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Historia e Shqiptarėve Historia kombėtare shqiptare dhe ajo botėrore ndėr shekuj.

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Mundėsitė nė temė Mėnyra e shfaqjes
i vjetėr 20-12-2013, 15:28   #1
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Gjendja bazė Fuqitė e Mėdha dhe ēėshtja shqiptare

PASKAL MILO

*Ēėshtja shqiptare, nė kuptimin nacional e territorial, nė Ballkan lindi gjatė Krizės Lindore e u diskutua nė Kongresin e Berlinit, nė vitin 1881. Ajo u krijua si e tillė kur kombet e tjera nė Ballkan ose kishin krijuar shtetet e tyre kombėtare, ose ishin nė procesin pėrfundimtar tė krijimit tė tyre.
Shqiptarėt u penguan me dhunė nga Perandoria Osmane pėr t’u futur nė rrugėn e autonomisė e tė pavarėsisė kombėtare. Ēėshtja e tyre kombėtare u injorua nga Fuqitė e Mėdha tė kohės, tė cilat mbėshtetėn copėtimin e parė tė trojeve shqiptare nė Ballkan nė favor tė mbretėrive fqinje tė veriut e tė jugut.
Nacionalizmi shqiptar dhe platforma e tij politike pėr shtet kombėtar erdhėn tė vonuar. Pėrpjekja e tij e parė, Lidhja Shqiptare e Prizrenit, dėshtoi. Rreth tridhjetė vjet mė vonė, Lėvizja Kombėtare Shqiptare realizoi pjesėrisht misionin e saj historik, shpalljen e pavarėsisė e krijimin e shtetit kombėtar. Shpallja u bė nė rrethana tė pafavorshme europiane e ballkanike. “Koncerti Europian” pėrfundimisht po ndahej nė dy blloqe kundėrshtare, ndėrsa monarkitė ballkanike kishin filluar luftėn kundėr Turqisė pėr ta larguar nga Ballkani, pėr tė bashkuar territore tė tyre ose qė kontestoheshin prej tyre, pėrfshirė kėtu edhe territore etnike shqiptare.
Fuqitė e Mėdha thuajse me tė njėjtėn logjikė si nė Kongresin e Berlinit, nė Konferencėn e Ambasadorėve nė Londėr (dhjetor 1912 – gusht 1913) bėnė copėtimin e dytė, mė tė madh tė trojeve shqiptare nė favor tė shteteve fqinje dhe njohėn njė shtet shqiptar tė cunguar nė formėn e njė principate autonome, asnjanėse e nėn garancinė e tyre. Ky vendim e ndau mė dysh kombin shqiptar, por Eduard Grei, ministri i Jashtėm anglez, nė emėr edhe tė Fuqive tė tjera tė Mėdha e cilėsoi si kurban nė altarin e paqes europiane!

* * *
Ēėshtja shqiptare nuk ishte e vetmja qė nuk gjeti zgjidhje tė drejtė nė Konferencėn e Ambasadorėve tė Londrės. Traktati i 30 majit 1913 midis shteteve ndėrluftuese ballkanike u imponua me forcėn e armėve dhe veē i thelloi mė tej armiqėsitė dhe kontestimet pėr territore qė nuk ishin tė tyre. Por ēėshtja shqiptare u regjistrua nė hipotekėn ballkanike si pengu mė i madh, krahas tė tjerave pėr tė ardhmen e rajonit. Gjithė shekulli XX u bė njė dėshmi e gjallė, por e dhimbshme e plagėve tė rėnda qė shkaktoi kirurgjia imperialiste e Konferencės sė Ambasadorėve nė Londėr nė trupin e kombit shqiptar, por edhe nė bashkėjetesėn e tij me popujt fqinjė.
Rėnia e komunizmit nė Europė dhe dezintegrimi i formulave shtetėrore multietnike tė ngritura e tė mbajtura me dhunė krijoi mundėsinė potenciale qė ēėshtjet shekullore nacionale tė pazgjidhura nė Ballkan tė gjenin njė zgjidhje racionale mbi bazėn e parimit tė gjithėpranuar tė vetėvendosjes, e tė parimeve tė tjera tė njohura ndėrkombėtare tė fiksuara nė Kartėn e Helsinkit 1975 e tė Parisit 1990. Por demonėt e nacionalizmit ekstrem nuk mund tė pajtoheshin me idenė e lirisė e tė mėvetėsisė nacionale tė popujve tė mbajtur me dhunė nėn sundimin gati shekullor tė shovinizmit. Ndaj edhe pėr tė ruajtur nė kėmbė konstruksionet e dhunshme e artificiale shtetėrore multietnike tė krijuara e tė konfirmuara nga Konferenca e Ambasadorėve nė Londėr nė 1913, Konferenca e Paqes e Parisit 1919-1920 e Konferenca e Jaltės 1945, ata pėrgjakėn boshnjakėt e shqiptarėt deri nė gjenocid e shfarosje masive e dhunuan ēdo komunitet tjetėr etnik qė kėrkonte tė drejtat e tij njerėzore.
Disa fuqi europiane e patėn tė vėshtirė tė reviziononin politikat e tyre tė vjetra tė klientelizmit nė Ballkan edhe nė vitet ‘90 tė shekullit tė kaluar dhe hezituan tė ndalonin qė nė fillim e me forcė duart gjakatare tė Millosheviēit, tė Karaxhiēit e tė Mlladiēit pėr tė mos ndodhur Srebrenicat e Raēakėt. Ndėrhyrja e Shteteve tė Bashkuara nė Bosnjė e nė Kosovė ishte shpėtimtare jo vetėm pėr boshnjakėt e shqiptarėt, por edhe pėr tė ardhmen demokratike tė tė gjithė rajonit.

