Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Albanian Blood Feuds

Just below is an important E-Mail I just received from a noble organization in Albania seeking to prevent - once and for all times - the ongoing, centuries-old blood feuds in Albania that reflect the backward mentality of those feudalistic Albanians who continue to practice them into the 21st century!

Please, pass this information along to as many people as you can to express support - and encouragement - of the fine work of this most worthy organization in Albania!

Van Christo


Dear Mr. Christo,

I had the pleasure to read about you and your organization and all the
wonderful infobits about the true Albanians, and I was very pleased. Thank
you for acknowledging and sharing with us those wonderful facts about the
Albanian people.

We are ISHDPK “Instituti Shtepia e Drejtesise dhe Pajtimit Kombetar” also known “House of Justice and National Reconciliation Institute” a
non-governmental non profit organization located in Albania. Our main goal
is to arrange a peace treaty between the families caught in the fatal
cycles of ‘Blood Feuds’, a centuries-old custom rooted in the Albanian
tradition of an "Eye for an eye".

Today more than 1,600 families all over Albania cannot leave their homes
and their children cannot attend school because they are involved in
‘Blood Feuds’. In the coming month we are co-working on bringing a peace
treaty between two families with a feudal past of more than 50 years
ongoing. We desperately need your help and cooperation by donating to this
organization so that we can help ease the pain and eliminate these
murderous blood feuds that are affecting the Albanian community allover.
We are that organization that promotes peace and equality and preventing
murders between these innocent families caught in Blood Feuds.
Please spread the word so that anyone can be a part of this huge impact by
donating to ISHDPK. You may find more information about us on our website

We truly appreciate all of your help & contribution.

Thank You,
Agim Loci
Executive Director

Web: E-mail:
Tel: +355 4 2271223 Fax: +355 4 2238964 Cell: 0355 69 21 89 721
Address: BLV “Zogu I” , Tirana, Albania

Monday, September 27, 2010

Albania Press Review 9/24/10

Here's what a few Albanian newspapers are writing about...

Albania Press Review - September 24, 2010
Tirana | 24 September 2010 |

Albania opposition leaders warn of fresh protest, Papandreou to back Albania’s EU accession, Prifti accuses police of oil contraband.


Albania’s left-wing opposition leaders warn of a fresh wave of protests in October if the majority does not back down over its request for a recount of the June 2009 parliamentary ballots.


Greek Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou promises to back Albania in its effort to join the EU during a meeting with his Albania counterpart, Sali Berisha, in New York.


Newly dismissed Minister of Economy Dritan Prifti has accused the deputy director of police of running a massive oil contraband scam.

Balkan Insight has not verified the reports and cannot vouch for their accuracy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I was both pleased and pleasantly surprised that a viewer in Greece had translated the Frosina infobit "The tradition of classical music in Albania" into the Greek language. My sense is that the translation was done electronically so you Greek-speaking visitors to the Frosina Blog can tell if it's a good Greek translation or not...


The Tradition of Classical Music In Albania
Η παράδοση της κλασικής μουσικής σε Αλβανία
Author: Sotiraq Hroni Συντάκτης: Sotiraq Hroni

When Paloke Kurti (1860-1920) wrote the "The Unity of Albania March" in 1878, Albania was still a long way from establishing a classical or professional music tradition. Όταν Paloke Κούρτι (1860-1920) έγραψε το «Η Ενότητα της Αλβανίας Μαρτίου» το 1878, η Αλβανία ήταν ακόμη πολύ μακριά από την ίδρυση κλασσική ή την επαγγελματική μουσική παράδοση. Kurti was a musical amateur, singer, instrumentalist and composer educated in the popular music of his native city, Shkodra, in northern Albania. Κούρτι ήταν μια μουσική ερασιτεχνικά, τραγουδιστής, μουσικός και συνθέτης εκπαιδευμένοι στη λαϊκή μουσική της πόλης του ντόπιου, Σκόδρα, στη βόρεια Αλβανία. Albanian musical form took its first real steps Αλβανική μουσική μορφή έλαβε μέτρα του πρώτου πραγματικού

