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

By Clarissa de Waal

This new e-book examines Albania's transition from Communism through the reports of a various diversity of households, highland villagers, city elite, shanty dwellers--Clarissa de Wall has the lives of Albanians there due to the fact that 1992. As such, it is a history--of monetary, social and political change--told from the point of view of the contributors. We see how a long way the archaic global of ordinary legislations maintains to pervade highland lifestyles, from dispute cost to prepared marriages. while, the writer exhibits us contributors of the ex-communist elite in Tirana embracing rentier capitalism, whereas squatters on country farmland reside less than consistent danger of eviction. Albania, the writer indicates, is a rustic wracked by means of contradictions: in flight from its Communists prior and but nonetheless beholden to its rural traditions; willing to embody unfastened markets yet with no foregoing the protection of crucial making plans. I.B.Tauris in organization with the Centre for Albanian experiences

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Others compared Albania with Somalia and complained of donor countries’ stinginess. On a visit to the Institute of Environmental Hygiene where one of Vjollca’s sisters worked, we spent a convivial hour one morning sitting in the food-testing laboratory helping to test aid-donated peach jam and local raki which we drank from lab beakers. “If only we’d known you were coming today, we’d have saved yesterday’s delicious tinned pineapple,” they said hospitably. All the aid food was tested before distribution and much of it sat there for months before distribution.

Later the villagers adjourned to the village’s House of Culture where they danced until late at night. After the service I was introduced to a toothless old man from the next village who for ‘diversion’, as a fellow villager put it, had taught himself English and French while in prison. The old man was waiting for a Webster’s New World Dictionary to arrive from America so that he could learn more up to date idioms. A number of villagers had relations in America, a fact which was to have a significant impact on some individuals’ lives in the near future.

So the price of bread doubled while the quality went by the board. We regularly thereafter found foreign bodies in the loaves, including plastic sacking, stones and other indeterminate weight-making debris. At the beginning of September the School of Foreign Languages term had not yet begun because the new post-communist curriculum was still being worked out. The Education Ministry’s new program could not have been implemented properly, in any case, since there were almost no books and paper was virtually unobtainable.

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