Sunday, December 27, 2009

A friend of sacrifices – Naim Nimani

Naim Mehmet Nimani (Gramoz Mehmet Nimani) was born on 19th August, 1971, in the village of Truen (Puka) in a patriotic family. He passed his childhood and got educated there. After he finished the high school, like many other Albanian boys who remained jobless after the collapse of the communist system, in 1991, he was obliged to emigrate in Greece, England or somewhere else to ensure better living. Meantime his family settled in the city of Durrës. After working some years as an economic emigrant, Naim came back and started different businesses in Durrës. Now he is totally committed to his career as businessman. He is married and he dedicates to his family better part of his free time. He has three children, two girls and a boy. His first daughter, Arminda, is ten years old, the second, Sara, eight and the son, Emirgen, is six years old. They are children, who listen to their father and learn how to follow his steps.

Naim is sports-loving; in late afternoon he plays football, he also helps amateur boxers come along in this difficult sport, to become in this way real professionals in the future. One of his biggest dreams, despite the long time he spent in business, is the desire to explore and know the world through exploring journeys.

Naim Mehmet Nimani (Gramoz Mehmet Nimani) is, among other things, a good patriot who makes serious attempts to help the Albanian national issues, especially the Cham issue. I knew him casually in 1995 and since then he fell in love with the Cham issue and has followed me with passion in many of my activities, in all the districts of Albania, where the Chams live. He has travelled with me night and day, putting his cars and economic opportunities at the Cham issue’s disposal. He never got tired of travelling ceaselessly, even twenty four hours at the wheel, being my driver (free), when we had to work to exalt the Cham ideal. In some cases he has followed me in the whole of Albania, even when he was sick in bed with flu and cold. He has never hesitated. Instead, he has expressed himself laughingly:

I have one boss who doesn’t spare his life for Chameria. For this boss I can not only get up sick from bed but also dead from the tomb. I’ll rise like Konstandin of the Balad and follow him with commitment to realize his ideal, Chameria.

This is more or less the portrait of Naim Mehmet Nimani (Gramoz Mehmet Nimani), my friend and Chams’ friend, a man who has sacrifices every time I needed his help…

Isn’t he worthy of my sacrifices, to get up even at 12:00 PM if he needs me and my Cham friends?!... If you don’t believe me, ask his colleague, businessman Shpëtim Çilotaj (Chams’ friend too), and he will tell you the same features of Naim Nimani as a man who sacrifices a lot in the name of friendship.

Shefki Hysa

Not to get old…

- Shpëtim Agur Çilotaj is a rare boy, a good friend for everyone who knows him closely or has worked with him, - this is what my Cham friends from Fier told me a year ago.

These words were confirmed even by Gramoz Nimani (Naim), a common friend from Durrës, whom I trust because he has followed me for the Cham ideal even in the most difficult days, when he was ill and almost dying from languor.

And so instinctually I began watching Shpëtim, before deciding to open the friendship doors to him. And now he is a pleasant surprise for me, as a man of letters, who sees life from an artistic point of view and of course, even for other friends with a long experience in recognizing people, the same as me. And I am emphasizing not unintentionally, I don’t easily make mistakes regarding my tastes. At least, until today, I have never disappointed the readers. I think I’ll not disappoint them even with the personage I chose to present with such sympathy. I am saying it again: Shpëtim Çilotaj is really a charming boy, physically and especially in his interior. Believe me because I’m not insisting in vain, that’s why you should be curious to follow me in every detail, and you will be convinced that you have in front of you a main personage, really dignified for the Albanian society. A 35 year old man that blooms in his peak age, a friend full of virtues and a successful businessman - this is the right description of the man that advances impressively through this writing rows and in our imagination, honored reader…

Shpëtim Çilotaj was born in June 24, 1974 in the city of oilmen, in Patos (Fier), where he passed his childhood and got educated. So he finished the elementary and high school in his birthplace and graduated in Business Administration, Management in the University of Elbasan. And not in vain he chose this graduate school. It is understood, he was incited by the family gene. His grandfather, Laze Bilaj was a trader and his nephew, Shpëtim, this successful businessman, inherited it. His father, Agur, today is a well-set pensioner although he is 67 years old. Unlike his grandfather Laze, he worked as an oilman obliged by the conditions the former communist dictatorship had assigned, like all the townsmen of Patos, this oil-bearing zone. Shpëtim’s mother, Zonja, worked in construction.

Shpëtim is the smallest of three brothers. They have a sister, who is the brothers’ and parents pet as the last-born child of this typical Albanian family, which has been established in Patos about three hundred years ago. Grandfather Laze Bilaj took care of Shpëtim as the smallest of the boys, telling him his life experiences and teaching him how to be a devoted man for himself, his family and society. So he taught him how to imbibe the best characteristics and values of their clan, generation after generation and how to take values from the Cham coevals’ values.

Who doesn’t know Laze Bilaj in Patos and Fier, especially the Cham families that were established there in 1945, after being violently deported from their homeland, Chameria, by the Greek chauvinistic bands. As it is known, today the Chams, due to their rare genetic abilities, comprise a large part of Patos and Fier population. They came traumatized by the genocide the Greeks practiced upon their country and community. But they rapidly adapted themselves, handled trade and artisanal works, survived, were reproduced, and left many descendants to ensure the continuity of their own gene. So the Chams survived their number increased in Patos as well as in many areas of Albania, where they had set up their dwellings, expanding and strengthening the friendly relations with natives…

Shpëtim grew up and got educated as a Cham child among the numerous Cham families that had already enhanced their friendship with his grandfather Laze Bilaj, their host. The whole zone honors Laze for his hospitability toward the Chams. He supported and helped the Chams to build their homes and trade, as Chams’ most preferred tool to secure their living. And so they were so attached and fraternized that today Chams and natives don’t differ. Through the years the family traditions were mixed together and today it’s difficult to distinguish Shpëtim Çilotaj from a Cham guy and conversely.

In March 2002 Shpëtim Çilotaj created “Çilotaj” LLC company centered in Fier and with branches in some districts, which, due to Shpëtim’s managerial capacities grew, expanded and created capitals as one of the most durable businesses in Albania. Later, based on this company, was created “Çilotaj Group” ltd, centered in Fier and with branches in Vlora, Durrës, Tirana etc...Today, this successful company has production and construction lines and many other objectives. Shpëtim Çilotaj says their company is connected with the Turkish company “Kurum”, owner of former metallurgical combine in Elbasan and trades its iron, having exclusivity for Tirana and Southern Albania. “Çilotaj Group” ltd cooperates even with the Lebanon company “FK Cement” and they have exclusive rights to sell the cement of Fusha Kruja factory in the districts of Fier and Vlora. This company has set up the wiring line in Fier for iron rifling and retraction and the iron hollow production line for concrete platforms and building basements. In Tirana, this company deals with palace construction, while in Golem Beach it builds touristic objects. So they work hard with the aim to expand even more the building possibilities of the company which today has over 100 employees…

This company includes even the physical preservation society “Çilotaj Security” with administrator Gramoz Nimani or Naim Nimani, as all his friends know him.

- Now we have taken the presidency of Albanian Boxing Federation, - says proudly Shpëtim. – Don’ think we are inexperienced in this field. We have given evidence that we know how to manage sport clubs, because we have had before the direction of “Teuta Box” of Durrës and we were successful. That’s why we decided to see beyond it. But you have to know that this coincides with my biggest hobby, which is sport…

Shpëtim speaks with passion for his free time when he totally dedicates himself to sports games, soccer, volleyball and basketball, not only to keep his body in shape as an athlete, but also for pleasure, relaxation and to regain forces for tomorrow when he should be back at his construction works. Shpëtim says he makes a vivacious and exciting life. He likes reading, watching movies, he likes music, and he is so passionate about fast cars that he doesn’t leave the wheel easily. He would like racing, if he was given the possibility. He likes travelling in tourist places, not only for business purposes, when he has to travel and go to different places to meet foreign partners for the expansion of investments in Albania.

- Shpëtim Çilotaj, - tells me Naim Nimani, our common friend, - isn’t simply a systematic state taxpayer, but, with that noble spirit, he is also a philanthropist; he helps anyone who needs help from him, particularly vulnerable social categories. He cooperates with the Red Cross and provides financially many cultural activities etc. So, he works hard in many directions to keep up the dignified personality he has... However, he knows well that we, as his friends, have him under strict surveillance to prevent his spirit getting old prematurely as many others.

This guy is also committed to the Cham ideal, just like a worthy successor of Chameria, - say my Cham friends and I feel even more confident while portraying the features of this character so loved by the social opinion around him. For the sake of truth, I had noticed even before Shpëtim’s readiness to support even with his passionate words the Cham ideal, but when my friends say he is a good friend of Chameria, I raise my hands up and think I haven’t make a mistake portraying him with such certainty.

This is Shpëtim Agur Çilotaj, the guy whose spirit never gets old. I don’t know what else to say… If my friends have lied to me, if my eyes and my experience lied to me, I’m sorry: if they lied to me I lied to you, honored reader…

Elim Xanxari

Thursday, December 24, 2009


From tree to tree the eagle flies,
In quest of warmth, to stay by.
The fire flickers a distance away,
But it is nothing when the bird comes array.
Swooping high, it holds its breath;
Thinking twice, when it just once had to think.
Not in proximity to life;
It wonders to see a better day ahead.
The bird breaks its wings;
This was the only hope to keep it within the ring.
Sensing joys and sorrows are a part of existence,
It continues now by search through walk in the smooth ocean.

Composed by
Amna Tariq Shah


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Together in a front for the Cham ideal

(Impressions from Servet Mehmeti,
former director
of the Patriotic Political Association “Chameria”)

The rivers flow in eternity from faraway fountains, fruit of God. The rivers’ bottoms are their lands and nobody can take them out, as it is the territory of the Cham Albanians. It’s their land, given from God. It’s sufficient to read the poem “Cham ballad” of the dissident Cham writer Bilal Xhaferri and everything is clearly understood. He writes:

The rainbow, like a tearful greeting of goodbye,
Disappeared beyond the distances,
Over the flame crests,
in the rain…
Beyond the distances disappeared in flames Chameria
And all our streets lead to north.
Wails the Mediterranean wind over the ancient epyriot lands,
over the dear ancestral lands.
In the abandoned pastures are grazing the thunderclaps.
The unpicked olive-groves thunder like the waves along the hillocks.
And everywhere the Cham land,
covered by the clouds,
groans tearful and bloody,
left lonesome,
without godhead.
We are shown the way by the bullets that whistle in darkness.
We are lightened the way by the flames that have swallowed up all earth.
Behind our backs the windstorm hits the ramshackle house doors.
And the streets reach and reach the north.
We, a deported population, walk along the rain…
Goodbye, Chameria!

