1. Beyond the three-dimensional “cage”…
Blerim Lazimi, Physics teacher at “Said Najdeni” High School, Peshkopia
Apparently, mathematics itself (along with the physics) proves the existence of the human soul. Since its birth as a science, it continues to be developed and enriched with a high degree of abstraction, which is not a quality of matter (objects or human body). This high degree of thinking, intuition and abstraction, is explained and has its impetus on the presence of the spiritual element in the nature of human beings. Each tree has its fruits. Mathematics is one of the fruits of the spirit. And further: “Geometry is a science.” Its truth reaching the God’s Names Adl (the All-Right) and Mukaddir (the Perfect Determinant) reflects in its full splendor in the geometric mirror the All-Wise shows of the Name Allah.
2. Albania, an example of religious coexistence in Europe
Bishop Luçjan Avgustini, Milan, July 2, 2015
“Both the new and the old Albania is characterized by good relations between faiths. Tolerance and religious harmony is the greatest value of Albania and this is not just something proverbial. Albanians managed to face Holocaust. After World War II Albania was the only country where the number of Jews was almost 10-folded. Despite in Albania there are 4 religious communities and we are not known as quiet people, we have never experienced religious conflicts. 2 brothers, one Muslim and the other Catholic lived under the same roof.” Ismail Kadare
3. Omar Khayyam, the poet who made mathematics rhyming
Many of us, when it comes to Omar Khayyam (1044-1123), immediately fall prey of the traditional association of his name with poetry and possibly the famous Rubaiyat, but in fact, the existence of his personality in the history and culture the Orient and the West relates above all to his being as a prominent scientist, mathematician and astronomer. Thus his contribution in the ages and cultural currents exceeds the limits of popular poetry and lies in an ocean of knowledge and irreplaceable contributions in these fields, becoming one of the great colossus that resisted to the times.
4. “The Mirroring of Independence Anniversaries in the religious
Catholic and Islam press 1913 – 1944”
Ma. Gazmend Leçini
According to the media articles published in the religious press during the period from 1913-1944, one can notice that clerics of all faiths and religions have strongly contributed in the proclamation of independence. Foreign scholars, some also motivated by aims linked to eventual annexation of Albanian territories by their neighbours, considered impossible the option to have Albanians unify in one state, due to their religious diversity. Theories to have one religion dominate on the others in order to produce internal stability have also been raised.
The commitment of clerics from all religions to the benefit of the country is a clear indicator that the notion of faith and the national identity have not excluded or overlapped each-other, but the country has been enjoying a mosaic of identities, where every single individual was not shading the others – in a situation that if different faiths are equally treated, there is room for every one of creeds.
The contribution of these patriot clerics to the benefit of the country has been present along the entire period when this press enjoyed its public, inspiring its readers with the national spirit and the respect for the state institutions. This press – thanks to its publications, helped Albanians pave and fade away any hatred or phobia among different religious believers and followers. This is one of the key values that turn us proud today as well. It was thanks to this patriotic clergy that such a value was endorsed and inherited as a national identity feature.
Almost all the organs of this religious press preferred to use historic articles in order to evoke the Independence Proclamation event, recalling details of the date where love to Fatherland and sacrifice are heartedly highlighted.
5. The views of Dr. Abdul Bey Frasheri and Ibrahim Temo on the reformation of Ottoman education system and foreign schools in the Albanian vilayets
Dr. Hasan Bello, Albanological Studies Center, Institute of History – Tirana
At the opening speech of the first Ottoman Parliament, Sultan Abdulhamid II (1876-1909) promised that in the context of reforms that he would realize, he would open a school for the senior staff training and within a year he would bring in parliament a new regulation on education. On the other hand, in the first Ottoman Constitution, which took effect in 1876, there were two articles (15 and 16) regarding education. This was an evidence of the seriousness and attention that officials of the Ottoman state, henceforth, would pay to the education issue. Among the managerial elite of the Ottoman Empire, spread of educational institutions was seen as a tool which would improve the economic situation of the Ottoman state. But above all, they understood that the implementation of reforms and modernization of the Empire required a specialized staff. This was also noted in the discussions that took place in Parliament on the legislation of vilayets and municipalities. The implementation of these laws, according to the majority of the deputies was conditioned by the educated employees and people who had a good level of literacy. These discussions highlighted the plight that existed throughout the Empire. Thus, Ajdin’s deputy Ahmet Efendi, raised concerns that in the entire region he represented – except for the Imams – there weren’t literated people.
Such a fiery speech was held on this issue by Abdul Bey Frasheri on behalf of Ioannina MP, on 14 January 1878. He started his discussion by asking: “What is it the cause of backwardness and underdevelopment of the Ottoman Empire, in the entire regions it owns in Europe, Asia and Africa? According to some hypothesis there are three main reasons for this: the first reason is the ignorance, the second one is despotism and the third reason is the inability of officials who are at the helm of affairs, who are either engaged in entertainment or in vanities, but who bring no progress for the state and nation.”