* * *
Pas pėrfundimit tė luftės nė Bosnjė nė 1995-n, ēėshtja shqiptare u fut nė rrugėn e zgjidhjes. Shtetet e Bashkuara tė Amerikės e, pas tyre ndonjė fuqi europiane, e kuptuan se pa u ēliruar shqiptarėt nga shtypja e diskriminimi nacional nuk mund tė pretendohej stabiliteti, paqja e siguria nė Ballkan. Pėr herė tė parė nė shekullin XX shumica e Fuqive tė Mėdha ishin tė prira tė bėnin korrigjime nė vendimet e Konferencės sė Ambasadorėve nė Londėr nė 1913, pėr ēėshtjen shqiptare. Them korrigjime, se ato nuk ishin e nuk janė pėr t’i ndryshuar nė themel ato vendime e pėr t’u dhėnė mundėsinė shqiptarėve pėr t’u bashkuar nė njė shtet tė vetėm. Pėr herė tė parė nė shekullin XX interesat themelorė kombėtarė shqiptarė nė Ballkan u pėrputhėn me interesat gjeostrategjikė tė SHBA e tė NATO-s nė Ballkan. Pėr aq sa ato u pajtuan, erdhi edhe bashkėpunimi qė ēoi nė njė mbėshtetje mė tė gjerė tė luftės pėr liri e tė drejta kombėtare, nė Konferencėn e Rambujesė e tė Parisit nė shtrėngimin pėrmes forcės tė regjimit tė Millosheviēit pėr t’u tėrhequr nga Kosova e pėr t’i hapur rrugėn pavarėsisė sė saj. Me objektivin pėr t’u garantuar shqiptarėve tė Maqedonisė statusin e qytetarėve tė barabartė me maqedonasit nė shtetin e tyre tė pėrbashkėt, u investuan fuqishėm edhe SHBA, BE e NATO, qė ēoi nė nėnshkrimin e Marrėveshjes sė Ohrit nė gusht 2001.

* * *
Pavarėsia e Kosovės nė vitin 2008 ishte ngjarja mė e rėndėsishme nė historinė e kombit shqiptar pas shpalljes sė pavarėsisė kombėtare nė nėntor 1912. Progresi i dukshėm nė statusin e shqiptarėve nė Maqedoni e nė Mal tė Zi, si dhe shtruarja e ēėshtjes ēame nga politika shqiptare si njė problem pėr zgjidhje, i ka bėrė shqiptarėt njė faktor shumė tė rėndėsishėm nė Ballkan. Kjo situatė nė mes tė shqiptarėve ka zhvilluar emocione pozitive, krenarie e pėrgjegjėsie. Por jo nė pak prej tyre ka ngjallur shpresa edhe pėr bashkim kombėtar tė afėrt dhe krijimin e njė shteti tė vetėm shqiptar. Kundėrshtarėt historikė tė shqiptarėve, por edhe njė pjesė e mirė e politikės dhe e diplomacisė rajonale e ndėrkombėtare e kanė pagėzuar prej njė shekulli kėtė qasje si pėrpjekje pėr krijimin e “Shqipėrisė sė Madhe”.
Ky ėshtė njė koncept atavist i platformave shoviniste ballkanike tė shekujve XIX-XX. Nė realitet nuk ka pasur asnjėherė platformė kombėtare shqiptare pėr “Shqipėri tė Madhe”, siē kanė qenė platforma greke e Megali-Idesė, platforma serbe e Garashaninit apo edhe e tė gjithė dishepujve tė tjerė tė nacionalizmit shovinist serb deri te Millosheviēi. Nė Shqipėri e nė mes tė shqiptarėve ka pasur gjithnjė njė shqetėsim tė artikuluar pėr padrejtėsinė historike tė Konferencės sė Londrės 1913, qė ēoi nė copėtimin e trojeve shqiptare dhe pėr keqtrajtimin qė u ėshtė bėrė bashkėpatriotėve tė tyre, qė kundėr vullnetit u detyruan tė jetonin nė vendet fqinje. Sigurisht qė herė pas here, madje edhe sot ka zėra jo tė pakėt, idealistė, por edhe politikanė qė e kėrkojnė bashkimin kombėtar, “Shqipėrinė etnike”, “Shqipėrinė natyrale”. Demokracia nė tė cilėn pretendojmė se jetojmė, e lejon lirinė pėr tė shprehur pikėpamje dhe ide qė mund tė mos u pėlqejnė tė tjerėve. Deri kėtu nuk ka asgjė tė keqe. Rreziku paraqitet kur kėto ide e pikėpamje bėhen platforma zyrtare e politika aktive tė qeverive e tė shteteve dhe kur shoqėrohen me veprime konkrete.