But why did the Cham population suffer such barbaric actions, why was it massacred violently, why did this calamity strike these people of mother Chameria?! They loved Albania, their nation. But the violence and the barbarism of the bad and evil people, such as the Greek chauvinists, unstrapped them from its trunk. Besides Bilal’s poetic spirit and the injustice toward the Cham population, it was even the blind judgment of the people, who didn’t appreciate the freedom and the right. Bilal Xhaferri, like the Chams, has been victimized by the communist dictatorship. The dictatorial system persecuted him, even though he went away, went far away to save his dignity, the dignity that was the life itself for him.

Bilal Xhaferri went on developing his literary and publicistic activity in America. His creations had a big echo at Diaspora’s press. In particular echoed “Eagle’s wing” magazine created and published by him. But even in America, the dark shadows of communism didn’t left Bilal in peace, opposing him by all means, and so he was prey to their violence. Regardless of this situation, Bilal went ahead with his activity at service of the country, with a more special zeal. Unwittingly, he had against him two countries: the maternal Albania, which was leaded then by a communist clique and the neighboring Greece that had ousted his brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers from their own lands. So, Bilal’s work was extinguished at the very peak of his attempts. It was extinguished a dignified successor of Hoxhë Tahsini, Abedin Pashë Dino, Muharrem Rushiti etc., men who have illuminated the history of Albania.

Even Bilal illuminates with his light the issue of the Cham pain. We hereby should thank the former Chairman of the Parliament of Albania, Mr. Pjetër Arbnori, the writer Shefki Hysa, director of the Cultural Association “Bilal Xhaferri” and editor of “Eagle’s wing” magazine, the relatives and the well-wishers that enabled the return of Bilal Xhaferri’s bones in Albania.
A group of intellectuals, headed by the writer and editor Shefki Hysa, as a sign of consideration for Bilal Xhaferri’s works and creations, which shed some light on the reality of the Albanian pain, created the Publishing House “Bilal Xhaferri”, as a necessity to widely inform the public for the work of a big writer, a big patriot at service of the Cham issue. The Publishing House “Bilal Xhaferri” was opened and quickly strengthened, and in 1993 was created even the Cultural Association “Bilal Xhaferri” and began being published “Eagle’s wing” magazine, which was published before by Bilal himself in America. These institutions were a new support, a new wing of the Patriotic Political Association “Chameria”. I have so evaluated these endeavors as director of “Chameria” Association during 2003-2006.

“Eagle’s wing” (Krahu i shqiponjës) magazine has given a special help to introduce and propound the Cham issue before people’s opinion. It is known for its social, cultural, historical values and especially for the patriotic opinion that predominates in its writings. During 2004 “Chameria” Association intensified the collaboration with “Eagle’s wing” magazine for treating and approving in parliament a resolution for the solution of the Cham problem. So the press, the televisions and the pan-Albanian opinion would be aware of this problem. Unfortunately the resolution wasn’t approved owing to the Greek pressure. The most typical example was the former Prime Minister, Fatos Nano, who inhibited its approval.

In this difficult period, excepting the unusual activity of “Chameria” Association’s structures, was necessary even the contribution of the Cultural Association “Bilal Xhaferri” and that of “Eagle’s wing” magazine, especially the contribution of its director, the writer Shefki Hysa, coordinator of all the contacts, the meetings and the conversations with deputies, parliamentary groups and parliamentary commissions of the Parliament of Albania.

The collaboration and the cooperation between such structures of the Cham community have been and actually are an indispensable exigency and they ought to be appreciated, mostly when a national issue, like the Cham issue, needs a solution. I want to stress that it’s quite necessary the coordination of actions between “Chameria” Association, the Institute of History for Chameria and the Cultural Association “Bilal Xhaferri”, so to act as a powerful organism and with one purpose, inside and outside Albania, for the solution of the Cham issue. We should align ourselves in a front, for the sake of the Cham ideal. Furthermore, it’s required a good organization and the strengthening of the organism’s structures from the bases to the center.

They have to become the real chiefs of the Cham community. Only in this way the Cham issue can find a solution, as an ideal of all the patriotic and honest Albanians, as a pan-national objective. I am stressing one more time that the solution of the Cham problem, the return of the Chams in Chameria, in their ancestral motherland, will come only as a result of the collaboration between these organizations that represent the Cham community.

So the Cham community can become a compelling factor in Albania and abroad and it can achieve its objective concerning the Albanian state’s politics and this one will so feel responsibility and constitutional obligation for the national issue, a necessity and an exigency for our national prestige and pride. The solution of the Cham issue is based on the politics that the Albanian state will pursue regarding Greece and other international partners. It must keep its body straight in the treatment of this issue. Only in this way the Cham ideal can be finalized. Let’s work together and let’s hope for a safe future.

March, 2009

Translated by Endri Hysa

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

By Dr. Haim Reitan

“Eagle’s Wing” - Albanian national magazine

“Eagle’s Wing” is an Albanian national magazine which first appeared in the democratic years, whose aim is to promote the social and literary life as much as to serve to a national aim and also to protect the unfavorable groups of Balkan’s society. The spiritual leader was and still remains Bilal Xhaferri.

“Eagle’s Wing” is a political, cultural, literary and social magazine, which was first published in 1974, in two languages: Albanian and English, as an organ of Cham League in Chicago in US. Bilal Xhaferri was its founder, editor and leader. He was born on November 2, 1935 in Ninat, Konispol, and after an intense literary and publicist activity, died in exile (fleeing Albania as anti-communist nationalist in 1969) on October 14, 1986 in Chicago, US.

Bilal Xhaferri baptized, directed, prepared and published “Eagle’s wing” magazine till the end of his life. He converted it in a powerful arm in the war against communism.

Thus “Eagle’s Wing” was a free democratic thinking tribune, with anticommunist, anti- dictatorial and anti-enverists inclinations, which had as a purpose the union of all political Albanian forces in exile, the unification of thoughts, programs and the unification of their goals for a free pro-western Albania.

Among the magazine’s pages Albanian national problems were widely treated, especially the Cham issue, Kosovo’s problem, the problem of other territories that had remained outside the maternal lump, Albania, and problems of Albanian communities around the world and Diaspora.
Bilal Xhaferri could communicate through “Eagle’s wing” magazine with a lot of patriots in USA, Europe and Canada, Turkey and elsewhere, with newspapers and other magazines of Diaspora. He influenced through his activity in the approach, union and collaboration between Albanians of all territories, dispositions, parties and different political organizations. Soon “Eagle’s wing” was converted in a national magazine. It was kept with the emigrants’ writings and it was destined to all the Albanians, wherever they were.

“Eagle’s wing” magazine had a great brotherly, moral and material support from the Albanians in Kosovo and Montenegro, from parties and their national organizations, even some close friends and collaborators of Bilal Xhaferri were from there. In a congratulation note in the magazine he writes: “During this summer (1981) I stayed for some months in Detroit. Among many friends, whom I want to thank very sincerely for their brotherly hospitality, I want to mention in particular Prof. Prenk Gruda, who never reserved his help as a great patriot”.

Besides the publications of many foreign and Albanian authors, Bilal Xhaferri published even his works, a lot of publicistic articles, poetries, tales and fragments of the novel “Opposite sidewalks” (1975), fragments of the novel “The moon of the yards” (1977), skits for the Albanian language courses that were situated near mosques, masjids or Albanian churches. He also published his drawings and caricatures, artistic photos and short films made by him. He wrote in USA movie scenarios. In the magazine number where was published for the first time a passage of the novel “The moon of the yards”, it was advertised that he was producing a scenario from this novel for a feature film with a complete length under the adapted title in English “The moon of the Countryside”. A company from Hollywood was going to film it.

Even in America, the country of the big freedom, the security of the Albanian dictatorial state victimized and punished frequently Bilal Xhaferri to efface his work and kill him. Thus in 1978 they wounded him. “Eagle’s wing” wrote these words for this terrible episode: “Bilal Xhaferri, the editor of “Eagle’s wing” magazine was assaulted in darkness from three unknown people while he was going in a meeting for the celebration of the hundredth anniversary of Prizreni League. The friends that were waiting for him in the meeting, worried from this delay, went out to look for him and they found him in the street, wounded in the head and face and with a knife cutting in the rib. The police that was informed and came immediately brought him to the hospital” (“Eagle’s wing” 1985, May).

When the editorial office was set on fire in 1981, Bilal Xhaferri and the magazine met with a knockout, too severe. This fact has been published even in “Eagle’s wing” magazine: “A fire that burnt up in the building where was located “Eagle’s wing” magazine, burnt down all the files and the collections. This was a personal tragedy for Bilal Xhaferri, who lost his books and his manuscripts, thorough literary volumes, studies, scientific researches, translations, political notes, letters, pictures, photos, works and efforts of the ten difficult years in exile” (“Eagle’s wing” 1981, January). So the Albanian state security impeded by all means the activity of Bilal Xhaferri and “Eagle’s wing” magazine. The Prime Minister and the Minister of the Interior of the Albanian dictatorial state in those years expressed themselves in this way: “We will bring back Bilal Xhaferri in Albania, dead or alive”.

Bilal Xhaferri could publish 39 editions.

Since 1995 and following “Eagle’s Wing” goes on being published in Tirana, as the organ of the cultural association “Bilal Xhaferri” (The cultural community of Chameri), founded and directed by the well-known journalist and writer Shefki Hysa. He initiated the return of Bilal Xhaferri’s bones in Albania and the glorification of the extraordinary values of this rare personality, prosecuted and thrown into oblivion by the ex-dictatorship of the communist Albania.

In the magazine’s pages, among editions that defend Albanian national issue, notably the Cham problem, have often been published even articles and selected compositions by personalities of Albanian pens like: Bilal Xhaferri, Dritero Agolli, Ismail Kadare, Jakup Mato, Martin Mato, Namik Mane, Pjeter Arbnori, Arben Çokaj, Sazan Goliku, Sokol Jakova, Shefki Hysa, Vath Koreshi, Visar Zhiti etc. and also by other well-known global authors like: Jack London, Jean-Pol Sartre, Alfred de Musset, Edgar Allan Poe etc…

The foreign authors who have notably treated the Chame issue like Miranda Vickers, Hillary Clinton, James Pettifer and Dr. Haim Reitan have taken a special place among the pages of this magazine and they will do the same in the future.

