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Communist Concentration Camps of the Past Haunt Today’s Albania

Culture, History January 22, 2019

TEPELENA, Albania—Simon Mirakaj was 4 years old in 1949 when, together with his mother and two siblings, he was transferred to an internment camp a few miles from the town of Tepelena in southern Albania.

His family’s odyssey of displacement first started in July 1945, when the communist government of Albania, headed by dictator Enver Hoxha, deemed them enemies. This was because Mirakaj’s father and uncles had been fighting communists in the countryside, sparking the regime’s anger.

Simon Mirakaj holds the drawings from Tepelena camp in his office. (Antonio Çakshiri for The Epoch Times)

Ava Max: My parents left Albania in 1990 and lived in a church in Paris for a whole year

Culture, Music, Profile January 22, 2019

Albanian-American Singer-songwriter Ava Max has had a remarkable few months since the release of her breakout single Sweet But Psycho, which narrowly missed becoming the UK Christmas number one. Ava Max is buzzing. She’s bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and raring to go at the start of what many critics are already predicting will be a stellar pop career.

Although you may not be familiar with her yet, there’s a very strong chance that you’ve heard her breakout single, Sweet But Psycho, which was nearly 2018’s Christmas number one in the UK.

Tirana city guide: Where to eat, drink, shop and stay in Albania’s capital

Food, Tourism, Travel January 22, 2019

Albania is coming in from the cold. After decades of isolation, Europe’s last undiscovered country is set on modernising and attracting visitors. Its capital, Tirana, is at the heart of this plan.

The first ever low-cost flights between the UK and Albania started in April 2018, when Wizz Air opened its new London Luton-Tirana route. And the historic city is in the midst of massive changes as part of the highly ambitious new Tirana 2030 project, devised by Milan’s Stefano Boeri Architects, which will totally reimagine Albania’s capital – filling it with concentric rings of green space, new public schools and eco-friendly housing.

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Albania’s Post-Communist Rebirth Gets a Jewish Twist

Culture, History, Religion January 22, 2019

On a windy mountaintop citadel in Berat, Albania, in a church lit only by incense lamps and their dim reflections off the peeling gold-painted icons, I met Simon Vrusho, the creator and director of the Muzei Solomoni, Albania’s first and only Jewish museum, which opened earlier this year.

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14 reasons you need to travel to Albania ASAP

Tourism, Travel December 12, 2018

Sunbathing on pristine beaches, trekking through lonely mountains, exploring ancient ruins… if this sounds like your idea of heaven, you NEED to travel to Albania ASAP. The Balkan gem has avoided mass tourism unlike many of its neighbours, so travel in Albania means many off-the-beaten-path experiences and oodles of authentic local charm.

From numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites to lush mountains and crystal clear Albanian beaches along the Albanian Riviera, adventure awaits you at every turn – and despite what some people may expect, it’s super safe…

Travel to Albania - Hidden Beaches Of The Albanian Riviera

The 10 Most Beautiful Towns In Albania

Tourism, Travel December 12, 2018

Quickly becoming a traveler hotspot, Albania’s mix of modernity and tradition combined with its stunning scenery has made it one of Europe’s must-see destinations. We round-up some of the country’s most beautiful towns and cities, from historic Gjirokastra to the tiny mountain village of Theth.

Rough mountains near the border with Kosovo ©Rob Hogeslag

Albania’s Junior Eurovision artist Ana Kodra signs up for Britain’s Got Talent 2019

Music, Profile December 3, 2018

Last year, Ana won Junior Fest 2017 in order to be selected as Albania’s representative at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Tbilisi. At the contest, her performance of Don’t Touch My Tree earned her nation 67 points and 13th place! Ana returned to Albania’s Junior Eurovision selection contest this year, but Efi Gjika was victorious with Barbie.

Nevertheless, Ana is continuing her strife for success and has revealed she will be auditioning for the 2019 season of Britain’s Got Talent! As announced on her Facebook page, her audition will take place in Manchester on December 8th. We wish her the best of luck!

Original Austrian telegram considered best testimony to Albania’s Independence Day

History December 3, 2018

A newly discovered original telegram sent by a former Austrian consul based in the city of Vlora, southern Albania, has brought back the atmosphere of Albania’s declaration of independence in the afternoon of November 28, 1912 in the face of lack of photo or audio evidence from Albania’s most important event following almost five centuries under Ottoman rule…

A Life in Focus: Queen Geraldine of the Albanians

History, Profile December 3, 2018

The Independent revisits the life of a notable figure. Queen Geraldine of the Albanians was one of the last survivors of the Ruritanian ambience of the interwar east European monarchies who lived in an insecure world between the threats of fascism, communism and democracy…

The widow of King Zog, she lived to return to Albania after 62 years in exile

Brave World War 2 Halifax crew buried in dignified ceremony in Albania

History November 21, 2018

Seven crew members of the 148 (special duties) squadron RAF who were onboard the RAF Halifax JP244 aircraft have been laid to rest almost 75 years after they were killed carrying out a supply mission over Albania. A burial service to honour the crewmen was held earlier today (Wednesday 24 October) at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Tirana Park Memorial Cemetery, Albania and was attended by Her Majesty’s Ambassador, His excellency Mr Duncan Norman MBE, family members and local dignitaries…

The 7 crewmen, Family copyright, all rights reserved
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  • Brave World War 2 Halifax crew buried in dignified ceremony in Albania

    by on November 21, 2018 - 0 Comments

    Seven crew members of the 148 (special duties) squadron RAF who were onboard the RAF Halifax JP244 aircraft have been laid to rest almost 75 years after they were killed carrying out a supply mission over Albania. A burial service to honour the crewmen was held earlier today (Wednesday 24 October) at the Commonwealth War […]

  • Where to Find Olive Oil in Albania

    by on November 16, 2018 - 0 Comments

    There are more than 12 million olive trees in Albania. More than ten percent of those trees are aged 1,000-3,000 years  Olive oil or the ‘liquid gold’ as it was called by Homer, is the most valuable component of the Mediterranean diet. November is the best time of the year to find high-quality olive oil […]

  • Albania’s growing potential as a superyacht destination

    by on November 21, 2018 - 0 Comments

    “Every year the numbers are increasing, with official statistics from the authorities showing that 1007 yachts visited just Saranda port in 2018, compared to 842 in 2017…” Albania is not commonly thought of as a superyacht destination, but every year more and more yachts are visiting the country. Because of its proximity to Greece, Montenegro, Croatia and […]

  • Ksamil in Albania among the top 10 destinations to visit in 2019 by DailyMail UK

    by on November 16, 2018 - 0 Comments

    Ksamil is a village located in Southern Albania and from all accounts is a beautiful hidden gem. Situated along a stretch of the Albanian Riviera, it offers crystal clear waters, secluded beaches and peaceful restaurants. Nearby sights include Syri I Kaltër (the Blue Eye) – a lake where bubbles create colours that look like an eye, and […]

  • Albania - The Gem of Europe!

    by on November 16, 2018 - 0 Comments

    After doing her research and visiting almost EVERY country in Europe…ALBANIA is Alyne’s favorite country! After doing her research and visiting almost EVERY country in Europe…ALBANIA is Alyne’s favorite country! 🇦🇱 (Source: Dear Alyne) pic.twitter.com/xT6qtm19Lr — Team Albanians (@TeamAlbanians) November 11, 2018

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