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Jo pak njerėz e kėrkojnė sot zgjidhjen e ēėshtjes kombėtare shqiptare nė kuptimin e modelit klasik tė shekujve qė mbetėn pas, bashkimin e tė gjitha territoreve shqiptare nė Ballkan nė njė shtet tė vetėm. A ėshtė e mundur qė tė ndodhė sot kjo? Pėr mendimin tim jo. Ēėshtja shqiptare do tė zgjidhet nė rrethanat e reja tė shekullit XXI, pėrmes integrimit tė tė gjitha vėedeve tė Ballkanit Perėndimor nė BE e nė NATO.

* * *
Shqiptarėt janė njė element i rėndėsishėm strategjik pėr ekuilibrat nė Ballkan, jo vetėm pėr sot, por edhe pėr tė ardhmen. Shqipėria ėshtė vend anėtar i NATO-s, ėshtė nė prag tė marrjes sė statusit tė vendit kandidat pėr anėtar nė BE. Ajo ka njė marrėdhėnie tė posaēme strategjike me Shtetet e Bashkuara, qė u konfirmua edhe njė herė tjetėr fuqishėm nga qeveria e re shqiptare. Kosova pėrditė e mė tepėr po konsolidohet si shtet i pavarur e po njihet ndėrkombėtarisht. Bisedimet e drejtpėrdrejta me Serbinė dhe arritja e marrėveshjeve konkrete midis dy vendeve ėshtė njė njohje de fakto e pavarėsisė sė Kosovės. Sė bashku me dezintegrimin e Jugosllavisė e krijimin e shteteve tė pavarura nga kombet qė u shkėputėn prej saj, ajo ėshtė ndryshimi mė i madh gjeopolitik qė ka ndodhur nė Ballkan nė shekullin qė kaloi.
Ballkani nuk ndryshoi vetėm nga ana gjeopolitike, por edhe nga ajo gjeostrategjike. Tashmė prodhon siguri tė mjaftueshme dhe gjithnjė e mė shumė ėshtė integruar nė strukturat e sigurisė rajonale, europiane e ndėrkombėtare. Ai nuk ėshtė mė molla e sherrit e Fuqive tė Mėdha, por ka arritur qė nė shumicėn e konflikteve e tė krizave qė prodhoi nė dy dhjetėvjeēarėt e fundit, t’i bashkojė nė mos tė gjitha, shumicėn e tyre, pėr tė bashkėrenduar politikat e veprimet nė kėrkim tė zgjidhjeve mė tė pėrshtatshme.
Ballkani sot nuk ėshtė nė vėmendjen parėsore tė Fuqive tė Mėdha pėr shkak tė stabilitetit relativ qė ekziston e pėr shkak tė konflikteve e krizave tė reja qė ka nė rajone tė tjera tė botės, e sidomos nė Lindjen e Mesme. Nuk ėshtė produktive dhe me synime afatgjata kur vėmendja pėrqendrohet vetėm pėr tė mbyllur plagė e pėr tė zgjidhur konflikte. Mirė ėshtė qė ajo tė fokusohet nė projekte serioze zhvillimi dhe integrimi qė garantojnė prosperitet pėr popujt e mirėkuptim midis tyre. Kėtu ka shumė pėr tė bėrė.

* * *
Mungesa e vėmendjes parėsore nuk do tė thotė se Fuqitė e Mėdha e kanė lėnė jashtė axhendave tė tyre Ballkanin. Ato janė tė pranishme nė forma e mėnyra tė ndryshme, politike, ekonomike dhe ushtarake. Ka mė tepėr njė status quo se njė tėrheqje. Ka njė ndryshim nė klubin e Fuqive tė Mėdha prezente nė Ballkan, disa kanė humbur statusin, peshėn e rolin qė kanė pasur 100 vite mė parė, tė tjera kanė ruajtur njė prani e influencė relative, kryesisht ekonomike e politike. SHBA ėshtė e vetmja fuqi, mė e madhja deri tani, qė theu monopolin e “koncertit europian” nė Ballkan. Ato erdhėn e u vendosėn pas Luftės sė Dytė Botėrore nė rajon mė tepėr si frenues i ekspansionit sovjetik pėr t’u bėrė pas viteve ‘90 vendi me influencėn dominuese nė ndalimin e konflikteve, nė rivendosjen e stabilitetit e nė garantimin e sigurisė e tė paqes rajonale.

