Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fan S. Noli

I came across an impassioned speech given by Fan S. Noli in September of 1924. I was struck by how his words seemed to foreshadow the concept of the United Nations that was formed after WWII.

Known simply as "Fan Noli" by Albanians all over the world, he served as the Premier of Albania in 1924 and founded the Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America. Fan Noli was also an important poet and writer who translated the plays of Shakespeare and of other major writers into the Albanian language. To many, Fan Noli became a legend in his own lifetime.

Fan Noli enhanced the name of Albania in European diplomatic circles who knew little - or cared about - that small Balkan country until Fan Noli appeared on the world scene on behalf of the fledgling democracy that he sought to establish in Albania. Without exception, Fan Noli made substantial contributions both to Albania's history and to its literature and culture.

Below is an excerpt from Fan Noli's impassioned speech before the League of Nations on September 10, 1924, where he sought the assistance of the World Powers to come to the aid of the newly democratized Albania:

"We must teach our children that wholesale killing is as criminal as individual instances of killing. They must be taught that our tribal gods are the source of all the ills that have tormented humanity for centuries. They must be taught that there is but one true God that we ought to serve, the God of humanity, common to all tribes. They must be taught to become honest members of the Superstate which unites all tribes, noble citizens of the world federation which is on the way to being realized, which will surely be realized.

"When our children have learned these simple truths, then we shall not have the moral disarmament which has to precede material disarmament, but we shall also have the real cooperation of all the races of the world toward peace, progress and international prosperity."


At March 12, 2009 at 12:13 AM , Anonymous Agron said...

Thanks Van for this note on Fan Noli.
This is another evidence of what a great statesman and inspirational leader was he.
Is it possible to have the entire speech?

At March 26, 2009 at 1:15 PM , Anonymous Van Christo said...

I was pleased to learn that the entire text of Fan Noli's speech before the League of Nations on Sept. 10, 1924, is available in Peter Prifti's book, Unfinished Portrait of a Country, pgs. 252-256. The book was published by Columbia University Press, N.Y., 2005.

Interested parties could ask for it at their local library, or order it from the Columbia U. Press, 136 S. Broadway, Irvington, NY 10533; tel. (914) 591-9111.

At May 4, 2010 at 5:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post Van. Is the re any chance of getting the full speach because I would be interested in reading it. If you have it I would be greatfull if you could e-mail it to me.
Kind Regards,


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