Albanian currency: Lek (ALL)
Albania is neither a member of the European Union nor of the Eurozone. The Albanian currency is the Lek (Plural: Leke) and it is divided into 100 Qindarka, although these are no longer in use.
In both 1964 and 1991 a zero was cut from the currency which led to the issue of new banknotes.
I got my Albanian Leke with a debit card from the cash point (ATM) at the Raiffaisen bank just between the hotels Rozafa and Kaduku. There are quite a few other banks with cash points in the city centre.
As Shkoder is situated very close to the border with Montenegro, where the official currency is the Euro, you will notice that many places in Shkoder will take the Euro as well, although mostly at a bad rate.
I was very surprised that during our two days in Shkoder I didn't see a single exchange office, especiallyas border towns usually have plenty of them.
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Horse drawn carts, 2005 and 1988
The first photo was taken in 2005 on the main road, in Muriqan, a small village 10 km west to Shkodër. It shows how old motorcars are recycled to horse drawn carts.
One motorcar gives usually two carts as one axle is enough for a small cart such as the one shown on the second photo, taken in 1988.
The third photo, also of 1988, shows a rare brand of heavy duty, two axles and twin hoses drawn truck. Admire the clever use of half a barrel as a hood for protection against flying horse droppings.
The fourth photo was taken in Shkodra in 2007. It shows that even if this type of carriage is less common, there still remain some of them in 2007.
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Shkodra, entrance into the city 2007
The two previous tips showed that in 2005, the grey1988 housing buildings had been more or less improved and hade received some colors. In 2007, only two years later, the improvement is even more obvious. The photos have been taken almost at the same place. Now the buildings have been better repaired and they all have been painted in bright colors! The comparison with 1988 is striking!
Shkodër 2005, the post office
The post office stands in the city center, on Bulevardi 13 Dhjetori (December 13th Boulevard). I went in to buy a few stamps and the lady at the desk was very kind. I got a nice fancy stamp surprisingly featuring Bugs Bunny ! The state of Albania pays royalties to Disney ! Who would have believed that before 1991 ?
Shkodër 2005, the open air market
The open-air market stands at the south entrance of Shkodër, on the left side of the street. However, as it was 12:30, the market was almost over. There remained only onions (first photo) and watermelons (second photo). The photos are not of good quality as they were shot from the car.
The first photo shows a good-looking building and a car. The building cannot be for “ordinary” housing and the car must be state owned and use as a job vehicle. Thus, I feel, this has to be the seat of an official office but which one, I do not know.
These photos were taken in 1988 on the outskirts of Shkodër. Our guide told us that the building on top of the hill (first photo) was the residency for major party leaders. I have not been able to spot this hill in 2005.
- Road Trip
Road works ahead!
Everywhere in the city, there are road works, pavement works, building works and the appearance of the country should be changing fast.
On this photo, taken in front of the new mosque, the sidewalk has been recently paved, trees are being planted and I can bet that very soon the whole city will have a ?modern? look.
Horses feeding on a dump
At the foot of Rozafa castle and on the side of the main road, there were three horses trying to feed on a waste ground, almost a dump. Apparently, they succeeded to feed enough as they all three looked in good condition , not fat but not skinny neither.
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Albania has been and is a very...
Albania has been and is a very religious tolerant society and Shkodra is perhaps the best example of that. It is the city with the highest concentration of catholic population in the country but it houses a slite muslim majority with a dash of orthodox believers thrown into the mix to make it a truly interfaith city. The atmosphere is great and people of different religions are the best of friends and neighbours. The religious festivals are observed by all inhabitants and celebrations are a unique source of togetherness.
MOTHER TERESA Mother...
Mother Teresa was born as Gonxhe Agnes Bojaxhiu on August 27, 1910, in Shkup (Skopje), present day Macedonia, which at the time was the center of the Kosova vilayet (province) of the Ottoman Empire. Her parents, Nikollë and Dranafille Bojaxhiu had moved there from Shkodra, in present day Albania, before Gonxhe was born. According to some sources, Dranafille was from Novosellë, a village near Gjakova, and Nikollë from Prizren.