* * *
Katėr prej ish-Fuqive tė Mėdha tė Konferencės sė Londrės tė 100 viteve mė parė janė sot anėtarėt mė nė zė tė Bashkimit Europian (Gjermania, Britania, Franca dhe Italia). Prania dhe roli i tyre nė Ballkan si vende tė veēanta ėshtė i njė rėndėsie tė pėrshkallėzuar e relative nė raport me influencėn parėsore, qė ato tė gjitha sė bashku e nė kuadėr tė BE ushtrojnė nė rajon. Lidershipi i BE ėshtė thuajse i gjithėpranuar, sepse ai udhėheq e monitoron aktualisht procesin e integrimit europian tė vendeve tė Ballkanit Perėndimor. BE sot nė njė farė kuptimi provokativ ėshtė “Koncerti europian” i fillimit tė shekullit XXI si njė organizėm modern kolektiv, qė ende e udhėheq Ballkanin deri nė bashkimin e tij institucional me familjen europiane. Por, krahas shumė ndryshimeve tė padiskutueshme tė kėtyre dy strukturave historike nė kohė, nė organizim, synime e pėrmbajtje, dua tė nėnvizoj njė prej tyre: vendin e rivalitetit tė dikurshėm e ka zėnė unanimiteti e bashkėveprimi, pėr t’u dhėnė njė tė ardhme tė sigurt europiane popujve tė kėtij rajoni.
Nėse nė gjeostrategjinė ballkanike tė katėr Fuqive europiane, anėtare tė BE, ka njė ndryshim thelbėsor nė krahasim me njė shekull mė parė, mbetet njė ēėshtje diskutimi optika gjeostrategjike ruse nė Ballkan. Rusia e Putinit sot pa dyshim qė ėshtė e ndryshme nė shumė aspekte nga Rusia e Carit Nikollai II nė fillimet e shekullit tė kaluar. Veē nė mos identike kanė mbetur tė pėrafėrta synimet e tyre nė Ballkan, disa instrumente e metoda qė mund tė jenė perfeksionuar e modernizuar me kalimin e kohės. Nė programin kuadėr tė politikės sė jashtme tė Rusisė tė miratuar nga Presidenti Putin, nė shkurt 2013, nėnvizohet se “rajoni i Ballkanit ėshtė i njė rėndėsie tė madhe strategjike pėr Rusinė, pėrfshirė edhe rolin e tij si njė qendėr e madhe transporti dhe infrastrukture, qė pėrdoret pėr furnizim me gaz dhe naftė pėr vendet europiane”.Dokumenti zyrtar i politikės sė jashtme ruse nėnvizon vetėm njė aspekt tė “rėndėsisė sė madhe strategjike”, qė pėrfaqėson Ballkani sot pėr Rusinė. Veē ka edhe tė tjerė qė nuk pėrmenden, por qė nėnkuptohen: aspektet politike e ushtarake. Historikisht baza e politikės ruse nė Ballkan kanė qenė e mbeten vendet sllave, veēanėrisht Serbia. Nė kėto vende Rusia ėshtė e pranishme me investime tė rėndėsishme ekonomike, ka njė prani tradicionale kulturore dhe njė influencė politike jo tė vogėl. Me Serbinė ka dhe njė marrėdhėnie mė komplekse e mė tė ngushtė, qė nuk e pėrjashton aspektin e bashkėpunimit ushtarak e tė njė aleance dukshėm tė strukturuar.

* * *
Serbia ndodhet nė dilemėn e riorientimit.
* *Asaj i janė ofruar shanset e integrimit nė BE e nė NATO, por jo pa paguar njė ēmim qė fillon me ēėshtjen e Kosovės e qė mbaron me rishikimin e aleancės strategjike me Rusinė. Beogradit do t’i duhet tė zgjedhė, jo pėr t’u larguar nga lidhjet tradicionale me Rusinė, por pėr tė pėrcaktuar pėrparėsitė nė marrėdhėniet me qendrat e mėdha tė politikės europiane e globale, me BE, NATO-n e SHBA. Nėse nė raport me integrimin nė BE vullneti politik i Serbisė ėshtė shprehur i qartė, marrėdhėniet me NATO-n janė nė fazėn fillestare tė bashkėpunimit dhe tė dyzuara pėr shkak tė mungesės sė vlerėsimeve pozitive pėr Organizatėn e Atlantikut Verior nė radhėt e opinionit publik serb.
Njė faktor tjetėr i rėndėsishėm, qė tenton tė ndryshojė ekuilibrat e brishtė gjeopolitikė nė rajonin e Ballkanit e nė favor tė vet, ėshtė Turqia. Konferenca e Londrės 100 vjet mė parė legjitimoi largimin e Perandorisė Osmane nga Ballkani, duke e kufizuar atė nė cepin lindor tė rajonit. Sot Turqia, e ndodhur nė statusin e njė fuqie rajonale nė njė hapėsirė tė gjerė rreth saj e me synimin pėr tė hyrė nė lojėn globale tė Fuqive, ėshtė rikthyer fuqishėm nė Ballkan. Ka zgjedhur si armė tė saj ekspansionin ekonomik dhe investimet nė sektorė strategjikė tė vendeve tė rajonit, praninė e saj tė natyrshme nė institucionet rajonale tė bashkėpunimit politik dhe ekonomik, si dhe nė organizimet e sigurisė rajonale dhe europiane, traditėn e hershme tė lidhjeve tė gjithanshme, minoritetet turke dhe popullsi vendėse tė besimit mysliman. Platformėn filozofike tė kėsaj strategjie, qė ėshtė edhe njė nga boshtet e politikės sė jashtme tė Turqisė sot, e ka pėrpunuar disa vite mė parė ministri i Jashtėm turk, Ahmet Davutoglu, nė librin e mirėnjohur “Thellėsia strategjike”.

