Little-Known Facts about Albania and Albanians
To help celebrate Albanianism, consider the following little-known facts about Albania and the Albanians.
Did you know...
- that Ismail Qemal Vlora (of Albanian origin) while a member of the Turkish Chamber of Deputies, was one of the first people to protest the genocide of the Armenians by the Turkish government? And that he proclaimed the independence of Albania from the Ottoman Empire in the Albanian seacoast town of Vlora in1912?
- that when Ismail Qemal Vlora, a Muslim, assumed the presidency of the provisional Albanian government in 1912, he appointed as his Vice President, Monsignor Nicholas Kachou, the Catholic Prelate of Durres?
- that it is strongly believed by some historians that Master SINAN, the leader in the creation of the highest periods of Turkish architecture in the 16th centrury, was an Albanian?
- that, in 1850, Clement C. Moore, who wrote the much-beloved Yuletide classic "T'was the Night Before Christmas..." also wrote a history about Albania's great, 15th century folkhero titled "George Castriot Surnamed Scanderbeg"?
- that the name of one of the Albanian commanders who fought so valiantly in the war for Greek Independence against the Ottoman Turks in 1820 was Bubalina, a female Admiral? And that other Albanian leaders in that same war against the Turks were Kanari, Çavella, and Boçari?
- that the reigning Khedivial Dynasty of Egypt which began at the time of Napolean and survived down to King Farouk in 1952 was founded by an Albanian, Mehmet Ali Pasha (1769-1849)?
The following are earlier postings:
- that the Albanian language, as one of the original 9 Indo-European languages, is one of Europe's oldest languages and is not derived from any other language. The other 8 Indo-European languages are Armenian, Balto-Slavic, Germanic, Hellenic, Indian, Iranian, Italic, and Keltic!
- that in 2000 BC, the Illyrians, from whom the Albanians are the direct descendents, held vast territories covering all of the western Balkans, approximately the territories of today's Albania , northern Greece, and former Yugoslavia!
- that the name "Albania" is derived from the ancient Illyrian tribe called the Albanoi who in 200 AD inhabited the provinces of Durres and Dibra in today's Albania!
- that the earliest known king of the Illyrians was named "Hyllus" who died in 1225 BC. His name remains in the Albanian language today as "yll" meaning "star."
- that 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!
- that the Byzantine Emperor, Anastasius (491-518 AD), was an Albanian who was a native of Durres on the Albanian coast!
- that 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!
- that the Governors of Romania throughout the entire 19th century came from one Albanian family named Gjika!
- that Pope Clement VII of Rome (his reign: 1700-1721) was an Albanian as were numerous cardinals!
- that 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!
- that Pashko Vaso, an ardent Albanian nationalist in Albania's drive to independence from the Turks in 1878, was once the Governor of Lebanon!
- that 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 "Tosk."
- that 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!
- that Albania was the only country in Europe that protected its own Jews during the Holocaust while also offering shelter to other Jews who had escaped into Albania from Austria, Serbia and Greece! And that 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 enscribed on the famous "Rescuers Wall" at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC!
- that Albania has seven symphony orchestras or ten times more symphony orchestras per capita than Great Britain!
- that Mother Theresa was Albanian- her real name was Agnes Bojaxhiu. "Bojaxhiu" in the Albanian language means "painter!"