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The Republic of Albania

Republika e Shqipërisë

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THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA Republika e Shqipërisë

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Albania (Listeni/ælˈbniə/al-bay-nee-ə, or sometimes /ɔːlˈbniə/awl-bay-nee-əAlbanianShqipëri/ShqipëriaGheg Albanian:Shqipni/Shqipnia), officially known as the Republic of Albania (AlbanianRepublika e Shqipërisë; Albanian pronunciation: [ɾɛpuˈblika ɛ ʃcipəˈɾiːs]), is a country in Southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast,Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west and on the Ionian Sea to the southwest. It is less than 72 km (45 mi) from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto which links the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea.

Albania is a member of the UNNATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in EuropeCouncil of EuropeWorld Trade Organization, and is one of the founding members of the Union for the Mediterranean. Albania has been a potential candidate for accession to the European Union since January 2003 and it formally applied for EU membership on 28 April 2009.

The modern-day territory of Albania was at various points in history part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia (southern Illyricum),Macedonia (particularly Epirus Nova), and Moesia Superior. The modern Republic became independent after the collapse of theOttoman Empire in Europe following the Balkan Wars. Albania declared independence in 1912 (to be recognised in 1913), becoming a PrincipalityRepublic, and Kingdom until being invaded by Italy in 1939, which formed Greater Albania, which in turn became a Nazi German protectorate in 1943. In 1944, a socialist People's Republic was established under the leadership of Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labour. In 1991, the Socialist Republic was dissolved and the Republic of Albania was established.

Albania is a parliamentary democracy. As of 2011, the capital, Tirana, was home to 421,286 of the country's 2,831,741 people within the city limits, 763,634 in the metropolitan area. Tirana is also the financial capital of the country. Free-market reforms have opened the country to foreign investment, especially in the development of energy and transportation infrastructure. Albania has a high HDI and provides a universal health care system and free primary and secondary education. Albania is an upper-middle income economy (WBIMF) with the service sector dominating the country's economy, followed by the industrial sector and agriculture.


Unitary parliamentaryconstitutional republic
 -  President Bujar Nishani
 -  Prime Minister Edi Rama
 -  Speaker of the parliament Ilir Meta



2013 estimate



2011 census




98/km2 (63rd)
254/sq mi



28,748 km2 (143rd)
11,100 sq mi


Water (%)




Albania is the Medieval Latin name of the country which is called Shqipëri by its people, from Medieval Greek Ἀλβανία Albania, besides variants Albanitia or Arbanitia.

The name may be derived from the Illyrian tribe of the Albani recorded by Ptolemy, the geographer and astronomer fromAlexandria who drafted a map in 150 AD that shows the city of Albanopolis (located northeast of Durrës).

The name may have a continuation in the name of a medieval settlement called Albanon and Arbanon, although it is not certain this was the same place. In his History written in 1079–1080, the Byzantine historian Michael Attaliates was the first to refer toAlbanoi as having taken part in a revolt against Constantinople in 1043 and to the Arbanitai as subjects of the Duke ofDyrrachium. During the Middle Ages, the Albanians called their country Arbër or Arbën and referred to themselves asArbëresh or Arbnesh.

As early as the 17th century the placename Shqipëria and the ethnic demonym Shqiptarë gradually replaced Arbëria andArbëresh. While the two terms are popularly interpreted as "Land of the Eagles" and "Children of the Eagles", they derive from the adverb shqip, which means "understanding each other". Under the Ottoman Empire Albania was referred to officially asArnavutluk and its inhabitants as Arnauts (Turkic Arnavutlar). These terms remain the same officially and in common usage in the current Republic of Turkey. The word is considered to be a metathesis from the word Arvanite, which was the Medieval Greek name for the Albanians.






Population statistics for Albania start with the first census of 1923, when the country had 823,000 inhabitants. Previous censuses carried out by the Ottoman Empire are not yet available. A shift in administrative borders in 1913 makes comparison of various periods more complicated. Maddison (2001) estimates that in the current territory of Albania, about 200,000 people lived up to the year 1600, and that the population grew to 300,000 by 1700, implying an annual average growth rate of 0.4% in that period.

