Albania – education
Before World War II, 80% of the Albanian population was illiterate. The teaching that was was mostly provided by religious organizations, and higher education did not exist. When the country became a people’s republic in 1945-46, an intensive campaign against illiteracy was launched, and in 1955 it was claimed to have been eradicated for all up to the age of 40; for the population as a whole, it was estimated in the 1990’s to be a quarter. The national minorities received a formal guarantee that they were entitled to receive instruction in their mother tongue. A distinctive feature of Albanian teaching in the past was the combination of theoretical knowledge, practical work and physical-military training.
The teaching process begins with a preschool for the 3-6-year-olds, followed by an 8-year state, compulsory and secular school for the 6-14-year-olds. Higher education is offered at general, technical and vocational schools. Higher education includes the University of Tirana (established in 1957), the agricultural colleges of Tirana and Korça, the teacher training courses of Shkodra, Elbasan and Gjirokastra, an art academy (established in 1972) and the Vojo Kushi Institute of Physical Culture and Sport, both in Tirana.
OFFICIAL NAME: Shqipëria
CAPITAL CITY: Tirana
POPULATION: 3,600,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 27,400 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Albanian, Greek
RELIGION: Muslims 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, Catholics 10%
CURRENCY CODE: ALL
ENGLISH NAME: Albania
Albanians 95%, Greeks 3%, others 2%
GDP PER residents: 1535 $ (2007)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 71 years, women 77 years (2007)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.784
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 73
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .el
Albania is a republic of the Balkans. Since 1991, there has been a total transformation of Europe’s poorest and most closed country. The upheaval, with the shift from dictatorship and planned economy to free elections and market economy, led to economic collapse and a casino-capitalist development that culminated in the collapse of pyramid schemes and a popular uprising in 1997. After the Kosovo crisis of 1998-99, the country has gradually shown greater stability aimed at European integration and membership of the EU and NATO.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Find two-letter abbreviation for each independent country and territory, such as AL which stands for Albania.
Albania – infrastructure
The road network is only weakly developed, as the need for transport was previously modest, the terrain strongly hilly, and when until 1990 there was a ban on private motoring. The total road length is approximately 18,000 km, of which only a third is paved. Many villages cannot be reached by vehicles. Since the first railway was built in 1947 from the country’s most important port city, Durrës, to Peqin, the railway network has been expanded to 447 km. With the Shkodra-Podgorica (Titograd) line, Albania’s railway network was connected to Yugoslavia in 1986, but only for freight transport. Since 1990, the importance of rail transport has diminished, especially for passenger transport. With private lorries, buses and cars since 1990, the road network has been heavily congested. Since 1990, there has been extensive foreign support for paving, renovation of existing highways and construction of motorway sections. A motorway between Tirana and Pristina in Kosovo is also planned. Telecommunications were previously severely restricted, and it was not until 1990 that Albania was connected to the international telephone network. The number of telephone subscribers in 1990 was 42,000; this figure had risen to 1.3 million in 2004, of which more than 1 million cell phones. Energy supply is based on oil and especially hydropower. The power plants, most of Albania’s longest river, the Drin, account for 80-90% of electricity production, which before 1990 was an important export commodity. this figure had risen to 1.3 million in 2004, of which more than 1 million cell phones. Energy supply is based on oil and especially hydropower. The power plants, most of Albania’s longest river, the Drin, account for 80-90% of electricity production, which before 1990 was an important export commodity. this figure had risen to 1.3 million in 2004, of which more than 1 million cell phones. Energy supply is based on oil and especially hydropower. The power plants, most of Albania’s longest river, the Drin, account for 80-90% of electricity production, which before 1990 was an important export commodity.
Albania – natural regions
Albania is a mountainous country with low coastal plains. 70% of the country is located more than 300 meters above sea level, and the average height is 708 m above sea level. Albania can be divided into three zones: The coastal zone consists of wide sea deposits interrupted by flat hills. The north coast is predominantly flat, only broken by a few rocks. The southern third of the coast is characterized by steep cliffs and is often called the Albanian Riviera. The transition area consists of cultivated river plains with low spurs from the mountains. The Highlands, the third zone, consists of three large mountain ranges: the Albanian Alps, which run NE-SW, the coastal parallel mountain range Korab in eastern Albania and in the south the Pindos mountain range, which continues into Greece. Three major natural lakes, Lake Shkodra, Lake Ohrid (often called Lake Pogradec in Albania) and Lake Prespa, are located on the border with neighboring countries.