* * *
Duhet pranuar se strategjia turke nė Ballkan e mė gjerė i ka trazuar jo pak ujėrat dhe ėshtė akuzuar pėr “neo-otomanizėm”. Deklaratat e Kryeministrit turk, Erdogan, nė Prizren tė Kosovės, muajin e kaluar, veēsa i ushqyen edhe mė tepėr kėto akuza. Shumica e shqiptarėve, pėr shkak tė specifikės historike tė marrėdhėnieve shqiptaro-turke e tė njė afiniteti e tradite kulturore e fetare tė pėrbashkėt, janė tė prirė ta pranojnė rritjen e prezencės sė gjithanshme turke nė rajon. Politika zyrtare e Shqipėrisė dhe e Kosovės e ka miratuar njė rol tė tillė pėr sa kohė qė Turqia ėshtė pėrcaktuar si partner strategjik i tyre. Njė numėr arsyesh jo thjesht historike e tė traditės, por edhe ekonomike e gjeopolitike, ka bėrė qė Tirana e Prishtina ta shpallin kėtė status marrėdhėniesh nė rrugė zyrtare.
Ndryshimet gjeopolitike nė Ballkan pas viteve ‘90 dhe rikonfigurimi i faktorit shqiptar nė rajon, rritja e peshės dhe i rolit tė tij nė zhvillimet rajonale janė realitete tė dukshme e tė prekshme. Administrimi i tyre nga klasa politike shqiptare nė rajon duhet bėrė me menēuri, pa pasione dhe emocione, nė bashkėpunim me tė gjithė faktorėt shqiptarė e nė emėr tė sė ardhmes sė pėrbashkėt e tė integruar europiane. Duhet pasur kujdes qė nė ēdo veprim tė udhėheqė interesi kombėtar dhe ai i perspektivės dhe jo ai i ēastit ose i njė segmenti tė caktuar politik. Destinacioni final i shqiptarėve ėshtė Europa e Bashkuar. Ajo ėshtė ylli polar, qė duhet tė udhėheqė sot e nesėr gjithė botėn shqiptare nė rrugėn e saj drejt tė ardhmes.

Dinamika e evolucionit
Ballkani sot nuk ėshtė nė vėmendjen parėsore tė Fuqive tė Mėdha pėr shkak tė stabilitetit relativ qė ekziston e pėr shkak tė konflikteve e krizave tė reja qė ka nė rajone tė tjera tė botės, e sidomos nė Lindjen e Mesme. Nuk ėshtė produktive dhe me synime afatgjata kur vėmendja pėrqendrohet vetėm pėr tė mbyllur plagė e pėr tė zgjidhur konflikte. Mirė ėshtė qė ajo tė fokusohet nė projekte serioze zhvillimi dhe integrimi qė garantojnė prosperitet pėr popujt e mirėkuptim midis tyre. Kėtu ka shumė pėr tė bėrė


/Burimi: Panorama/
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i vjetėr 22-12-2013, 22:28   #2
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Gjendja bazė Pėrgjigje e: Fuqitė e Mėdha dhe ēėshtja shqiptare

Ketu duhet pare se cmund te bejme vete ne, pa te tjeret do luajne shah sic kane luajtur gjithmone. Kjo eshte nje loje me nivele, ku ne refuzojme te luajme nivelin fillestar ku na kane vendosur, pasi presim se si do sillen te tjeret. Kjo eshte nje poliitke reaguese, dhe rrjedhimisht jo largpamese e klases politike Shqiptare, nje politike Pavloviane qe ka shkaktuar dhe vazhdon te shkaktoj histerizma e spazma te njepasnjeshme ne jeten e perditshme te Shqiperise. Duhet nje ndryshim modeli.
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kreksi (27-12-2013), Kulpra (22-12-2013)
i vjetėr 27-12-2013, 18:37   #3
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kreksi ka njė tė ardhme tė shkėlqyerkreksi ka njė tė ardhme tė shkėlqyerkreksi ka njė tė ardhme tė shkėlqyerkreksi ka njė tė ardhme tė shkėlqyerkreksi ka njė tė ardhme tė shkėlqyerkreksi ka njė tė ardhme tė shkėlqyerkreksi ka njė tė ardhme tė shkėlqyerkreksi ka njė tė ardhme tė shkėlqyerkreksi ka njė tė ardhme tė shkėlqyerkreksi ka njė tė ardhme tė shkėlqyerkreksi ka njė tė ardhme tė shkėlqyer
Gjendja bazė Pėrgjigje e: Fuqitė e Mėdha dhe ēėshtja shqiptare

Zgjimi i Shqiperise !
ps;kerkoj falje, nuk pata kohe ta perktheja, hera tjera...por besoj se na duhet edhe keshtu ne kete gjedeje;

=THE AWAKENING OF ALBANIA=

By GEORGE P. SCRIVEN August, 1919


Brigadier General, IT. S. A.