Acting as an editor and chief editor of the monthly magazine, Shefki Hysa, with his contributions and that of his friends, managed to publish more than 100 editions and consistently insists in chanting this pedestal of the free-thought in the trench of Bilal Xhaferri’s ideals.

Dr. Haim Reitan, Diplomat,
Honorary President
of the Diplomatic Mission
Peace and Prosperity

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I am from Chameria too, I’m Cham!
These are some impressions from the activity

of the missionary Dr. Haim Reitan in Albania

Having friends that care on you in the world is the best thing but having friends that are passionate even at your ideals and love your country the same as their country, this is a miracle. This is a utopia, a dream somebody can say. This is his right, however I can tell him that sometimes a miracle happens and the dreams become a reality and part of this wonderful reality is even our friendship with the missionary Dr. Haim Reitan.

But who is this kindhearted man that with his attitude and his actions induces me to think that a person that meets such a friend is fortunate?

Dr. Haim Reitan was born in Istanbul (Turkey) on 20 May 1946. He is a doctor, a diplomat, a translator and publicist.

He is an Italian citizen with Israeli origin. Actually he lives in Bergamo (Italy).
He has finished the college for biology in Bat-yam (daughter of the sea) a city of Israel. He graduated in medicine in the University of Pavia (Italy) in 1974. Later he has done some specializations for the diseases of the cardio-vascular apparatus, Flebology, Nephrology in Pavia (Italy), in New York, Miami, Arizona and Texas, in USA, and further in London, Rotterdam e Tel Aviv. He is a member of the Italian Association of Cardiology and the Association of Flebology.
Until 2003 he has worked as a hospital director in some cities of Italy, as a forensic advisor and as a coordinator in some projects within the European Community countries and developing countries like some African countries. During 2004, he has worked as a medical adviser in engineering projects in the construction of the new hospital of Bergamo.

In 2005 and 2006 he has accomplished the role of the coordinator for the development of the relations between Italy and Albania in the medicine field, a thing that he still does due to the good relations that he has created with the officials of the Ministry of Health. He has assisted and continues to give a hand to many people that need to be treated in the Italian hospitals and this is a feature of his character as a man with a spirit of idealist missionary. Meanwhile he continues to direct his own medical center in Bergamo (Italy).

Dr. Haim Reitan speaks some foreign languages, such as the Hebrew language, English, Italian, Spanish, French, Turkish, etc. Now he is trying to learn even the Albanian language. Owing to his ability of polyglot and erudite he has been engaged as an adviser of some well-known political personalities, like ministers, prime ministers and presidents in different countries and with his work he has influenced in the consolidation of their relations with Italy and Israel.
He has been distinguished as a zealous and visionary diplomat, especially in the role of the honor consul and with his intelligence he has influenced in the improvement of the relations between Italy and Israel, especially with countries like Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo, Congo etc.

As a good connoisseur of the politics and the development of the situations in Balkan with cramps, conflicts and inter-ethnic tensions, Dr. Haim Reitan has contributed even in the albanological studies and balkanology. He is giving a big contribution as a translator and publicist with his editions in different media of the world. He is one of the most zealous collaborators of the magazine “The eagle’s wing”, an organ of the NGO: The Cultural Association “Bilal Xhaferri” and the publishing organ: The publishing house “Bilal Xhaferri”.

Recently, Dr. Haim Reitan has encouraged some political- economic lobbies in Italy, Israel, USA, Switzerland and somewhere else to support the development of democracy in Albania, for the recognition of Kosovo independence, for the economic-administrative consolidation of its new state and for the internationalism of the Cham problem. In Albania you can find him with the Cham historian Ibrahim Hoxha, with the writers Shefki Hysa and Namik Mane and with other intellectuals, public-spirited for the Albanian national issue. Dr. Haim Reitan is so in love with the Cham issue as to express himself in the Albanian language: I am from Chameria, I’m Cham!”

Dr. Haim Reitan has made friends some personalities of the Albanian politics such as Sali Berisha, Sabri Godo, Fatmir Mediu, Edi Rama, Skënder Gjinushi, Hashim Thaçi etc. One of his projects is the twinning of some Albanian universities with the universities of the most developed countries of the Western Europe. With his work, as a missionary of the Albanian issue in the world, he has gained the respect of many intellectual elites in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia.

Elim Pallmadhi

By Arben Çokaj

Dr. Haim Reitan – a contributor and a friend of the Albanians

Dr. Haim Reitan was born in Istanbul (Turkey) on 20 May 1946. He is a doctor, a diplomat, a translator and publicist. He is an Italian citizen with Israeli origin. Actually he lives in Bergamo and he is an Italian citizen.

Dr. Reitan works with different projects to invest in Albania, which I will explain in progress, but let’s take a look to his CV. He has finished the college for biology in Bat-yam (daughter of the sea) a city of Israel.

He graduated in medicine in the University of Pavia (Italy) in 1974. Later he has done some specializations for the diseases of the cardio-vascular apparatus, Flebology, Nephrology in Pavia (Italy), in New York, Miami, Arizona and Texas, in USA, and further in London, Rotterdam e Tel Aviv. He is a member of the Italian Association of Cardiology and the Association of Flebology. Until 2003 he has worked as a hospital director in some cities of Italy, as a forensic advisor and as a coordinator in some projects within the European Community countries and developing countries like some African countries. During 2004, he has worked as a medical adviser in engineering projects in the construction of the new hospital of Bergamo.In 2005 and 2006 he has accomplished the role of the coordinator for the development of the relations between Italy and Albania in the medicine field, a thing that he still does due to the good relations that he has created with the officials of the Ministry of Health. He has assisted and continues to give a hand to many people that need to be treated in the Italian hospitals and this is a feature of his character as a man with a spirit of idealist missionary. Meanwhile he continues to direct his own medical center in Bergamo (Italy).

Dr. Haim Reitan speaks some foreign languages, such as the Hebrew language, English, Italian, Spanish, French, Turkish, etc. Now he is trying to learn even the Albanian language. Owing to his ability of polyglot and erudite he has been engaged as an adviser of some well-known political personalities, like ministers, prime ministers and presidents in different countries and with his work he has influenced in the consolidation of their relations with Italy and Israel. He has been distinguished as a zealous and visionary diplomat, especially in the role of the honor consul and with his intelligence he has influenced in the improvement of the relations between Italy and Israel, especially with countries like Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo, Congo etc. Such people with a human and diplomatic activity serve as connective bridges between different nations.

As a good connoisseur of the politics and the development of the situations in Balkan with cramps, conflicts and inter-ethnic tensions, Dr. Haim Reitan has contributed even in the albanological studies and balkanology. He is giving a big contribution as a translator and publicist with his editions in different media of the world. He is one of the most zealous collaborators of the magazine “The eagle’s wing”, an organ of the NGO: The Cultural Association “Bilal Xhaferri” and the publishing organ: The publishing house “Bilal Xhaferri”.

Recently, Dr. Haim Reitan, Honorary President of the Diplomatic Mission Peace and Prosperity, has encouraged some political- economic lobbies in Italy, Israel, USA, Switzerland and somewhere else to support the development of democracy in Albania, for the recognition of Kosovo independence, for the economic-administrative consolidation of its new state and for the internationalism of the Cham problem. In Albania you can find him with the Cham historian Ibrahim Hoxha, with the writers Shefki Hysa and Namik Mane and with other intellectuals, public-spirited for the Albanian national issue. Dr. Haim Reitan is so in love with the Cham issue as to express himself in the Albanian language: I am from Chameria, I’m Cham!”

Dr. Haim Reitan has made friends some personalities of the Albanian politics such as Sali Berisha, Sabri Godo, Fatmir Mediu, Edi Rama, Skënder Gjinushi, Hashim Thaçi etc. One of his projects is the twinning of some Albanian universities with the universities of the most developed countries of the Western Europe. With his work, as a missionary of the Albanian issue in the world, he has gained the respect by many intellectual elites in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia.Dr. Reitan is trying to intercede even in the investment issue, in Italy or widely in Albania, especially the private investments that come from the Italian business or other countries. As everywhere in the world, the Albanian market should be open for such people with constructive initiatives for our country and our state institutions should be more exposed and careful to approach such people, with considerable knowledge and interest for Albania, so that their will and contribution could turn in serious and long-term investments for our country.

In the business world the profit is the main thing but it’s more beneficial when the business that is offered in Albania from human people like Dr. Reitan is welcomed and stimulated from the Albanian goodwill and hospitality. We should try as we can to avoid our social wound- the corruption- because devoted people like Dr.Reitan can get tired, can feel insulted and at the end can give themselves up. As Albanians, we must open the door to such constructive attempts and think in a dynamic way for the best forms for the development of our country in the future.

Monday, March 2, 2009

By Shefki Hysa

The confession

Fatija trembled when the voice of the bride brought up the start of her thoughts. After all, a kind of sleep is even meditation, being lost in yourself darkness, where are accumulated the pains, the sorrows, all the sufferings and the troubles of life. There is no better cure for these incurable wounds, harmed unwittingly. You wander in your mind, you unwrap and spin that poor, slowly, like a coil of wool, like the old- age witch would long for. But what did the bride say? The poor thing supposes that the unfortunate old-woman is crazy!
- Did I hear your voice or I didn’t? - She said to the young lady who was grating some cabbages in a used copper pie- pan.

Everything in that cabin, where they had found a shelter after the horror that followed them until the gates of the Albanian border, was half. And, as if the horrible memories that went around time after time in the eyes of the mind weren’t enough, it was also the poverty, like a flock of thorns.

- I said a commission; a commission with some foreigners has arrived here- repeated the bride, in the face of whom, the mother distinguished compassion.
She felt creeps in her creasy, like a ball of rags, old body, arrant because of the gloom rather than the old- age.

- Did you say foreigners? But what do they want here? -almost screamed the old woman, full of shivers and without understanding if the presence of the foreigners brought this hatred or something else…

- They say that they are doing their best mother. They are collecting testimonies for the crimes of our murderers. They say that the world will condemn the Greek Zervist who set on fire, killed and destroyed Chameria- sweetened her voice the young lady, like she had in front her three years old son that needs to be fondled.

- The black goodness of the foreigner! The foreigner remains a foreigner, my daughter. This is from your mother… But what are they looking for? ... Can you say one more time because I feel like my ears are roaring! - emphasized the incredulous and curious mother, meanwhile converted like the fire that blows up in a flame that is thundering.

