Famous Albanians – From Skanderbeg to Mother Teresa

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 17, 2017 09:20

Famous Albanians – From Skanderbeg to Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa

Most importantly, these sons and daughters of a small country like Albania confirm the vitality and the verve these people hold, by proudly listing Albanians on the big human terrestrial family.

The humanity, the geniality, the verve and the vitality of this small nation is revealed and signified in many outstanding figures, each of whom has proudly brought their extraordinary work to the international arena in helping the development of global prosperity, peace, art and culture as well as science worldwide.

On top of the list is undoubtedly the national hero and ruler of Medieval Albania Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg, who led the small Albanian nation and united the people under a 25-year resistance against the Ottoman Empire that was the strongest army of that era. That is the reason he deserves a golden place in Albania’s history and about 150 books, operas, paintings etc. have been dedicated to him from Renaissance to present day. Skanderbeg was one of the greatest generals and strategist of the medieval era.

Albania is also home to the great figure of humanity, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whose maiden name is Gonxhe Bojaxhi and whose parents were both Albanians. Her activities in humanitarian assistance to people in need, the poor and the victimized by wars are unprecedented, transforming her into the image of a saint for the entire world.

kadare

Ismail Kadare

Ismail Kadare has been published in almost every country in the world and has won many prestigious international awards for literature, including the inaugural “Man Booker International Prize” in 2005. He has also been nominated several times for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Achieving a position in the history of contemporary visual arts is an indisputable merit which Ibrahim Kodra, born in Durrës but educated and shaped as an artist in Italy, managed to. His masterpieces stand alongside other famous painters such as Modigliani and are on display in some of the most renowned galleries around the world.

One of the most sought-after photographers of former U.S.-based Life magazine, Gjon Mili was a pioneer in the use of stroboscopic instruments to capture a sequence of actions in one photograph. Trained as an engineer and self-taught in photography, Gjon Mili was one of the first to use electronic flash and stroboscopic light to create photographs that had more than scientific interest.

Opera singer Inva Mula ranks among the ten best sopranos of the world, with a collection of extraordinary arias from nearly all the best opera composers of all time. The soprano has performed in the most prestigious opera houses around the world and is particularly appreciated at La Scala in Milan and at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. But she is not alone, Ermonela Jaho, another great soprano and Saimir Pirgu, a well-known tenor are also shining on international stage.

Ibrahim Kodra

Ibrahim Kodra

Violinist Tedi Papavrami has been described by the media as the “little Albanian virtuoso” because of his skillful violin performances on international stage ever since he was a child.

Another major talent, named in the French media as a genius of contemporary choreography, is the Paris Opera House ballet maestro, Angelin Preljocaj, whose works stand alongside the works of the great Nureyev. Born in 1957 to Albanian parents who migrated to Paris, Preljocaj began his career by studying classical dance before turning to contemporary dance. He has received many prestigious awards, among which the “Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters.”

In the contemporary art stage, Anri Sala, Adrian Paci and Sisley Xhafa are doing very well and their exhibitions have been showcased from the New Museum in New York to the Venice Biennale and other important venues.

Pop stars Rita Ora, Dua Lipa, Bebe Rexha and Era Istrefi also have Albanian roots originally from Kosovo and Macedonia.

Football stars include newly retired Albania legendary captain Lorik Cana, Shkodran Mustafi who plays for Germany and Xherdan Shaqiri who plays for Switzerland. The Xhaka brothers are unique in Europe with the younger Arsenal playmaker and Swiss international Granit Xhaka and his elder Basel and Albanian international player becoming Europe’s first two brothers to face each other in the Euro 2016 group stage fixture when debutant Albania played Switzerland.

Rita Ora

Rita Ora

On the other side of the Atlantic, many other famous Albanians are contributing to their respective areas. Ferid Murad is the 1998 Nobel Prize winning inventor of the Viagra pill.

Laura Mersini is an Albanian-American cosmologist and theoretical physicist, and associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a proponent of the multiverse hypothesis, which holds that our universe is one of the many.

Famous Hollywood actors of Albanian origin include Jim Belushi, his late brother John Belushi, and Eliza Dushku.

Stan Dragoti is famous not only as a film director but also as the man who led the “I Love New York” promotion campaign.

Many art critics consider Fadil Berisha, the New York-based photographer, to be a genius in his field.

(Courtesy of the Albanian Tourism Agency, Edited by Tirana Times)

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 17, 2017 09:20