Back to homepage

Free to Read

Michel Setboun shows Albania during communist regime’s final throes

Michel Setboun shows Albania during communist regime’s final throes

TIRANA, July 12 – The Albanian Centre for Openness and Dialogue inaugurated on July 6 Algerian photographer’s Michel Setboun photo exhibition ‘The end. The start. Albania 1981-1991.” At the COD space, Setboun brings for the first time 99 medium and

Read Full Article
Second edition of ‘Za Fest’ returns to Albania’s Theth village

Second edition of ‘Za Fest’ returns to Albania’s Theth village

TIRANA, July 12 – The first modern-day festival dedicated to re-telling the traditions and stories of the Albanian Alps will return on July 20 under the Accursed Mountains, along the riverside of the Shala River. During its second edition, expected

Read Full Article
‘Kucedra’ photo book captures Vjosa, Europe’s last wild river

‘Kucedra’ photo book captures Vjosa, Europe’s last wild river

TIRANA, July 9 – Dublin-based photographer Nick St.Oegger traveled to Albania’s endangered Vjosa river to document life along its banks, and has now published the series of striking landscape shots of the environment, as well as the portraits of the

Read Full Article
Former Kavaja mayor convicted to community service under decriminalization law

Former Kavaja mayor convicted to community service under decriminalization law

TIRANA, July 14 – In Albania, former Mayor of Kavaja Elvis Rroshi will have to do 60 days of community service to pay off a sentence given on Friday by the Tirana Court for falsifying official forms. The court initially

Read Full Article
Report: Albania was Italy’s main cannabis supplier in 2017

Report: Albania was Italy’s main cannabis supplier in 2017

TIRANA, July 11 – A report by Italy’s Central Directorate for Anti-Drug Services published this week said Albania was the country of origin of the majority of marijuana destined for Italian and European markets in 2017. “Marijuana imports in Italy

Read Full Article
Albanian students learn on countering violent extremism at AIIS summer school

Albanian students learn on countering violent extremism at AIIS summer school

TIRANA, July 11 – Albanian public and private university students were acquainted with the new security environment in Albania and other Western Balkan countries as well as challenges and implications at a time when violent extremism has emerged as one

Read Full Article
Five arrested in series of burglaries in joint Albanian, French, German operation

Five arrested in series of burglaries in joint Albanian, French, German operation

TIRANA, July 11 – Albanian police arrested an individual suspected of belonging to a mobile organized crime group after searching a number of properties in the country, as part of an investigation into numerous domestic burglaries in Germany and France.

Read Full Article
Opposition calls on president not to decree NT bill

Opposition calls on president not to decree NT bill

TIRANA, July 9 – Albania’s leader of the opposition Democratic Party Lulzim Basha has been repeatedly calling on the country’s President Ilir Meta not to sign the draft law approved on Thursday by the Socialist led parliament for the new

Read Full Article
Photo exhibition on Albanian fauna opens at Divjakë-Karavasta National Park

Photo exhibition on Albanian fauna opens at Divjakë-Karavasta National Park

TIRANA, June 30 – Artists from Kosovo and Albania opened a photo exhibition showcasing the creatures living at the country’s Divjakë-Karavasta National Park, in what organizers said is a first-ever event of its kind promoting the countryside’s fauna. One of

Read Full Article
Albania-Montenegro sign agreement to open new border point in Zogaj

Albania-Montenegro sign agreement to open new border point in Zogaj

TIRANA, July 3 – A joint meeting of cooperation took place between the governments of Albania and Montenegro in the Northern city of Shkodra on Tuesday. All police departments and forces were engaged by the government to ensure the orderly

Read Full Article
WP_Query Object
(
    [query_vars] => Array
        (
            [cat] => 37
            [paged] => 5
            [error] => 
            [m] => 
            [p] => 0
            [post_parent] => 
            [subpost] => 
            [subpost_id] => 
            [attachment] => 
            [attachment_id] => 0
            [name] => 
            [static] => 
            [pagename] => 
            [page_id] => 0
            [second] => 
            [minute] => 
            [hour] => 
            [day] => 0
            [monthnum] => 0
            [year] => 0
            [w] => 0
            [category_name] => free
            [tag] => 
            [tag_id] => 
            [author] => 
            [author_name] => 
            [feed] => 
            [tb] => 
            [comments_popup] => 
            [meta_key] => 
            [meta_value] => 
            [preview] => 
            [s] => 
            [sentence] => 
            [fields] => 
            [menu_order] => 
            [category__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [category__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [category__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [post__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [post__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag_slug__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag_slug__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [post_parent__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [post_parent__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [author__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [author__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [ignore_sticky_posts] => 
            [suppress_filters] => 
            [cache_results] => 1
            [update_post_term_cache] => 1
            [update_post_meta_cache] => 1
            [post_type] => 
            [posts_per_page] => 10
            [nopaging] => 
            [comments_per_page] => 50
            [no_found_rows] => 
            [order] => DESC
        )

