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Albania in the News

Le Monde Diplomatique has been musing in its very French way about The Dream of a Greater Albania.

The reliably vitriolic AA Gill is reliably vitriolic about Albania in the Sunday Times. Sensitive Albanians might want to give this one a miss.

The Guardian carries an obituary of Gramoz Pashko.


Anonymous said…
You will find this article on the UK Sunday Times enraging Our Man in Tirana. It was published this Sunday and it is the most vicios and direct journalistic attack on Albania I have ever witnessed. It is racist, unreal and disturbing. This happens at a time when talks for Kosovo's indepence started and at time when Albania is trying to improve its image. I am not sure what pushed this journalist to write such a thing or how many quids he got paid for it. Here is the article in any case:,,2099-2271185.html Even a serb would have not written like that about Albania
ITS said…
I like the Sunday Times article. It really shows true journalistic talent of telling the same story with a great new twist.

And Alwyn he at least agrees with you at one point:

... The streets are a slow crawl of large cars: BMWs, Porsche Cayennes, blacked-out Range Rovers, Humvees and the ubiquitous tribe of Benzes – all stolen, of course, from Germany and Italy.

Great find anyway... I need to save this and give it my girlfriend when I need a reason to break up with her. I am sure after reading it, she wouldn't be caught dead next to an Albanian. So thanks again, MATE!
Anonymous said…
I can assure you of one thing; the editor is currently being bombarded with letters protesting the article. I'm not sure that it will do any good; this guy looks like a certified idiot but we'll see.

Anonymous said…
The A A gill article from The Sunday Times was written as if the guy has a personal vendetta against Albania and every Albanian.Having visited the country recently and having ongoing regular contact with Albanians from various backgrounds - rich and poor, muslim and catholic, educated and just street wise, Ghegs and Tosks -I became angry as I read each sentence. I was sitting confortably in my English suburban garden drinking tea probably packed into boxes by hardworking Albanians in some hot and dusty UK packing plant. How dare AA Gill be so rude about Albania and it's people. It also made me sad, because the writer just went on and on throwing insults with absolutely no substatiation. Who was this writer with the arrogant style "A A Gill". Having researched him a bit, I find that Anthony A Gill makes his living by being very controversial. He's Scottish and is primarily a restaurant and tv critic. If it's any consolation to Albanians reading this, he doesn't like the English either!! I have ascertained taht the famous UK chef and restauranter Gordon Ramsay hates A A Gill so much that he threw him and his fellow diners out of one of his restaurants. He didn't want his custom! Well, if I was in Government in Albania, I'd follow Gordon Ramsay's way of doing things - I'd make sure Anthony A Gill was never let into Albania again. He's "persona non grata" in my opinion!
MĂ«rgimtari said…
If anything, Gill's article only proves his ignorance of the country, no?

The problem ism lots of other people who also know nothing about the country might *gasp* take him seriously.

Nejse, s'po kam n'qief me humb hohen me budallet.
Anonymous said…
That's the dishartening thing about it. Those people who know little or nothing about Albania and go on to just eat this "nugget of information" in the travel page of such great paper.
I was raised by honest parents in an honest way, my sister aims at being a doctor not a gangster bitch. And there are millions more just like them who strive daily, so you know, it's just hard to sit by and take his.
Anonymous said…
The more I read this article of AA Gill the more I fall in love with it. Does it mean I'm anti-Albanian? hmmmm, no. If you can look beyond the insulting words used you can discover that deep down it's not a bad article. Ok, he does us injustice when he says that Mother Teresa is the only famous Albanian but that's ok, readers of this article might be better informed. Overall he's saying that Albania and Albanians are unique. Where I'm coming from this is a virtue not something to be ashamed of. He's also doing us a favour by confirming that at least Albania is safe. This is the perfect article to make people believe it and remove a major deterrent that is keeping tourists away from Albania. Trust me tourist numbers will grow because of this article. People in the west have seen it all but nothing like what has been described in this article. So they'll be dying to see it. And when they come and see for themselves they'll be able to draw their own conclusions.
MĂ«rgimtari said…
Oh yes, these passages would be especially enticing to foreign tourists:

-"homeless incontinent’s toilet" -"distressingly skimpy second scrotums"
-"Albanians are short and ferret-faced, with the unisex stumpy, slightly bowed legs of shetland ponies"
-"a nation of dupes waiting to be taken"
-"grim, hunkered, crumbling commie squalor, with kids kicking balls and toothless ancients sitting like lonely loonies on benches, staring at the angry graffiti"
-"The smelly, tideless Adriatic limply washes nameless slurry onto the shore"
-"grim warrens of piss-stained grey boxes"
-"ripped up and smashed stretches of urban exhaustion and collapse"

Yep, get me the first flight to Mother Theresa Airport in Tirana, named "after a woman who devoted herself to helping people die."
Not only the Guardian has an obituary about Gramoz Pashko, I have written one myself, at I was surprisingly touched by his death.
Anonymous said…
The editor's standard reply to the letters of protest about Gill's article:

As the old saying goes, it is all relative; to some the glass is half full and to some the glass is half empty. Obviously we (Albanians) have to see it as half full :)

Anonymous said…
Today, on Tirana Times (which is a weekly Albanian newspaper in English) I read some pretty good letters written in response to the AA Gill article. Here's the URL
Anonymous said…
he says the cars were all stolen. thats one of those bogus remarks that cant be proven unless youre investigating the situation.
he says nobody wears a watch. are you kidding me? next to the mobile phone vendors are the guys selling imitation watches, just like other minorities do here in nyc.
gill doesnt know what he's talking about. i never heard about this guy until tonight. hes a nobody.
olli said…
Hi Frederik. Thanks for the link.
Anonymous said…
I couldn't believe what I was reading in this article... outragous! I am Albanian and proud to be. I live in New York now and I have to say that I miss my country more than anything in the whole world. I think the people are very loving, generous and they are very welcoming of all foreigners.
What this idiot needs to do, is open up a history book and understand that his ancestors and the rest of Europe for centuries used Albania as a way to pay their debts amongst each other. Albania has been split, reunited, divided, invaded and destroyed by every single war in human history. This moron that wrote this article should take a look and write about something that he can be proud of in his own country before criticizing and making fun of another country. In my 20 years in Albania, I lived a fuller life than in just one day of my 10 years in America. There is not one day where I don't think about going back and contributing my work, experience and education to my country. It is absolutely the greatest country in the world. The last thing I'd like to say to this ignorant is: Rome wasn't built in one day!
Anonymous said…
hey guys i was reading online about AA Gill and i found out that he was married and had two kids so deffenately all that hate that he shows on his writing about Albanians is becouse his wife has cheated with any albanian and maybe he just found out that one of his kids is not even his but has an "Albanian Daddy" becouse no writer would write such things for any country in the world unless they have personal feelings like this sick writer.
Olya X said…
What a wonderful, wonderful, truthful (down to a word) article. Thank you, AA Gill. As for the Albanian guy, who lives in New York and misses his country more than anything - why do you live in the US and not at home? What a bliss to read the truth in these perfectly ghastly politically correct times!
Anonymous said…
Gill's inaccuracies and unneessary insults aside, can you really trust someone that writes a novel like "starcrossed"?? that's right, he's a novelist as well! if you can, find and read the book, it is the most unpalatable piece of junk this side of the universe.
Also, it is this guy's job to go to some of the best restaurants in the world and find something he doesn't like, like a napkin folded wrong or the ice-cubes being too big...Mr Gill you are a glorified dog.

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