- The people have got together in Rexha Plaku’s house and they are telling the foreigners about the atrocities that the Greeks have done to us, how they killed and ousted us from our homes, how they plundered and burnt down our fortune, how they left us like refugees without a homeland - said tearfully the bride.

- Is it true?!- whispered hesitantly the mother as though a glimmer had inflamed the corners of the afflicted spirit.

She guessed that it had passed more than a year from that cursed day, when the death with the image of the perfidious Greek Zervists, had come upon their village there in Chameria, in every house, had furiously thrust their clutches in the life of innocent people, had slaughtered, massacred and covered with blood children, boys and men…The coward death wasn’t reserving neither the women!...

“Oh curse, only curse! - jumped the insurrectionary being.-Cursed in eternity! The foreigners! Those who killed us at night and cried us during the day! ... In this way and every time in this way… Maybe since this world was created… The foreigner kills with his knife and his smile too, with bullet and bread… Yes, yes even the bread of the foreigner harasses you! It can stick in your throat, and no one believes you… This is why the story with the foreigners is repeated and repeated… As it happens in our Chameri… No, foreigners I can’t believe you… At least me, the poor old woman, because you reduced me in this way, lonely…

The mother, a little infuriated, like those that feel fainted and lose their temper, was missed in front of the scenes of the tragedy that her torpid imagination made and remade constantly, until the bride’s voice moved her from that self-stiffness. She experienced day and night this stiffness, which brought in the eyes of her mind, as with magic, all the dead people and she flew at the death with the arms of the fantasy, took it away, far away, cleansed the wounds of the victims, talking and discussing with them…

After all, the immersion in the past, even though excruciating, was the only pleasure that consoled the mother, besides her three - years old nephew, whom she loved like the apple of the eye. He was like her son and if she enjoyed the apple of the eye it was owing to this inheritor…

- Did you say anything my daughter? Because I think I am becoming deaf my poor girl - was felt the mother and she noticed that even the young woman, although she still wasn’t thirty years old, was cockling and turning grey, like many other widows.

- I said that those foreigners don’t believe the witnesses of our people. They consider them fantasies…

It broke Fatije’s heart as though the knife of the Zervists had struck her. Her sight darkened and she was stunned again. This time, only her bride’s hands pull her out from this faint condition. It was a kind of logic asphyxia.

- Look after your son my daughter, - said the mother and stood up with some efforts. She didn’t move her hands, lapful on the apron as she was a pregnant bride, waiting her first baby. The only thought that buzzed in her head was that the foreigner remains a foreigner. And her whole body trembled as from the fever…

Walking in a path, she set eyes on the leaves of the nuts that were yellowing. A turbid autumn sky hung beyond her head. It was the autumn of 1946. The fires of Cham refugees still puffed lightly in Vasilikua, beneath Konispol. The tombstones whitened in Qafëbotë. The mold on those graves wasn’t dried up yet…

The old woman climbed down in the midst of the village, holding herself in the trunks of the nuts and olives. She tried to fall and she didn’t fall. The hopes kept her up…

She looked from far away the crowd and they saw her too. The foreigners, although everything was translated in details, continued to shake their head doubtfully. The murderous massacre, that tormented and victimized them, and that was described from the eyewitnesses seemed to be a fabled bugbear rather than a lived homicidal truth. The konispolits, crowded together in
front of the commission, were getting angry by this indifference.

Fatija, who was imagining just a little the run of the conversations, appeared above the square. Surprisingly, a waking force somewhere inside of her interior, made her footfalls more secure. “The foreigner remains a foreigner” was the only chorus thought within her skull, clothed with the white wimple, tied in the gill. The hatred boiled her body, shrunken and crooked from the terror of the cruelty. So hirsute in appearance, she gripped with her hands that were trembling, the lap of the apron. The irritated people hushed and paved like she was bringing a big proof that contained all the proofs, facts and testimonies, those said and those that the people were going to say…In this way the foreigners couldn’t shake their heads with distrust anymore…

The eyes of all the people were fixed simultaneously on the lap of the apron, in an anxious waiting, as though she was having a baby right now, a baby that would grow up instantly to witness with the signs of the wounds, the screams of the terror in front of the tortures of the death, everything that the fervid Chams had seen, heard and suffered…

Even the people of the commission scented something. They hushed and stared at the old woman like a lively and fabled testimony, like a suffering, dolor and poverty node, which was imperceptible from their minds.

The mother was drawing near slowly, like a mortal ceremony. In an instant she hesitated: should she stop or should she go to the end of that hall where the foreigners were staying. Sometimes she warped her face, like in her bride hood from the pangs of childbirth, her only child who was massacred in front of her from the Zervist hangmen. None of the people that were surrounding her didn’t peep or say even a word.

When she approached the table of the foreigners, she was out of breath and the tears that had withered from her deep eyes a long time ago, crashed and tied up her throat. However, she looked up from her belly and gazed the infuriating foreigners. Suddenly a plume of hair tore off from her hands and fell on the paper-work with the ghoulish semblance of a peel that is flayed from a human head…

The foreigners hit the ceiling and backed with horror. A scream, like that of the raven, rose from the breasts of the people. The cynical view of the mother involved all the people and stopped at the foreigners. They didn’t speak, like being scared of a punishment that could appear in every moment.

- So you are collecting evidences against the criminals and their crimes? Here they are! They speak alone for the calamity that the perfidious people threw us, - she said and her voice broke as from a sudden blow. Some tears flowed down by the furrows of the weather- beaten cheeks. She hushed a little and then began to tell, more for herself than for the others.

- We heard the hectic sound of some shoes in the solid stairs. We froze. The foreboding of the bad or the shadow of that ominous clatter, which was flying at our two-storied house, like a solid castle in a cliff in shore there in Chameri, gagged us. We had a joy that day, I don’t remember very well but we were laughing with the little boy, who was dangling in the shoulder of my son. Even the little child stopped smiling. The whey- faced bride, like being simulated by something, grabbed the tongs in the fire- place and remained with the scared eyes fixed in the door. The tramp stopped for a little, the time that a man needs to breathe, in the ground upstairs, and then a kick hit and the door crashed like a thunderclap, against the walls. A leaf that had flowed out from the hinge slanted with a remonstrant crunch. Two bearded soldiers of Zerva, one taller than the other, appeared in the groundsel. The taller one had a red eye, infuriated from the beverage or maybe from the sleeplessness, like the view of a mad dog. Promptly he took the dagger from the girdle and so cross-eyed he threatened us that if we felt sorry for our skin we wouldn’t move or scream. The bride put the both hands on the face to smother the cry that she uttered from the panic. The other soldier, a thick- witted man that knew only to grin, put the point of the dagger in her throat in the moment that she was trying to hit him with the tongs. I rushed between the soldier and the bride and very frightened, I pushed them away from each other. My heart was beating like a drum in the breast. The little boy, who was in the hands of his father and scared from the brutal arrival of those foreigners, burst into tears with screams. Quit down that puppy because otherwise I will pluck his head like a bird - he grinned to my son and approached him with his eyes that were sparkling only badness. I threw myself again between the murderer and my son. They both had the same age of my son. Nameless and nor twenty years old they were cruel like a scion of the devil. They obliged us to go in the corner of the room, my son, the bride and me, trying to protect them with my body from the horrible cusp of the dagger in the hands of the cross- eyed man. The thick- witted man, who was keeping two guns and a dagger, hang around the house, with that abhorrent and voiceless smile, like a sufferer of apoplexy. The shabby floor of plane wood was whimpering and fulminating from those heavy shoes that those damning people were wearing. The cross-eyed man pulled over the heap with mattresses and quilts, the hampers, the buffets, messed the whole house and turned everything backward. He was searching for gold whereas the thick- witted man had his eyes on us as he was flying around, hitting with the toe cap the dresses of my set of clothes. My son hardly restrained himself but I stopped his run-up, nipping him to hush and staying in any case in front of him. The cross-eyed man, who wasn’t finding any worth thing, grumbled and grunted with a hollow voice. He was almost exasperated. His forehead became black. I followed with anxiety every move of him and in that moment I would like to have had a batch of gold for those bogeys so that they couldn’t touch my son, the bride and their child, my dear. I didn’t want the gold before the little child. But instantly the cross- eyed man sat up and ordered the thick- witted man to bind us. Oh, that instant! The eyelashes were wobbling from the deviltry of that criminal. How he squeezed the jowls and the teeth, how chuckled that peevish black hog! O my God, what a hideous creature on earth! He jumped over my son, slipped the terrified baby, threw it in the set of clothes and put his foot in the throat to suffocate it. My son escaped from the hands of the thick- witted man and hunched to save the child. He scuffled with the cross- eyed man, who flounced to him with fists and kicks. He grabbed my son from the hair and began to drag him by the room. My bride and me, bound together, screamed but it was impossible to save him. The thick- witted man held from the arms my son and the infuriating cross- eyed man hit him in the belly with his heavy shoes. His eyes were blooded from the rabies. When my son’s body fell in the ground, almost dead, the gluttonous cross- eyed man stabbed the dagger in his heart, pulled it, and so covered with blood stabbed it again and again… Even the thick- witted man blazed up… With the bayonet…They made his body holey… The bride lost consciousness immediately whereas I was watching as in a haze, with my broken heart, almost exhausted, how my son screamed: Oh, mother, they killed me”!

How trembled and curled the corpse, still warm, how dribbled the blood, sprinkled the wall and the murderer’s clothes, poured on the floor, some of it exuding through a slot downstairs, in the dark of the cot whereas the other part shrank and froze in my feet…

But was this enough?! The thick- witted man didn’t take away that bogey laugh from his lips whereas the cross- eyed man gabbled, grinning near my nose, with the blood of my son dripping from the knife…I was parched. With the wall-eyes from a horror that one has never heard or seen, from that very arduous dread for the shoulders of a grey- headed mother, I had lost, almost completely, my tenderness… I was like a living cadaver… Whereas the bad men, who still wanted to torture me, after they had slaughtered my son like a cattle, peeled his head and put the bloody skin on the lap of the apron… Even that apple of the eye darkled and I couldn’t see anymore… When I recollected myself, they had gone…

I washed with my tears the house that was covered with blood and I took the way beyond the border, at least I could save the bride and the little boy from the clutches of the pestilence that Zerva threw us, with that band of cursed recreants…

The crowd that was listening to the story terrified, without understanding, blazed in a rebellion whisper that surrounded the mother. So integrated, that close group of people, aforetime violated, irradiated the feverish desire for justice, in front of the table of the commission…
The foreigners that had already recollected themselves, as if they absorbed in every cell of their body the atrocity that these people had suffered, the revolt that the unrequited maiming caused to them…The justice was among them, massacred…

They took some pictures as if they wanted to fix in celluloid the human anger, wrote something in their papers, closed them hurriedly into some black briefcases and left the pace with a car…
Mother Fatija took with caresses and sorrow the skin of her son’s head, winded it on with caution and care, and put it in the breast, unbuttoned the shirt and put it near the heart, as if she wanted to give her life from her life…

She took a look at the people one more time, with the tearful eyes and so, with the hands on the breast she turned her body, ready to go…

The people paved without saying a word. She was going. However she remained like a fresh incurable wound in their hearts, one more wound near the just hurt wounds of the innocence that enlightened their faces…
By Dr. Haim Reitan

What is the cultural association “Bilal Xhaferri”?!