Lorenc Antoni, a well-known composer from Prizren and a childhood friend of Gonxhe, said that in 1928, while returning from the Catholic Church of Letnica, in Vitia, Kosova, she told him that 'I have decided before the Lady of Letnica to go in missions and to dedicate myself completely to God and to serving souls.' Soon after, at age 18, she joined the Irish Catholic order of the Sisters of Loreto, which operated missions in Bengal. After spending some time in Ireland, she was sent to Calcutta, where she taught geography, history and catechism, at St. Mary's High School just outside of Calcutta. She later became principal of the school, and mastered Hindi and Bengali.
In 1930 she was given the name Teresa, in honor of St. Teresa of Avila, a Spanish saint of the 16th century.
On September 10th, 1946, while travelling on a train to be treated for tuberculosis, she received her 'call within a call,' as she called it, to help the poorest. She left St. Mary's High School and began working in the slums of Calcutta among the poor.
In 1950 she founded her order, the Missionaries of Charity, whose work, as she defined it, was to provide 'free service to the poor and the unwanted, irrespective of caste, creed, nationality or race.' In 1952 she established a home for the dying destitute, and soon after she opened her first orphanage.
In 1962 she received the Pandra Shri prize for 'extraordinary services.' Over the years she had used the money obtained from such awards to set up mobile health clinics, centers for the malnourished, rehabilitation hospices for lepers, homes for alcoholics and drug addicts, and shelters for the homeless. In 1979 she received the Nobel Peace Prize, 'for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace.' After being told of the honor, she replied, 'I am unworthy.' By this time her order had grown to 1,800 nuns and 120,000 lay workers, who operated nearly 200 centers and homes.
She intervened between the warring factions in Beirut in 1982, and arranged a cease fire to rescue nearly 40 mentally ill children.
Being prevented from visiting Albania by the communist regime, she visited several times during recent years. In 1988, she went to visit her mother's and sister's graves in Shkodra. Her last visit was in 1993, when on April 25th, she attended the inauguration ceremony of the Great Cathedral in Shkodra, alongside Pope John Paul II. She visited Kosova in 1980. Eight of her charity houses operate in Albania and two in Kosova. The largest charity organization in Kosova carries her name.
She was hospitalized several times in 1996 with heart, lung, kidney and other problems, and suffered ill health in earlier years. She indicated her intention to resign as head of her order in 1990, due to failing health. Because of disagreements on her successor, she remained as head of the order until March, 1996, when she stepped down and was replaced by Sister Nermala. She died on September 5th, 1997, in Calcutta, India, after suffering cardiac arrest. She was 87.
Her order currently has 4,000 nuns and novices, 400 priests and brothers and hundreds of thousands of volunteers, working at over 450 sites around the world.
Ernest Koliqi. Lirikë. ...
Ernest Koliqi. Lirikë.
Nxjerrë nga 'Gjurmat e Stinve'.
Dërguar në koleksion
nga Naim A. Maloku
Lshon ame ilire n'goje agimesh s'vjetra
Ndo 'i fjale e jote than' vetimeveti,
O gjuhe e folun n'bote ende ferishte
S'ciles Mayeri ne te censhmet letra
Rraj't e mshefuna n'mot nuk mund ia gjeti
As n't'folun t'Cezarve as n'helenishte,
Perse Athina s'kishte
Emen as Roma, kur e rrept ushtove
Nder vepra katallajsh qi nper jehona
Vigma t'fuqishme qitshin hove-hove,
Tue ndertue ledhe permbi troje t'ona.
Kuturesat e hyjit nper gjeth lisi
N'Dodonen shejte prifti, qi n'pergjime
Naten e diten rrinte atje perdore,
Porse ndo 'i fllad pullnaje kundalisi,
Ndoshta me fjal't e tueja i dha heshtime
T'perfrigueshme qi mbluen t'parat therore:
Ndoshta ndo' i buz' hyjnore
N'at mot qi zota shpesh perbujte toka
Shqiptoi kto fjal' qi ne mbi goj' na shkrefen;
Me ty hyjneshat ndoshta nper kto boka
Ndonjij biri njeriu dashnin ia shprefen.
