Brief History of Albania:
Albania is one of those countries or areas in the world that has been ruled by a number of empires and other countries due to its location. Situated next to Greece
and along the Adriatic Sea, it has been a strategic land mass during many international conflicts.
The land was first settled by a tribe of people called the Illyrians in about 2000 BC. The Romans were one of the first empires to conquer the land and Albania was part of first the Roman Empire and then later the Byzantine Empire
or Eastern Roman Empire. In the 1300s, the Ottoman Empire took control. Much of the country's population converted to Islam during this time. In the mid-1400s the Albanians managed to gain independence from the Ottomans for a short time under the leadership of national hero Gjergj Kastrioti Skenderbeu. However, the Ottoman's soon took back control.
The Albanians fought for their independence several times over the course of history. They achieved it briefly a few times, but finally became a nationally recognized country in the early 1900s.
During World War II
, Albania was occupied by both Germany and Italy. After the war the communist party took over. The country would remain under communist rule for the next 40 plus years until it would finally have democratic elections in 1992. The first democratic elected president of Albania was Sali Berisha. Today, however, the country is still in some turmoil with both the democratic and communist parties vying for power. The country would like to join the European Union, or the EU, but as of 2010 still has a number of conditions it needs to meet.
The Geography of Albania
28,748 square km
slightly smaller than Maryland
41 00 N, 20 00 E
World Region or Continent: Europe
mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast
Geographical Low Point:
Adriatic Sea 0 m
Geographical High Point:
Maja e Korabit (Golem Korab) 2,764 m
mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers; interior is cooler and wetter
TIRANA (capital) 433,000 (2009), Durres, Vlore
The People of Albania
Type of Government:
Albanian (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek, Vlach, Romani, Slavic dialects
28 November 1912 (from Ottoman Empire)
Independence Day, 28 November (1912)
Muslim 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, Roman Catholic 10%
National Anthem or Song:
Hymni i Flamurit (Hymn to the Flag)
Economy of Albania
food processing, textiles and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower
wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, sugar beets, grapes; meat, dairy products
petroleum, natural gas, coal, bauxite, chromite, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt, timber, hydropower
textiles and footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil; vegetables, fruits, tobacco
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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