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Lies and Leather Coats

Memories of a trip to Albania in 1989 from The Economist, and some photographs from the same era.

Muslim evangelism is obviously going spectacularly well here, with today's Washington Times claiming that the population of Albania is 95% muslim!

Comments

traveller one said…
Oh give us a break... the only religious Muslims you ever meet are either young converts to one of the Christian groups who are evangelising here, or very nominal Muslims.
Ll.T. said…
Well, if 95% of Albanians are Muslims then I don't know that the heck are the halfnaked girls strutting through the block every night... Maybe aliens from outer space :D
lisi said…
there is no way 95 % of albanians are myslims but it's good for the president of the usa to visit a "muslims'" country that loves him. everyone knows it.
please do not always mess with the naked girls. it's not just them who's half naked, is the whole society, they are just more attractive. :) anyways if we really want to talk about them we dont need to talk about religion. let's just talk about people who used to be old fashion and traditional. that should suffice to get them dressed.
Anonymous said…
I am 100% muslim

Now to the real point.

WHERE DO I GET SOME RAKI IN LONDON.
ITS said…
Damn.......

Alwyn,

You know how to get my blood pressure up with your finds. What the fuck is Washington Times anyways? Never heard of this paper...

Who is Claude Salhani? Whose payroll is this vermin on?

"Many Albanians seeking employment have jumped onto any tub that floats to make their way to Italy and other points in Western Europe."

What's with this tone... why did I have to read that? God, I am so angry right now...
ITS said…
The photos are great... Bring back so many memories. Especially of the little kid crouched on the bike by the Ice Cream vendor - could have been yours truly...

I can't believe how much the country has changed....

---

And on a final note, why does the Economist write "NATO went to war against Serbia in 1999 to stop “ethnic cleansing” in Kosovo. "

There was no "ethnic cleansing" with misleading quotes. Two million people were displaced from their homes, so there is no place for cutesy quotes. It was real ethnic cleansing and genocide. And I will start writing "holocaust" with quotes... Nobody would be upset by that, eh? Eh?
Anonymous said…
I read the articles and saw the old pictures. What a change for us now that we put it in perspective!

We made many mistakes since 1988, but in general we are much much better off now.

We all remember how it felt after 1989, after 1991, a breath of fresh air.
When did you have that first Snickers bar? I'm sure everyone remembers the excitement.
Anonymous said…
"The photos are great... Bring back so many memories. Especially of the little kid crouched on the bike by the Ice Cream vendor"

I thought the same way. My grandparents used to take me to him. He also sold Aranciatas. Do you remember those?
Anonymous said…
It is true that in Albania miniskirts, haltertops, cropped tops are more accepted than in the West.
If you go out in Toronto dressing that way, everyone stares at you.
It is not because the girls have no morals but because it is very hot from mid May to mid September! We also follow the Italians' ways.
Shwoing some flesh is not offensive here because everyone is used to it since childhood in the beach.
But everyone has his limits and I think that we as a society are not even ready or ever will be to the stage of the nudist tourists of last year in Saranda.
Bg anon said…
More to the point does somebody have an explanation to the rabid pro Bush sentiment in Albania?

Am I missing something?
ITS said…
Bg Anon,

All articles to which Alwyn has linked to try to explain it.

It's not "pro-Bush" it's pro American sentiment. Any American President would have been received the same way...

Now, Albanians are not well-informed, nor do they care about the things that the rest of the world is pissed about such as the environment or the war in Iraq.

We are still wanting for Coca-cola and Nike shoes. And maybe, just maybe, America will bring us more of that...
Anonymous said…
We are still wanting for Coca-cola and Nike shoes. And maybe, just maybe, America will bring us more of that...

Wow what a "realistic" description of what Albania is waiting for.Now i guess all albanian people know that there is more to life than nike shoes and ccola drinks and hopefully so do u.
I do not really know where did u find such "wonderful words as these"
Now, Albanians are not well-informed, nor do they care about the things that the rest of the world is pissed about such as the environment or the war in Iraq.

THe love of albanian people towards the united states does not come from absence of knowledge , it comes from the knowledge that US have played an important role such as is the role they are playing for Kosovo.
I guess thinking before writting is not such a bad idea
Anonymous said…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GGwi22ZiOU
Jeroen said…
The Washington Times research is wrong in more ways:

"In Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, one of the main avenues in the city was remained after Mr. Bush's predecessor, President Bill Clinton. A gargantuan portrait of the former American president covers the entire side of a 10-story building on an avenue named for him."

The avenue exists, and though the poster is large, it's by no means gargantuan, nor does it even cover half of the building... seems they didn't visit Pristina.
our man said…
I tried to find out more about the photographer or the source of the pictures but the profile on Picasa doesn't say much. If you are out there thanks for the pictures and if you have more it would be great to see them.

ITS, sorry about your blood pressure but it's probably keeping you on that cutting edge.

Anon, any luck with your raki quest?

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