6. Albanian language instruction during the Renaissance until the beginning of the 20’s of the last century
Prof. dr. Njazi Kazazi, Department of Linguistics, University of Shkodra, “Luigj Gurakuqi”
The various historical processes that occurred in the Middle Ages left deep traces in the development of culture and education in Albania. At these times it was occupied and because of foreigners assimilating objectives, the development of education in the Albanian language became quite difficult. In such conditions Latin in the North and Greek language in Southern Albania were both used as writing languages in Albanian territories. In the fifteenth century the Turkish-Arabic language became the official language, but it were also used Latin and Italian languages simultaneously. Although these languages penetrated one after another, they failed to get the status of spoken language by the people, thus their use was limited to the administration of the invaders, religious services and in their schools. At those times in the country only foreign schools were recognized as educational institutions. Albanian language apparently began to be taught later, but efforts to develop it through an original script may have started in the seventeenth century.
7. Independence in literary writings of Albanian scholars
Prof. dr. Hysen Matoshi, Institute of Albanology – Pristina
In our history, very little could be learned about Hajji Vehbi Dibra, chairman of Elders in the first Government of Vlora, elected in the historic assembly of Albania’s Independence proclamation. Our historiography has been more focused on who knitted the Albanian flag than who has been elected as chairman of the Elders, replacing Ismail Qemali, as a person who has been one of the most coupling figures of this assembly, whose decisions would result as a major turning point in the new history of Albania. Furthermore, beside the fact that this imam’s precious contribution of a rare patriotism would not be properly evaluated in the extent he deserved during the Communist reriod, efforts to annihilate the documentary evidence of the Independence Assembly would be made through counterfeiting and retouching photos. In the margins of the Albanian historiography would remain, for example imam Kadri Prishtina, founder and chairman of the National Defence Committee of Kosovo, Mulla Idriz Gjilani, who has been the leader of national forces attempting to protect Kosovo’s borders from Serbian Reconquista during the end of World War II, etc. The nation put Ulama’s of such a caliber at the forefront of the most important developments, but an evil and extremely ideological historiography, for decades excluded them from the pages of our history only because, conceptually they didn’t accepted that notable figures of Islamic provenience having such a relevance, which they historically have had.
8. What would Hippocrates say?
Ilir Akshija, M.D., M.Sc., University Hospital Center, “Mother Teresa”, Statistics Department, Tirana, Albania.
Erion Akshija, M.D in Pharmacy, Pharmacist at Lloyds Pharmacy, Bologna, Italy.
Values are bound to actors. Ethical codes as value carriers find their application in distinct segments of society and the Hippocratic Oath has the same fate. We considered the old oath in connection to actors who promise to respect it and their entourage. Albania is specific and common simultaneously. A glimpse of our reality can be reflected in the way we manage ethical codes. The aim of the study was to analyze the oath in our reality as part of the whole from the perspective of a medical doctor to pears, patients and guarantors. We do not want to keep the old form, we want to keep the exotic expression of the old one, to use it in coherence with the modern world, to respect religious sensitivities and be specific to our country, which is the form of the oath to seek. Reviewing of the values in a rapidly changing society seeks continuous discussion or otherwise we compromise our position as neither modern nor archaic, at the risk to remain in an undefined situation. Some values are universal and others belong to a particular group. This diversity should be valued as a richness of assets and these assets must be exploited at the service of all. Demand for dealing with values requires at least determining and update of these values.
9. Tolerance and religious coexistence in Albania during 1912-45 (based on the practice and lectures of the clergy)
Ahmed Kalaja, PhD Candidate/European University of Tirana & Edmond Sharka, PhD Candidate/Tirana Universitety
Religious coexistence is one of the most special values on the Albanian people’s tradition. It is widely known that the Albanians are distinguished for these values and for an exemplary coexistence among believers of different faiths present in Albania, mainly Muslims and Christians. In this study we will try to treat the core of this phenomenon, the promotional roots of these values, considered from a previously untreated view, and trying to answer the questions: By what sources the religious coexistence in Albania stems? Who are the main promoters of this phenomenon? What has been the attitude of the religious clergy in Albania? Did imams and priests are promoters of tolerance and religious coexistence in Albania?
These are some of the questions answered in this modest paper, focusing on Clergy lectures, on how beautifully and how delicately they have addressed this issue in front of the believers or of the world.
During the most delicate moments of our national history, the leaders of the Muslim community, due to their undisputed reputation and influence in the population’s majority, not only have promoted tolerance and religious coexistence, but also they have considered the believers of other religions as ‘fellows’, stating such a conviction in front of Muslim believers. These sermons have begun with Haxhi Vehbi Dibra, who was the first Chairman of Muslim believers and have continued with all clerics without exception to this day.
