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Albania-Listing characteristics from A to Z Essay Sample

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Albania-Listing characteristics from A to Z Essay Sample

Albanians are white people. Their color demonstrates the clean soul they have and what kind of people they are. One of their characteristics is that their face can tell whether they are good or bad, nice or mean, simply or complicated, easy or difficult, intelligent or dumb, happy or sad, everything you need to know! A look in their eyes, their face can explain you their world!

Traditional clothing consists of colorfully embroidered shirts and dresses and in some regions loose-fitting pants for women. Traditional clothing was discouraged under the Communists in favor of inexpensive, modern clothing made by the state. Since the democratic changes in government, people have more choice in clothing, particularly in urban areas. Traditional costumes are still worn in many rural and upland areas, especially among women.

BELIEF

With 70 percent of its population Muslim, Albania is Europe’s only predominantly Islamic state. Orthodox Christians, living mostly in southern Albania, make up 20 percent of the population, and Roman Catholics, mainly in the north, make up another 10 percent. Religious divisions in Albania are not significant, and religious tolerance is such that members of the same family sometimes belong to different religions.

The Communist government outlawed all religions in 1967, making Albania the world’s first officially atheist country. Places of worship were closed, church property was confiscated, religious services were banned, and religious practitioners were persecuted. The ban on religion was lifted in 1990. Many churches and mosques have been rebuilt or reopened, and a growing number of people express religious beliefs.

COMMUNICATION

During the Communist era, all publications as well as television and radio broadcasting were controlled by the state. The state appointed editors and journalists, censored information tightly, and used press outlets as tools of propaganda. Because of the extreme repression, no opposition publications appeared until the closing years of Communist rule. After 1991 most restrictions were lifted and an independent press began to function, although publications are often tied to specific political parties. Television and radio remain under state control, but the censorship is less severe than during the Communist period. The most important newspapers include the dailies Rilindja Demokratike, published by the Democratic Party; Zeri I Popullit, once the major newspaper of the state, now published by the Socialists; and Republika, published by the Republican Party. Other major periodicals include the weekly Drita, the monthly Nentori, and the independent, nonpartisan newspaper Koha Jonë.

Albania’s telecommunications system is inefficient and thinly spread across the country. In the mid-1990s state-owned Albanian Telecom began a major program to upgrade and expand the network. Most households have radios, and many have televisions. Only a few thousand people, mostly the newly emerging business class, have access to computers.

ENTERTAINMENT

Like the literature native to Albania, Albanian folk music often contains themes of honor, loyalty, and courage. Styles range from the heroic songs of the mountains to the more musically complex lieder (a type of ballad), which is accompanied by instruments and common in the south. The most common traditional instrument is the lahute (lute), which is similar to the Slavic gusle. Also in the south, saze (small orchestras) composed of four or five instruments play music for folk dancing on special occasions. Notable folk musicians of the late 20th century included Tefta Tashko, Maria Paluca, and Gjorgjija Filce. Two of the most distinguished composers of Albanian music are Kristi Kono and writer, bishop, and political leader Fan Noli. Traditional dance is still widely practiced, especially in more remote villages. Because of Islamic influences, especially in the south, women and men often do not dance together in public.

Theater was neither popular nor widespread in Albania before World War I (1914-1918). The first Albanian play, Emma, was written in 1887 by an Italo-Albanian, Anton Santori, and dealt with themes of the Albanian diaspora (migration to other countries). Instead of accurately portraying daily life, prewar drama depicted the romantic patriotism of the past. Under the Communists, theater became a weapon of propaganda, and new theaters and plays with Communist themes were encouraged. The plays, however, were subjected to more rigorous censorship than written literature, thereby crushing much creativity and stunting the growth of a native theater. Foreign theater companies were also banned. Nevertheless, a few talented playwrights, including Loni Papa, emerged in this period. In the mid-1990s theater continued to lag behind Albanian literature in its development.

Cinema is also undeveloped. During the Communist period, films, like plays, focused on heroics. Popular themes included the anti-Turk struggles of folk hero Skënderbeg, Albanian resistance to assimilation by foreigners, and the clash between tradition and change. Although there are fewer political restrictions on film today than in the Communist era, a lack of money and technical resources continues to hamper the growth of Albanian film.

