Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Nice place to blood feud, but I wouldn't want to frack there

The mountains of Albania, once one of the most inaccessible places on earth under Communist Enver Hoxha;
On April 11, 1985, Enver Hoxha died. His death was felt by the people as a great loss. There was nationally a sincere and heartfelt grief. The Albanian people loved and adored him.
Enver Hoxha in his period of activity of fifty years had given the Albanian people freedom and national dignity, he had brought his people from the darkness of the feudalism towards a society, which, although not ideal, was more just and more advanced. He had given his people an ideal for which it was worthy to fight, to sacrifice, oneself, to live for.
Enver Hoxha succeeded in giving to his people all that they do not have any more. He gave the world Marxist-Leninist movement the clarity of the development of the class struggle, from the October Revolution until today [1995].
All of which he learned at the Sorbonne. As did the Khmer Rouge who went on to murder millions of Cambodians. Those were the good ol' days, but now that's all past, and we're back to blood feuds, says BBC travel writer Adam Graham;
Many of the Malësori adhere to the Kanun of Lekë Dukagjini, a set of traditional Albanian laws that evolved from ancient Illyrian tribal customs; they were codified in the 15th Century and were revived again in the 1990s after the fall of communism. The code has four pillars: honour, hospitality, right conduct and kin loyalty, and they apply to both Christian and Muslim Albanians. This is where the Malësori’s incredible hospitality stems from. ....
But in addition to reflecting democratic and humanistic values, and placing an enormous emphasis on hospitality, parts of the Kanun have been the source of controversy among Albanians, notably the gjakmarrja, an obligatory blood feud – akin to an Italian vendetta – that requires one to commit murder in order to salvage honour lost by a previous murder or moral humiliation. Even if a traveller is murdered (which would be highly unlikely as Albania is especially safe), the traveller’s host has to avenge his or her death. It’s estimated that in 2014, roughly 3,000 Albanian families were involved in gjakmarrja.
Well, no place on earth is perfect, but at least they are improving;
But the tides might be changing with the new government of Prime Minister Edi Rama. In July 2014, the Malësori were invited to participate in the planning of a new "Albanian National Park of the Alps" that will combine Valbonë with the neighbouring village of Theth and the Valley of Gashi, tripling their combined area to 30,000 hectacres by 2016. This merger would likely give the communities within the park more clout when dealing with the government. It would also make it harder for corporate interests to develop the land with insensitive extractive methods such as fracking.
[Our bold in all the above, of course]

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