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In , when Ahmet Zogu was elected Prime Minister, in a speech delivered be- fore the Albanian Parliament, he assured its deputies that his administration aimed at constructing an Occidental state out of Albania, which, according to him, lagged far behind from a civilizational standpoint. He promised to the Parliament that he would encourage a religious evolution in the country, by organizing the Islamic Community, entering in negotiations with the Holy See and supporting the newly-created Autocephalous Albanian Orthodox Church.
Thus in — they closed dozens of ethno-confessional schools of the former Ottoman millet system throughout Albania and replaced them with schools with Albanian written in Latin as the language of instruction.
In , the government ordered Muslims to stop wearing the red fez and replace it with the qeleshe a type of felt cap. It further ordered the destruction of many graveyards and nationalized a number of awqaf land plots in Tirana and turned them into public squares. In his opening speech, he acknowl- edged the role of Prime Minister Zogu in facilitating the organization of the meeting. From that time on, Islam was no longer an official state ideology as it was during the Ottoman Empire.
In the new Alba- nian state, Islam had to transform itself into a secularized religion that served the secular nation and the state. From to — when Albania was formed and ruled by the national- ists and King Zog. From to — when Albania was under the occupation of Axis powers. From to — when Albania was taken over by Communists and declared an atheist state.
From to — when Albania underwent a transition from Commu- nism to Capitalism. From onwards — when Albania attracted the attention of the West and Islam became subject to Western policies which perceive it as a secu- rity threat. The political establishment of the 19 Ali M. The government of Zog established the mca in order to produce Sunni Muslims loyal to the new nation-state. It was the first Islamic magazine published in the Alba- nian language using the Latin alphabet.
The reform was a two-way process. On the one hand, it was imposed by the state, and on the other, by the men of Zog inside the Community. These reforms included better education for women, closing down unneces- sary mosques, the creation of a single madrasa, closing of traditional Muslim schools etc.
After consolidating power in , Zog replaced the Ottoman code based on the sharia and Mecelle with a secular civil code, annulled Friday as a public holiday, prohibited polygamy, changed marriage and inheritance laws etc. These reforms created much tension among Muslims, especially among the conservative urbanites of Shkodra, who perceived the government as kafir infidel.
In the congress of , its leadership accepted the changes which also included the usage of Albanian in mosques and in sermons, the closure of madrasas and their replacement by a single madrasa in Tirana and the closure of all but two or three mosques in cities and large towns. As was to be expected, these secular reforms diminished the role of Muslim clergy in Albanian life.
These drastic changes in the social life of Albania were resisted by some hojas. However, they were removed from the leadership of the mca and their opposition was quickly crushed, given their lack of organi- zation, and the support that the Muslim Community had from the state. The Community, which was led by the chief mufti, had muftis in all the major provinces of the country. The muftis of provinces or cit- ies had the imams and muezzins on their payroll and all were accountable to the leadership of the mca in Tirana.
The wwii Period The second phase in the history of the Muslim Community of Albania ex- tended from to This was a time when Albania was invaded by Italy and later Germany. The head of the Muslim Community, Behxhet Shapati, praised the fascists and portrayed Mussolini as the saviour of the Muslims of Africa from the fate that their coreligionists in Syria and Palestine suffered at the hands of democratic powers.
Like Zog before them, the Italians influenced the Muslim Community with monetary incentives and indirect pressure. The first issue of Kultura Islame was printed in September and continued until September One example is their support for the Italian invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece — in the name of liberating Albanian-inhabited re- gions. In July , for example, it responded to a speech that the collaborating senator and later prime minister of Albania Mustafa Kruja had made before the Italian Academy of Sciences.
Kruja claimed that the national hero of Alba- nians, Scanderbeg, had fought alone for 76 years against the Turks in order to defend Albania from the Muslim danger. This was a time when Albania became a Commu- nist country. These were the hardest times for the Muslims of Albania and the Muftiate. Unlike the na- tionalists and the fascists before them, the Communists felt that they no lon- ger needed religion and for this reason they instituted a program of massive atheist propaganda in schools and in media.
The Muslim Community was hit hard economically by the agrarian reform which the regime implemented in By confiscating most of the properties and directly in- terfering in the administration, the Communists managed to control the staff of the Community and change its administration at will.
They forced the Kultura Islame magazine to stop its publication in The Community was prohibited from printing any Islamic material, with the ex- ception of Jeta Muslimane Shqiptare the Albanian Muslim Life , a quarterly magazine published from to The imams and muftis were left powerless, the believers were intimidated from attending mosques and the Friday sermons of the imams had to be first approved by Communist officials.
During the s, the Party of Labour of Albania the Communist Party launched an all-out propaganda war against all religions in the country. The propaganda was carried out in schools, the media, publications and all oth- er aspects of Socialist life. Through a number of legal steps and decrees the Presidium of the Popular Assembly cut the subsidies the state was providing to the mca.
Imams had their sermons censored by Party officials, the adhan the call to prayer was prohibited and allowed only for Friday communal prayers and major religious festivals. In , the government closed the remaining madrasa of Tirana and security agents collected all the books from private homes written in the Ara- bic alphabet, hurling most of them into recycling workshops for producing cardboard.
