Focus on : ALBANIA ( II )

More on ALBANIA – According to an article in  yesterday’s La Stampa, the Vatican has confirmed  a visit by Pope Francis to Albania in September!  In the article, the Albanian Catholic Church’s  Archbishop Mirdita speaks of the visit twenty years ago of  John Paul II,   and  also  refers to  “the [religious] persecution  [suffered in Albania ] during the regime of dictator Enver Hoxsha  which brought all religions  (Sunni Muslims, Orthodox, Catholics and Bektashi Muslims ) closer together…” to this day….

In my  internet search for traditional arts, jewelry and treasures of Albania I stumbled upon the figure of  Mary Edith Durham, a British artist,  traveler and writer and “still regarded as something of an [Albanian] national heroine; in 2004, Albanian President Alfred Moisiu described her as “one of the most distinguished personalities of the Albanian world during the last century…” A fascinating woman who wrote several  books on the Balkans…  “High Albania”, is one of them…Just reading the first sentence in Chapter 1, opens a window to the writer’s sensibilities…

“The great river of life flows not evenly for all peoples…” 

A Celebration of Women Writers High Albania by Edith Durham (1863-1944) London: Edward Arnold, 1909.
Illustration by Edith Durham BRONZE ORNAMENT; SILVER EARRINGS; BOSNIAN TATTOOS High Albania by Edith Durham (1863-1944) London: Edward Arnold, 1909.

To be continued…