It sometimes happens in the making of nations by decree, as appears to be the fashion in these days, that ideals and realities march side by side as they more often did in former and less complex times, when nations were born and not made. An instance of this stands out conspicuously among the peoples of today in the case of Albania, the almost unknown country of the Balkans that now asks recognition of its needs and claims.

It is a small country, not important to the world as a state but vastly important to the peace of the family of nations; a country whose needs and desires go hand in hand with the history and geography and ethnology of its people, who for centuries have been the orphans of Europe, as homeless in the family of nations as the winds on their own mountain tops; a people without government, without ties, almost without friends, yet that from time immemorial have held fast to their motherland and their homes in spite of the seeming control of other nations.

These are the Shkypetars, the "Men of the Mountain Eagle of whom their great countryman, Ismail Kemal Bey, says:

"They have proudly preserved their independence, of which no power could deprive them. On the fall of the Roman Empire they reappeared on the world's stage to prove that they were of a race whose solidarity time could not affect and whose national genius custom could not prevent; today they display the singular and interest-
ing spectacle of a nationality preserved pure and undefiled through the centuries in spite of so many successive conquests by Romans, Byzantines, Normans, Bulgarians, Serbs, Italians, and Turks."


The Albanians: Their Virtues and Their Faults Of probably pre-Hellenic origin, the Albanians have remained as unmixed a race as any that exists in Europe. They are a people who possess in a high degree the basic virtues that make for stability and respect with nations as well as with men. Of them it may of a truth be said that they are courageous ; honest and loyal to country, to family, and to the stranger that is accepted within their gates; they honor their women and their homes and, if bitter in enmity, are faithful in friendship; even the vendetta, of which they are accused, has its honorable side, for they fight openly without treachery. Their very faults are those of a proud people who have inherited a beautiful land coveted since history began by powerful neighbors against whom they have always been compelled to fight.
"What wonder, then, that the troubled and isolated lives of these mountaineers and their age-long struggle for freedom have rendered them restive under control and interference, intolerant of strangers, and indifferent to an outer world which tradition and history tell them is their enemy or at best a selfseeking friend?

Their faults, such as they are, mark a phase in the evolution of a strong people; and through such phases have passed, not so far back in history, some of the best of the world's nations. In the future no doubt others will so pass to take their place in the family of nations. Why not the Albanians For them the hour has struck ; freedom from the smothering rule of the decadent Turk and the light let in by the great torch of war have awakened the minds of the people, quickened their energies, and shown them the need of nationality, unity, and intercourse, without which their country will remain a cancer in the Balkans and a source of infection to all Europe.

These things Albania should have: she deserves a better fate than to be left longer to the contempt and neglect that have nearly always been her lot. For Albania is a country as beautiful as fairyland and as rich as the fabled realms of Prester John, but it is as unknown as the heart of Africa and as ill defined.

Extent and Boundaries of Albania:

To the people of the West, Albania is a word, a geographical expression indicated on the map as an ill-defined region of the eastern Adriatic, lying north of Greece, south of the Serbs, within the former Austrian sphere of influence, and extending inland over a chaos of mountains to the limits of heterogeneous Macedonia. It is seen as a sparsely settled country of hills and valleys, of rivers and lakes ; but of its fertility and charm, of its people and their manner of life, little has been told except in recondite works on its history, its language, and the origin of its people. These works, for the most part treating of the days before Albania had thrown off the stagnant rule of the Turk and before war had brought in the soldier of the occupation, though interesting as studies, throw little light upon the Albanian of today or upon the problems that now confront the people.

The first of these problems is the extent of their own country, which has existed without boundaries, or with boundaries so ill defined that no man needed to recognize them until they were outlined by the London Conference of 1913. This conference, according to Albanian authority, "gave to Albania a territory of about 11,000 square miles, while more than one-third of her population and territory was given away to Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece.

But at the present time supreme efforts are being made by the Albanian government, nobly supported and seconded by the United States, to recover the lost territories ; and it is hoped that the Albania of the future will have an area of about 20,000 square miles with a population of about 2,500,000."

That these efforts are reasonable is evident from an official statement of a representative of England 3 made to his government some thirty years ago to the effect that "the district covered by the geographical expression [Albania] falls mainly within the two vilayets of Scutari and Janina but extends also in an easterly direction, beyond the watersheds of the mountains dividing the streams which fall into the Adriatic from those which fall into the Aegean Sea, and includes portions of the vilayets of Bistolia, or Monastir, and of the vilayets of Pristina, or Kossovo."

