Ylljet Alicka translates renowned book in German

Ylljet Alicka translates renowned book in German

TIRANA, May 2- Writer, professor and former Ambassador to France Ylljet Alicka has written a good many titles which have also been translated abroad, and some even adapted for theatre. One of his most renowned books is Stone Slogans has

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A “Mirror” for women to find themselves

A “Mirror” for women to find themselves

By Sonja Methoxha   A little girl spends her growing days listening to her grandfather’s tales in Gjirokaster about history and life. She is surrounded by images of strong women who influenced her to become a strong woman herself. She

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Book “Internationals’’ is published in Italy

Book “Internationals’’ is published in Italy

TIRANA, Jan. 15 – On 2006, professor and former Albanian ambassador in France Ylljet Alicka, published a satirical novel titled Nje Rrefenje me Nderkombetare (A story with internationals). The book has been published in French, and ten years later, it

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The Internationals: When ‘elite’ arrogance meets ignorance

The Internationals: When ‘elite’ arrogance meets ignorance

Ten years after the successful publication of his satirical novel on the international community in Albania, writer and former diplomat Ylljet Aliçka has had his “Internationals” book published in English. The novel originally published as “Nje rrefenje me nderkombetare” (A

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Books: Albania and China – An Unequal Alliance

Books: Albania and China – An Unequal Alliance

You can also click to read: Book Review: Albania and China – An Unequal Alliance

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Ernest Nasto’s new book ‘One nation under God’ promoted

Ernest Nasto’s new book ‘One nation under God’ promoted

Recently, the Albanian Institute for International Studies (AIIS) hosted a promotion event at the Tirana Times bookstore featuring Dr. Ernest Nasto and his newly released book ”One nation under God – faith and politics in the United States”. Ernest Nasto

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Essad pasha Toptani: The Man, the War, the Power

Essad pasha Toptani: The Man, the War, the Power

Journalist-turned-writer Ilir Ikonomi presents a new biography of Essad Pasha, arguably the most controversial power broker in the initial decade of Albania’s existence as a state. After his critically acclaimed books on other Albanian standout figures, Ikonomi is stepping into

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Hugh G. Grant’s ‘I saw it all,’ now available in its entirety

Hugh G. Grant’s ‘I saw it all,’ now available in its entirety

The Albanian Institute for International Studies (AIIS) has just published Grant’s account of the Italian invasion in its entirety. By Ilir Ikonomi In the summer of 2010, while doing research at the U.S. National Archives in College Park, Maryland, I

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Kajsiu’s book promoted at Tirana Times Bookstore

TIRANA, Dec. 10 – Researcher Blendi Kajsiu held a lecture this week at the Tirana Times bookstore focusing on his latest book “A Discourse Analysis of Corruption.” Looking at corruption through a post-structuralist discourse analysis perspective, this book argues that

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Albanian books in Romania

TIRANA, Dec. 11 – The 100 anniversary of the Albanian-Romanian relations has been commemorated with an exhibition on Albanian books published in Romania where some of the greatest Albanian renaissance writers lived and worked. The exhibition at the National Library

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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, May 2- Writer, professor and former Ambassador to France Ylljet Alicka has written a good many titles which have also been translated abroad, and some even adapted for theatre. One of his most renowned books is Stone Slogans has been recently translated in German by Edmond Ludwig, and published by Monda Asembleo Socia (MAS).

This book has been previously translated in French, Czech, English, and Polish. The title has been turned into film with screenplay by Alicka and directed by Gjergj Xhuvani, and has received a few awards. Respectively, the Young critics award at the Festival de Cannes in France in 2001, the Grand Prix - Golden Prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival on the same year, and in 2006 it won Best screenplay at the Albanian Film Festival by the Ministry of Culture. 

The book is a collection of short stories which “besides the simple stories of his country, Albania, under Stalinist regime of Enver Hoxha, in his stories, the author describes the equally absurd events of the post-communist transition,” as the publisher writes to the German translation’s book introduction. The book could also be defined somehow by the French translator Patrick Chrismant who said that Aliçka writes at a time when the dreams of a just and unclassified society has collapsed, the dream of perpetuating dizziness towards a hateful economic system for a half-century, and the dream of an accelerated integration into the Euro-Atlantic political and military community.