towards professionalism during the second decade of the 20th century with its main initiator, the Franciscan priest, Padre Martin Gjoka (1890-1940) who has the distinction of being the first person in Albania to compose classical music in different genres. προς τον επαγγελματισμό κατά τη δεύτερη δεκαετία του 20ού αιώνα με πρωτεργάτη της κύριας, την φραγκισκανού ιερέα, Padre Martin Gjoka (1890-1940), ο οποίος έχει τη διάκριση της ύπαρξης το πρώτο πρόσωπο στην Αλβανία για να συνθέσει κλασικής μουσικής σε διάφορα είδη. Following the classical music tradition of Bach and Handel, Gjoka wrote polyphonic and choral works as well as an unfinished symphony. Μετά από την κλασική μουσική παράδοση του Bach και Handel, Gjoka έγραψε πολυφωνικό και χορωδιακά έργα καθώς και μια ημιτελή συμφωνία. He can also be considered the first Albanian musician who showed serious interest in traditional Albanian folk music, mostly that of the deep mountainous areas which was less influenced by Eastern music. Μπορεί επίσης να θεωρηθεί το πρώτο αλβανικό μουσικός που έδειξε σοβαρό ενδιαφέρον για την παραδοσιακή Αλβανική μουσική, κυρίως εκείνο της βαθιάς ορεινές περιοχές που ήταν λιγότερο επηρεασμένη από τη μουσική της Ανατολής. However, because of the lack of musical institutions and any system of professional music education, his works remained an isolated phenomena - they were performed mostly by amateurs and heard only in small circles. Ωστόσο, λόγω της έλλειψης των μουσικών οργάνων και οποιοδήποτε σύστημα της επαγγελματικής εκπαίδευσης μουσικής, τα έργα του παρέμεινε μεμονωμένα φαινόμενα - που πραγματοποιήθηκαν κυρίως από ερασιτέχνες και άκουσα μόνο σε μικρούς κύκλους. Nevertheless, thanks to Gjoka and a few other musicians of his time, Shkodra became the most important focus of musical life in Albania during the period between the two wars and, especially, after WWII. Παρ 'όλα αυτά, χάρη στην Gjoka και σε μερικές άλλες μουσικούς της εποχής του, Σκόνδρα έγινε το πιο σημαντικό επίκεντρο της μουσικής ζωής στην Αλβανία κατά την περίοδο του μεσοπολέμου και, ιδιαίτερα, μετά το Β' Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο. There, the first orchestral and choral groups were formed and the first musicals were staged, practices that later spread to the southern city of Korça. Εκεί, η πρώτη ορχηστρικά και χορωδιακά ομάδες διαμορφώθηκαν και το πρώτο μιούζικαλ οργανώθηκαν, πρακτικές που αργότερα εξαπλώθηκε στη νότια πόλη της Κορυτσάς. As a result, Shkodra became the center of education for some of the most distinguished representatives of the first generation of Albanian composers during the second half of the 1900s. Ως αποτέλεσμα, Σκόνδρα έγινε το κέντρο της εκπαίδευσης για ορισμένες από τις πιο διακεκριμένους εκπροσώπους της πρώτης γενιάς των Αλβανών συνθετών κατά το δεύτερο εξάμηνο του 1900.