    [tax_query] => WP_Tax_Query Object
        (
            [queries] => Array
                (
                    [0] => Array
                        (
                            [taxonomy] => category
                            [terms] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => 37
                                )

                            [include_children] => 1
                            [field] => term_id
                            [operator] => IN
                        )

                )

            [relation] => AND
        )

    [meta_query] => WP_Meta_Query Object
        (
            [queries] => Array
                (
                )

            [relation] => 
        )

    [date_query] => 
    [post_count] => 10
    [current_post] => -1
    [in_the_loop] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [current_comment] => -1
    [found_posts] => 770
    [max_num_pages] => 77
    [max_num_comment_pages] => 0
    [is_single] => 
    [is_preview] => 
    [is_page] => 
    [is_archive] => 1
    [is_date] => 
    [is_year] => 
    [is_month] => 
    [is_day] => 
    [is_time] => 
    [is_author] => 
    [is_category] => 1
    [is_tag] => 
    [is_tax] => 
    [is_search] => 
    [is_feed] => 
    [is_comment_feed] => 
    [is_trackback] => 
    [is_home] => 
    [is_404] => 
    [is_comments_popup] => 
    [is_paged] => 1
    [is_admin] => 
    [is_attachment] => 
    [is_singular] => 
    [is_robots] => 
    [is_posts_page] => 
    [is_post_type_archive] => 
    [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 19b3d4030e01b6aa3ca784fd61a919f0
    [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 
    [thumbnails_cached] => 1
    [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => 
    [query] => Array
        (
            [cat] => 37
            [paged] => 5
        )

    [request] => SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS  wp_posts.ID FROM wp_posts  INNER JOIN wp_term_relationships ON (wp_posts.ID = wp_term_relationships.object_id) WHERE 1=1  AND ( wp_term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id IN (37) ) AND wp_posts.post_type = 'post' AND (wp_posts.post_status = 'publish') GROUP BY wp_posts.ID ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC LIMIT 40, 10
    [posts] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 137901
                    [post_author] => 281
                    [post_date] => 2018-07-14 12:48:56
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-14 10:48:56
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 12 - The Albanian Centre for Openness and Dialogue inaugurated on July 6 Algerian photographer’s Michel Setboun photo exhibition ‘The end. The start. Albania 1981-1991.” 

At the COD space, Setboun brings for the first time 99 medium and large dimension images as emblems which hold, in their essence, memory and documentation, the evolution of a dramatic decade, filled with events of an extraordinary importance for Albanians’ history.

The substance of this exhibitions retrospectively pauses to inspect strong contrasts, vivid tabloids focusing on post-80s Albania with demagoguery, banners, communist parades, bunkers in every inch of the surface, cult objects transformed in theatre halls, coffeeshops, abandoned culture hubs, economic hardship, political and social oppression during the autocracy period, the figure of the Albanian woman, children and school students, among others.

For Setboun, the country’s beginning of the 1990’s was equally shocking - as the communist regime was coming undone - in his documentation of the Albanian exodus, the overcrowded migrant ships at the Durres port, the reception of Mother Teresa in her home country, the revitalization of religion, reopening of religious cults, discovery and first face-off with capitalism, the shocking situation in centers for children with disabilities, weddings and funerals, and many other aspects of Albanian life.

“I’ve seen many things, from the beginning to the end of two eras. It was very important for this exhibition to take place here, because I wanted to create an album for the family and for the passing of generations that are no longer here. I did not want to show something depressing, but something that shows hope and life. It is important for the new generation to understand where we come from. We forget too easily,” Setboun told local media. 