The cultural association “Bilal Xhaferri” (The Cultural Community of Chameria) is an Albanian NGO, with its center in Tirana, founded by a group of journalists, writers, artists and intellectuals, friends and well-wishers of the noted dissident poet, narrator and publicist Bilal Xhaferri, which aims to point out the brilliance of this outraged figure, thrown in forgetfulness from the former communist dictatorship and the sublimation of our national culture values versus the values of the advanced civilizations, especially those of the martyr Chameri.

The boom of the publications of this publishing-house and the big echo of its activity in those years, initiated the idea that an institution, with bigger spaces and legal purview than those of a simple publishing organ, was indispensable. Thus, it was necessary to found a cultural multifunctional organism, more dignified, an unprofitable organization that should include even the publications field and at the same time it should have possibilities to collaborate with governmental and non-governmental institutions in all the life views, inside and outside the country.

A group of Cham activists, in concert with their friends in different regions of Albania and in Diaspora, discussed a long time with the best intellectuals of the Cultural Community of Chameria and in collaboration with many writers, artists and other Albanian intellectuals, friends and well-wishers of Bilal Xhaferri and the Cham issue, decided to create a cultural association, that would have besides the publishing-house, even its press. So, they would found a non-governmental organization like the Cham League, which was founded by Bilal Xhaferri, in Chicago, USA or something similar with the association “Chameria”, but disposed toward the Cham culture rather than politics.

As a result of the collaboration, the Cultural Association “Bilal Xhaferri” was founded and consolidated during 1993 and 1994 as a specialized institution that would expand his cultural activity beyond the Albanian borders, in Kosovo, Macedonia and USA to coordinate the work with the Cham League, the Kosovo’s League, the Democratic League of Montenegro, The League of the Albanians of Macedonia and with many other organizations that operated in the American continent. The association would be a potential voice for the support of the Cham problem and for its solution in a diplomatic way …Thus, these initiators had to become a little diplomats, like all the writers and artists that take the role of the ambassadors of their country’s culture… In this way they would become missionaries of the Albanian culture, her diplomats…

But who were some of the friends that joined the table of this association and helped with the Albanian heart the Cham ideal?! Even well-known intellectuals were distinguished among them. We can mention: Namik Mane, Pandeli Koçi, Pjetër Arbnori, Dritëro Agolli, Ismail Kadare, Ballkiz Halili, Dhori Karaj, Faik Teodori, Fatos M. Rrapaj, Hektor Sejko, Hekuran Halili, Namik Selmani, Martin Mato, Minella Kureta, Sokol Jakova, Vath Koreshi, Axhem Çapo, Alem Hoxha, Balil Proda, Bujar Shurdhi, Qani Biraçi, Xhemil Lato and many others, not only Chams…

Very soon, the cultural association “Bilal Xhaferri” was expanded not only in the areas of the Cham community but even in the main districts of Albania, wherever the friends of Bilal Xhaferri’s work and ideal lived… It created very good relations with the structures of the Albanian state, with politicians of every political spectrum, with those of the position and opposition, with the old politicians and the young ones such as: Pjetër Arbnori, Sali Berisha, Ibrahim Rugova and Fatos Nano, Aleksandër Meksi, Servet Pëllumbi and Skënder Gjinushi, Sabri Godo, Fatmir Mediu, Namik Dokle and Arian Madhi, Edi Rama, Hashim Thaçi, Gramoz Ruçi, Bamir Topi, Besnik Mustafaj and Neritan Ceka, Petro Koçi and Preç Zogaj, Ilir Meta, Pëllumb Xhufi and Sabri Hamiti, Makbule Çeço, Jozefina Topalli, Diana Çuli, Lajla Pernaska, Valentina Leskaj, Mimi Kodheli, Majlinda Bregu and many others.

The contacts of this association were extended and consolidated even with the American, Italian, German and Turkish embassies etc, or with personalities of the world diplomacy and culture like Hillary Clinton and Doris Pack, Miranda Vickers and James Pettifer, Marko Panela and Callenback, Dr. Haim Reitan, Amir Gilad etc.

A generation of poets, journalists, intellectuals and young talented politicians such as Agim Mero, Alma Ahmeti, Bianka Bilali, Dylbere Dika, Florian Bulica, Fllanxa Veshi, Kadri Aliu, Kostaq Myrtaj, Ismail Murtaj, Leonora Bilali, Mina Çaushi, Rudina Hasa, Yllka Sulku, Xhulia Xhekaj and many others afterwards would become in years the big armature of the warriors of the Cham ideal that this association had as a purpose…

The magazine “Eagle’s wing”, founded by Bilal Xhaferri in USA became the organ that reflected and continues to reflect all the activity of this patriotic organization.

The main purpose of this organization is to point out the grandiosity of the figure of Bilal Xhaferri and the values of the Cham and Albanian culture near the best world values… The most imminent objective that was assigned to realize this purpose was: The restitution of the bones of Bilal Xhaferri in Albania that was realized in May 6, 1995 with the contribution of the Albanian state and the writer Shefki Hysa, director of this association…

An in this way began a long collaboration with all the governmental and non-governmental organisms, until it was made possible that the bones of Bilal Xhaferrit could come and repose in Saranda. A lot of other purposes in benefit of the Albanian culture and the final solution of the Cham problem were the other objectives to achieve…

It was extracted from the book “The diplomacy of self-denial” of the writer Shefki Hysa, Tirana, 2008

Dr. Haim Reitan, Diplomat,
Honorary President
of the Diplomatic Mission
Peace and Prosperity
By Dr. Haim Reitan

How was founded the publishing house “Bilal Xhaferri”

The publishing house “Bilal Xhaferri” is one of the first Albanian publishing organs of the post-communist period with the purpose to select and to publish the most prominent values of the world literature, the Albanian dissident literature and the creativity of the young talents that are at risk to lose in the difficult conditions of the trade market.

The publishing house “Bilal Xhaferri was created as a result of the idea that the culture, the art, the literature and the personalities that represent them, with their values, are the ambassadors and the most convincing and effectual diplomats for the dignified presentation of a nation before the other civilized nations. In January 27, 1992 the Ministry of Culture released the permission for the foundation of this publishing organ. The minister at that time was the writer Vath Koreshi, one of the promoters and supporters of the literary beginnings of the talent Bilal Xhaferri. Vathi signed with enthusiasm the permission for publishing activity and promised that he would constantly give his support and that of many friends of Bilali.

At that time the work of Bilal Xhaferri was forgotten. His values were denied from the former communist dictatorship. It was the duty of the Cham intellectuals like Shefki Hysa to glorify the work of Bilal and the treasures of the Cham culture and folklore, great values that were infringed and the Albanian public didn’t know. The marvelous pearls of the popular Cham epos could be expressed in front of the Albanians and the civilized world through the figure of Bilal Xhaferri, an exceptional talent that had shined like a star in the horizon of the Albanian literature in 1960s and was suddenly extinguished from the fatal stroke that it took from the former communist dictatorship. The Albanians and all the foreign well-wishers, being familiar with these wonderful values of Chameria, would raise the interest and fell in love with the Cham issue like a singular and sacred religion institution that belonged even to them.

Thus the publishing house “Bilal Xhaferri” due to the capacities, the great zeal and the numerous contacts with the Albanian and international politics of the writer Shefki Hysa, increased and it was experiencing day by day a bum of selected publications from the world literature, books of former outraged personalities like Pjetër Arbnori and especially works of young talents. Its staff made all the attempts that the young boys and girls, full of talent, not only of the Cham Community, could find themselves in the publishing house “Bilal Xhaferri”, be affirmed and not meet with the whilom destiny of Bilal, in the difficult period of the cruel capitalist transition that Albania was experiencing.

It was difficult to find monetary instruments for books publications in the first years of the post communist period and the young talents saw a dreams shelter in this publishing organ, part of the institution: The cultural Association “Bilal Xhaferri”…

The novel “Krastakraus” of Bilal Xhaferri was published in 1993. It was one of the most artistically realized works with the topic and the problems of the Albanian ethnicity, so preferred from this author. The publication was enabled with the assistance of the Cham intellectual Ballkiz Halili, who has kept for years a typescript copy of this novel. This publication was a great and unexpected success. Finally the Albanian public had in his hands one of the most dignified works and not only the figure of Bilal, the dissident writer that had scuffled with the former Albanian communist dictatorship. The number of the publications increased every year and the Publishing House “Bilal Xhaferr” played an important role to introduce the Cham problem that was near the solution, in the national and international area.