Preng Jakova (1917-1969), who studied clarinet at the Conservatory "Santa Cecilia" of Rome, wrote mostly vocal music. Preng της Gjakova (1917-1969), ο οποίος σπούδασε κλαρινέτο στο Ωδείο «Santa Cecilia» της Ρώμης, έγραψε ως επί το πλείστον φωνητική μουσική. With his operas "Mrika" (1958) and, later, "Scanderbeg" (1968), he is known as the creator of the Albanian national opera. Με όπερές του "Mrika" (1958) και, αργότερα, "Scanderbeg" (1968), είναι γνωστός ως ο δημιουργός της αλβανικής εθνικής όπερας. As a composer with lyric inspiration, he wrote under the influence of the traditional Italian opera of the 19th century and in the operatic style of belcanto , at the same time involving the intonations of Albanian songs and dances. Ως συνθέτης με έμπνευση λυρική, έγραψε κάτω από την επιρροή της παραδοσιακής ιταλικής όπερας του 19ου αιώνα και στην οπερατική ύφος του BELCANTO, την ίδια στιγμή τη συμμετοχή των intonations των Αλβανών τραγούδια και χορούς.

There is no doubt that the most famous composer in Albania of all the time is Çesk Zadeja (1927-1997), also born and raised in Shkodra, and rightly called the father of Albanian classical music. Δεν υπάρχει αμφιβολία ότι ο πιο διάσημος συνθέτης στην Αλβανία από όλη την ώρα είναι Çesk Zadeja (1927-1997), επίσης, γεννήθηκε και μεγάλωσε στη Σκόδρα, και δικαίως αποκαλείται ο πατέρας της αλβανικής κλασικής μουσικής. Zadeja graduated in music composition from the Conservatory "PI Tchaikovsky" in Moscow, and from 1956 until the end of his life, he propogated his artistic activities in Tirana. Zadeja αποφοίτησε στη σύνθεση μουσικής από το Ωδείο "PI Tchaikovsky" στη Μόσχα, και από το 1956 μέχρι το τέλος της ζωής του, propogated δραστηριότητές του καλλιτεχνικού στα Τίρανα. He was one of the founders of the Music Conservatory of Tirana, the Theatre of Opera and Ballet, and the Assembly of Songs and Dances. Ήταν ένας από τους ιδρυτές του Μουσικού Ωδείου των Τιράνων, το Θέατρο Όπερας και Μπαλέτου, και τη Συνέλευση των Χοροί και Τραγούδια. Equally important were Zadeja's teaching activities as the founder of the Academy of Arts in Tirana and its professor of music composition for 30 years. Εξίσου σημαντική ήταν διδακτικές δραστηριότητες του Zadeja ως ο ιδρυτής της Ακαδημίας Τεχνών των Τιράνων και καθηγητής της σύνθεσης μουσικής για 30 χρόνια. Under his direction, well-known figures of Albanian classical music were educated. Υπό την καθοδήγησή του, γνωστές μορφές της αλβανικής κλασικής μουσικής ήταν μορφωμένοι. Zadeja's musical repertoire spawned the formation of classical music tradition in Albania after he wrote his first symphony in 1956. μουσικό ρεπερτόριο Zadeja του έβγαλε το σχηματισμό της κλασικής μουσικής παράδοσης στην Αλβανία μετά έγραψε συμφωνική του πρώτου το 1956. He also composed two ballets, several concertos for instruments and orchestra, dozens of symphonic pieces, several sonnets, music for trio and quartet, etc. Zadeja's compositions are distinguished for their polished technique and for the rational integration of intonational structures of rhythm and timbre of the most valued Albanian folk music. Συνθέτει επίσης δύο μπαλέτα, αρκετά κοντσέρτα για όργανα και ορχήστρα, συμφωνικά έργα, πολλά σονέτα, μουσική για τρίο και κουαρτέτο, κλπ. Zadeja συνθέσεις είναι για δεκάδες διακρίνονται για την τεχνική τους κατεργασμένων και για την ορθολογική ένταξη των επιτονισμένος δομών του ρυθμού και ηχόχρωμα της τα πιο πολύτιμα αλβανική λαϊκή μουσική.