[caption id="attachment_137903" align="alignright" width="300"]Foto3-500x400 Michel Setboun[/caption]

Meanwhile, Setboun is considered to be one of Albania’s most important international photo-reporters, and one of the most persistent recorders of Albania’s history since 1981 and onwards, as he remains almost the only photographer who has captured with his camera, unlike anyone else and continuously during the last four decades, the political, cultural and social development of the country through and through.  

“Before coming to Albania, I’d heard of Ismail Kadare books, which made Albania look like a fairy-tale place. I was naturally interested in it. I came to Albania for the first time in 1981 and, if you don’t share my age, you cannot imagine how Albania looked then. I was a war photographer, while Albania was a country at peace. While staying at Hotel Tirana, because of the intense quiet, one could even hear chickens’ sounds...there was no cars, nothing. A completely different planet,” Setboun said. 

His archive on Albania has thousands of pictures, each irreplaceable in its political and cultural significance. 

Albanian public figures, such as art historian Zef Peci also spoke to local media about the importance these pictures hold in documenting the country’s history. 

“I think it’s the exhibition of an important author, who brings photographers dipped in reality. Today, seeing these pictures, which were done in film 30 years ago and are not digital,  we see an Albania that no longer exists, some classes and people that no longer remain the same, or have been camouflaged. In this direction, it receives an extraordinary importance, because it speaks of a specific socio-historical context that no longer exists,” Peci told local media.

The exhibition will remain open to the public until September 2nd, while the entry will be free of charge. 

 
                    [post_title] => Michel Setboun shows Albania during communist regime’s final throes 
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => michel-setboun-shows-albania-during-communist-regimes-final-throes
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-07-14 12:48:56
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-14 10:48:56
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=137901
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [1] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 137898
                    [post_author] => 281
                    [post_date] => 2018-07-14 12:42:34
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-14 10:42:34
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 12 - The first modern-day festival dedicated to re-telling the traditions and stories of the Albanian Alps will return on July 20 under the Accursed Mountains, along the riverside of the Shala River. 

During its second edition, expected to last for three days and two nights in the course of a weekend, Za Fest organizers have promised to bring the best Albanian music in Theth Village, while simultaneously expanding its cultural horizon even more. 

Some of the artists that have already confirmed their participation to the event include Hasa-Mazzotta, Andrra, Oborri and Linda Rukaj, who will perform live from the village’s traditional church.

“An infinite repertoire of rhythms, notes and vocals that can break any kind of cultural barrier. This will be the right background to enjoy the transfixing Theth panorama,” organizers have written in the event’s official press release. 

Similarly to the last edition, this year too Za Fest will resurface part of the Albanian Alps’ oral tradition, “a jewel inherited from our ancestors.” 

Director and Actor Ema Andrea will also be present to tell and perform some of the area’s most epic legends and stories.

For 2018, organizers have promised an all-inclusive event which will combine the best live music with figurative arts, traditional tastes and sports activities in Theth’s beautiful nature.
                    [post_title] => Second edition of ‘Za Fest’ returns to Albania’s Theth village  
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => second-edition-of-za-fest-returns-to-albanias-theth-village
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-07-14 12:42:34
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-14 10:42:34
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=137898
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [2] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 137894
                    [post_author] => 281
                    [post_date] => 2018-07-14 12:36:28
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-14 10:36:28
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 9 - Dublin-based photographer Nick St.Oegger traveled to Albania’s endangered Vjosa river to document life along its banks, and has now published the series of striking landscape shots of the environment, as well as the portraits of the people and homes of the riverside communities, in a debut photo book titled ‘Kucedra: Portraits of Life on Europe’s Last Wild River.’ 

The photo book came to life in collaboration with Patagonia and NGOs RiverWatch and Euronatur, as part of the Save the Blue Heart of Europe campaign and was launched in Dublin at the Patagonia store, on June 15. 

Vjosa has been named Europe’s last wild river as it has so far never been dammed or altered in any way and runs along its natural course.

[caption id="attachment_137895" align="alignright" width="300"]39_0 Nick St.Oegger[/caption]

However, the pristine river is under threat from hydropower development, which would alter the flow of the river, flood villages and irreparably alter and damage the region’s biodiversity.

In addition, Vjosa holds economic and cultural significance for the agricultural-based communities that live along its banks, thus risking the lives of those who would be displaced and lose their source of income if the dams and reservoirs become a reality.