Some of the most known publications of this institution with national values are:

“Fatal love”, romance (1992), Alfred de Musset
“Bloddy Love ( Beyond the distances)”, romance (1992), Bilal Xhaferri
“The respectful prostitute”, novels (1992), Jean Paul Sartre
“When the vikings invade”, novel (1992), Pjetër Arbnori
“The flaw of the heart”, poetry (1992), Gjin Progni
“The turtledove and the devil”, tales (1992), Shefki Hysa
“Krastakraus (Berati crumpled), novel (1993), Bilal Xhaferri
“Don’t remind me the death”, poetry (1993), Rudina Hasa
“Rebel”, poetry (1993), Shpëtim Roqi
“The night of the foreign cypresses”, essay (1994), Artur Spanjolli
“The beauty and the shadow”, romance (1994), Pjetër Arbnori
“Hostages of peace”, novel (1994), Shefki Hysa
“Peccant angel”, poetry (1994), Mirela Rapi
“The living dossiers”, journalism (1995), Agim Musta
“The pergola of the tears”, poetry (1995), Namik Mane
“The homesick horse”, poetry (1996), Arshin Rexha
“The dream stars”, poetry (1996), Etleva Shahini
“The vortex”, novel (1997), Pjetër Arbnori
“The cursed paradise”, novel (1997), Shefki Hysa
“The sold paradise”, poetry (2002), Dylbere Dika
“And the day dies”, tales (2003), Dylbere Dika
“Soul scream”, poetry (2004), Liri Hidërshaj
“Aroma of Chameria” , tales (2004), Shefki Hysa
“The false miracles”, tales (2005), Shefki Hysa
“Spiritual lactacion”, novel (2005), Liri Hidërshaj
“For a little bit happiness”, poetry (2006), Venka Capa
“The narration”, novel(2006), Liri Hidërshaj
“Dialogue for the impossible peace”, journalism (2006), Hysen Haxhiaj
“Family sorrow”, poetry (2006), Mina Çaushi
“With our feet we traveled the world”, novel 2007), Xhulia Xhekaj
“Dodona, the ancient temple of Albania”, research articles (2007), Rasim Bebo
“The regret”, novel (2007), Liri Hidërshaj
“The tears of the rose”, poetries (2008), Kostaq Myrtaj etc, etc.

It was extracted from the book “The diplomacy of self-denial” of the writer Shefki Hysa, Tirana, 2008

Dr. Haim Reitan, Diplomat,
Honorary President
of the Diplomatic Mission
Peace and Prosperity

Thursday, February 19, 2009

By Shefki Hysa

"Krastakraus"- Love and resistance
Note about the novel "Krastakraus"
of the writer Bilal Xhaferri

Bilal Xhaferri (November 2nd, 1935- October 14th, 1986) was a poet, narrator and a distinguished dissident publicist. Author of many unpublished works: "Krastakraus"- his masterpiece. This would be the exact definition for Bilal Xhaferri, the writer of the Albanian ethnicity, as some scholars have defined him.

He was born in Ninat of Konispoli's region, in the district of Saranda, in a patriotic family that belongs to the tribe of the distinguished encyclopedic polymath Hasan Tahsini, the first rector of Istanbul University.

In 1945, the communists shot his father, Xhaferr Ferik Hoxha, because of his nationalist anti-communist convictions. Bilal remained fatherless, the only boy, brother of three sisters. Later his life would be a fatality. Like a Sisyphus, the heavy stone of the "the bad" biography would weigh over his shoulder. He hardly finished a school for a geometer technician and his life began to run along the difficult yards of the "bridge- road" enterprise, building and asphalting new streets and in pursuit of the alleys of the literary creativity.

In 1966 he published the volume with narrations "New people, ancient land", that fulminated in the reader's minds as the bolt from the blue. The extraordinary talent, Bilal Xhaferri was bringing a new romantic-realistic spirit in the Albanian literature, which aimed the rising of the faded feelings of the people, indoctrinated from communism. Against the "new man", the bastard that the communist dictatorship was trying to create, Bilal, with his composition appealed to the Albanians to turn the eyes to the antiquity, to their predecessors, the gentle, freedom-loving and combative forefathers, holders of these home lands. His poetic volume "The red clearing" was published in 1967, but it couldn't move along. With an order of the communist censure, it was converted in cardboard dough. In those few copies that were preserved, stolen from Bilali's well-wishers, caught the eye the silent dissidence of this inexorable author, proud of his Pelasgus- Illyricum blood.

In August 24th, 1969 Bilal Xhaferri was constrained to escape in Greece and from there he emigrated in U.S.A, in Chicago where he published, for more than ten years, the anti-communist magazine "The Eagle's Wing", a bilingual Albanian-English magazine.
He died in unknown circumstances, languishing from the nostalgia for his own country and the hatred for the communism that had isolated Albania within the barbed wires.

His novel "Krastakraus" (The Crest of Kruja, the birthplace of the legendary, lion-hearted Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu) written in 1968, passed for a long time through the newsrooms of the unique publishing-house of the communist state, until it ended up imprisoned in its archives for the ideas it treated. It was published only in 1993 from the private publishing-house
"Bilal Xhaferri", created to remember the name of this remarkable dissident writer.

The novel "Krastakraus" is a monumental and classic as well as modern creation. It takes the theme from the historical past of Albania, precisely from the period of the heroic wars of Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu, the king of the Albanians (1417- 1467), who for a quarter- century afforded with his sword the ottoman invasions, in defense of the Albanian state and the Christianity. It is a creation written very neatly. The strong imagination of this author permeates the mist of medievalism and through the tableaus and the details that he describes, he succeed in taking away the heroes from the land of the legends and bringing them alive in the eyes of the readers. The whole history of the Albanian-Turkish wars, of the losses and victories, betrayals and resistance is outspread through the life and the jobs of the simple warriors of Gjergj Kastrioti.

Strezi, one of the courageous officers of Skënderbeu's commission is the central personage of this novel. The destinies of the other personages in peaceful and war times are evolved through the line of his love for the princess Ajkuna in one part, and his activity as a courageous warrior in the other part.

The world of the personages and their psychology is entwisted with the nature and sometimes it isn't understood whether the man is a creature of the nature or the nature is his creature. The trinity: God, nature, man and conversely, is entwined as a fatal node in the world of every personage, as well as in the lyric-dramatic situations and events, disposed toward "the tragic" that threats the destinies of the populations and personages.

The end of this novel is a masterly description, almost Homeric, of a bloody battle, without winners and losers; of a battle that means other battles and resistances, even more bloody, ensuring in this way the survival of a proud population that knows to live the life in peaceful times as well as in war times.

"Krastakraus" is a symbol of love and human resistance at the same time. It is a symbol of the victory of civilization toward the barbaric invasions of all the times.
The actual Albanian man finds in the pages of this novel his image and he nearly falls in love with himself like the Narcissist of Mythology in front of Bilal Xhaferri's creation. We hope that this book will be a kind surprise for the readers.

Shefki Hysa

Saturday, February 14, 2009

By Dukagjin Hata

The Cham World, a spirited historical - publicistic narration
About the publicistic book “The diplomacy of self – denial” of Shefki Hysa

The writer Shefki Hysa, one of the most passionate searchers of the Cham spirit and psychology, following in the footsteps of Bilal Xhaferri and the other apostles of the Albanian letters, in that forgotten corner of Iliriada, where the goddess Dodona spoke for the first time the Albanian language, not only one time, has called on the collective conscience of a evacuee population, the Cham one, in the veins of which flows the pure blood of the old Epirotes, that writes the history of the proud and insubordinate tribes, in the bark of the gigantesque tree of our national memory.

Shefki Hysa has converted the subject of the Cham destiny into a universal metaphor of the discrete identity search where the individual and collective destiny interweaves in the metaphysics of the time-space of freedom.

After a lot of marvelous narrations, such as tales, novels and sagas, where the Cham world moves in the dark-light of time, Shefki Hysa returns in a point-blank history, “a history spirited from the poetic ego”, as Umberto Eco would say, for the Cham forbidden history. This time is given in its three-dimensionality, with regard to those bridges of the Albanian, Balkan, European and worldwide memory, where passes the historical facts, the gingerly truths and those proclaimed in a sensational way, toward the tree of pain and the love of a prohibited country.

In this way, his brand new book “The diplomacy of self-denial” is a publicistic summary with articles, essays, interviews, memories, impressions, portraits, adjustments, redactions, comebacks, reportages, narrations, sketches, in the focus of which is the discovery of the Albanian world of Chameria, in that historical and actual vector that is called the Cham issue and makes up the Gordian point of the modern Albanian history.

With a succinct and concise style, but at the same time warm and with a lot of colors, where are mixed together the narration and the investigation, the portraiture and the analysis, the academic connotation and the journalistic principle, the personal attitude and the communitarian attitude, and onward the national attitude for this capital issue of the Albanian world, with a lithesome and elegant language, where the integral search of the journalist is combined with the aesthetic principle of the writer, Shefki Hysi brings us with this book more than a concern for the historical destiny of a outgoing population, sacrificed in the road of a double Calvary, the Greek-zervist and the communist-enverist.

Author of some artistic books such as narrations and novels, and also editor of the prestigous magazine "Eagle's wing" ("Krahu i shqiponjës"), where frequently he has given us narrative spaces and occurrences of the Cham world, (Even Ismail Kadare speaks with admiration for his last book that treats the destiny and the fatality of the Cham world) Hysa with this book brings a philosophical and historical-literary estimation for a wound of the Albanian world, the Cham wound. The author, with facts and with his intellectual attitude of Gandhi type, claims that this wound, which continues to cause pain to all the Albanian people, must be operated soon, before it turns into gangrene and without damaging the frame of the Albanian national issue.

The author emphasizes with the force of argument that in the dark tunnel of the tragic past, which still keeps in hostage the memory of the living persons and the dead ones, after a period of silence, prejudice and disinformation, finally is seen a ray of light. The author invites us to run after this light, to see beyond it that street where is expanded the vision and the future strategy for that land and the sacrificed population.

In this voluminous book move historical characters and VIPs, ordinary people and individuals that have carried the Cham burden along the streets of the Albanian Stalinist Gogoltha, move Bilal Xhaferri, Ismail Kadare, Namik Mane, Sabri Godo, Bedri Myftari, Ibrahim Hoxha, Pandeli Koçi, Pjetër Arbnori, Sali Berisha, the shortsighted political vision that doesn’t generates nothing but moment conjunctures for the sake of x party or y politician survival, but even that vision which is molded in the anvil of the real nationalism ( not the folkloric nationalism) and generates ideas for the future of the Cham land and population.

But even international personalities such as Hillary Clinton, the British researcher and diplomat Miranda Wickers, who in the gloomy monastery of the Cham issue has fired up the candle of hope, aren’t excluded from the ample, investigative, comparative and polemical view.

The universe of the author point of view is the same multiple and broken universe of the universe issue, which constitutes a dimension still unexplored of the Albanian national issue.
At bottom the book is an experience that the author and his collaborators have lived, with victories and losses, with achievements seen, rationalized, argued, prejudged and judged from the viewpoints of those people, who in their dream and ideal vision, have had and still have Chameria in the head place.

The author estimates the diplomatic world and its reactions, which though insubstantial, have done again their best to make conscious this joyless space of the collective memory of the Albanian world, emphasizing the fact that the achievements of the foreign diplomacies are much more than those of the wars.

