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Yearly Archives: 2006

October 16th

It has been some time now that numerous believers of communism, from the former dictatorial regime, practice an annual ritual. Every October 16th, they gather and pay respects to the grave of former Albanian dictator, Enver Hoxha. The grave itself is located in the city’s cemetery, together with common people’s graves. It has suffered vandalism continuously and now has been reconstructed with a cement block on top to protect it. The majority of the people who come to pay respects are members of the Communist party, former officers and officials, retired individuals. All of these individuals have a longing for the Communism era. The majority of these people show some psychological imbalance, which is seen in their humanizing of this historical figure that Enver Hoxha left behind. They speak openly and with passion about their belief that those times under his leadership were golden times and the best period for socialist Albania. None of them like the fierce capitalism that has prospered in Albania the last 15 years

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Super Model Of The World – Ford Models

A fashion show organized in Tirana by American agency “Ford Models” and the most influential television network in Albania, “Top Channel”. Through such events, young Albanian models try to reach their dream of being part of the group that is selected to compete in the final night of the show in the United States. Being part of this event presents new opportunities and experiences for the young models who have had no exposure to the international fashion scene

Mira

The family of Xhemal Balliu lives in a small barn in the Brrete village, which is 50 km north of the capital of Albania, Tirana. Five adult members of this family are mentally ill. Due to this medical condition, the inability to provide food and the level of poverty, Lindita Balliu’s 4 young children have died. Three year old Mira is the only child of the family. She is believed to be the product of many sexual attacks that her mother Lindita suffered. Mira did not officially exist until she was registered after her young brother accidentally died in a fire. This family’s income is based on $4 a day that they receive from the government as handicap assistance for their three mentally ill family members. Aside from this assistance, they live on a goat and by selling wood and handmade brooms, materials for which they collect in a nearby forest, where Xhemali and his wife Memja live.

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Dead Railroad

Albanian railroad was built during Communism. She is nearly unusable and only for the poor to travel Train wagons and engines are mostly made in the 60s and trying to survive the capitalistic system. Albania’s state-run railroad has approximately 240 miles of track..
Despite its limited network and poor equipment, the Albanian Railroad authorities predict they will carry 5,300 passengers per day for 2008. These images are taken in the way to Durres city, the closest city with capital Tirana.

Ardenica Monastery

Monastery of Ardenica, is locate l2 km from the town of Lushnja, south Albania. It is thought that the foundations of this monastery were built in 1282 on the initiative of the Byzantine Emperor Andronicus II Paleologus of Byzantium.
The incentive must have come from the existence of the chapel of St. Triadha in the area, which was built centuries before. This chapel might have been built on the foundations of the ruins of a pagan temple. The temple was built to honor the goddess Artemis, from which the present name Ardenicë derives. Very close to the temple, in the outskirts of which lies the current monastery, passes the southern branch of the ancient Via Egnatia. Here and there around the monastery one can see old constructions, which prove that previous settlements existed there.
According to Ottoman chronicles of 1431-1432, the village of Ardenicë, consisting of 8 houses, may have existed around the monastery. A high defensive wall and a wooden main gate surround the monastery. The gate dates back to 1474. In the center of the yard is the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, which was built in the time of the Despot of Epirus at the beginning of the thirteenth century. The surrounding galleries housed the monks and guests and served as areas for trade and commercial activity.
Most of the church was built in the thirteenth century, while the inscription on the wall says 1743. The bell tower was rebuilt in 1925. The frescoes dating from 1744 and mural works by the renowned painters Kostandin and Athanas Zografi from Korçë are found intact inside the church. The eastern walls of the church and parts of the surrounding walls are built using construction stones from Apollonia.

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