The fall of communism and chaos that ensued in terms of property law and documentation has led to many of these villagers and farmers holding no deeds to their lands, and so compensation for what they might potentially lose would be difficult to ensure.

As pointed out by Oegger himself during the press release of his book launch, “the fact that the majority of these people don’t have an additional source of income or skills upon which to rely their livelihood, makes matters more difficult.”

The dams to be built at the Vjosa River  are part of a hydropower boom that is taking place everywhere in the Balkans. They are funded by international investment banks and could result in the construction of up to 3,000 dams along rivers throughout the Balkans.

In addition to St.Oegger’s pictures, the book also features an essay by Nataša Gregorič Bon, a social anthropologist at the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, on Vjosa River’s importance to Albania’s economy and culture.

The government’s plans to allow the construction of hydropower plants along Europe’s last wild river has also sparked protests in the country by activists, nature-protection organizations and scholars alike over the past months, while also giving life to the ‘Don’t Touch Vjosa’ campaign, under which a number of awareness campaigns have been organized in the capital. 

 

About Nick St.Oegger 

Nick St.Oegger, born in 1988, is a documentary photographer from California, based in Dublin, Ireland, whose work explores the relationship between people and the environments they inhabit, both urban and rural. He has spent several years working in the western Balkans, with a specific focus on Albania. His clients include: Patagonia, Vice, Huck, Reuters, Le Monde, De Standaard, Nieuwe Revu and The Calvert Journal.

 
                    [post_title] => ‘Kucedra’ photo book captures Vjosa, Europe’s last wild river 
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => kucedra-photo-book-captures-vjosa-europes-last-wild-river
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-07-14 12:36:28
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-14 10:36:28
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=137894
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [3] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 137909
                    [post_author] => 281
                    [post_date] => 2018-07-14 09:29:32
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-14 07:29:32
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 14 - In Albania, former Mayor of Kavaja Elvis Rroshi will have to do 60 days of community service to pay off a sentence given on Friday by the Tirana Court for falsifying official forms.

The court initially upheld the Prosecution's request for a seven month and 15 day imprisonment sentence, but due to a shortened trial after Rroshi pleaded guilty, the sentence was reduced to five months and was finally converted to community service, as Rroshi had been under house arrest for four months.

The former mayor, elected on behalf of the Socialist Party, is the first official to be convicted under the country’s decriminalization law.

He was charged for keeping information related to his past hidden, such as a conviction for group rape in Italy in 1992, or the fact he was expelled by several European states and had used different names to cover his identity.

Rroshi’s mandate was removed in 2016, and he was then fired to be later arrested by the prosecution.

He initially tried to argue against the measures taken against him by addressing all courts in the country, including the constitutional one, but was forced to accept the prosecution’s findings, justifying himself by saying he was negligent while filling the decriminalization form.

 
                    [post_title] => Former Kavaja mayor convicted to community service under decriminalization law 
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => former-kavaja-mayor-charged-with-community-work-under-decriminalization-law
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-07-20 00:15:49
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-19 22:15:49
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=137909
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [4] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 137869
                    [post_author] => 29
                    [post_date] => 2018-07-13 10:10:08
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-13 08:10:08
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 11 - A report by Italy’s Central Directorate for Anti-Drug Services published this week said Albania was the country of origin of the majority of marijuana destined for Italian and European markets in 2017.

“Marijuana imports in Italy have increased significantly, reaching in 2017 a seizure record of over 90 tons, in comparison to the 41 tons in 2016,” the annual report says, adding that “Italy’s confiscation trends are related to marijuana cultivation in Albania.”

The report also mentions that 2017 marked the case of “the biggest confiscation that has ever taken place, in the Marches region, equal to eight tons of marijuana that were destined for Northern Europe.”

The Italian anti-drug report estimates that "in addition, Albanian clans have shown that they have growing management skills in the cultivation and trafficking of marijuana.”

According to the document, they use high-productivity plants and ever-diversifying methods of hiding, cultivating and transporting them to the Italian coast.

Given the size of the traffic, according to the Report, "Albanian crime groups compete with other criminal organizations for controlling parts of trafficking routes that arrive in Italy, as well as for the management of drug distribution networks.”

Based on the report’s data, Albanians rank first in the foreign drug trafficking networks involved in criminal activities, with 25 out of 94 networks in total. Following Albanians, come second and third networks from Gambia and Morocco.