Albania is home to many museums of archaeology; local, military, and natural history; ethnography (the study of cultures); and religious and secular (nonreligious) art. Notable museums in Tirana include the National Museum of Archaeology (founded in 1948).

Albania is home to many museums of archaeology; local, military, and natural history; ethnography (the study of cultures); and religious and secular (nonreligious) art. Notable museums in Tirana include the National Museum of Archaeology (founded in 1948).

FOOD

Albanian food is similar to the American food. There is no big difference between them except that they use oil in almost everything.

GOVERNMENT

From 1944 to 1991 Albania’s government was controlled completely by the Communist Party, known from 1948 as the Albanian Party of Labor (APL). The party’s preeminence was assured by the 1976 constitution, which defined the APL as the “sole leading political force of state and society” and named Marxism-Leninism as the country’s official ideology. Power was effectively consolidated in one man, Enver Hoxha. He was first secretary, or head, of the party’s Politburo (the policy-making body) from 1944 until his death in 1985. Hoxha ruled Albania with an iron fist and stifled any dissension. The party’s control over society and public institutions, which was near-absolute, was reinforced by the Sigurimi, the secret police.

After Hoxha’s death in 1985, Albania began to emerge from its isolation. Anti-Communist upheavals swept across Eastern Europe in 1989, and in 1990 Albania legalized opposition parties. In March 1991, after an interim constitution was approved, Albania held its first multiparty elections in nearly 50 years.

In November 1998 voters approved Albania’s first post-Communist constitution, which declared the country a parliamentary republic. The new constitution provides for multiparty elections and guarantees freedoms of speech, religion, press, assembly, and organization.

HOUSING

The Communists greatly expanded housing in rural and urban areas. Urban homes were owned by the state, consisting chiefly of apartment blocks with attached cultural and recreational facilities and state-owned stores. In the countryside dwellings were usually one- or two-story family houses, mostly for peasants living on collective farms, and small apartment blocks for workers on state farms. As a result of post-Communist reforms, tenants in small apartments were allowed to own their homes free of charge. People who lived in larger dwellings could buy them from the state for small fees. Over the next few years, many state properties became private and a market for private homes developed. Still, housing construction in the mid-1990s did not keep pace with the country’s high rates of birth and migration to cities. As a result, some cities were overcrowded and the number of shanty dwellings grew.

IMPORTANT INDIVIDUALS

Skënderbeg

(1404-68)

Skenderbeg, in Turkish Iskender Bey, real name Gjergj Kastrioti (1403?-1468), Albanian chief and national hero. The son of an Albanian prince, he was sent to Constantinople (present-day stanbul) as a hostage when the Ottoman Turks began to occupy Albania. He was educated as a Muslim and enlisted in the Turkish army. His military skill earned him favor with the sultan, and he was given a command. In 1443, when he learned that Albania had revolted against the Turks, Skenderbeg deserted and returned to his native land. He renounced Islam for Christianity and became the leader of the Albanian chiefs. In 1461, Skenderbeg, with the aid of Pope Pius II and the governments of Venice, Naples, and Hungary, forced the Turks to accept a 10-year armistice. When Skenderbeg abrogated the armistice in 1463, he was forced to fight Turkey without the aid of his former allies, and shortly after his death, Albania was defeated.

Zog I, “Ahmed Bey Zogu”

(1895-1961)

President (1925-28) and king of Albania (1928-39). Zog came to power as president after leading a successful uprising against the Albanian provisional government (1924). As president, and then king, he led Albania into military and financial dependence on Mussolini’s Italy and was overthrown after the Italian invasion of Albania.

Hoxha, Enver

(1908-85)

Ruler of Communist Albania from the end of WW II until his death (1946-85). Hoxha became a Communist while studying in France during the 1930s and in 1941 became secretary general of the Albanian Labor party, a group formed by partisans following Italy’s occupation of Albania. A rigid Stalinist, he became prime minister of a Communist-ruled Albania following WW II. Then from 1953 until his death he ruled Albania as first secretary of the ruling Communist party. During his long regime, Hoxha at first established close ties with the USSR, then shifted his alliance to Communist China (after 1961) in reaction to the Soviet de-Stalinization movement. Hoxha broke with the Chinese in 1978, cutting off much-needed foreign aid and effectively isolating Albania. The last years of Hoxha’s ruthless and bloody regime were marked by the collapse of Albania’s economy and growing resentment toward Communism

JOBS

Labor

In 2000 the labor force numbered 1.7 million people. Some 41 percent of these workers were women. The largest share of the labor force, 24 percent, worked in agriculture; 45 percent worked in manufacturing, mining, and construction; and the remaining 31 percent worked in transportation, communications, trade, public administration, and various other services. The unemployment rate, which peaked at 40 percent in 1992, fell to 15 percent by 1995. However, as more people migrated from the country to cities, cities experienced a job shortage. As a result, many of the new city dwellers depend on state benefits for survival.

