First Albanian language high school opens in Croatia's Zadar

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times October 21, 2016 10:20

First Albanian language high school opens in Croatia's Zadar

TIRANA, Oct. 20 - An Albanian language high school has opened in Croatia's Zadar where an Albanian community locally known as Arbanasi has been living for the past 300 years, preserving the language, culture and traditions of Shkodra and its outskirts where they moved from in the 19th century.

The Croatian city where an estimated community of 4,000 people of Albanian origin live already offers elementary school classes in Albanian.

"The opening of these classes in Albanian helps a young generation of Albanians, whose parents came to this town in the last century. It is for this young generation, educated in the Croatian education system, but which now has the opportunity to professionally learn the Albanian language by preserving the language, traditions, culture and pan-Albanian values," says Ilir Melo, the Albanian ambassador to Croatia.

The Albanian language (shqip) is spoken by over six million people in the southwestern Balkans, primarily in the Republic of Albania and in the neighboring countries which once formed part of the Yugoslav federation (Kosova, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia), but also in Greece and Italy, in some villages in the Sandjak in Serbia and in the Bulgarian-Greek-Turkish border region, notably in the Bulgarian village of Mandrica. A few Albanian speakers are also to be found in the Ukraine, notably in villages in the regions of Melitopol' and Odessa. Little remains of the once extensive colonies of Albanians scattered throughout the Ottoman Empire.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times October 21, 2016 10:20