Thirteen stories from where you realize that ideology is just an empty shell. Along the Party's nightmare, and under the liberal anarchy that replaced it, remains the same moral disintegration that devalishes the characters of Alicka. This is absurd with all its forms that leads stealthily to disgrace. The stories are the bearers of an Orwellian spirit which shows the authenticity of the Balkan region, and they are also viewed as a memory of the past and a warning to those societies where the government’s control over language is growing. Alicka’s message recalls that if we are to be upheld by propaganda, we have lost our own tune.

kop gjermanisht

The writer is largely appraised for the subtle workmanship and for his astonishingly surprising and humorous mood, Aliçka gives all the countries of the world a clear insight into the gloom of life during the communist dictatorship in his homeland. Mylada Jedrysik from “Gazeta Wyborcza” in Warsaw has written that “soon, Alicka is turning into one of the most prominent narratives of post-communism. For human weaknesses and attitude towards power, Alicka tells about Albania more than all that has been published in Poland. Everything can happen under his pen.”

Ylljet Alicka received the “Doctor of Didactic Sciences” degree in 1989 and was awarded the title of “Doctor Professor” in 1993. He has completed his professional duties as a teacher in the villages of the district of Mat from 1973-1983. He has also been editor and director at the School Book Publishing House from 1983-1992; Director of Foreign Relations at the Ministry of Culture from 1992-1997. He has been responsible for information and communication at the Delegation of the European Commission in Tirana from 1997-2007; the Ambassador of Albania to France, Portugal, Monaco, UNESCO, and the personal representative of the President of the Republic of France at the International Francophone Organization during 2007-2013. He has been a Professor at the European University of Tirana and at the University of Arts since 2013.

Alicka has also won a number of awards in literature, the First prize at the International competition of short stories in Teramo, Italy in 1999; the Bronze Medal by the International Academy of Lutece in Paris in 2000; the Second prize at the International competition “Arts et lettres de France” in Bordeaux in 2000; the silver medal in prose by the Albanian Ministry of Culture in 2001; the Prix de la francophonie by the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2002; the Best novel of the year by KULT prizes in Tirana in 2007; the Special prize by VII Premio Letterario Nazionale “Libri Editi” in Rome in 2009; and the Silver medal in prose for Valsi i lumturisë by the Albanian Ministry of Culture in 2013.
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                    [post_content] => By Sonja Methoxha

 

A little girl spends her growing days listening to her grandfather’s tales in Gjirokaster about history and life. She is surrounded by images of strong women who influenced her to become a strong woman herself. She defines her views as feminist, as she has admitted that to many of her friends, but Irda Haruni is simply the representation of a strong female who took her life under her own control, sustaining herself for about 11 years since she was a university Law student, and due time by believing in herself, she has started building her journey into fulfilling a lifelong dream: becoming a writer.

Irda recently published her first book, a collection of poems titled Pasqyra (Mirror in English). The poems are written over a span of 10 years and are dedicated to girls and women who are constantly trying to find and be themselves in a patriarchal society. She is inspired by the stories of the women of her family, but also of the women she met during her pathway. During the promotion of her book in Tirana she said that the book “is absolutely dedicated to girls, and here are many strong girls here, and I’d like to thank you for growing me.” However, the poems aren't simply directed to women, but to society as a whole, as we all are in constant interaction with one-another. And as women are already put into motion in demanding their equal rights and deserved appraise for their efforts, perhaps the change would happen when men would start respecting and treating women worthily.

IMG_1715

 

A lady with short, red hair and bright, black aways meanders among the crowd, greeting and thanking everyone who managed to join to her book’s promotion amidst the rainy day of April 11, at Mondial Hotel in Tirana. There were no chairs in the event. People were standing, drinking wine, talking to each other. Irda had decided to associate the book with 10 photos she took while in Italy where she studies. Each picture is based on a poem from the book, and show the hardships that women face against prejudices of society. And she wouldn't even have made a promotion if it wasn’t for the idea of the photo exhibition, but it also served the purpose of evading long speeches and to let the visitors to immerse themselves into her art.

“Of course I am a feminist, I have made that obvious in all tables, even with boys. I really believe in this cause, and I wanted the messages to be strong and clear for everyone, especially to you who have children today. So I wanted you to have this clear as an instruction from me,” said Irda during her book promotion in Tirana. 

The promotion took place in her hometown of Gjirokaster at Argjiro Hotel on April 8, because family members are there. Old relatives, schoolmates and childhood friends, old school teachers and family friends attended the event in support to Irda. Tirana though, has her friends.

Pasqyra has 111 poems about women and life. The book was published in Gjirokaster on April 8, and in Tirana on April 9. She printed 300 books, out of which only 50 were left to be dispersed in libraries, as the rest were already sold during her promotion. 