During the second half of this century, Albanian music had to confront major challenges resulting from the absence of true professional tradition. Κατά το δεύτερο μισό αυτού του αιώνα, αλβανική μουσική είχε να αντιμετωπίσει μεγάλες προκλήσεις που προκύπτουν από την απουσία πραγματικής επαγγελματικής παράδοση. This is one of the reasons that its musical development concentrated mainly on classic-romantic styles. Αυτός είναι ένας από τους λόγους ότι η ανάπτυξη της μουσικής επικεντρώθηκε κυρίως στην κλασική-ρομαντική στυλ. The Albanian classical musical scene during 1950-1990 is replete with names such as Tish Daia (b. 1926), the composer of the first Albanian ballet "Halili and Hajria", Nikolla Zoraqi (1928-1991), a composer with very wide and complex activities that include some short instrumental and vocal pieces for opera and ballet; Tonin Harapi (1925-1991), who was one of the first piano teachers at the national level; Feim Ibrahimi (1935-1997), who, with two concertos for piano during 1970-1980, played a sensitive role in the emancipation of the Albanian musical theatre; Shpetim Kushta (b. 1943), Thoma Gaqi (b. 1949) and others. Η αλβανική κλασική μουσική σκηνή κατά τη διάρκεια του 1950-1990 είναι κορεσμένη με ονόματα όπως Tish Daia (β. 1926), ο συνθέτης του πρώτου αλβανικής μπαλέτο "Χαλίλι και Hajria», Nikolla Zoraqi (1928-1991), ένας συνθέτης με πολύ μεγάλη και σύνθετες δραστηριότητες που περιλαμβάνουν κάποιες σύντομες οργανικών και φωνητικών κομμάτια για την όπερα και το μπαλέτο? Tonin Harapi (1925-1991), ο οποίος ήταν ένας από τους πρώτους δασκάλους πιάνου σε εθνικό επίπεδο? Feim Ibrahimi (1935-1997), ο οποίος, με δύο κοντσέρτα για πιάνο κατά τη διάρκεια του 1970-1980, έπαιξε ένα ευαίσθητο ρόλο στην απελευθέρωση των Αλβανών μουσικού θεάτρου? Shpetim Kushta (γεν. 1943), Θωμά Gaqi (β. 1949) και άλλοι.

With the advent of democracy in 1990, Albanian music had to confront new challenges. Με την έλευση της δημοκρατίας το 1990, αλβανική μουσική είχε να αντιμετωπίσει νέες προκλήσεις. Liberation from the constraints of state dictatorship and ideology resulted in the creation of completely new musical structures. Απελευθέρωση από τα δεσμά της δικτατορίας κράτους και της ιδεολογίας ως αποτέλεσμα τη δημιουργία εντελώς νέων μουσικών δομών. Two important musical groups - "The Society of Music Professionals" and "The Society of New Albanian Music" - were formed during 1991-1992, and both became members of the most prestigious European and world musical organizations. Δύο σημαντικές μουσικές ομάδες - "Η Κοινωνία της Μουσικής Επαγγελματιών» και «Η Κοινωνία της Νέας αλβανικής Μουσική" - διαμορφώθηκαν κατά τη διάρκεια του 1991-1992, και οι δύο έγιναν μέλη από τα πιο έγκυρα ευρωπαϊκά και παγκόσμια μουσική οργανώσεις. Recruiting the best talents and performers of the country into these societies created a different environment for Albanian music and accelerated integration into the world contemporary music scene. Πρόσληψη τα καλύτερα ταλέντα και εκτελεστές της χώρας σε αυτές τις κοινωνίες δημιούργησε ένα διαφορετικό περιβάλλον για την αλβανική μουσική και ταχεία ενσωμάτωσή τους στην παγκόσμια σύγχρονη μουσική σκηνή. Since 1992, the Society of New Albanian Music has organized annual Festivals of New Music while the Society of Music Professionals directs the concerts of New International Chamber Music. Από το 1992, η Εταιρεία Νέας Μουσικής της Αλβανίας έχει οργανώσει ετήσιο φεστιβάλ της Νέας Μουσικής, ενώ ο Σύλλογος Επαγγελματιών Μουσικών διευθύνει τις συναυλίες της Νέας Διεθνούς Μουσικής Δωματίου. Among the composers who are most active in Albania today are Aleksander Peçi (b. 1951), Sokol Shupo (b. 1954), Vasil Tole (b. 1963), and Endri Sina (b. 1968). Μεταξύ των συνθετών που είναι πιο ενεργά στην Αλβανία σήμερα Aleksander Peçi (γεν. 1951), Σοκόλ Shupo (γεν. 1954), Βασίλ Tole (β. 1963), και Endri Σίνα (γεν. 1968).


