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The first editions of 'Albanian history' and 'Albania' from Naim Frasheri are published in Bulgaria

Translated by: Victoria Baeva

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The Albanian patriotic society Dashira is established in 1893 in Dimitar Mole’s tavern


Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear colleagues


Let me share a not so famous literature fact about Naim Frasheri that connects him to my homeland - Bulgaria.

In 1899, a year before his death, the printing house Napredak (Progress) releases his book History of Albania and 3 years later his work Albania. Till that moment Naim’s books had been printed in Istanbul where he lived and Bucharest - the romanian capital that during the second half of 19th century is a center of literacy of the not yet liberated Balcan countries.

But why Bulgaria? Why Sofia? Whose is the printing house Napredak (Progress)? Who is the newly liberated Bulgaria would read Naim Frasheri in albanian?

The Arnaut neighborhood, Arbanasy route - these are toponyms in Bulgaria left from Albanian migrant workers. Their coming to Bulgaria concerns the time of the expansion of the Ottoman empire to the west. 

In the new Bulgarian language we use borrowings from Albanian like the words кекав, кинта, скивам; келеш and so on. 

But we can speak about the Albanian cultural community only after the liberation of Bulgaria from the ottoman power in 1878 when the foundations of the new Bulgarian country are made. Leonid Grabotska, one of the biggest experts of the Albanian history in Bulgaria, writes: “In this surroundings many Albanians, especially from the south of Albania, have no peace and no chance to make a living in their own country, so they emigrated in the newly liberated Bulgaria, where they found hospitality and shelter from the kind Bulgarian people.

The ideas of the Frasheri brothers for the Albanian Renascense penetrate powerfully between the migrant workers in Bulgaria. Before the Liberation they only listen about the activities of Albanian societies in Istanbul and Bucharest but have none in Sofia, the new Bulgarian capital.

Two locals become centers for albanian rising - the coffee shop Albania that belongs to the two poets Adam Shkaba and Spiro Garo and the tavern Dimitar Mole on Serdika street, where you could find a mineral water well.

Mole, who came from Bucharest in 1886, brought Albanian books and newspapers from there to read them to the migrant workers. The Albanian language was forbidden to be learnt in school where the official languages were Greek and Turkish.

Albanian literacy packages start coming in from Istanbul and Bucharest. Dimitar Mole, other than tavern owner, becomes a teacher to these refugees. There’s been established a patriotic society called Dashira (Desire) that resembles the Albanian cultu

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