“I started writing when I was a little girl, but I decided to publish the book now because the time came, as it was becoming more serious when I noticed that I couldn’t break loose from writing,” told Irda Top Channel during her promotion in Gjirokaster. 

The poems run smooth. There is a honesty about the reality the way this woman sees it. She doesn’t feel like lying, because she does not have time to play games. But the truth she provides tastes bittersweet, that is why it can be swallowed easily as the allegories and metaphors she uses spread around in a dissociated dance, in a search of its identity, following an inaudible rhythm until it return to its starting point again. Poems on self, love, nature, friendship, ideals, all derive from a soul on its path to discovery, which after seeing its roots to its being, it is now boldly making them visible to the world, and sharing its wisdom. 

The book is only offered in the Albanian language, which is Irda’s mother tongue. After she finishing her second degree in Italy for which she is currently studying, she will will start slowly translating the book in English and make it available for Kindle through Amazon, and also start planning on a second project. She promised her next book to be a novel, as her second poem collection is already halfway. The following poem is titled It Should be a Reality was suggested by Irda as a representation of the book’s message, and comes translated as a courtesy of the author.

 

It Should be a Reality

 

A girl is born

And no balloons

A young blood fairy eternally

But what can this world confess

Without your soul’s mystery?

And young blood wouldn’t raise

For it’s not just a tale

Nor their veins blue as ice

Can’t make your name fade

FEMALE

[caption id="attachment_141427" align="aligncenter" width="749"]IMG-0432 *How insane! In a bottle, how could your perfume be imprisoned, that you are a half God?[/caption] [caption id="attachment_141428" align="aligncenter" width="876"]IMG-0433 *1000 years today it is still the same...[/caption] [caption id="attachment_141429" align="aligncenter" width="736"]IMG-0434 *Beautiful, just like the earth you say, but my bosom you infringed[/caption] [post_title] => A “Mirror” for women to find themselves [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 141425 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-04-19 15:20:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-19 13:20:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=141425 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 140143 [post_author] => 338 [post_date] => 2019-01-19 12:27:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-01-19 11:27:23 [post_content] => TIRANA, Jan. 15 - On 2006, professor and former Albanian ambassador in France Ylljet Alicka, published a satirical novel titled Nje Rrefenje me Nderkombetare (A story with internationals). The book has been published in French, and ten years later, it was translated and published in English under the title The Internationals, and was also produced into a film funded by the National Center of Filmography, with a script by Alicka and directed by Pluton Vasi. The book, which got a negative appraise from the international community in Albania and beyond, has been recently published in Italy by the Rubbettino publishing house under the name Gli Internazionali, translated in Italian by Italian Albanologist Elio Miracco and Albanian author Amik Kasoruho. gli internazionali   The publisher refers to the book with the description “Career diplomats- a bitter comedy and a stinging irony.’’ Director Pluton Vasi who directed the film adaptation of the book referred to the story of The Internationals as a black comedy. The novel’s characters include international officials, who, often anonymous at their home countries, upon arriving to Albania, after “struggling to help this country or tell locals the way to progress,” their life takes a new meaning thanks to the “indigenous” taking care and welcoming them. “This is the reason why many of the internationals cannot leave or grow so desperate when they finally leave Albania,” said Aliçka in an interview conducted with Tirana Times’ Europa Magazine. The following description is an excerpt by the Rubbettino publishing house in Italy: The residency of an international diplomatic body in Albania, right after the fall of communism; a desperate ambassador, because of his young girlfriend’s treachery; a few attaches with different nationalities, who make ‘elbow wars’ who will make it on top. And a young Albanian official, who observes the paternalisms, the envies, the carrierisms and the hypocrisies of this diversified circus. A simultaneously sweet and bitter comedy,  which unveils the behind-the-scenes intrigues to one of the ‘humanitarian’ missions, from which the following question naturally arises: how can the West come to the developing countries’ aid, when it has a megalomaniac and domineering approach, and how can a transitional country accept the help of those who mock its identity? Alicka’s sharp and poignant irony- who as a former diplomat knows well the world he confesses- smites both the zealous international saviors, and the subdued and wretched locals. A sarcastic novel, fresh and funny, which deserves an honor spot in the best Balkans tradition of this genre.   [post_title] => Book “Internationals’’ is published in Italy [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => book-internationals-is-published-in-italy [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-17 19:34:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-17 18:34:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=140143 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 130456 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2016-12-20 13:03:16 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-12-20 12:03:16 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_130457" align="alignright" width="300"]Ylljet-Alicka Ylljet Aliçka[/caption] Ten years after the successful publication of his satirical novel on the international community in Albania, writer and former diplomat Ylljet Aliçka has had his "Internationals" book published in English. The novel originally published as "Nje rrefenje me nderkombetare" (A story with internationals) will come as “Internationals" in an English-language publication by the R&Z Tirana Times publishing house. Initially not-well received by some members of the international community, the novel has also been previously published in French. In an interview with Europa magazine, a publication of the Albanian Institute for International Studies, the former Albanian ambassador to France says the novel's characters include international officials, who, often anonymous at their home countries, upon arriving to Albania, after “struggling to help this country or tell locals the way to progress," their life takes a new meaning thanks to the "indigenous" taking care and welcoming them. “This is the reason why many of the internationals cannot leave or grow so desperate when they finally leave Albania,” says Aliçka, 65, a university professor who served as Albania’s ambassador to France from 2007 to 2013.  What is "The Internationals" about? How did you come up with this idea? Is it related with the fact that you worked for a long time with a foreign representation in Tirana? INTERNATIONALScover-page-001- I came up with the idea from a personal ill feeling: an ill-feeling and preoccupation I didn't know how to get rid of. Engulfed in frame of a novel, it is natural that directly or indirectly, the individual issues take a broader dimension from today's reality, a reality which in my opinion proves to be far more complicated and more detached even compared to the principles of international bodies and that often group principles or universal rules remain unadjusted in specific cases or situations. In a nutshell, the thing is about a novel focused on the traumatization of many Albanians by racism and discrimination. Faced with an 'elite' arrogance (often mixed with ignorance) many Albanians (office-holding or not, in Albania or abroad) adjusted by subduing. The novel's characters include international officials, who, often anonymous at their home countries, upon arriving to Albania, after “struggling to help this country or tell locals the way to progress," their life takes a new meaning thanks to the 'indigenous" taking care and welcoming them. On the other hand, I have often been urged by the dilemma if there is any measure to assess the cultural differences among transition countries such as Albania and as a result shift to inequality and discrimination, at a time when it is accepted that every culture bearing values implies their hierarchy. You have been an "international" yourself in France representing Albania as ambassador. What is the difference of being an international in France as ambassador of Albania and being an international in Albania as ambassador? They are diametrically the opposite. In addition to my invaluable work, living experience, contacts in one of the global metropolis of culture, diplomacy and not only, being an international in France helped me understand better, although rather late, that we are neither better nor worse compared to other people, that the unconditional glorification of everything that comes from abroad and the servile submission toward it, promotes disgust and makes the submission position worse. Has any of the internationals you have worked with read your book? What were their impressions? There were impressions of all kinds, but mostly negative ones, and for a certain period of time causing personal trouble or serious concerns: somebody threatened to sue me (he was later held back by his superiors), while somebody else filed an official complaint with the highest Albanian institutions to "ban the book and punish the author." I learned that the senior Albanian hierarchy turned down this proposal, defending the author. Of course I remain grateful to them. Lastly, I would like to recall that at that time, I received the most meaningful protection by the senior international authorities, by the headquarters of the international representation office I worked with, apparently respecting the holy principle of the European culture they belonged to, i.e. protecting freedom of expression. What's your own opinion of the role played by representatives of the international community in Albania? There is no doubt that after the collapse of the [communist] regime, Albania’s survival would be at huge threat without the international community's assistance, mainly coming from two of its strategic allies, the U.S. and the European Union. But, on the other hand, the negative image on Albania and Albanians that has been dominating (despite improvements) internationally is really alarming. The perception, in addition to individual disappointments and disillusions, has turned into a serious barrier both politically and institutionally. Without leaving aside the negative phenomena generated by part of the Albanian society at home and abroad, i.e. the values and the counter-values that the Albanian society currently inherits and carries through, and at the same time without neglecting the value and priceless international support to Albania, I think that a considerable part of the responsibility or blame on the clichés on the negative image of Albania and Albanians is also held by the "outsiders." Among the prevailing thoughts, quite important ones favoring this image and often circulating individually (among foreigners), is related to the fact that the more you artificially darken the reality of a country (in our case that of Albania) where members of a foreign institution or representation live and work, the more this "coincidence coincides” with privileges and financial advantages economically and beyond. Spiritually, this trend favors the internationals' narcissistic thoughts and testifies (self-testifies) of "the courage and heroism" to work and "risk one's own life in this wilderness." I have the impression that many foreigners, anonymous in their countries, upon arriving to Albania, after “struggling to help this country or tell locals the way to progress," their life takes a new meaning thanks to the 'indigenous" taking care and welcoming them. This is the reason why many of the internationals cannot leave or grow so desperate when they finally leave Albania.       [post_title] => The Internationals: When ‘elite’ arrogance meets ignorance [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-internationals-when-elite-arrogance-meets-ignorance [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-12-23 11:31:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-12-23 10:31:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=130456 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 799 [post_author] => 68 [post_date] => 2016-12-09 12:05:11 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-12-09 11:05:11 [post_content] => You can also click to read: Book Review: Albania and China – An Unequal Alliancebiberaj [post_title] => Books: Albania and China - An Unequal Alliance [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => books-albania-and-china-an-unequal-alliance [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-12-09 14:08:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-12-09 13:08:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://tiranatimes.com/?p=799 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 130062 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2016-11-18 12:07:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-11-18 11:07:41 [post_content] => nasto 2Recently, the Albanian Institute for International Studies (AIIS) hosted a promotion event at the Tirana Times bookstore featuring Dr. Ernest Nasto and his newly released book ''One nation under God – faith and politics in the United States''. Ernest Nasto started his career as a lecturer of International Economics and Finance at the Faculty of Economics, University of Tirana, and later pursued doctoral studies at the University of Aix-Marseille France. For several years he also taught courses in Economic Policy at the Institute of Political Studies in Aix-en-Provence. After moving to Michigan, United States, in 1997 he joined the private sector, but always maintained a keen interest and passion for the study of American history, economics and politics. He has specialized in the role of religious faith throughout American history, as well as in shaping the policies of the world superpower. Dr Nasto has introduced this aspect of American society in the recent years through a number of open lectures in universities of Albania and Kosova, as the field is almost unknown to the Albanian public. Opening the event, Mr. Jorgji Qirjako, deputy director of AIIS, presented the author to the numerous participants and emphasized the fact that this book is the first one in Albanian to describe this very important aspect of American politics. Dr. Klejd Këlliçi and Dr. Nikolin Pano also gave special remarks on the subject of the book, and praised the author for offering this ''special key'' to a better understanding of the inner workings of the American society in general. Then Dr. Nasto described more in detail the content of the book, explaining first the impact of Christian faith in American history and its role in bringing forth some foundational ideas of the American national conscience, which are analyzed in the first part. For example, the ideas of the ''chosen nation'', of the ''nature's nation'' and later of the ''Christian nation'' were very prominent during colonial America, throughout the American Revolution, and well into the 19th - 20th centuries. The author explained how the self-understanding on the part of the newly created nation is reflected on the Great Seal of the United States on the back of the one-dollar bill (the eye, the unfinished pyramid on a barren desert terrain, etc). Moving to the object of the second part of the book, Mr. Nasto pointed out the influence of religious faith in modern American policies as exemplified by the political-religious group known as the Religious Right. According to the author, the reelection of George W. Bush in 2004, in the midst of great confusion caused by the Iraqi crisis, was clearly attributable to this group, which succeeded in presenting the issue of gay marriage as the greatest danger for the American civilization. He also described their role in the 2016 campaign and how the support of most of its leaders for Donald Trump was exactly the opposite of all their preaching on ''character matters'' during Bill Clinton's scandals 20 years ago. Dr. Nasto also insisted that this group in no way speaks for all Christian believers in America, much less for the Christian faith in general. They are first and foremost a political group, despite their pretensions of the religious faith being their main concern. A lively session of questions and answers ensued, with the author interacting with several participants and addressing their questions on the issues at hand. Mr. Nasto also stated that as the Albanian public becomes more familiar with these important factors in American policy-making, it can only contribute to a better understanding of the United States, of their society and culture in general. As such the book should be helpful not only for students and scholars of international relations, but also for diplomats and foreign policy experts in Albania, Kosova and Macedonia. At the end Dr. Nasto also signed books for the participants before the event was wrapped up over wine and appetizers. [post_title] => Ernest Nasto’s new book ‘One nation under God’ promoted [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => ernest-nastos-new-book-one-nation-under-god-promoted [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-11-18 