Population growth accelerated from the country's Declaration of Independence in 1913 to 1944 to 0.7% per year. This was due in part because Albania had the largest birth rate and the smallest death rate in Europe at the time.[1] After World War II, population increase policies pursued by the communist government and a large life expectancy fueled a 2.5% annual increase for the following 45 years. Population growth strained economic resources during communism in a Malthusian fashion that led to the collapse of the regime and the emigration of about 20-25% of the population in the following two decades. Albania experienced a demographic transition starting from 1960s, when crude birth rates began a slow decline, despite a government policy that called for a population increase. After the 1990s, the population showed an average decline of about 0.3% per year, caused by emigration. In the 2001 census, the population declined to 3,023,000 from almost 3.3 million in 1990. The next census was scheduled for April 2011, and the results will be published in the following months. However, various minority groups find this proccedure that has been followed unacceptable since according to article 20 of the Census law, there is a $1,000 fine for someone who will declare anything other than what was written down on his birth certificate.


Based on the preliminary 2011 Census results, the total population of Albania is 2,831,741.[7] The comparison of the figures shows that the population of Albania has decreased by 7.7% in about ten years. Large scale emigration and fertility decline are supposed to be the main causes of the observed population decrease. A preliminary estimate of the number of persons that refused to participate in the census is 29,355 (1.04%). This figure is based on the number of dwellings for which a refusal was recorded and is included in the total population. The total population is composed of 1,421,810 males (50.2%) and 1,409,931 females (49.8%). For the first time in the history of population censuses in Albania, the population in urban areas is larger than the population of rural areas. According to 2011 census preliminary results, 53.7% of the population lives in urban areas and 46.3% in rural areas.































The history of Albania emerges from prehistoric stage 3000 BC, with early records of Illyria in Greco-Roman historiography. The modern territory of Albania has no counterpart in antiquity, comprising parts of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia (southern Illyricum), Macedonia(particularly Epirus Nova), and Moesia Superior. The territory remained under Roman (Byzantine) control until the Slavic migrations of the 7th century, and was integrated into the Bulgarian Empire in the 9th century.

The territorial nucleus of the Albanian state formed in the Middle Ages, as the Principality of Arbër and the Sicilian dependency known as theKingdom of Albania. The first records of the Albanian people as a distinct ethnicity also date to this period. The area was part of the Serbian Empire, passing to the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. It remained under Ottoman control as part of Rumelia province until 1912, when the first independent Albanian state was declared following a short occupation by the Kingdom of Serbia.[1] The formation of an Albanian national consciousness dates to the later 19th century and is part of the larger phenomenon of the rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire.

A short-lived monarchy (1914–1925) was succeeded by an even shorter-lived first Albanian Republic (1925–1928), to be replaced by another monarchy (1928–1939), which was conquered by Fascist Italy just prior to World War II. After the collapse of the Axis powers, Albania became a communist state, the Socialist People's Republic of Albania, which for most of its duration was dominated by Enver Hoxha(died 1985). Hoxha's political heir Ramiz Alia oversaw the disintegration of the "Hoxhaist" state during the wider collapse of the Eastern Blocin the later 1980s.

The communist regime collapsed in 1990, and the former communist Party of Labour of Albania was routed in elections in March 1992, amid economic collapse and social unrest. The unstable economic situation led to mass emigration of Albanians, mostly to ItalyGreece,SwitzerlandGermany and to North America during the 1990s. The crisis peaked in the Albanian Turmoil. An amelioration of the economic and political conditions in the early years of the 21st century made Albania become a full member of NATO in 2009. The country is applying to join the European Union.


  A satellite image of Albania  

A Satellite Image of Albania


Albania has a total area of 28,748 square kilometres (11,100 square miles). It lies between latitudes 39° and 43° N, and mostly between longitudes19° and 21° E (a small area lies east of 21°). Albania's coastline length is 476 km (296 mi)[55]:240 and extends along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. The lowlands of the west face the Adriatic Sea.

The 70% of the country that is mountainous is rugged and often inaccessible from the outside. The highest mountain is Korab situated in thedistrict of Dibër, reaching up to 2,764 metres (9,068 ft). The climate on the coast is typically Mediterranean with mild, wet winters and warm, sunny, and rather dry summers.