The report estimates the 94 drug trafficking cases reported in 2017 are the highest in the last decade, while the lowest value was recorded in 2011, with 49 cases.

The report also estimates that “drug trafficking routes leading to Italian state borders remained unchanged. Most confiscated drugs, approximately 95%, were seized off the coastline, territorial waters, and across sea borders.”

Border areas related to marijuana trafficking also mark the highest number of arrested Albanians, with 41 out of 93 foreigners detained at the Italian border with marijuana shipments during 2017.

Albanian criminal groups, however, have not limited their activity to marijuana trafficking.

The report also raises the concern that “along with the 'Ndrangheta' in Calabria, which thanks to a network of complex international ties still has a key role in cocaine trafficking in Italy, in 2017, some harsh groups of foreign crime also came to light, consisting of Moroccan, Nigerian and Albanian nationals. In particular, the latter, as evidence of a qualitative hop on their operational capabilities, compete with other criminal groups for the control of traffic segments in Italy and the management of distribution networks in the national territory of major narcotic substances.”

According to the figures published in the report, Albanian citizens come second in the number of foreigners arrested for trafficking and distribution of cocaine, with about 1,100 arrested people. Out of 14,000 foreigners involved in drug offenses in Italy during 2017, out of which more than 10,000 have been arrested, approximately 2,000 people were Albanian. 

Finally, the report also points at the extent of the activity  of Albanian groups in Europe, as they “are ranked among the most active in terms of operational opportunities, starting from control capabilities at the embarking stage and withdrawal of supply in the Dutch and Belgian ports, used for importing cocaine into Europe. 

 
                    [post_title] => Report: Albania was Italy’s main cannabis supplier in 2017 
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => report-albania-was-italys-main-cannabis-supplier-in-2017
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-07-18 12:15:52
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-18 10:15:52
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=137869
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [5] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 137846
                    [post_author] => 29
                    [post_date] => 2018-07-11 16:00:53
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-11 14:00:53
                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_137848" align="alignright" width="300"]Students attend the AIIS summer school on the "New security environment in the Western Balkans: Challanges and Implications." Photos: AIIS Students attend the AIIS summer school on the "New security environment in the Western Balkans: Challenges and Implications." Photos: AIIS[/caption]

TIRANA, July 11 – Albanian public and private university students were acquainted with the new security environment in Albania and other Western Balkan countries as well as challenges and implications at a time when violent extremism has emerged as one of the top global threats and no country is considered immune to that.

The five-day training is being held in Tirana by the Albanian Institute for International Studies, AIIS, one of the country’s leading think tanks, as part of its summer school project on security issues, supported by the NATO Public Diplomacy Division, providing students with insight on countering violent extremism, the Alliance’s role in the Western Balkans where Albania and Montenegro are already members and Macedonia is soon hoping to join after settling a decades-long name dispute with Greece.

Other topics discussed in daily seminars with experts included the role of religion and third-party actors in public security issues in the region and the preparedness of the Western Balkan countries to counter radicalization.

The forum came at a time when leaders of the 29 NATO allies and partner nations are meeting at a two-day summit in Brussels this week to take decisions on strengthening the Alliance's deterrence and defense, stepping up in the fight against terrorism and achieving fairer burden-sharing.

Addressing the opening of summer school, Mimi Kodheli, a former Albanian defense minister who currently chairs the foreign affairs parliamentary committee, told students that Albania and other regional countries can counter violent extremism only by staying together and sharing information and that education, opening up and putting an end to xenophobia can help fight radicalism.

Agron Sojati, Albania’s national coordinator for countering violent extremism, also informed students on how terror can paralyze social and economic life.

Speakers at the first three days of the seminars included David Muniz, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassy in Tirana, the head of the Albanian Institute for International Studies Albert Rakipi and local security expert Arjan Dyrmishi.

Sara Malosmani, a second year Master’s student in political science, says she finds the experts’ classes really helpful.

“As a student, it was really important to have had a chance on learning more regarding security in the Western Balkans and the challenges it faces from different experts. This week, I felt really privileged to discuss my ideas with security experts,” she told Tirana Times.

The five-day summer school concludes on Friday with seminars on the refugee crisis and the Western Balkan route and the potential influence of new political developments in Turkey on regional security affairs.

While no incidents have taken place so far, Albania is not considered immune to terrorism.