The Migrations of the People:

But, whatever may be the extent of the real Albania or the boundaries accepted by the Paris Conference or by a future League of Nations, the region thus delimited will never outline all the country occupied by the Albanian people. For they, like other races, have wandered from their rugged mountains into less difficult lands. To the east they have mingled with the confused mass of people who make up Macedonia; to the south they have sought the sunny lands of Greece; and westward they have traversed the narrow waters of the Adriatic and occupied by scores of thousands the valleys of Italy and Sicily. Indeed some sixty thousand of them are now with us in the United States. But in all their wanderings it is certain that these people have preserved the fundamental qualities of their race and have remained the "Men of the Mountain Eagle" whom not even the Roman could bend wholly to his yoke.

Roman Relics and Traditions:

The wanderings of these people began no doubt long before the galleys of old Rome visited the bays and inlets of the eastern Adriatic or her soldiers marched over the Via Egnatia. Along the coast, on the road, for instance, whose traces are still found near Porto Palermo, relics of Roman influence exist a bridge here, a burial place there, or, most striking of The town is built on a hillside overlooking the Drynos valley all, the descendants of the men of the broken legion who still wander over the Albanian hills feeding their flocks in the valleys in winter or on the high hill slopes when summer comes. These are the pastoral Rumeni, who proudly reply when questioned: "I am of Rome." Of their origin they sing:

O ye, who know it well, Who know us full well, ye flowery valleys, Ye lofty mountains, speak, Talk to the people; Eelate to us, pray, From what country we came, O'er what roads we traveled To thee, O Pindus: For the world is not yet Conscious of us and does not know All the truth.

Ye have come here from Rome And have grown up here; E emote was the time It is known to me only: saw ye when small And know well ye are Latins, And it is your language (Which recalls Rome to me) That I talk with the birds Of the Apennines and with those Who build their nests Among my ferns and have: So sweet a song: That it melts all hearts. Monuments and Ruins:

To Venice, however, rather than to Eome, Albania of the Adriatic owes the best of its monuments. Graceful bridges still span the rivers, magnificent olive groves rise on many a hill, and a score of imposing castles of stone dot coast and hillside. Above Valona stand the grand ruins of Kanina.

But these ruins are even surpassed by the remains of the giant castle of Argyrokastron which once dominated that quaint Old World town and the neighboring valley of the charming Drynos. At Porto Palermo the wellpreserved works, half castle, half fort, still served in the war as a defense against the submarine ; while at Vuno the Lion of St. Mark, rudely carved in the living rock, marks the love of the people of the city by the sea for this charming coast of the Adriatic. But there are other and far different ruins to be found in southern Albania, scores, perhaps hundreds of destroyed villages cover its hills; myriads of gray stone houses, once the homes of peasants, stand deserted by all but the storks: fertile fields remain untilled: mosque and minaret and church are broken ruins, and desolation broods over many a lovely scene.


But space is lacking here to tell of these things: of destroyed Liaskoviki: of ruined Dukati: of the relics of historic Tepeleni, lying between the rivers in front of the gorge of Klisura where the Roman once checked the barbarian advance. Nor can the pathetic ruins of the castle of the mighty Albanian, Ali Bey, be described here a castle destroyed like others in the strife that followed the Balkan wars. Let the Albanian himself tell the story, and let the Greek listen to the Albanian's tale.

Effects of Turkish Rule:

Of the Turk and his rule few monuments remain. Except in the matter of religion and obstructions to education and progress, he left but slight impression upon Albania. There is little to recall his centuries of government beyond a few unspeakable roads, unlovely buildings, and crumbling tombs.

In spite, however, of the traces of Rome that still exist in Albania, it is probable that no great impression was made by the people of the " boot of Europe" until the great emigration of Albanians into Italy after the battle of Kossovo, toward the end of the fifteenth century, when Greek, Bulgar, and Serb went down before the Turk, as well as the Albanian clans led by their hero Skanderbeg.

Then it was that a further union of the Pelasgic tribes became impossible. A good portion of them became converted to Mohammedanism; others took refuge in Italy; still others kept their religion and became subject to the Turk in appearance only.

Italian Influence:

The influence of the Albanian immigration into Italy was considerable, especially upon the coast towns of the Adriatic and upon Yalona, w r here Catholic Italians of Albanian origin gained considerable influence. This is an important fact to remember in studying the relations between Italy and Albania and the conflict between Italian and former Austrian interests centering at Valona. At the outbreak of the war Italy's chief interest in Albania lay in Valona both on account of the fact that a large number of representatives from her Albanian immigrants had returned to settle there and on account of the importance which she then -as now-attached to this great harbor lying in the Straits of Otranto. There were Italian colonies and traders, at Durazzo and Skutari: but, in spite of the work of the Franciscans and of the Austrian and Italian schools founded for religious purposes, which used the language employed by the Jesuits for all Albanian church literature (Latin with four additional letters and Italian spelling), it does not seem probable that, behind the coast line, Italian influence was considerable. The Turks prohibited schools in the national
language.