Frosina thanks Sotiraq Hroni for supplying the above information and Migen Hasanaj for the translation from Albanian into English. Frosina ευχαριστίες Sotiraq Hroni για την παροχή των ανωτέρω πληροφοριών και Migen Hasanaj για τη μετάφραση από τα Αλβανικά στα αγγλικά.

The compositions of Οι συνθέσεις του Çesk Sadija, Tonin Harapi, Ramadam Sokoli, and other Albanian composers can be heard on the CD Disc titled "Kenge - Albanian Piano Music", Guild GMCD 7257. Çesk Sadija, Tonin Harapi, Ramadam Sokoli, καθώς και άλλες αλβανικές συνθέτες μπορεί να ακουστεί στο CD του δίσκου με τίτλο "Kenge - Αλβανική μουσική με πιάνο», Guild GMCD 7257.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cellphones in Albania

Ah yes, cellphones and more cellphones for Albania. Read BIRN's latest story about companies providing them...

Albania Cellphone Firms Seek More 3G Licences
Tirana | 09 September 2010 |

Albania’s four major cellphone companies have called on the government to issue four 3G licences instead of only one to ensure competition in the telecoms market.

AMC, Vodafone Albania, Eagle Mobile and the newly created Plus Mobile said in a joint statement on Wednesday that awarding a single licence through a proposed public tender could create a monopoly in the sector.

“The 3G internet service should be supplied by four companies and not one ... because it [not only] increases government revenue, but also competition and offers consumers cheaper prices,” the statement added.

The operators also urged the government to set the licences at a lower price than planned in order to help them meet the growing demand inside the country for broadband internet.

“The four cell operators see with regret the price tag of €12.5 million which, coupled with the extra investment for the installation of the network, makes the venture in 3G technology unreasonable,” the statement read.

3G, the third-generation standard for mobile phones, enables the simultaneous use of speech and data services on a cell network, while also providing mobile broadband access to laptop computers and smart phones.

Vodafone Albania is a subsidiary of Vodafone, while AMC is part of the Greece-based COSMOTE Group.

Eagle Mobile is owned by the Turkish group Calik Holding, while Plus Mobile is owned by consortium of local businesses and Kosovo Telecom

Little-Known Facts about Albania and Albanians

Van Christo

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!"

Thursday, September 2, 2010

FILM: "Divorce Albanian Style"


For those of you who don't want to miss the unique opportunity of seeing the award-winning film "Divorce Albanian Style" by Bulgarian Producer/Director Adela Peeva at the Downtown Harvard Club next week, please understand that you must FIRST make reservations!!

This is very important because you will NOT be admitted to view the film describing the personal tragedies of three Albanians who had married foreigners during the repressive regime of communist dictator Enver Hoxha during the 1960s unless you have a reservation!! If you already have a reservation, you will also be required to show an ID at the main floor reception area before being admitted upstairs to the Downtown Harvard Club.

Please don't take it for granted that you will automatically be admitted to view the film without first making a reservation if you come to the Downtown Harvard Club!

"Divorce Albanian Style" will be shown at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, September 7, 2010, at the Downtown Harvard Club, One Federal Street, 38th Floor. in Boston. Reservations are required for this complimentary event!

IMPORTANT REMiNDER - Call the Downtown Harvard Club NOW at 617 542-2070 to make a reservation to view the screening of Adela Peeva's multi-award winning film "Divorce Albanian Style!!