12:07:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-11-18 11:07:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=130062 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 129840 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2016-11-07 09:51:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-11-07 08:51:30 [post_content] => esat-pasha-ballina Journalist-turned-writer Ilir Ikonomi presents a new biography of Essad Pasha, arguably the most controversial power broker in the initial decade of Albania’s existence as a state. After his critically acclaimed books on other Albanian standout figures, Ikonomi is stepping into a terrain where success is scarce, given the elusive and complex nature of the character he deals with. Essad pasha Toptani, a deputy of the Turkish parliament during the Balkan Wars (1912-13), defended Shkodra from the Montenegrin and Serbian armies then was forced to turn it over when hunger and bombardment made any further resistance impossible. Essad was praised as a heroic defender but his detractors insist he was a sellout. In the wake of Albania’s independence, Essad faced off with its founder Ismail Kemal and a power struggle of sorts followed. Essad set up a parallel government and was blamed with undermining Kemal’s effort of uniting the new nation. He fought back, belittling Kemal’s achievement and praising the efficiency of his own government. Essad claimed Albania should be dominated by a strong and independent local leader like himself. He first rejected the Great Powers idea of imposing an International Control Commission and a German prince on Albania then welcomed the prince, promising cooperation. In the Spring of 1914, barely two months after Prince Wied’s arrival, a rebellion gripped Albania and the monarch ordered the house of Essad shelled on suspicion of treason. A drama followed: Essad was arrested and deported to Italy. As the First World War began and the country descended further into chaos the Powers lost interest in Albania and the Prince was forced to leave the troubled new nation in September of the same year. A restless Essad returned to Durrës aided by Serbia but his government soon found itself besieged by an islamist uprising. Essad, who ruled with a strong hand, unsuccessfully fought back with the help of Italy which propped him up with money and other support. In June 1915 Serbia intervened and crushed the Albanian rebellion on Essad’s behalf. When the Bulgarian and Austrian armies invaded Serbia in late 1915, Essad returned the favor saving the Serbian army from complete debacle and humiliation during its forced march through the northern Albanian mountains. What was left of the Serbian army was allowed free passage to Corfu. Essad spent the war period fighting in Salonika for the Entente allies while most of his political foes supported the losing Austrian block. In 1919, when the war ended and a peace conference opened in Paris, Essad’s war contribution was not duly recognized by the Powers because Italy wanted to turn Albania into its own backyard and impose leaders of its choice, which excluded Essad. In early 1920, while Essad remained in Paris, a new government with ties to Italy was formed in Albania. Essad’s armed groups on the ground fought against the government paving the way for an Essad takeover. The attempt failed because Essad was assassinated by an Albanian while exiting his Paris hotel on June 13, 1920. The author gives a realistic and impartial account of the events mincing no words when it comes to the moral equivocations and other less-than-admirable qualities of Essad. He acknowledges however that Essad was a courageous personality and a fighter, who used shrewd diplomacy to dominate Albania free of any foreign influence. What made Essad controversial was his close friendship with Serbia. This fueled anger among many Albanians who reminded Essad the atrocities by the Serbs against the Albanians during the Balkan Wars. Essad believed that Albania had no choice but to accept the borders established by the Great Powers in 1913, a notion which was contradicted by many of his contemporaries who aspired to liberate at least some of the Kosovo towns with a purely ethnic Albanian population. Ilir Ikonomi takes no sides in evaluating Essad, a nearly impossible task for any Albanian history writer. Perhaps this is his strongest point in the face of his main character’s many critics. The book has 571 pages and contains a sizeable collection of good quality photographs, a bibliography and a name index.   (Title in Albanian: Esat pashë Toptani: Njeriu, Lufta, Pushteti) A biography by Ilir Ikonomi UETPress, 571 pages, Tirana 2016 [post_title] => Essad pasha Toptani: The Man, the War, the Power [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => essad-pasha-toptani-the-man-the-war-the-power [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-11-08 10:18:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-11-08 09:18:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=129840 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 129642 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2016-10-21 11:56:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-10-21 09:56:06 [post_content] => The Albanian Institute for International Studies (AIIS) has just published Grant’s account of the Italian invasion in its entirety. By Ilir Ikonomi ikonomiIn the summer of 2010, while doing research at the U.S. National Archives in College Park, Maryland, I came across a large file with a wealth of information about the occupation of Albania by Italy on April 7, 1939. It contained a long report by Hugh G. Grant, Chief of the American Mission in Tirana and a firsthand witness to that fateful event. Wandering through the treasure trove I quickly realized that the account qualified as an important addition to the numerous books and articles written about the subject over many years. Adding to my surprise, I soon discovered a long follow up report, in