Under the Communist regime, free labor unions were outlawed and the ruling party tightly controlled the workplace. During 1991 the democratic government allowed independent unions to form, the most important of which is the Union of Independent Trade Unions of Albania. The former government-controlled union is now the free Confederation of Albanian Trade Unions, to which most state workers belong.

KIND OF ENVIRONMENT

The tiny Republic of Albania is located on the Balkan Peninsula. It is bordered on the south by Greece and on the north by Yugoslavia. The Adriatic Sea washes its western shore

The country is largely mountainous, with some peaks reaching over 8,000 feet (2,500 meters) in height. The highest mountain is Korab at 9,026 feet (2,751 meters). The only lowland area, which is located along the coast, occupies about a quarter of the total area of the country and contains about half the population.

The country has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The seasonal nature of the rainfall affects the flow of the rivers. In winter they become torrents and cause severe flooding, while in summer they are reduced to mere trickles. The longest river is the Drin, which begins in Yugoslavia and flows for 174 miles (280 kilometers) through northern Albania. The major rivers of the south are the Shkumbin, the Mat, and the Vijose.

Soils in general are poor, and even in the plains they are infertile and poorly drained. Only about 20 percent of the country’s area is used for farming.

LITERACY

Literacy in Albania, which had long been widespread, was dramatically lowered by the Communists; in 2001 the literacy rate had climbed to 98 percent of the adult population.

Under Ottoman rule (16th century to 20th century), Turkish and Greek Orthodox stories and myths played an important part in Albanian folklore. Tales were passed down through the generations in the form of heroic songs, legends, and epics. This oral tradition helped the native language and national identity survive until written texts emerged. The oldest known document in the Albanian language dates to 1462. In the late 19th century, under Ottoman rule, the brothers Naim and Sami Frasheri developed an underground Albanian literature by combining linguistic purity and patriotism. This nationalist movement inspired many writers in later decades, including lyric poet Gjergj Fishta. Another prominent nationalist writer was Fan Noli, a Western-educated Orthodox bishop and leader of the country during the 1920s. In addition to writing books, Noli translated western European books and poems into Albanian. Under the Communists, censorship was strict, topics permissible for discussion were few, and as a result, the country’s literature was deadened. After the collapse of one-party rule, literature was freed of most censorship, and many books are now published and distributed in the country. Perhaps the best-known living Albanian writer is Ismail Kadare, author of the novel The General of the Dead Army (1963).

MONEY

The Albanian economy is one of the poorest in Europe. It relies largely on agriculture. When the Communists took control after World War II, they abolished private land ownership. About 80 percent of agricultural land was put into cooperatives and the rest was farmed directly by the state.

The Albanians were traditionally herders who took their herds of sheep and goats to mountain pastures during summer. Herding is still important, but at present crops account for two thirds of the farm products. The chief grain crop is wheat, followed closely by corn (maize). Other important farm products include rice, cotton, sugar beets, potatoes, vegetables, and fodder crops. The warm summers permit the growing of olives, grapes, tobacco, and citrus fruits.

Albania has substantial reserves of several industrial minerals. There is sufficient oil to meet the country’s requirements and permit some export. A pipeline leads from the oil fields at Qytet Stalin to the port of Vlore, and the nation also has several refineries. Some natural gas is produced. There are scattered deposits of lignite (brown coal) suitable for electric-power production. Most of the electric power of the country is, however, obtained from hydroelectric-power stations. Among metallic minerals chromite is the most important and is exported in substantial quantities. Other exports of Albania include copper, iron ore, asphalt, tobacco, fruit and vegetables, and wine. Imports are restricted generally to the country’s equipment requirements.The development of industry, especially oil and chemicals, is being given the highest priority in Albania. A small iron and steel plant at Elbasan opened in 1976, and there are several small chemical plants. Large textile combines operate at Tirane and Berat.