Effect of the War:

Great has been the change in Albania brought about by the war. To the soldiers of Italy, France, and England, the writer believes, is due a great uplift in all the Balkan countries, and to the Italians especially the awakening of southern Albania from its sleep of centuries. Here Italian influence was at its height, and from here it will spread throughout the mountain lands. From here also first came the check to the German threat against the southern Adriatic. Had this advance not been checked in the early days of the war, it would have carried the hordes serving with the Austrian flag, as well as the Bulgars and possibly the Turks, far down into Epirus and into wavering Greece and would perhaps have made it impossible for the Allies to throw across the Balkans from Valona to the Aegean Sea the armed wall from which fell the blow that at last broke down the German arch.

Of Italy 's part in the war there is no occasion to speak at length here. It is enough to say that before the experimental Wied was called to his impossible task the Albanian stood at bay, exhausted by his struggle in the earlier wars, surrounded by a pack of hungry neighbors, and alone in his troubles. Then came the German war and with it the protecting arm of Italy. On Christmas day of 1914 the Tenth Regiment of the Bersaglieri landed at Valona, and the Italian soldiers advanced by stages to a junction with the French left flank at Ersek and brought Albania, from the Voyussa River to the Greek boundaries and from the Adriatic to the French sphere of influence, under their control. Then indeed the burdens of the Albanian of the south were lightened, and hope awakened. The Italians, under General Ferraro, brought them peace in the midst of war. He fed the starving people, gave them money for improving their lands, and built docks and roads such as Albania had not seen since the days of ancient Rome.

Hospitals for the people were opened, schoolhouses were built, mail and telegraph service was instituted, and experimental farms were established. Not content with material assistance, the Italian soldier established courts where the Albanian, whether Moslem or Orthodox, was judged as an Albanian. Sanitation was looked to; religious beliefs were respected, the vendetta was abolished (or at least held in abeyance), and the peasants were disarmed. All this was done in the midst of war.

The Future:

The time has come when Albania should be given a government and a place under such mandatary at first as shall be needed. She should then have the chance to develop her proper character that of the Switzerland of southern Europe, in some respects, indeed, a more beautiful Switzerland than that of the northern Alps.

Let the Albanians of Albania decide their own future, for it is their right. Whatever may have been the changes wrought in the fringes of the country by the surrounding peoples during the course of two thousand years, the Albanians have remained a family bound by the unchangeable conditions that surround them and by the compelling facts of life. True, they are not and never have been a united family and have been forever embroiled by matters of leadership, of religion, and of policy; but their dissensions will pass away with time and growth as they have passed away in the case of other mountain peoples who have suffered from the same complaints in childhood as the Albanians. Like the Swiss, the Albanian is possessed of those fundamental virtues which, when the time comes, will surely give him his place in the family of nations to the great benefit of Europe and of the world. It is for Paris, or perhaps later for Geneva, to say when that time shall be; but come it must if the Balkans are to have rest.

===============================
1.) An Albanian of Valona and chief of one of the oldest families in Albania. He was head of the provisional government in Albania when independence was declared in 1912. The quotation occurs in an article on "Albania and the Albanians" in the Quarterly Review (London), July, 1917, pp. 140-168.

Copyright, 1919, by the American Geographical Society of New York

2.) From a letter of Mr. Constantine A.Chekrezi, representative in the United States of the Albanian federation Vatra.

3.) Lord Fitzmaurice, May, 1880.
4.) Ismail Kemal Bey. in speaking of Turkish influence, says: "In spite of the religious and other consequences of the Turkish domination, the Albanians have remained faithful to the customs and habits of
their ancestors. Indeed, under the Turk the Albanian preserved many of his privileges and continued a semi-independence under his own chiefs."

5.)Those who emigrated into Italy scattered they adopted the language, customs, and dress of the new land in which they lived, but they never gave up their old country. In Calabria, in the Basilicata, and in Sicily
live a hundred thousand of these people in scattered communities, distinct in race and language.

6.° Among them is the Crispi family, from whom came the great statesman of Italy of twenty-five years ago.

b.) Frassari Adamidi: Les Pelasges et leurs descendants, Bull, de Vlnst. Egyptien (Cairo), Series 4, No. 3,
1902, pp. 5-15 and 45-57.

6.) See Alessandro Smilari: Gli Albanesi d'ltalia: Loro costumi e poesie popolari, Naples, 1891,

==========================
Imazhet:
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 3 General view of Koritsa (Korche).
Fig. 4 A public well in Koritsa.
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 5 Saliari, an Epirote hamlet.
Fig. 6 Part of Argyrokastron.
Fig. 7 Albanian irregular troops commanded by Italian officers.

The town is built on a hillside overlooking the Drynos valley.
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