Inland conditions vary depending on elevation, but the higher areas above 1,500 m/5,000 ft are rather cold and frequently snowy in winter; here cold conditions with snow may linger into spring. Besides the capital city of Tirana, which has 420,000 inhabitants, the principal cities are Durrës,KorçëElbasanShkodërGjirokastërVlorë and Kukës. In Albanian grammar, a word can have indefinite and definite forms, and this also applies to city names: both Tiranë and TiranaShkodër and Shkodra are used.

The three largest and deepest tectonic lakes of the Balkan Peninsula are partly located in Albania. Lake Shkodër in the country's northwest has a surface which can vary between 370 km2 (140 sq mi) and 530 km2, out of which one third belongs to Albania and rest to Montenegro. The Albanian shoreline of the lake is 57 km (35 mi). Ohrid Lake is situated in the country's southeast and is shared between Albania and Republic of Macedonia. It has a maximal depth of 289 meters and a variety of unique flora and fauna can be found there, including "living fossils" and many endemic species. Because of its natural and historical value, Ohrid Lake is under the protection of UNESCO. There is also Butrinti Lake which is a small tectonic lake. It is located in the national park of Butrint.






















From 1993 human resources in sciences and technology have drastically decreased. Various surveys show that during 1991–2005, approximately 50% of the professors and research scientists of the universities and science institutions in the country have emigrated.

However in 2009 the government approved the "National Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation in Albania" covering the period 2009–2015. It aims to triple public spending on research and development (R&D) to 0.6% of GDP and augment the share of gross domestic expenditure on R&D from foreign sources, including via the European Union's Framework Programmes for Research, to the point where it covers 40% of research spending, among others.


  Location of  Albania  (green) In Europe  

Albania - Location Map

  Ancient Amphitheater of Butrint  
  Location of  Albania  (green)   Albania - Location Map   Ancient Amphitheater of Butrint  
   License : Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported   License : Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported    License : Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported  



















Albanian (shqip [ʃcip] or gjuha shqipe [ˈɟuha ˈʃcipɛ], meaning Albanian language) is an Indo-European language spoken by approximately 7.4 million people, primarily in AlbaniaKosovo, the Republic of Macedonia and Greece, but also in other areas of the Balkans in which there is an Albanian population, including Montenegro and Serbia (Presevo Valley). Centuries-old communities speaking Albanian-based dialects can be found scattered in Greece, southern Italy,[3] Sicily, and Ukraine. As a result of a modern diaspora, there are also Albanian speakers elsewhere in those countries and in other parts of the world, including ScandinaviaSwitzerlandGermanyAustria and HungaryUnited KingdomTurkeyAustraliaNew Zealand,NetherlandsSingaporeBrazilCanada, and the United States.

The earliest written document that mentions the Albanian language is a late-13th-century crime report from Dubrovnik. The first audio recording of the Albanian language was made by Norbert Jokl on 4 April 1914 in Vienna.


Official language in



Recognised minority language in

Regulated by

officially by the Social Sciences and Albanological Section of the Academy of Sciences of Albania



The Albanian language is an Indo-European language in a branch by itself, sharing its branch with no other extant language. (The other extant Indo-European languages in a branch by themselves are Armenian and, in some classifications, Greek.) Though sharing lexical isoglosses with Greek, Balto-Slavic, and Germanic, the vocabulary of Albanian is quite distinct. Once hastily grouped with Germanic and Balto-Slavic based on the merger of PIE *ǒ and *ǎ into *ǎ in a supposed "northern group",Albanian has been proven to be distinct from these two because this vowel shift is only part of a larger push chain that affected all long vowels. Albanian does share two features with Balto-Slavic languages: a lengthening of syllabic consonants before voiced obstruents and a distinct treatment of long syllables ending in a sonorant. Conservative features of Albanian include the retention of the distinction between active and middle voice, present tense, and aorist.

Albanian is considered to have evolved from an ancient Paleo-Balkan language, usually taken to be either Illyrian or Thracian, but this is disputed. (See also Thraco-Illyrian and Messapian language.)