The final assault of the Communist government against religion came in when, in an open letter directed to the masses, the Party of Labour of Albania denounced religion and appealed to people to attack religious insti- tutions. Albania at this time was left with only seven functioning mosques. In a document that the head of the Muslim Community directed to his staff on February 18, , he ordered all Muslim clerics to remove their religious clothing and hand over places of prayer and turbes saintly tombs to the peo- ple.
On April 11, , the Presidium of the Popular Assembly ordered all prop- erties in possession of religious institutions to be handed over to the coop- eratives or committees of the Communist Party. For 23 years, from to , no religion was permit- ted to be practised in the country, with the exception of national-Communism.
The Muslim Community of Albania ceased to exist.
However, many imams continued preaching in their homes and in closed circles. Re-emergence of the Muslim Community of Albania The fourth phase in the history of the Muslim Community of Albania extends from to The events that happened in Eastern Europe during this pe- riod, such as the execution of Nicolae Ceausescu in , the reforms of Pere- stroika and Glasnost followed by the crisis and dissolution of the Soviet Union, had their impact in Albania.
These relaxing measures towards religion culminat- ed in December of , when the ban on religious observance was officially lifted.
A month earlier, on November 4, thousands of people attended a Catho- lic mass in the city of Shkodra under the pastorship of Dom Simon Jubani. A few days later, on November 16, a gathering of 60, Muslim believers was organized in the Leaden Mosque of Shkodra, the first Friday prayer in Albania since Pedro Ramet , Lon- don: Duke University, , p.
Its first congress was held in Tirana on February 14, , where the new statute of the community was formulated and approved. However, the new mca had no property, no money, no literature and most of the Muslims of Albania were no longer Muslims in the religious sense.
Forty-five years of atheist indoctrination had produced a new generation of Albanians who did not feel or consider themselves as Muslims, even though their forefathers were such. Islam was preserved somewhat better though in a diluted and superstitious way by the peasantry who were far from the urban centres where the Communist indoctrination had been stronger.
Moreover, most of the old imams from pre-Communist Alba- nia had passed away. In this situation, the mca, the same way as other religious communities of the country, had to rebuild the infrastructure of faith and the spiritual leadership from zero. Islam in Albania needed mosques, schools and most importantly, believers. To aid the mca in the task of reconstruction, a number of Arab Islamic ngos came from the Arab Gulf countries and the West.
Imams and teachers were educated and paid with symbolic sums of money to propagate Islam in all the corners of Albania.
Muslim ngos built hospitals, health centres and water supply. They provided support to orphans and individuals without any other means of support. In , Albania became a member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and a number of Arab businesses came to the country. Even though the investment in Islam was not comparable with that which Christian missionary organizations brought to the country, yet, from to , the Muslim Community of Albania witnessed a period of prosperity and growth, which it had not seen since the Ottoman times.
The officials of the mca sent their children, relatives and common believers to study in countries like Malaysia, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen and Tunisia. Many impoverished Albanians who were hungry for prosperity and wealth but could not reach the rich West, escaped to the Muslim World with the hope of making a career for themselves. This is how many of them ended in Islamic universities, learning a religion which their fathers had forgotten.
In Albania itself, the structures of the Muslim Community and new mosques kept on expanding even though their number never reached that of pre-war Albania. The revival of Islam in the country enjoyed the initial backing of the Alba- nian government and in a way, of the Americans who guided Albanian politics throughout the transition period. The new democratic establishment prided itself in its population being Muslim, and Albania was described as a bridge between the East and the West.
However, the proliferation of financial pyramid schemes in the country dur- ing — and the subsequent civil strife of — had negative conse- quences for the future of the mca and Islam in the country. When in , the ex-Communists — now Socialist Party of Albania — seized power, they and their media directed their attack against the infrastructure of Islam and the Dem- ocratic Party of Albania which was depicted as being Islamic.
The Socialists, who were mainly southerners and were dominated by ex-Communists and Orthodox Christians, accused Sali Berisha in the West of Islamizing the coun- try. After coming to power, Fatos Nano, the chairman of the Socialist Party of Albania, declared that his government would reverse the effects of the last years of history — obviously referring to the Ottoman period and Islam.
This broad license was developed to facilitate open access to, and free use of, original works of all types. Applying this standard license to your own work will ensure your right to make your work freely and openly available. He is actively involved in the development of education curricula of DA, including its consultancy, research activities and international network. He obtained in , MSc. In have done a research study in restoration and adaptive reuse in Florence University and he obtained MSc.
In , he received the scientific degree "Doctor" and in the title of Associate Professor. He has years experience in teaching and design practice.
Its practice activity and scientific research have been oriented towards architectural design, housing, adaptation and preservation of historical heritage and urban regeneration. He has conducted scientific qualifications and teaching activities at several international universities. Also, he has participated in the various scientific conferences and has published a series of scientific papers to level articles, references, monographs.
He has been a member of various international scientific committees and editorial boards of several national and international journals. References 1.
Lulo K, Tummers K. Architecture and Urban Planning. History of Albanian Architecture Model, Gazeta Shekulli. Gazeta Shekulli 13, Shkurt Tirana, the challenge of urban development, History of architecture of urban development. Tirana, March p. Lufi A. Faja E. Institucioni i kryearkitektit te Tiranes. Kolevica P. Arkitektura dhe Diktatura. Shkreli A.
Gazeta-Shqip, 28 Korrik Cubic Building. Maks Velo constructed in the