Download Albania Today: A Portrait of Post-Communist Turbulence by Clarissa de Waal PDF

By Clarissa de Waal

This new ebook examines Albania's transition from Communism through the stories of a various variety of households, highland villagers, city elite, shanty dwellers--Clarissa de Wall has the lives of Albanians there on account that 1992. As such, this can be a history--of financial, social and political change--told from the viewpoint of the members. We see how a ways the archaic global of familiar legislation maintains to pervade highland lifestyles, from dispute cost to prepared marriages. while, the writer indicates us individuals of the ex-communist elite in Tirana embracing rentier capitalism, whereas squatters on country farmland dwell below consistent probability of eviction. Albania, the writer indicates, is a rustic wracked through contradictions: in flight from its Communists earlier and but nonetheless beholden to its rural traditions; willing to embody unfastened markets yet with no foregoing the safety of valuable making plans. I.B.Tauris in organization with the Centre for Albanian reports

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Extra info for Albania Today: A Portrait of Post-Communist Turbulence

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In Mirdita, patronymics were more common than surnames and in 1997 the telephone directory of the region’s main town, Rrëshen, still registered telephone numbers under first names. Prominent politicians are known to the populace by their first names. More significantly, Albania is still a ‘face-to-face’ society in the sense that regionally even if people do not actually know each other, they know of each other, or after a short exploration can find common acquaintance. One of the many appealing attributes which goes with this personal type of society is openness to strangers (except as related earlier when passing on a road).

Along the corridor of each floor in our apartment block was a rubbish drop. This had a door like a serving hatch which opened on to a space in the wall down which you tossed your rubbish. It struck us as a surprisingly sophisticated asset until we learnt that it had originally been intended for an elevator before the money had run out. In view of the extreme frequency of electricity cuts, we saw the change of plan as a godsend. The rubbish collecting system was itself a curious mixture of styles.

The warmth of the welcome, their delight at strangers and incredibly generous hospitality, the remote position of the villages in the middle of woods half way up mountains, and the sheer oldfashionedness of the life style, conveyed a sense of having walked into the past or a fairytale. This was enhanced by an air of festivity as many of the men who had gone to Greece to find work had come back for the New Year celebrations. As intense as this sense of the past, was a pervasive sense of irony. Many of the people we met who enabled us to do and see so much, had done the same in another capacity during the communist regime.

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