which Minister Grant documented the meltdown of the Albanian independence in the weeks and months following the occupation. The Albanian Institute of International Studies is now publishing Grant’s account of the Italian invasion in their entirety. We opted to divide them in smaller sections for the benefit of the general reader. In the trying days of 1939, when the rise of Hitler and Mussolini as two brigands seeking to conquer Europe and the world was sounding alarms everywhere, Mr. Grant believed his reports “had little value” to the officers of the State Department who were shaping policies on a grander scale to cope with the international tension. He nevertheless realized the great importance of archives and was convinced that his reports could in the future help shed more light on the history of this part of Europe. Perhaps, he modestly wrote, his account will one day “provide a few sidelights for some old foggy historian digging into the story of the rise and fall of a Kingdom.” Minister Grant had arrived in Albania in 1935, when the small Balkan nation was enjoying a period of relative peace under a ruler who was seeking modernization chiefly with Italy’s assistance. Grant represented the U.S. government in a nation that had won its independence a little more than two decades ago during which period was faced with problems that were very different from its neighbors. One was the lack of internal cohesion, marked by three competing religions and strong regionalism. The other was the looming danger of partition amongst its neighbors, who tried to take advantage of the chronic weaknesses displayed by the Albanians in organizing themselves as a nation. On the eve of the 1939 occupation, Albania was head over heels in debt to Italy and Mussolini employed that circumstance to impose on King Zog humiliating conditions that were impossible for him to accept. As a frequent visitor of the King, Grant had firsthand knowledge of the workings inside Zog’s monarchy and profoundly understood the root causes that led to the tightening of Italy’s stranglehold on the country. Invivid detail, Grant depicts a long audience he had with the King the day preceding the invasion, in which Albania’s ruler asked him to convey the following message to U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt: “the great democracies should either decide to strengthen themselves to the point where they may successfully meet the aggressors of the totalitarian powers or else be prepared to see the smaller nations swallowed up one by one.” The occupation drama that unfolded was initiated by Count Ciano, the Italian Foreign Minister and Mussolini’s son in law, who had visited Albania the year before as a witness to the King’s wedding. It was subsequently revealed in the infamous Ciano’s Diaries that his visit was merely an occasion to draft Italy’s sinister plans of overrunning Albania and turning it into a bridgehead for other Italian forays in the Balkans. King Zog was acutely aware of the great risks for his policy of indebtedness to Italy. According to Grant, “he always predicted a world war… hoping that the day of liquidation would never arrive as the result of general war in which Italy would be defeated.” The King’s dream never materialized. The Italians were quicker to throw him out and put the country under their fascist rule, which didn’t last very long anyway. Minister Grant speaks from the unique perspective of a U.S. diplomat who, unlike most of his European colleagues accredited in Tirana at that time, was not engaged in a particularly active role in the tiny country. As such, he can be considered a fairly objective and impartial observer of the happenings that brought about the occupation and the subsequent events. Therefore it is fair to say that his compelling account is a must read for history scholars and politicians. [post_title] => Hugh G. Grant’s ‘I saw it all,’ now available in its entirety [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => hugh-g-grants-i-saw-it-all-now-available-in-its-entirety [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-10-31 17:03:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-10-31 16:03:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=129642 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 117464 [post_author] => 68 [post_date] => 2014-12-19 09:00:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-19 09:00:00 [post_content] => TIRANA, Dec. 10 - Researcher Blendi Kajsiu held a lecture this week at the Tirana Times bookstore focusing on his latest book "A Discourse Analysis of Corruption." Looking at corruption through a post-structuralist discourse analysis perspective, this book argues that the dominant corruption discourse in Albania served primarily to institute the neoliberal order rather than eliminate corruption. "Anti-corruption discourses have long been at the centre of both academic debates and policy proposals in the Western Balkans. Focusing on the case of Albania, Kajsiu's excellent book offers a lucidly argued and sophisticated critique of the way in which such discourses have served to legitimise a neo-liberal order detrimental to an authentic renewal of the democratic public spirit," says Lea Ypi from London School of Economics and Political Science in the book review. Blendi Kajsiu holds a Ph.D. in Ideology and Discourse Analysis from the University of Essex, United Kingdom. [post_title] => Kajsiu's book promoted at Tirana Times Bookstore [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => kajsius-book-promoted-at-tirana-times-bookstore-_117464 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-10-31 17:03:20 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-10-31 16:03:20 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://46.183.120.20/tiranatimes/?p=117464 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 115957 [post_author] => 68 [post_date] => 2013-12-13 09:00:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-12-13 