In late 2016, a coordinated regional counter terrorism operation led to the arrests of four Albanians, disrupting a potential attack targeting a World Cup qualifier between Albania and Israel, later held peacefully under tight security measures.

A country with a majority Muslim population, but where religious co-existence is hailed as an example to be followed, Albania has had no new reported cases of citizens travelling to Syria or Iraq as of 2015 after more than a hundred Albanians were conformed to have joined ISIS by mid-2014.

A late 2015 AIIS study unveiled most of Albanian fighters in Syria came from poor undeveloped areas where they lived in isolation and were lured to join ISIS because of socio-economic conditions.

 
                    [post_title] => Albanian students learn on countering violent extremism at AIIS summer school
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => students-learn-on-countering-violent-extremism-at-aiis-summer-school
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-07-11 16:02:53
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-11 14:02:53
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=137846
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [6] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 137842
                    [post_author] => 281
                    [post_date] => 2018-07-11 12:01:03
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-11 10:01:03
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 11 - Albanian police arrested an individual suspected of belonging to a mobile organized crime group after searching a number of properties in the country, as part of an investigation into numerous domestic burglaries in Germany and France.

The arrest was the result of a joint mission with German and French counterparts and was supported by Europol, while previous actions in the same line of investigation have already seen the arrest of four other individuals thought to belong in the same criminal gang.

German authorities began the investigation in August 2017, after they were informed of an Albanian organized criminal group committing a series of burglaries in the Southern Germany.

Meanwhile, French police was simultaneously investigating an Albanian criminal group responsible of over 45 burglaries in France; it was later made known both departments were after the same criminal group operating independently in both countries. 

The first three Albanian nationals suspected of belonging to the criminal group were arrested in Germany in January 2018, and another member was arrested in Paris in March 2018.

After exchanging information, the latest stage of the investigation saw Albanian police searching over nine apartments, bars and restaurants in Tirana, arresting a suspect and recovering valuables believed to have been stolen during the burglaries of an estimated financial value at 500,000 euros. 

International media reported that further media investigation has already identified other members of the group, which is believed to involve over 40 people acting both in Germany and France.
                    [post_title] => Five arrested in series of burglaries in joint Albanian, French, German operation 
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => five-arrested-in-series-of-burglaries-in-joint-albanian-french-german-operation
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-07-11 12:01:03
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-11 10:01:03
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=137842
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [7] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 137830
                    [post_author] => 281
                    [post_date] => 2018-07-09 12:16:06
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-09 10:16:06
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 9 - Albania’s leader of the opposition Democratic Party Lulzim Basha has been repeatedly calling on the country’s President Ilir Meta not to sign the draft law approved on Thursday by the Socialist led parliament for the new National Theatre building project in Tirana.

“Yesterday’s act was approving a law that legitimizes theft. Its only purpose is to rob land in the middle of Tirana to build six massive concrete towers. There is therefore no connection with arts and culture. It is not being done for the theatre. We call on the president not to decree the legitimization of theft,” Basha said.

According to Basha, the project’s main goal is to launder dirty money coming from drugs, crime and corruption, while the law in itself is unconstitutional and destructive of the rule of law.

Basha warned the opposition will face the government’s plans both on the streets and in public squares and that it will support “without hesitation every act warned in advance by the artists inside the theatre and anywhere else.”

Previously, the majority of artists still protesting the demolition of the old NT building and its replacement with a new one which will belong to a high-rise complex of building warned that if the parliament approved the draft law, they will lock themselves inside the NT to revoke it.

The draft-law was approved in parliament on Thursday amid tension between the government and the opposition, while outside the building actors and a number of activists had gathered, still protesting the government’s plans after months of consecutive protests.

According to the draft law, Tirana’s Municipality will begin negotiating with Albanian-owned “Fusha shpk,” which will build the new National Building theatre in exchange of being offered public land surrounding it, to erect a number of high-rise towers.

Meanwhile, the government argues the reason it is authorizing “Fusha shpk” to build the new NT building is due to lack of budget funds on its side. 
                    [post_title] => Opposition calls on president not to decree NT bill 
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => opposition-calls-on-president-not-to-decree-nt-draft-law
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-07-10 12:20:08
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-10 10:20:08
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=137830
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [8] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 137764
                    [post_author] => 281
                    [post_date] => 2018-07-03 16:38:27
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-03 14:38:27
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, June 30 - Artists from Kosovo and Albania opened a photo exhibition showcasing the creatures living at the country’s Divjakë-Karavasta National Park, in what organizers said is a first-ever event of its kind promoting the countryside’s fauna.

