Skip to main content

'Extraordinary Rehabilitation'

The BBC today carries the story of Abu Mohammed, one of the recent group of Guantanamo internees to be sent to Albania.


Anonymous said…
terrorists stuck in ALbania. What will they do but prepare and tutor other people to become terrorists...

the war on terror can go on for centuries. Soon there will be more foreigners than Albanians here.
What I have noticed from these articles regarding the ex-Guantanamo prisoners in Albania is that the vast majority of them portray Albania in such a negative light. Yes, Albania is poor and these people will have very limited opportunities there, but they face execution and torture in their countries and the rest of the developed world refused to take them in. Among other things, why does this article make it sound like this guy is being denied to practise medicine unjustly? Where else in the world would he be allowed to do that? No one ever mentions than what Albania is doing is quite humanitarian, despite other underlying reasons. It really annoys me that Europe keeps criticizing the US over Guantanamo, but no one wants to take in those prisoners which are not deemed dangerous anymore. Hipocricy at its best.
Niti said…
If these guys were terrorist, they wouldn't be let go - in Albania or anywhere else. They are innocent victims caught in a legal limbo. Good for Albania for helping them out.
Anonymous said…
Why should Europe take them? Why should Europe clean up America's mess? If they are really not dangerous and they would be tortured in their home country then the Americans should take them.
Anonymous said…
if he is a doctor who graduated in France, i think that there wouldn't be a problem at all for him in Albania. We have a shortage of doctors now. The medical terminology is the same everywhere in the world. It's in Greek+French. Most Albanian doctors have done at least some of their education years in France and they all speak French. Plus, for someone who speaks French, Albanian can appear hard at first, but it should be easy to learn in a year. It just takes a little effort. Albanian is 100% phonetic, you pronounce it letter by letter exactly how it is written. Everything it's right there in front of your eyes. It just looks harsh with all these "sh"s, "Th"s, "rr"s, "gj"s, etc. But it is there, hidden and disguised.
They just have to memorize how the alphabet sounds.
Both languages have a latin base.
For example, from the top of my head, hope-espere-shpres. The grammar is exactly like Italian and French. That's why Albanians "learn" Italian so easily just by watching 2 years of Italian tv. The language just enters our brains with no effort because it is similar. fitorja-vittoria. desire-deshire-desiderio. is-est-este-eshte.
The rest of the words that are not latin are short words that are easy to learn.
To the first anonymous,

No one is forcing Europe to take them in, but at the same time if you're not willing to help it's better to shut up and not criticize the countries that are helping out. Heck, I don't agree with 99% of the policies of the Bush administration, but Europe is all words and no action, with the exception of the UK and maybe Germany. Does anyone really believe that the NATO intervention in Kosovo would have ever happened if it weren't for the US? And this Algerian doctor should be glad he's being given a second chance, since no matter how he tries to slice it, there is no good explanation for moving to the remote areas of Pakistan if you're not a religious biggot, to say the least. After all, why do the Algerian authorities want him?

To the second anonymous,

You can't be serious. You can't just give a couple of examples and claim that French and Latin and Albanian are similar. Just because they're all Indo-European languages doesn't mean anything. Yes the structure of the sentence is similar for all three but the same can be said for other languages, like English for example. Are we now to believe that we can learn all Indo-European languages easily.
Albanian is a very hard language to learn. The only easy thing to do is read it, since it's phonetic language. And anyway, I wouldn't want a religious freak practising medicine in Albania either way.
Anonymous said…
NOVA I haven't heard European countries criticizing Albania - they've been criticizing America for running the camp at Guantanamo.

And to give credit where credit's due, the Dutch are fighting with the
British and Canadians in South Afghanistan.
Oh come on. Read the article again. Also read the other articles before that. Albania is described as hell on land. Now, it's true that the European govts are not going around criticizing Albania, but all they're doing is saying how unfairly these prisoners are being treated, but they don't step up to the plate and do something to improve things. And we are not talking about Iraq here, since Guantanamo is a different issue. And if these people in Guantanamo were angels, why doesn't Europe take them in? And I don't see why Guantanamo is such a big deal to start with? Most of the people there are terrorists. I have no problem keeping them locked up there.

And I never said that the US was fighting alone in Afghanistan, but tell me the last time that a successful or major European military operation happened without the US at the helm. That's just reality. Europe is completely incapable to resolve any conflict on its own for many different reasons. After all, Europe couldn't even take care of the mess in the Balkans without the US.
Anonymous said…
How exactly are European govts. supposed to improve things?

As for Gitmo - no-one claims the people there are angels, all people - including plenty of americans - are saying is that you don;t defend democracy by locking people up with no rights, no lawyers, no process. If there all terrorists then prove it in a court.

And you are right that Europe screwed up in Bosnia and has a serious problem projecting military power. In Kosovo, though, it was Bill Clinton who refused to put soldiers on the ground and mainly European soldiers who went in following the Serb withdrawal.
Anonymous said…
"You can't be serious. You can't just give a couple of examples and claim that French and Latin and Albanian are similar. "

If you open a French dictionary, try to find words that you inderstand.
It may look absurd at first because French has a totally different pronounciation. But, it's the same latin base. And, yes, after learning a latin, an anlgo-saxon, a slavic, based languge you can easily decipher most of Indo-European languages. (With exception to Hungarian, Finnish, Basque)
Anonymous said…
"Are we now to believe that we can learn all Indo-European languages easily."

After you learn the first one, you know what to look for in the other ones.
If you really want a challenge learn Chinese or sth.

Popular posts from this blog


And now the end is near
and so i face nanananana...

Never did like that crappy song.

But it's true nevertheless.

Tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning we will be heading for the airport for the last time. I suppose it was too much to expect that I could have kept this going while getting ready to leave. So apologies for the lack of postings over the last weeks. This is post number 380 something so I suppose one post every two days is not a bad average.

There were probably 380 more in my head or scribbled down on scraps of paper, but many of them are perhaps best left there.

I suppose I should be penning - or typing - my final thoughts and reflections on two years in Tirana, but right now I don't have any. Maybe in a month or two though I might come back with something.

Thanks to all of you who have read this blog - especially those of you who have become regulars. Thanks also for linking and thanks to all who left comments.

As for the other stars of the blog, Bella now has her own …


Welcome to Our Man in Tirana. I moved to Tirana, capital of Albania, in October 2005 and left in October 2007. This blog is a mix of photographs, reports, links, impressions and, undoubtedly, prejudices relating to the city and the country.

Since I am no longer in Tirana I am no longer updating this blog. However, there are over 300 posts covering this two year period and I hope that they are still of some interest.

So if you are curious about Albania or if you are planning to visit I hope this blog will be of value.

Miss Globe 2007

On Saturday, we were at the Rogner meeting with an expat friend who was leaving Tirana. It was breakfast time, and as our friend was finishing his tea the breakfast room started to fill up with over-dressed (or under-dressed) young women wearing blue sashes. These were the contestants for the Miss Globe 2007 beauty pageant being held in Tirana tonight at the Palace of Congresses. High heel boots and mini-skirts - or in a couple of cases micro-skirts, or possibly just belts - have never struck me as obvious breakfast attire, but the girls seemed happy enough tottering and wobbling around with their tea and toast. I'm not sure why they were wearing their sashes - perhaps in case they forgot which country they came from.
As we were leaving they were boarding a large coach which I had seen a number of times around the city in the last few days for their next trip. I'm not sure how some of them made it up the steps, or how they managed to sit down, but perhaps these are the kinds o…