Climate, plant and animal life
Albania is located in a subtropical winter rainfall area. The climate is very varied; the coastal zone has mild winters and is relatively rainy, while the summers are hot and dry. The average monthly temperature in the capital Tirana is 7 °C in January and 25 °C in July. The annual rainfall is 1190 mm. In central Albania, the climate is more continental, and the northern mountain regions in particular have cold, snowy winters. The annual rainfall can reach approximately 2000 mm. However, it is smaller to the south.
Variation in climate, relief and soil has produced a diverse flora. In the coastal areas (up to 400 m altitude), maki occur, which are further inland replaced by forest or scrub with deciduous oak species. On dry mountain slopes in the cloud belt (at an altitude of 800-1600 m) coniferous forest occurs.
The fauna includes jackal, bear, wild boar and fox as well as birds of prey such as falcon and eagle – Albania’s national symbol. The mild winter climate along the coast is the reason why a number of migratory birds overwinter here.
Albania – Constitution
the Republic of the Republic is from 1998. The Parliament (Kuvendi Popullor, “People’s Assembly”) has one chamber elected for four years. It has 140 members, of which 100 are elected in direct elections by simple majority, and the remaining 40 by proportional elections. The president is head of state and is elected by parliament for a five-year term. The executive power lies with the Council of Ministers, which is headed by a Prime Minister appointed by the President. The Prime Minister appoints the members of the Government, who must be approved by Parliament. The local government is based on 12 counties (prefectures) elected in direct elections for three years. The government appoints a prefect for each county as its representative.
Albania – economy
Albania has been trying to improve relations with the outside world since 1986, and from 1987 the planned economy mindset was relaxed in recognition of a need for decentralization. After the collapse of the Soviet Union around 1990, a democratization of political life began, and reforms were launched to transform the country into a market economy state, through privatization of property relations and liberalization of trade and prices. In 1991, Albania became a member of the World Bank and the IMF (International Monetary Fund), and a stabilization program was drawn up to reduce the inflation rate and the budget deficit. The Albanian economy experienced a severe downturn in the early 1990’s. Thus, the country’s GDP fell by 55% in the years 1990-92; mining and industry in particular were reduced.
The financial sector was also subject to reforms. The State Bank was increasingly able to concentrate on the central bank function after the bank’s commercial activities were outsourced to new banks and savings banks in 1991. At the same time, foreign banks were allowed to establish themselves and conduct banking business in the country.
Albania’s currency, lek, was formally pegged to the ECU in 1991, but currency shortages and high inflation – approximately 200% in 1992 – in the wake of price liberalization resulted in significant depreciations of the currency. Following the financial crisis following the collapse of the pyramid schemes in 1997, the economy has been growing and inflation has been low since 2002. However, Albania remains one of Europe’s poorest countries with high unemployment and a trade deficit that is only partially offset by transfers from the many legal and illegal Albanians, mainly in Italy and Greece. Foreign investment is limited by corruption and organized crime; it is estimated that the gray economy amounts to 50% of GDP. The infrastructure is also a hindrance; a planned thermal power plant at Vlorë should reduce the country’s almost total dependence on hydropower.
Albania – mass media
Albania’s first real daily newspaper was founded in 1913. Until then, only scattered attempts had been made in the form of weekly newspapers. The country’s many illiterates, as well as the population’s poverty and isolation, have contributed to the late development of the printed press and are still widespread. Under communist rule, the media followed a strictly Marxist-Leninist line, but after the 1991 reforms, the press became more free, leading to the publication of many new newspapers and magazines.
The largest and most influential newspapers are the Socialist Party’s Zëri in Popullit (People’s Voice), grdl. 1942, the independent Koha Jone (Our Time) and Gazeta Shqiptare (Albanian Newspaper). Furthermore, Gazeta 55 (grdl. 1997) with English summary and Sot (Today), published in Albanian and English.