Unforgotten are also the sermons of priests: Fr. Gjergj Fishta, Fr. Shtjefen Gjeçovi or Metropolitan Visarion Xhuvani, to conclude with the pearls of the Orthodox priest Fan Noli, who astounded the world with his three speeches in front of the world leaders in the League of Nations, while being as a representative of all Albanian people though the Orthodox believers were only 20% of the population.
10. Religious tolerance in Kosovo Vilayet and the declaration of Independence (1908-1912)
Nuridin Ahmeti, Institute of Albanology – Pristina
It is a common opinion of domestic and foreign researchers, that the epicenter of the Albanian uprising during 1908-1912 was in Kosovo Vilayet. As leaders of these uprisings some leading figures as Idriz Seferi, Boletini etc. were distinguished; leaders who among the closest collaborators had religious leaders of the time, for example Idriz Seferi, who had as his personal secretary an well-known imam from the suburbs of Gnjilane called Mulla Halimi. On the other hand, he collaborated with some Islamic leaders by envolving them directly into battles against the Young Turks such as Mulla Sinan Maxhere from the district of Presevo and Mullah Idris from Gnjilane; imams who had a stable cooperation with many Albanians priests of that region as Dom Mikel Tarabulusi, Dom Tadej Ivanaj etc., for a better outcome of the National Movement and their goals. A characteristic of this time in Kosovo Vilayet are some interfaith quarrels observed in Prizren and Djakovica, on certain days of the Islamic calendar sich as a slaughtered pig head thrown into the mosque, in order to urge division between Muslim and Catholic population, but all this was avoided in the best possible way by the religious leaders of the time.
On this study, through documents and relevant literature we intend to highlight the role of religious tolerance on the one hand and the contribution of religious leaders in the National Movement of Kosovo Vilayet during the years 1908 – 1912 on the other.
“Christians and Muslims are inseparable Albanian brothers. We feel love for our Christian fellows because they are our brothers and it is impossible being divided. Let’s strive for their good as for ourselves … to pursue a common path … to show the whole world that Albanians, regardless of religion, are brothers as inseparable children of our beloved Albania.”
(Hajji ef. Vehbi Dibra)
11. Zani i Naltë – an ethical model and responsible for Albanian religious communication
Prof. assoc. dr. Mark Marku
The Albanian formula: the same God – the same homeland – different beliefs, was the challenge facing nation-building formula of the Albanians and it was embraced by the clerical elite of all faiths, despite hesitations, resistance or uncertainties it carried. The Muslim Clerical, political and cultural elite is one of the originators and implementers of this formula. Historian Peter Bartl says, “There were precisely Muslim writers that can qualify as true nationalists who emerged as warriors of the Albanian national opinion. Through their writings during the Renaissance they exercised a great impact on the Albanian National Movement.”
12. HAFIZ YMER SHEMSEDINI – Teacher of Albanian language, Islam and patriotism in Kosovo and broader
On the occasion of the 120-th anniversary of birth and 70-th anniversary of death (1895- 1945)
Prof. dr. Musa Kraja
Hafiz Umer of Kosovo is one of those outstanding Albanian personalities who combined the defense of Islam, the protection of the Albanian language, attempts for freedom, fight against denationalization of Kosovo, and propagandistic activity against the expulsion of Albanians. He was an imam, but was also an authentic teacher of the Albanian language, because he opened a genuine Albanian school in Sazli village, for which he proved after three weeks the chains of Bulgarian prisons. Despite this, he remained a teacher of Albanian language, Islam and of patriotism in other directions that will explained below.
13. Human life – a journey
Man – inquisitive by nature – seeks to know himself; he wants to know where he come from, where he will go, things around him, revolutions and metamorphosis occurring in every corner of humanity; he wants to think about the miserable fate of those high-voiced people who descended from an incomparable majesty. Bringing in mind all these, he sees the decay by which everything in this word is sentenced. He trembles, because he is one of them on whom the weight of such decay will befall. Thus, despair and grief arouse in his heart and undoubtedly it burns out from these grieves when reminds that he didn’t know anything about his true existence, where he come from and where he will go and one day, finally he will freeze exactly like those stones he has in front of him, because the soul wishes to live forever and to exist eternally.
14. The truth prevailed over falsehood …
Exactly as in the first Mass held in the cemetery of Rrmaj on November 11, 1990, the ceremony held in the Lead Mosque on November 16 was also attended by many followers of all faiths. These were the first signs that Albania was openning and communist regime was crumbling. These two dates are remembered every year by Albanian people, as days which not only restored the freedom of religion and marked the religious institutions reopening after 23 years, but they were also a demonstration of the Albanian citizens unity regardless of religion belonging.
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