One of the photographers’ main aim with the exhibition is to attract attention to the variety of birds and animals that risk extinction and that have been photographed for the first time in Albania or Kosovo.

The Divjakë-Karavasta National Park is considered one of the most valuable natural treasures in the country.

“Some of the photographs shown here are exhibited for the first time to the public, there are species discovered for the first time in both Kosovo and Albania and it was organized by Wildlife Photographers Albania, by all the Albanians living in the country who took pictures, and it’s the first of its kind,” Arian Mavriqi, photographer from Kosovo, said. 

Mavriqi added that the photographers’ aim is to raise awareness through the exhibition, and hopefully put an end to illegal hunting in the protected area, and the following destruction of the ecosystems.

“Through the photographs and the presentation of the fauna we enable people to get to know fauna species better and to preserve them, because the fauna is really important to our country - without it, natural life in the planet ceases to exist,” Mavriqi said.

He added that fauna in general is under risk from people, but that Wildlife Photographers hope that exhibitions like this can raise awareness, especially concerning illegal hunting and the destruction of ecosystems.

Locals also contributed in bringing the exhibition together, such as Altin Hila and his wife, who both grew up amid Divjaka’s natural beauty.

“I’ve dealt with nature my entire life, as my parents educated me to love nature and, as a result, I always wanted to showcase this nature and show it to the world and people,” Hila told the Voice of America.

The exhibition includes 45 photographs from 11 different photographers. 

Famous Albanian biologist Taulant Bino, who also attended the exhibition, valued his colleagues’ work not only for their aesthetic composition, but also because of their aim of raising awareness.

“Above all, it gives a very important message for the protection of Albania’s nature by showing its diversity and beauty; so, it raises the values of Albanian nature and by doing so, gives the message that this nature should be protected,” Bino said.

The exhibition has already been welcomed with great enthusiasm and curiosity, given the big number of visitors the valley and the exhibition premises have seen since its opening. 

 
                    [post_title] => Photo exhibition on Albanian fauna opens at Divjakë-Karavasta National Park 
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => photo-exhibition-on-albanian-fauna-opens-at-divjake-karavasta-national-park
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-07-03 16:38:27
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-03 14:38:27
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=137764
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [9] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 137759
                    [post_author] => 281
                    [post_date] => 2018-07-03 14:53:37
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-03 12:53:37
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 3 - A joint meeting of cooperation took place between the governments of Albania and Montenegro in the Northern city of Shkodra on Tuesday. 

All police departments and forces were engaged by the government to ensure the orderly development of the meeting, which was hosted at the Marubi National Photography Museum.

According to local media reports, at the end of the meeting Albanian Minister of Interior Fatmir Xhafaj and Montenegrin counterpart Mevludin Nuhodzic signed an agreement to open a new border point between the two countries in Shkodra’s Zogaj, among several joint agreements in the fields of infrastructure and culture.

Albania and Montenegro currently have three border crossings in Muriqan, Han i Hotit and Vermosh respectively.  

The new border point aims to strengthen and further improve the bilateral and long-term cooperation by easing border crossing and population exchange between the countries.

In the previous years, Albania has also held a number of joint cooperation meetings with neighboring Kosovo too, although experts have said these shows produce more “media show than substance.”

Based on the results previous meetings with Kosovo have brought, economy experts now again pointed out no economic cooperation directly stems from the signing of agreements. 

For example, in last April’s Prishtina 2018 international trade fair, 70 of the 174 participant companies were from Serbia, something which, according to experts, is testimony to a confidence loss between Kosovo and Albania.

 
                    [post_title] => Albania-Montenegro sign agreement to open new border point in Zogaj  
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => albania-montenegro-sign-agreement-to-open-new-border-point-in-zogaj
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2018-07-04 11:34:51
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-04 09:34:51
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=137759
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

        )

    [post] => WP_Post Object
        (
            [ID] => 137901
            [post_author] => 281
            [post_date] => 2018-07-14 12:48:56
            [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-14 10:48:56
            [post_content] => TIRANA, July 12 - The Albanian Centre for Openness and Dialogue inaugurated on July 6 Algerian photographer’s Michel Setboun photo exhibition ‘The end. The start. Albania 1981-1991.” 