The earliest loanwords attested in Albanian are from Doric Greek (probably indirect),[11] whereas the strongest influence was fromLatin. The period during which Proto-Albanian and Latin interacted was protracted and drawn out roughly from the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD. This is borne out into roughly three layers of borrowings, the largest number belonging to the second layer. The first, with the fewest borrowings, was a time of less important interaction. The final period, probably preceding the Slavic or Germanic invasions, also has a notably smaller number of borrowings. Each layer is characterized by a different treatment of most vowels, the first layer having several that follow the evolution of Early Proto-Albanian into Albanian; later layers reflect vowel changes endemic to Late Latin and presumably Proto-Romance. Other formative changes include the syncretism of several noun case endings, especially in the plural, as well as a large scale palatalization.

A brief period followed, between the 7th and 9th centuries AD, that was marked by heavy borrowings from Southern Slavic, some of which predate the "o-a" shift common to the modern forms of this language group. Starting in the latter 9th century AD, there was a period characterized by protracted contact with the Proto-Romanians, or Vlachs, though lexical borrowing seems to have been mostly one sided—from Albanian into Romanian. Such borrowing indicates that the Romanians migrated from an area where the majority was Slavic (i.e. Middle Bulgarian) to an area with a majority of Albanian speakers (i.e. Dardania) where Vlachs are recorded in the 10th century AD. Their movement is probably related to the expansion of the Bulgarian Empire into Albania around that time. This fact places the Albanians in the western or central Balkans at a rather early date.

According to the central hypothesis of a project undertaken by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, Old Albanian had a significant influence on the development of many Balkan languages. Intensive research now aims to confirm this theory. Albanian is being researched using all available texts before a comparison with other Balkan languages is carried out. The outcome of this work will include the compilation of a lexicon providing an overview of all Old Albanian verbs.



Jernej Kopitar (1780–1844) was the first to note Latin's influence on Albanian and claimed "the Latin loanwords in the Albanian language had the pronunciation of the time of Emperor Augustus". Kopitar gave examples such as Albanian "qiqer" from Latincicer, "qytet" from civitas, "peshk" from piscis and "shigjetë" from sagitta. The hard pronunciations of Latin 〈c〉 and 〈g〉 are retained as palatal and velar stops in the Albanian loanwords. Gustav Meyer (1888) and Wilhelm Meyer-Lübke (1914) later corroborated this.

Eqrem Çabej also noticed, among other things, the archaic Latin elements in Albanian:

  1. Latin /au/ becomes Albanian /a/ in the earliest borrowings: aurum > "ar", gaudium > "gas", laurus > "lar". But Latin /au/ is retained in later borrowings: causa > "kafshë", laud > "lavd".

  2. Latin /ō/ becomes Albanian /e/ in the oldest Latin borrowings: pōmum > "pemë", hōra > "herë". An analogous mutation occurred from Proto-Indo-European to Albanian; PIE *nōs became Albanian "ne", PIE *oḱtō + suffix -ti- became Albanian "tetë" etc.

  3. Latin unstressed internal and initial syllables become lost in Albanian: cubitus > "kub", medicus > "mjek", paludem > V. Latinpadule > "pyll". An analogous mutation occurred from Proto-Indo-European to Albanian. In contrast, in later Latin borrowings, the internal syllable is retained: paganus > "pagan", plaga > "plagë" etc.

  4. Latin /tj/, /dj/, /kj/ palatalized to Albanian /s/, /z/, /c/: vitius > "ves", ratio > "arsye", radius > "rreze", facies > "faqe", socius > "shoq" etc.

Haralambie Mihăescu demonstrated that:

Other authors have detected Latin loanwords in Albanian with an ancient sound pattern from the 1st century BC, for example, Albanian qingëlë from Latin cingula and Albaniane vjetër from Latin vetus/veteris. The Romance languages inherited these words from Vulgar Latin: Vulgar *cingla became N. Romanian chinga, meaning "belly band, saddle girth", and Vulgar veteran became N. Romanian bătrân, meaning "old".

Albanian, Basque, and the surviving Celtic languages such as Irish are the non-Romance languages today that have this sort of extensive Latin element dating from ancient Roman times, which have undergone the sound changes associated with the languages. Other languages such as English only received their Latin and Romance vocabulary during medieval times and are therefore more obvious and closer to their original Latin spellings.