Disciple of the Gandhi’s spirit and of those streets that bring water in the effective national choices from the intelligentsia grinder, Hysa appeals to the Albanian society elite to do what is necessary for the Chameria, to contribute for the Cham vision, so it won’t be a hostage of the gloomy past.

The author emphasizes with pain the silence, almost apostolic of the Albanian state in front of this historical and actual drama, the Cham drama, meanwhile the foreign diplomacy, benevolent versus the Albanians reminds the politicians of the eagle country that Chameria is a historical hostage that needs to get rid of the misunderstanding and the injustice, getting off this issue from the moldy buildings of the archives into the political agenda of the day. The author describes the labyrinths of a misunderstood and startling dossier from the perception rate of the Albanian political conscience. The action that our indolent and expectant politics has never done and it won’t take the courage to do, will be effectuated from the responsible foreigners, our country friends with their eyes toward the west. Thus in the summer of 2001 with the intercession of Hillary Clinton, the Cham issue was introduced before the American Senate. In an auditory session the senators were informed about the Greek-Albanian relations, the developments, the irritations and the appeasements, from the summer of 1944, when genocide was plied over the Albanian Muslim population of Chameria, called otherwise Thesprotia, massacring and deporting them from the birthplace and the dwellings, from their ethnic land. The author describes the reaction of the Greek lobby in America and the official policy of Athena, the cards of justification of this policy, the closure in an isolated cairn of this problem, the manifestation of the mock fact that in Albania doesn’t exist a organism to represent the Chams, that the Albanian state moots this issue only as a counterweight in the irritation moments of the bilateral relations between Tirana and Athena, that this problem doesn’t exist and when something doesn’t exist it doesn’t need a choice.

The British searcher and diplomat Miranda Wickers, as sublimating a new political reality, which was now contoured in the American senate for Chameria, referred another challenge to the Greek policy, when she, as a representative of the British Foreign Department published a detailed study with incontrovertible historical data and facts about the tragedy of the Cham population and its beginners. This gave a strong buffet to the political circuits of Athena, set in motion some deputies of the European Parliament, like the radical Italian deputy Marko Panela and other personalities such as Dr. Haim Reitan etc, that were a protest voice, which was coming in the right time and from the right direction against the silence, till oblivion, of one of the most cardinal problems of the Albanian history.

An important part of the book is the academic and intellectual personality of Bilal Xhaferri, the elite writer of Chameria, the dissident that paid up the freedom of creation with his young life, the most industrious and passionate amplifiers of the Cham world, whom he boosted in the seventh sky of a brilliant aesthetics.

Shefki Hysa, with his intellectual engagement, with the foundation of the Publishing House "Bilal Xhaferri" and of the Cultural Asociation "Bilal Xhaferri" (Shoqata Kulturore "Bilal Xhaferri"), influenced that the figure of Bilal Xhaferri could get out from the fifty years of misunderstanding and adulteration flour and could take the deserved place in the forgotten pantheon of the dissidents letters.

The journey of Shefki Hysa in the annals of the Cham world is a virtual journey where is interweaved the historical fact and detail with the impressions of the author, the international geopolitics with the narration of the apostolic silence, till political naivety, of the official Tirana institutions, the investigations for the truths covered from the oblivion flour with the deduction for the intellectual Gandhism, as a tool for the identification and the profit of the Cham paradise.

As our remarkable writer Ismail Kadare says: “This book is necessary, imperative, moral, like every ripe publication of this kind, as are numerous the reasons that the Chams don’t forget Chameria, and it can be intended that this is not only their right but the right of all the Albanians.
Furthermore, it is a moral obligation because one can never forget a suffering wound of thousands and thousands people. It can never be forgotten the displacement, it can never be forgotten the birthplace, where the earth is… Chameria can never be forgotten”.

Translated by: Lorena Uliu
By Bardhyl Maliqi

The Writer that Cracks up the Armature
of Arbitrary Values

With a difficult childhood, blooded-knees, mucky hoofs, full of yellowish flowers jam, lacerated pommels from blackberries, with pink eyes from the cold river “Pavel” from whose caves he fished trout and codfish, with seasoned limbs in sharply slants of rocks where he tracks pintails, Shefki Hysa got over the threshold of puberty and entered a problematic juvenility with a political convicted uncle, with his father dead on juvenility, with a family victim of the class war, a flock of children like a flock of sparrows swam in the compassion of destiny, was fed with seeds of plants like birds in the slabs of stones, always liable from trap, with their hand leather blackened from wild pears and riverside nuts fluid to extinguish hunger, always present, with a harsh drapery cheese-cloth, with books and copybooks of scholar , they mature and grow up.

And it came the day that the short young boy, with a heavy face, like a man went to Konispoli’s high school. He was skillful like a sable which smells, when he must and where he could, he clasps the good mark, but he was never estimated as he should, not because he didn’t deserve but because in his class were some beautiful faces of guys caressing from the political climate who necessarily must be the first of the class and even the studentship, the chosen stanza and the white necked maiden should be only for them.

Composed to coolness, worried face, seasoned on the atmosphere of a social nonchalance, without having the possibility to live his juvenility, deprived from the right to attend university, he was obliged to enter in the reclamation venture to be a Bulldozer. Inured with the petrol and grease smell, fattened with a driver dictionary, but very near to the nature virginity he began to sharpen the journalist’s and confessor’s pen to inlay a new profile of self-esteem. He was obsessed at the possibility to go to university at every cost, as a student of Tirana’s Philological University, owing to Dritëro Agolli goodwill for the new composers, in war with tarnishing biographies that never disunited to him. Thus, at hummer and tongs, owing to his ambitions to go onward , but also born educated like a contradictory reaction toward a vicious reality, he broke the armature of the dictatorship values system, to bill communicative ability and his reliability.

He is the author of phrases such as: “Turtledove and the boy” (Narrations), “Slave of Peace” (Novel), “The Cursed Heaven” (Novel), “Confessions of a Thief” (Novel) and also editor, chief editor and also redactor of “Eagle’s wing” magazine (which was established from the poet writer and the publicist: Bilal Xhaferri in USA), Shefki could attract the Albanians reader attention with his prominent individuality.

The admission of diversities and the observance of the real values of the writers and artists, regardless of their economical, political and social position, is a necessity that will condition the progress Albanian society. As one of the most talented and productive prose writers Shefki Hysa springs in literature with an abundance of motifs and themes that descend from the directly recognition of life as he was watered from its sources, in reservoirs and constructional brigades, in the school classes where he taught, in Saranda’s and Bulqiza’s precincts but also in down towns and capital cities where he worked as a journalist. Shefki’s prose has a deep realistic spirit because his individual evocations entwist with our communal biographical elements.

A scalene reference in the place names where narrating and Romanesque actions happen, or a chart of the protagonists would assure us that we have to do with an irreplaceable faint afflatus and a possibility for a detailed and persuasive demonstration of the settings and characters: Foinike, Dodona, Konispol, Saranda, Pandalejmon, Qafëbota, Qafëbualli, Bulqiza, Tirana, Chicago, Mileja, Mëllezi, the Holy Mountain, the Jinn Outfall, The Cross Crown, Epyr, Kosovo, Tchameri etc. This argument aggrandizes also the usage of well known and contemporary names as: Pirro of Epyr, Hasan Tahsini, Enver Hoxha, Niccita Hrushov, Dritëro Agolli, Ismail Kadare, Bilal Xhaferri or their Vilëza ( the same) , Ben Lleiz (Arben Iliazi), Ali Arkeologu ( Halil Shabani), Cifja (Josif Papagjoni), designer Gim (Agim Mato), etc. A concrete stratification consists of the symbolic names that are based in realistic events and characters: like Docent Ramushi, Nondë Kaçoli, Bill Burreci, Kapo Erosi, Kurrizo Hefesti, Ramush Kaleci, chief editor Kopani or denominations used as sobriquets based on epithets, vices as Babloku, the Reeve Maliq, Dullë Baxhaja ( taken from the H dossier), Xan Gungaçi, Çalamani, Capori Gungo, Satanai, Farmaku, Esmeralda, Lina, Lirika, Rozafa, Zemëria, Demona, Bardha, Eli, Turtullesha, Diella, Kumrija, Afërdita,Vejusha e Zezë, Princess Marsjana, Marsida, Kullumbria etc. This word of names is striking and significant and would serve as a tutorial target.

The rich language full of Phrase logical Phrases, dialects, jargons, which are functionalized especially in the character’s chamber, utters the realistic characteristics of Hysa’s prose. Beyond the inclinations of his prose we notice in it elements but even concepts of a real prose which being based on folk compositions and also contemporary literary techniques, appears to us as complex as rich in its apparently simple structures, but also excessively expressive. It must be pointed out that this wont has its basement in the dramatics of vital material dredged and picked by writer.

The narration “Didini” that has as a protagonist the so named character, a discrete nationalist, betrayed and shot, who isn’t at rest in his tomb and wonders like a squab in the old house’s relics, is an artistic model of the usage of the magic elements which are an utterance of the magic realism in our literature. In the same way the setting of the conversation I.Kadare and Pirro of Epyr, vivid dreams of the same protagonist etc, support the idea of magic realism in our literature is not imported from Italy or Latin America, from Dino Buxati or Garcia Marquez, or Isabel Aliende but is a contrivance of Albanian Folklore’s influence; a product of fantastic fairy tales that populate it, thus it is a lawsuit artistically natural and wrongful. The folklore’s influence is fairy-well obvious in the other magic narration “The Turtledove and the Demon”, where is operated with the same artistic means, in the transformation of the girl into a turtledove and the boy into a whisper. The umbra’s role, acting as umbrae characters or the umbra images in Hysa’s books for ex: the soul or the umbra of Didini speaks in benefit to the existence of magic realism in Albanian literature: “The soul stopped in abeyance on the roof of the old house” (“Confessions of a thief” pg.51).

In this sense art’s burden is not a naturalist reflection but an esthetic transformation of reality based on the main esthetic categories, where the beautiful becomes more beautiful (Rozafa, Afërdita, Esmeralda, Diella) and the ugly is disfigured (Kryeplaku, Babloku, Dudumi). Reddish face of Babloku, big and rounded, in a mash of deep wrinkles as impaled with knife… looked on you through hollows life, as two fresh wounds where two pupil eyes blanched like two breezes, stuck in reddish reeves’ nets (The Cursed Heaven pg.122).