Only in the 1990’s did television begin to gain ground in Albanian homes, and the state Radio Televizioni Shqiptar (RTSH), grdl. 1938, had a monopoly on television until 1998. Subsequently, a number of private radio and television stations emerged, with TOP Channel TV (Grdl. 2001) as the most popular. Albanians can also receive neighboring TV and satellite TV. RTSH operates two nationwide radio channels as well as an international service known as Radio Tirana, in addition to a satellite broadcast television service for Albanian speakers outside Albania.
Albania – religion
The Albanians were Orthodox Christians until the Catholic Church, in connection with the Crusades, gained a foothold in northern Albania and in the coastal towns. Central and Southern Albania remained Orthodox. After the Ottoman conquest in the 1400’s. Islam gained prominence and became Albania’s dominant religion within a few centuries. After 1945, an anti-religious policy was pursued, and many churches and mosques were transformed for other purposes. The Communist Parliament formally abolished all religion in 1967, declaring Albania “the world’s first atheist state”. Thereafter, all worship was forbidden, as were all religious characteristics, such as full beards. The total religious ban lasted until 1990. In 1991, diplomatic relations were resumed with the Vatican, and the following year, the Albanian president approved the election of Archbishop Anastasios as head of the independent Albanian Orthodox Church, established in the interwar period. Several decades as an atheist state have to some extent shaped the country. Over half of Albanians perceived themselves as non-religious in 1990, but perhaps many did not want to acknowledge a particular religious affiliation so soon after the reintroduction of religious freedom. Islam is still Albania’s largest religion; Orthodox and Catholics make up smaller denominations, while Protestants make up only a very small group. The Christian churches have enjoyed particular popularity since 1990, as they are associated with European identity and prosperity. Over half of Albanians perceived themselves as non-religious in 1990, but perhaps many did not want to acknowledge a particular religious affiliation so soon after the reintroduction of religious freedom. Islam is still Albania’s largest religion; Orthodox and Catholics make up smaller denominations, while Protestants make up only a very small group. The Christian churches have enjoyed particular popularity since 1990, as they are associated with European identity and prosperity. Over half of Albanians perceived themselves as non-religious in 1990, but perhaps many did not want to acknowledge a particular religious affiliation so soon after the reintroduction of religious freedom. Islam is still Albania’s largest religion; Orthodox and Catholics make up smaller denominations, while Protestants make up only a very small group. The Christian churches have enjoyed particular popularity since 1990, as they are associated with European identity and prosperity. Check youremailverifier for Albania social condition facts.
Albania – visual arts and architecture
Art in Albania is closely related to the art of the neighboring Balkan countries, with elements from southern Italy in the late medieval church art. From early Christian and Byzantine times, more than 50 churches have been located, built in two periods: the 300’s-500’s and the 700’s-400’s; furthermore, a number of baptismal chapels from the early period have been preserved.
Also in the Ottoman period from the 15th century to around 1912 numerous churches were built; in southern Albania they were designed according to the usual Orthodox church types with a few local features, for example in Butrint a baptismal chapel with a double colonnade and in Mesopotam a two-nave basilica with four domes; in northern Catholic Albania, a number of Italian style elements were introduced. The visual arts were primarily linked to the architecture.
In many floor mosaics from the 400’s-500’s, Hellenistic and Roman motifs were continued; the noblest are found in the baptistery of Butrint. Wall mosaics are known only from a chapel in the amphitheater in Durrës (before the year 800). From the Middle Ages there are a number of frescoes, but only from the time after the Byzantine rule are completely preserved church decorations known.
All mosques are of moderate size. The oldest date from 1492 and are rectangular with flat roofs; they later have a continuous square floor plan and dome over the middle. The main mosque in the center of Tirana was built 1794-1823.
Within secular culture, there is a rich folk art of typical Balkan cut; particularly notable are the silver filigree ornaments. Under Communist rule after 1945, official pictorial art was national heroic or socially realistic, and many statues of Lenin, Stalin, and Enver Hoxha were erected.