At the COD space, Setboun brings for the first time 99 medium and large dimension images as emblems which hold, in their essence, memory and documentation, the evolution of a dramatic decade, filled with events of an extraordinary importance for Albanians’ history.

The substance of this exhibitions retrospectively pauses to inspect strong contrasts, vivid tabloids focusing on post-80s Albania with demagoguery, banners, communist parades, bunkers in every inch of the surface, cult objects transformed in theatre halls, coffeeshops, abandoned culture hubs, economic hardship, political and social oppression during the autocracy period, the figure of the Albanian woman, children and school students, among others.

For Setboun, the country’s beginning of the 1990’s was equally shocking - as the communist regime was coming undone - in his documentation of the Albanian exodus, the overcrowded migrant ships at the Durres port, the reception of Mother Teresa in her home country, the revitalization of religion, reopening of religious cults, discovery and first face-off with capitalism, the shocking situation in centers for children with disabilities, weddings and funerals, and many other aspects of Albanian life.

“I’ve seen many things, from the beginning to the end of two eras. It was very important for this exhibition to take place here, because I wanted to create an album for the family and for the passing of generations that are no longer here. I did not want to show something depressing, but something that shows hope and life. It is important for the new generation to understand where we come from. We forget too easily,” Setboun told local media. 

[caption id="attachment_137903" align="alignright" width="300"]Foto3-500x400 Michel Setboun[/caption]

Meanwhile, Setboun is considered to be one of Albania’s most important international photo-reporters, and one of the most persistent recorders of Albania’s history since 1981 and onwards, as he remains almost the only photographer who has captured with his camera, unlike anyone else and continuously during the last four decades, the political, cultural and social development of the country through and through.  

“Before coming to Albania, I’d heard of Ismail Kadare books, which made Albania look like a fairy-tale place. I was naturally interested in it. I came to Albania for the first time in 1981 and, if you don’t share my age, you cannot imagine how Albania looked then. I was a war photographer, while Albania was a country at peace. While staying at Hotel Tirana, because of the intense quiet, one could even hear chickens’ sounds...there was no cars, nothing. A completely different planet,” Setboun said. 

His archive on Albania has thousands of pictures, each irreplaceable in its political and cultural significance. 

Albanian public figures, such as art historian Zef Peci also spoke to local media about the importance these pictures hold in documenting the country’s history. 

“I think it’s the exhibition of an important author, who brings photographers dipped in reality. Today, seeing these pictures, which were done in film 30 years ago and are not digital,  we see an Albania that no longer exists, some classes and people that no longer remain the same, or have been camouflaged. In this direction, it receives an extraordinary importance, because it speaks of a specific socio-historical context that no longer exists,” Peci told local media.

The exhibition will remain open to the public until September 2nd, while the entry will be free of charge. 

 
            [post_title] => Michel Setboun shows Albania during communist regime’s final throes 
            [post_excerpt] => 
            [post_status] => publish
            [comment_status] => closed
            [ping_status] => closed
            [post_password] => 
            [post_name] => michel-setboun-shows-albania-during-communist-regimes-final-throes
            [to_ping] => 
            [pinged] => 
            [post_modified] => 2018-07-14 12:48:56
            [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-14 10:48:56
            [post_content_filtered] => 
            [post_parent] => 0
            [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=137901
            [menu_order] => 0
            [post_type] => post
            [post_mime_type] => 
            [comment_count] => 0
            [filter] => raw
        )

    [queried_object] => stdClass Object
        (
            [term_id] => 37
            [name] => Free to Read
            [slug] => free
            [term_group] => 0
            [term_taxonomy_id] => 37
            [taxonomy] => category
            [description] => Want to read some of our articles, but are not ready to become a full paid subscriber? Register for free, and read all articles in this section — for free.
            [parent] => 0
            [count] => 770
            [filter] => raw
            [cat_ID] => 37
            [category_count] => 770
            [category_description] => Want to read some of our articles, but are not ready to become a full paid subscriber? Register for free, and read all articles in this section — for free.
            [cat_name] => Free to Read
            [category_nicename] => free
            [category_parent] => 0
        )

    [queried_object_id] => 37
    [post__not_in] => Array
        (
        )

)

Latest News

Read More