NATIONALISM

Albanians have strong feelings of nationalism. They have given their life to save their country during the long, endless wars. They have fought to set it free from all the other countries around it.

They are always ready to go and fight for it.

OCEANS

Albania is near the Atlantic Ocean and Arctic Ocean. It is kind of in the middle.

POPULATION

Albania has the smallest population of the Balkan countries. Only about 3.3 million people live there. However, in the late 1980s Albania had the highest rate of population increase of any European country–about 2 percent per year. The Albanian people are traditionally divided into clans or tribes, each of which traces its ancestry back to a single individual. Disputes or crimes involving other clans often resulted in blood feuds between males in the clans.

SCHOOLS

Education is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 14. In 1996 nearly all school-age children attended primary school, but only 35 percent attended secondary school. Several universities, including the University of Tirana (founded in 1957), operate in Albania. The Communists encouraged education for women, and today enrollment rates for girls are roughly equal to those for boys in all levels of schooling.

Under Communist rule, education was also used to indoctrinate students with Communist beliefs. Before entering college, students were required to work for one year; after finishing their studies, another year of work and military training was required. After Communism collapsed, reforms removed politics and ideology from schools, although schools continue to receive large subsidies from the state. Work and military requirements were also dropped.

TECHNOLOGY

Mining

Albania is rich in mineral resources, including large reserves of chromium, copper, and iron-nickel. The country also has smaller deposits of gold, silver, bauxite, magnesite, and zinc. In 1994 chrome, found at Pogradec in eastern Albania and in the Drin River valley, accounted for 18 percent of all Albanian exports and was the country’s biggest earner of foreign currency. Albania is the world’s third largest producer of chromium and the only country in Europe with significant reserves, estimated at more than 33 million metric tons of recoverable ore (5 percent of known world deposits).

In 1991 and 1992 mining production collapsed and the mining workforce was halved to around 10,000 workers. Labor is now concentrated in chrome and copper, where it is believed reserves can support production until about 2025. Like the rest of the country’s industry, mining suffers from outdated equipment and technology, disruption of production and supply lines, and lack of managerial expertise. Moreover, most reserves lie in deep deposits in remote and mountainous areas of Albania’s north and east, making them more expensive to reach. The government has begun to modernize the mining sector, mostly by attracting foreign investment, but investors have not been easy to find.

Manufacturing

Textile Factory, Albania Beginning in the 1950s, the Albanian government established a series of five-year plans aimed at developing the country’s industrial base. Despite these efforts, Albania remains one of Europe’s least developed countries. Prior to an economic liberalization program adopted in 1992, nearly all major industries were nationalized and wages controlled by the government. Here Albanians work in a textile factory, part of the newly developing textile industry SOVFOTO-EASTFOTO

Between the early 1960s and the late 1980s Albania developed a diversified industrial base, but when the Communist period ended, almost all manufacturing stopped. Employment in manufacturing dropped from 325,000 in 1989 to 126,000 in 1993, and industrial output fell by 74 percent between 1990 and 1994. In 2000 industry (including manufacturing, mining, and construction) made up 26 percent of Albania’s GDP. Revival of manufacturing is vital for the country’s recovery. The country’s chief manufactured products include machinery and equipment, cement, soap, furniture, bricks, footwear, textiles, cigarettes, and electronic equipment. A growing percentage of the manufacturing sector is owned privately, and the government continues to encourage privatization. Because manufacturers still rely on obsolete equipment and technology, modernization has become a high priority for newly privatized firms.

URBAN LIFE

Life in Albania is simple. People go at work or in school in the morning and then continue their activity during the afternoon and evening, going in restaurants, parks, at the pyramid of Tirana, etc…

WHAT IS CULTURE?

Culture is the study of all aspects of human life, past and present

The term culture refers to a society or group in which many or all people live and think in the same ways.

XXX

I’m from this country and I lived there for almost all my life so I have visited every single place of it and I know everything about it, and I love it! There is no big difference from one place to another. It is always cool. You should visit that country. You will see that I’m right!

YO

I would love to live in that country again but my dad wants me to be the best and America is the only continent which can give me the chance to be the best or my best!!!

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