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Showing posts from August, 2007



Two stories from BIRN: Andi Beli, the previous director of KESH who was sacked in March of this year (I think) is under attack by the Office of State Control, a financial watchdog. According to BIRN the OSC is calling on the State Prosecutor to start proceedings against Beli. BIRN also reports that Lulzim Basha, the Foreign Minister, has invited Crown Prince Leka II to become an advisor on foreign affairs. I have to confess that I did not know that there was a Crown Prince. A brief search uncovered an entry on wikipedia , and a video from Vision Plus. The Jewish Advocate carries a story about Bujar Veselaj, whose father, Refik, rescued Albanian Jews during the war and later founded the Albania-Israel Friendship Association. The son has been granted asylum in the US after expert testimony backed his claim that Muslim fundamentalists had threatened his life. I'm not sure what to make of this story. On the one hand I think many Albanians - and outside observers - are complacent abo

Nobody's Listening Any More

Walking through some wasteland near the lake, which also serves as a dumping ground, I saw some books abandoned with the rubbish. Normally I wouldn't wish this on a book, but after a closer look I understood.

More Reading

The Washington Post has a lengthy article on the phenomenon of sworn virgins . Elvira Dones , an Albanian born author and journalist has recently made a film on this theme. Also looking at women in Albanian society, Nicole Itano reports for Women's eNews on the experience of Roma women . MSNBC carries an FT report on the problems facing small businesses in Albania trying to cope with hours-long power cuts every day. The report quotes the Prime Minister's claims that Albania has reached a 'turning point' and that within four years the country will be exporting electricity. The Economist has a piece on President Topi . The author believes that the President will support measures to limit the term of office for the Chief Prosecutor, thus dealing with the Sollaku issue. In contrast to the Prime Minister's optimism, the Economist reports that 'plans for private investors to build new power plants are way behind schedule.' Forbes carries an AP story on US attemp

Some Articles

In the Guardian Benji Lanyado reports on his visit to the Albanian Riviera. More from IPS - an article on Gjirokaster , and one on marketing the remnants of Albania's communist past to tourists. The Times reports on artist Saimir Strati's latest project - a mosaic of a horse made from about one million toothpick. This is a follow up to last year's project, a mosaic of Leonardo Da Vinci made from half a million nails. I saw Strati working on the Da Vinci mosaic last year in the Pyramid and he is there working on the toothpick horse at the moment. His website has some good pictures of the nail mosaic.

Great Idea

It seems that our neigbourhood's improvised traffic calming system is much admired out there. I've found references to it here , here , here , here and here . Someone should work out a way to make some money out of this.