09:00:00 [post_content] => TIRANA, Dec. 11 - The 100 anniversary of the Albanian-Romanian relations has been commemorated with an exhibition on Albanian books published in Romania where some of the greatest Albanian renaissance writers lived and worked. The exhibition at the National Library in Tirana brought the history of Albanian books published in Romania from 1844 to 1993, just after Albania had declared its independence. "Few people know that Romania was historically the first country to diplomatically recognize the new Albanian state of 1913 for already known political, historical and cultural reasons," says Aurel Plasari, the director of the National Library. The exhibition, which opened on December 9 at the National Library, featured, rare collections, and original publications during the Albanian Renaissance period. The collection includes the first Albanian ABC book by Naum Veqilharxhi in 1844 to continue with dozens of publications by national poet Naim Frash쳩, writers Jani Vreto, Mihal Grameno, Luigj Gurakuqi etc. A similar exhibition is also scheduled to open in Bucharest in the next few days. [post_title] => Albanian books in Romania [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => albanian-books-in-romania_115957 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-10-31 17:03:20 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-10-31 16:03:20 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://46.183.120.20/tiranatimes/?p=115957 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 141612 [post_author] => 338 [post_date] => 2019-05-03 13:27:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-05-03 11:27:03 [post_content] => TIRANA, May 2- Writer, professor and former Ambassador to France Ylljet Alicka has written a good many titles which have also been translated abroad, and some even adapted for theatre. One of his most renowned books is Stone Slogans has been recently translated in German by Edmond Ludwig, and published by Monda Asembleo Socia (MAS). This book has been previously translated in French, Czech, English, and Polish. The title has been turned into film with screenplay by Alicka and directed by Gjergj Xhuvani, and has received a few awards. Respectively, the Young critics award at the Festival de Cannes in France in 2001, the Grand Prix - Golden Prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival on the same year, and in 2006 it won Best screenplay at the Albanian Film Festival by the Ministry of Culture. The book is a collection of short stories which “besides the simple stories of his country, Albania, under Stalinist regime of Enver Hoxha, in his stories, the author describes the equally absurd events of the post-communist transition,” as the publisher writes to the German translation’s book introduction. The book could also be defined somehow by the French translator Patrick Chrismant who said that Aliçka writes at a time when the dreams of a just and unclassified society has collapsed, the dream of perpetuating dizziness towards a hateful economic system for a half-century, and the dream of an accelerated integration into the Euro-Atlantic political and military community. Thirteen stories from where you realize that ideology is just an empty shell. Along the Party's nightmare, and under the liberal anarchy that replaced it, remains the same moral disintegration that devalishes the characters of Alicka. This is absurd with all its forms that leads stealthily to disgrace. The stories are the bearers of an Orwellian spirit which shows the authenticity of the Balkan region, and they are also viewed as a memory of the past and a warning to those societies where the government’s control over language is growing. Alicka’s message recalls that if we are to be upheld by propaganda, we have lost our own tune. kop gjermanisht The writer is largely appraised for the subtle workmanship and for his astonishingly surprising and humorous mood, Aliçka gives all the countries of the world a clear insight into the gloom of life during the communist dictatorship in his homeland. Mylada Jedrysik from “Gazeta Wyborcza” in Warsaw has written that “soon, Alicka is turning into one of the most prominent narratives of post-communism. For human weaknesses and attitude towards power, Alicka tells about Albania more than all that has been published in Poland. Everything can happen under his pen.” Ylljet Alicka received the “Doctor of Didactic Sciences” degree in 1989 and was awarded the title of “Doctor Professor” in 1993. He has completed his professional duties as a teacher in the villages of the district of Mat from 1973-1983. He has also been editor and director at the School Book Publishing House from 1983-1992; Director of Foreign Relations at the Ministry of Culture from 1992-1997. He has been responsible for information and communication at the Delegation of the European Commission in Tirana from 1997-2007; the Ambassador of Albania to France, Portugal, Monaco, UNESCO, and the personal representative of the President of the Republic of France at the International Francophone Organization during 2007-2013. He has been a Professor at the European University of Tirana and at the University of Arts since 2013. Alicka has also won a number of awards in literature, the First prize at the International competition of short stories in Teramo, Italy in 1999; the Bronze Medal by the International Academy of Lutece in Paris in 2000; the Second prize at the International competition “Arts et lettres de France” in Bordeaux in 2000; the silver medal in prose by the Albanian Ministry of Culture in 2001; the Prix de la francophonie by the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2002; the Best novel of the year by KULT prizes in Tirana in 2007; the Special prize by VII Premio Letterario Nazionale “Libri Editi” in Rome in 2009; and the Silver medal in prose for Valsi i lumturisë by the Albanian Ministry of Culture in 2013. 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