Mbi anija t'shpejta velat nde kah preja,
Qi urdhni i Teutes niste nen hyj ari
Me msy t'Helenit barkat tregetuese
Ngarkue me ar e kem e skllave t'reja,
Ty t'kelthitte n'timue anijetari
Tue i ra me kic ilir pupes bishtnuese;
E permbi val' shkembuese
Ti jehojshe nder hymnet e ngadhnjimit
Kur, me plackat e rrmbyeme mbrend' stivue,
U afrojshin n'breg anijat prej agimit,
Mbretneshes s'detit pret me i a dhurue.
Mysteri i vjeter qi mberthen fjal't t'ueja,
Zanin na e dridh' me nji kreni t'pashoqe,
O ghuhe e folun per trimij pranvera,
E tok na mbajte nder pushtime t'hueja
Sepse prej gojve arbnore nuk u hoqe
As kur u ndam n'besime e doke tjera;
E shekujve potera
Qi me vrull u perplas mbi tok' shqiptare
Ndonjij ndrrimi edhe n'ty i cili shtegun,
Por prap kumbimet n'buze i ke krenare
Si n'mot qi Ilirt Shqipnis i a ruejshin bregun.
Thue buza e kangatarve te paemen
Qi gzim e idhnim me ty knduen maje mali
Dhe kanga u humbi n'erresin e motit,
Ket permallim qi mungullon mbi t'emen
E vjen nga heshtja e shekujve m'a fali,
Mue trashigues i tune n'dhe t'Kastriotit?
N' kthjelltin e dites s'sotit
Kang' ndoshta t'kndueme qi vorroi kalesa
Kendoi, o gjuh' lulzue n'shkreti, dh'asht goja
E eme ahmarrse e gojve qi harresa
N'terr mbylli, kur ti s'kishe as sheje as shkroja.
Motrat e tueja qi kumbuene n'shekull
Bukurin tue sjell' n'prak t'ksaj jete
E tjetra ligj't e Arsyes qi mbarshtrojn' fise,
Heshten e rrojn' vec n'karta:ti, per mrekulli,
Me nji mosh' trimij vjetsh e blerun mbete
Edhe kumbon e gjall' po n'ato vise
Ku me lshue tingujt nise
N'foshnjin e botes. Pse t'ka ruejtun fati
T'njom edhe virgjin? Egersija jote
Mos mban n'at gji, q'i hueji nuk pecati,
Stinen e fundme t'poezis s'ksaj bote?
O shqipe plot me munguj, o gjuh' burrash
Qi me 'i fjal' t'vetme lidheshin per laku
Dhe soje as vdekja s'mujte kurr me i trande,
Shprehje t,kulluet na ep si akull gurrash
Per kang't e burrnis s'lasht q'ushqejm' te gjaku
E t'lavdis s're qi me t'fitue na kande;
Thjeshtin e ambel t'ande
Me ndjell' dashnin e vashavet qi t'flasin
Falja poetve t'u, por n'qe se kamben
Buzes amtare kush ia ven, ti casin
Mos prit: banu rrufe me lshue n'te namen.
O Kange, Arbnor't e plogte i kapi gjumi;
Ti kris si za burije
Mbi ata qi flejn' pa andrra fisnikije:
E n'qe se belkacuk't e gjuh's ilire,
Tue t'ndie fishkllojn' prej smire,
Me rrahje flatrash ik n'nalsi t'kalthera
Shkodra në mengjese
Kendojnë bashkë në mengjese pesë kumbonare,
kendojnë në ajri mbi Shkoder ende fjete:
mbi Maranaj qet vetllen kureshtare
agimi e hjedh në liqe synin e qete.
Perhapë lajmin e zgjimit rrezja e parë
të parat pershendetje dridhen në heshti të lete,
e shpejt në at lavdi dielli, qi e veshë fare
Shkodra kumbon me zane, zhurmë e jete.
E ai diell prendvere i ri shprazet në shtepija
udha e lulishta tue ngjallë ngjyra e shkendija,
tue mbshtjellë gjithshka si nji tis ari, i holle:
skaj ne skaj si lum gzimi tue rreshqite
në syt e vashave, qeshë, e mbush me drite
kacurrelat e tyne kur shkojnë në shkolle.
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