The equestrian statue of the national hero Skanderbeg in the center of Tirana dates from 1968. The relatively few monumental buildings in Tirana are partly in Italian-fascist, partly in Stalinist or modernist style.
Albania – literature
Albanian literature only became a unitary literature late, as the population was divided into several geographical-political areas and into three different religions.
Oldest surviving font are the Roman Catholic priest Gjon Buzukus Missal (1555). Pjetër Budi and Lekë Matrënga are also known from the predominantly religious literature of the time. After the conversion to Islam occurred in the 1700’s. a parallel literature modeled on Arabic, Persian, and Turkish literature; in addition to religious texts, it contains examples of the genres of rhetoric and poetry.
In the 1800’s. new literary forms emerged in step with the creation of the unitary literature. During the so-called rilindja period (relindje means ‘rebirth’), a romantic literature was created that emphasized the national and patriotic. The Italo-Albanian Jeronim de Radas’ (1814-1903) poem Milosao’s songs (1836) marks the beginning of the Rilindja period, which culminates with Naim Frashëri; Frashëri’s pastoral poem Bagëti e bujqësia (1886, Cattle farming and farming) is the equivalent of Albanian literature to the Golden Horns of Oehlenschläger.
Albania’s independence in 1913 is reflected in the literature of the new century with a continuation of the national romantic line. It was not until the interwar years that there was a certain break with tradition; Fan Stilian Noli contributed as a translator to the introduction of works from world literature to the public; at the same time he published his own poetry, which was translated into foreign languages. A short story list of international format is Migjeni, who with hermanbang empathy, among other things. depicts the break with the norms of the past that young educated Albanians had to make at the time.
After World War II, a politically one-sided literature established by the Communist Party was established. Only a few authors have had the opportunity to mark themselves individually in the period up to 1991. These include Albania’s internationally renowned author Ismail Kadare; With its defection in Paris in 1990, Kadare heralded the fall of the dictatorship.
Albania – music
Folk music has preserved ancient features despite noticeable outside influence, especially from Turkey. There are many local styles and great difference in music in the north and south. Among the geeks in the north, the shepherd’s shout and the double- shell zumare are an old tradition; almost all singing is unanimous and the scales diatonic; epic songs, usually kept within a woman’s scope, are recited with the accompaniment of the single-stringed string instrument lahutë or the two-stringed long-necked çifteli. In the south, the scales are pentatone, and there are many forms of polyphonic singing; typical instruments are the bagpipe gajdë and the flute fyell, in addition violin, clarinet and drum in ensembles. An art music took shape based on the folk music of the 1950’s. Ç. Zadeja wrote the first Albanian symphony (1956), P. Jakova the first Albanian opera Mrika (1958).
Albania – film
Albania set up a state film studio Shqipëria e Re (New Albania) in 1952. Already the following year, together with the Soviet Mosfilm, a giant equipment film was produced about the freedom hero Skanderbeg, The Uprising in the Mountains (1953), directed by Sergei Jutkevich. However, it was not until around 1957 that there was a regular Albanian film production; this had in the early 1980’s reached a total of just over 100 feature films. Production fell sharply after the break with China in 1977-78.
The early films were reminiscent in content of the traditional Yugoslav feature film with an emphasis on partisan films from World War II and collectively moralizing children’s films of the time, kept within the norms of traditional socialist realism. More self-critical films began to emerge in the late 1980’s.
After the political upheavals in 1991, Albanian television has tried to make co-productions, especially with funding from Kosovo, where approximately 2 mio. Albanians have their home; this applies, for example, to the Massacre in Tivar (1992) by E. Kryeziu (b. 1943). In the late 1980’s, interest in Albanian films grew, although they are most often seen on television. Foreign films, the poor country generally can not afford to import to the few cinemas.
During the economic crisis of the 1990’s, a National Film Center (1997) was set up. Among the few recent films that have made an international mark are Fatmir Koçis (b. 1959) Tirana Year Zero (2001) on the depopulation problem and Gjergj Xhuvanis (b. 1963) Slogans (2001) on a village school teacher, both French-Albanian co-productions.