed for Central Europe, first to Switzerland for several years, then to a journey through Greece and Anatolia. Finally, she returned to Italy, living in a villa in Florence, sporadically traveling to France, Ireland and the United States.

Posted by classiclady on Tuesday, December 19 @ 14:45:01 PST (1209 reads)
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Albanian Culture:

CHILLING TALES OF ALBANIA

Albanian Culture
    AGAMEMNON'S DAUGHTER: A NOVEL AND STORIES.

    By Carol Herman - THE WASHINGTON TIMES
    Ismail Kadare - Writer

    Before getting to the three tales that comprise Ismail Kadare's "Agamemnon's Daughter: A Novella and Stories," readers must traverse two sections that amount to an extended preface. From the "Translator's Note" readers learn that the three stories, "Agamemnon's Daughter," "The Blinding Order" and "The Great Wall," were written at different times, set in different historical periods and have been translated from the Albanian by two different people ? Tedi Paparvrami and Jusuf Vrioni ? who wrote their translations in French. David Bellos has translated the French into English for the current volume.

    From the section cited as being "Adapted from the publisher's preface to the French," readers hear from the Man Booker International Prize-winning author's French publisher, Claude Durand, that Mr. Kadare smuggled several of his writings from Albania into France bit by bit with passages disguised to make it look "like an Albanian translation written in the West."
Posted by acl on Sunday, December 10 @ 13:55:14 PST (810 reads)
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Albanian Culture:

Ancient Illyria - An Archaeological Exploration

Albanian Heritage
    AUTHOR: Arthur Evans

    Illyria is the name given to the ancient region of the Balkans on the Adriatic coast from which most historians of the Balkans believe modern Albanians descend. This illuminating work by the celebrated archaeologist, Arthur Evans, examines the lives of the ancient Illyrians and contains many penetrating insights into the region. Drawing on his extensive travels in the area in the 1880s, Ancient Illyria presents for the first time Evans' original analysis of the diverse archaeological sites of the region to construct a full and fascinating history.

    Never before published as a single volume, this classic work is still the best account and contains the most detailed research into the subject. Fully illustrated and including pictures of some Roman inscriptions which were later destroyed during the Serbian occupation of Kosovo, this invaluable guide to the archaeology and history of ancient Illyria is an essential text for all historians and everyone interested in the Balkans.

Posted by classiclady on Wednesday, October 18 @ 14:21:05 PDT (840 reads)
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Albanian Culture:

Islam and the dervish orders of Albania

Albanian Culture
    This material is part of an introduction to their history, development and current situation.

    by Robert Elsie

    1. The spread of Islam in Albania

    Before the arrival of the Turks in the Balkan peninsula, the Albanians were all within the sphere of Christianity: Catholicism in the north and Orthodoxy in the south. The exact border between these two Christian faiths varied over the centuries in accordance with the political and military gains or losses of the heirs to the two halves of the Roman Empire. By the end of the fourteenth century, the third great religion of the Balkans had entered the ring, unfolding its banners on the eastern horizon.

    On 28 June 1389, the Moslem Turks defeated a coalition of Balkan forces under Serbian leadership at Kosovo Polje, the Plain of the Blackbirds, and
    Ethem Bey Mosque(right) - Tirana, the only place in the world where mosques and churches are side by side
    established themselves as masters of the Balkans. By 1393 they had overrun Shkodra, although the Venetians were soon able to recover the city and its imposing citadel. The conquest of Albania continued into the early years of the fifteenth century. The mountain fortress of Kruja was taken in 1415 and the equally strategic towns of Vlora, Berat and Kanina in southern Albania fell in 1417. By 1431, the Turks had incorporated all of southern Albania into the Ottoman Empire and set up a ‘sanjak’ administration with its capital in Gjirokastra, captured in 1419.

    Mountainous northern Albania remained in the control of its autonomous tribal leaders, though now under the suzerain power of the Sultan. The Turkish conquest did not meet without resistance on the part of the Albanians, notably under Scanderbeg (1405-1468), prince and now Albanian national hero. Scanderbeg successfully repulsed thirteen Ottoman incursions, including three major Ottoman sieges of the citadel of Kruja led by the Sultans themselves (Murad II in 1450, and Mehmet II in 1466 and 1467).
Posted by classiclady on Saturday, September 09 @ 11:45:00 PDT (2875 reads)
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Albanian Culture:

Islam in Albania

Albanian Culture
    US Department Statistics 2006: Albanian Moderate Muslim = 2,494,178 or 70% of the population.
    A Roman Catholic intellectual and poet, Pashko Vasa (1825-1892), made the trenchant remark, later co-opted by Enver Hoxha, that "the religion of the Albanians is Albanianism" (Gheg Albanian: Feja e shqyptarit asht shqyptaria).
    Ethem Bey Mosque(right) - Tirana, the only place in the world where mosques and churches are side by side

    Statistics coming from pre-WWII and 1957, estimated that 65 to 70 percent of the population were Muslim. However, decades of state atheism enforced by Enver Hoxha's Stalinist government, which ended in 1990, caused a decline in religious practice in all traditions.

    This article contains material from the Library of Congress Country Studies, which are United States government publications in the public domain.

    Like other religions, Islam has seen some limited revival since the Communist ban on all religious practice was lifted. Still, the effects of the long Communist era on Albanian religion is clear as society today is largely secular.
    According to an official US Government Report: "No data are available on active participation in formal religious services, but estimates indicate that "only 30 to 40 percent of the population practices a religion.

    " Albania does not have a history of religious extremism and Albanians take pride in the harmony that exists in their society across religious traditions and practice. Inter-religious marriage is common in Albania and it is very common to find that Muslims and Christians see themselves as Albanian before anything else. A unifying cultural identity is strong among Albanians, solidified historically by the common experience of struggling to protect their culture in the face of various outside conquerors.

    The Muslims of Albania are divided into two main communities: those associated with a traditional form of Sunni Islam and those associated with the Bektashis (a particularly form of Sufi Shiism).
Posted by acl on Saturday, August 19 @ 06:46:50 PDT (815 reads)
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big changes in politics, ousting of Sali Berisha
an albanian economic crisis
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