Explaining Albania: Blood feuds and honour, a tragic tale of Albanian tradition – An interview with Dr. Elona Prroj, a Protestant minister from Albania who runs an NGO seeking to end blood feuds in the country’s north, where they not only still occur, but have resurged after being suppressed during the communist era. Her own husband was killed in a blood feud, and she is working to both break the cycle with forgiveness (as her own family has done), and to tackle some of the root causes of blood feuds – particularly poverty and limited access to education.
Pendulum Podcast: In And Out Of Octopodi by Lori Lako – Poetic spoken-word reflections by Albanian artists and an interview with an art historian about Albania’s disappearing historical buildings – including the demolition of the National Theatre during the start of the pandemic, despite intensive protests, and on the neglect of the Pyramid of Tirana. They speak of loss of not just cultural heritage, but of local and personal history, and what gets lost as Albania works to wipe away its past.
A Coffee in the Accursed Mountains: The one with… mountain tea – A discussion by two British immigrants to Albania about coffee / tea customs and about mountain tea. Mountain tea in southern Albania is the same as the Greek kind, however, in Albania’s north and in Kosovo, mountain tea instead refers to tea made from marjoram instead. I tried the southern kind – it’s quite nice, like an earthier chamomile.
Ottoman History Podcast: Paraskevi Kyrias, Albania, and the United States at the Paris Peace Conference – A look at the post-WWI 1919 Paris Peace Conference through the diary of Paraskevi Kyrias (Parashqevi Qiriazi), one of the few women participating. Kyrias had championed women’s education, had been part of the team that standardized the Albanian alphabet, and advocated for Albania’s independence with skilled diplomacy at the 1919 Conference. The podcast also follows her legacy and the communist Albanian government’s initial rejection of her due to her Protestantism and American connections, and then their subsequent co-opting of her legacy later in her life.