Divinities and monsters bristles on this principle, the grandiose and the grotesque. Kryeplaku, Kapo Eros, Kurrizo Hefesti; Babloku and Dudumi; jackass president and the shit under the fez are just artistic embodiments where the reality is changed and transformed through the hyperbolical features, manners and attitudes, thus creating the grotesque image which has a more sensitive esthetic effect as an archetype of the hideous and the ridiculous. Embodiments of the evil with faces like red skinned indigenous, with the utterance sometimes of idiot innocence and sometimes of beast’s savagery which fences tooth, sometimes cynic and supercilious, sometimes rambling as caricatures, are symbols of Power and Violence or blind executives of this embodiment. Thus the author manages that through entwisting of naturalist and expressionist elements to fulfill in details the perverseness, the disdain that the characters awake, when they eat carrion like vulture animals, when they snore like pigs in slush and urinate under the table. Even their criminal deeds acted placidly and deliberately, are neatly motivated. Murders of Dardan, Albano, Rozafa and Jack witness this ghoulish attitude.

If greatest artistic figure existed like the one which are artistic in our case in literary opus, these are the figures of Bablok and Dudum, which should be considered together as representatives of Power and Violence. The author merit is the disposal of the two socio-political archetypes that have ruled Albania among all the time until the 20-th century. How many Chieftains, Majordomos, Reeves, constabulary commanders, cooperatives elders, commissioners, directors, deputies and ministers used to be part of us? Such has been thousands. Monsters with debonair faces, monsters with monstrous faces, tarnished souls and daring people that never forgot that ever and anon to pour ashes in our eyes by doing some public commonweal or in benefits of a dervish, a “common weal” for the sake of name. The naïve peasant used to say: “mister so and so does but good deeds too”. In the narration with same title, the reeve is the continuation of the same character with Bablok, but not of a socialist dad but that of the Albanian democracy (read this as anarchy). This character has evolved, but still awakes a grater disdain and a deep disappointment feeling for our vicious realities. Anyway, the deflection of the white and black colors and the emplacement of these characters in concrete situations make the artistically reliable.

Even Kapo Eros and Kurrizo Hefest are like two halves of one entire. The connotation and the hyperbolas that the author has used has crated two different characters not only in their physical appearance but also in their characters. As much beautiful and fascinating is Kapo Eros, as capable of absorbing like with a magnet and to seduce all the feminine beauty, as ugly and disdainful is Kurrizo Hefesti, a chase of whom is all the feminine world seduced but now by Kapo Eros who is incapable of fulfilling their sexual desires. This couplet also reminds Power and Violence (read Bablok and Dudum) but in an indirect sense. Women are seduced by the power of Eros and are restrained by Sword’s violence. This couplet that stigmatizes the moral aspects of nowadays society becomes unwillingly her portrait.

* * *

Beside the literary language inside Shefki Hysa writings vivify even southern-northern dialectical forms, taken from the labors environment and due to the characters psychology. But actually the language of this narrator is characterized by the will and effort to produce new forms, often linguistic forms, produced with the dough of our linguistic treasury or the will to make use activate rear forms, which effect in the ideas expression, in portraitures and give to the artistic tableau a special emotional connotation. Some of them are: the hole entity was re-alarmed, flummery attitude, anxious expectancy, over –tiring, imperial twilight, ghoulish flip, head-idol of the empire, crouched in invisibility, lights constellation, ticklish laughter, crazy love, widow-hood fast, elderly solitude, the darkness of the stocking cave, pained body, greasy acridity, the spoons pitter pattering, winter souls, mysterious ruins, draggle-tailed snows, etc. Sometimes this linguistic attainments stipple around a name or around his form, in a word formation and in the lexical frames of the key word for example world-neck, dream-neck ,hope-neck, pig-neck, lost-neck; the dept-city, the city-dept; or I’m Dullë Baxhaja, the multi-hands, multi-animus, the multi-face, the very invisible, the very ubiquitous… and other new colloquialism acquire new-words with new-meanings in function of the ideas ex: the idea that we have to deal with an immoral human being is given by these words: ladies tracer, searcher, hidden gluttonous, his body pullulates for the amorous desire, devil orgasm, erotic battle. An ominous tiding is given by these means and other characterizations: the raven-phone, the ravish phone, cawed, portentous, the ominous tiding, the thunderclap- tiding etc. I doubt that these word-forming structures aren’t influenced by one of his literary idols, Ismail Kadare writer. But still the linguistic novelties artistry goes further when they serve to built up alliterations and harmonic sound organizations that create coherence to the realities essence, Ex: the blood traces hunter, love rendered him into an ox for Danana, carrion crows with black-calamity caws, a calculated hesitation from diabolic minds etc. These sounding organizations and the metaphoric, symbolic and metonymic language of the author bring up his prose near to poem, because we know that these are means and techniques of writing poems.

In order to establish stylistic effects the author uses densely functional suffixes, often diminished: slightingly, dully, bluntly, blindly, violently, furiously, cyclonically (as adverbs); geezer, dame, a saintly way, groom, little avenue, little town, squeaker, a small lawn, a small fez; (nouns): decrepit, grayish, wounded (adjectives) etc. Actually these morphological operations in word structure refresh it, make it meaningful and more though-conveyer and feeling conductor. To see their functional side we can give an illustration in a more concrete way. Ex: he considered himself grandee as Penelope, he took the little antenna with the top of his fingers and hold up the fez; …the walls were grizzled, the roof-tiles where livid, kissed the absorption like a small strawberry, with a singer tone… I was out-scarred etc.

The use of vulgarizations by this author, have an artistic function to justify the art democratization, the right of citizenship of speech, authenticity of circumstances etc. The possibility for another cause is not either excluded. Generally the writers and the artists aren’t the nature’s caressing nor are the power favorable. This kind of language puts them nearer to the mass of simple people, their real readers because they feel like real authors, people made of flesh and blood. And we can say this language is the expression of discontent, their inner revolt.

Let’s get to a new problem: it’s about the foreshadowed and impressionable tonality of the literary and artistic work or to the idea-emotional attitude of the author. We know that these tonalities and attitudes are reflective towards different socio-political, economic and cultural realities, but primarily they express the outlook and the evocation of the artist. He has a social origin, sources of a fortune, economic situation, political engagement, ideological convictions, and the psychology as an artist and as a human being. Being like this he can’t be immune from the politics’ influence but would be indisputable not to fall his pray.

Generally in his literary work Shefki escapes from this trap. He presents in that book an incubus commander who shoots with a bullet behind shoulders but to the other side he has a partisan nurse that feels sorry for human beings and moves heaven and earth to save their lives. The socialist realism is stigmatized there, but it is also spoken out in a delightful way for I.Kadare, D.Agolli, and Bilal Xhaferri as characters in the novel “Slave of Peace”. Occasionally like in the “Slave of Peace”, the hell scene, which actually is excessively episodic and has nothing to do with the main lines of the conflict’s development, where the writers of socialist realism don’t let each other to perk, is explained by the eternal envy of creators but even by the state politics to set them against each other and this has been real. Other scenes are justified by the symbolic burden of main characters. Still the author sometimes hasn’t purposely avoided the exaggeration. “Beasts’ junket, the lion grabs the haunch (Babloku), the wolf a part of the chest (Dudumi), Chippings some ribbings (some cadres of the party and power), and hyenas (some simple communists and distinguished miners) what is remained from the beasts’ junket. Ex: Dudum is described not as a lawman but as a gigantic police, a biped brute as an ignorant being and the wolf-herder of the human race of this city of the hell. Even the city itself is scaring, rolled with an old mountain pelisse, and a black cloud cap above the head, a city that consumes only peppers, whose paunch is empty and cant fill the miners’ punches either etc. It is to be mentioned that Bulqiza or Memaliaj of the 80s don’t differ much from this tableau. Even the fact that with the same vivid colors and the same grotesque scenes, are described Bablok and Dudum, as representatives and products of yesterday and Kryeplaku and Kumria as representatives and products of the present, assures that the author doesn’t see all in black and white, that the exaggeration is an artistic lawsuit and not a political playbill. In the roman “The Cursed Heaven”, in the ingoing scene the portraiture of the two harlequins, that among centuries have tried to destroy Albania, the scenes of the battle for the head-idols’ crown in the chapter for the Holy Mountain and especially in the narration
“The idols Empire” it is built the thought that idols are our national disgrace.

The author feels sorry for this country and every time he has the chance, he disinters his patriotic soul, his anguish for Tchame and for the Tchame’s issue, for Kosovo and Kosovo’s issue, for the whole Albania and for the Whole Albanian issue. Scenes of Pirro of Epyr, of Bilal Xhaferri, and of the massacre that Zerva committed in Tchamëri, of that of the Bota’s saddle, the scene with the two emigrants in America etc are the evidence that establish this kind of conviction. I wonder how many years will we wander as yellowish in desert.
Despite all this, optimism and hope, is not lacked by the author. The depiction of big-heart characters as uncle Miho, the lakes’ magic oldster, the presence of lovers who for the sake of great feelings as love is, sacrifice and underline this faith.

Another important artistic joint in the narrative composition of this author, in which his mellow values catch the eye distinctly, is undoubtedly a psychological rummage of characters, feelings, thoughts, manners and their attitude especially in the culminant and conflict moments. In “The Cursed Heaven” novel, when Jack is between two choices the battle of motivations is very long he finds very difficult to choose: loving Rozafa, not just because of affection, but for great true human feelings and sincere love, in this way bearing the vital privations and sacrifices or else lay in bad with Diella, the innocent ideal-beauty and who is also a victim of Bablok, in this way gaining a well ordered life in Tirana, in expectance of a important post but without human dignity. What triumphs in his soul is closely connected with the power of his character, when he discovers Rozafa was massacred to open way to the marriage of Diella. He doesn’t hesitate to sacrifice paying his disapproval with death, murder in the mountain, in cold, in darkness, in the wolf’s mouth. Even in the major narrations, especially in those in which the author doesn’t use catches but the vital juice is directly given, the psychological motivation is naturally found, it flows in their interiors, because of the action and the personality of the characters, is not an outer dishing to legalize characters’ variables. Lets recall certain narrations such as “Didini”, “Testimony”, “Maggie of the City” , “Olives”, “Qopeku” ,”The Oldster of the Lakes” etc.

Shefki Hysa’s compositions speak clearly of the fact that he has the ability to bake art works with dough from his own magic. There are writers who have created during their entire life but haven’t baked a single crumpet from their corn.

With his tireless job, with culture and passion he will always be able to mould and bake each time better his literary bread. His so far compositions allow us to hope so.

Translated by: Dr. Haim Reitan