14 Mind-Blowing Albania Facts

14 Mind-Blowing Albania Facts - Countries - News

14 Mind-Blowing Albania Facts

Mind-Blowing Facts About Albania

Albania, a country with a lower population compared to some European nations, is home to over 15 mafia families that control and cause the majority of organized crime in the world. It has been dubbed as the first European narco-state, with its mafias holding a monopoly over most international affiliations.

Blood Feuds and Sworn Virgins

Blood feuds, known as Gjakmarrja, were common in Albania’s history. Natives guarded their honor with great intensity, and blood feuds were used to settle scores. It was a social obligation that required anyone who felt offended to kill the offender or a member of their family to salvage their honor, regardless of religion.

Assistance to Jews during the Holocaust

During the holocaust, many Jewish people sought refuge in Albania. Remarkably, the assistance offered to the Jews by Albanians was grounded in a concept called “Besa,” which translates to “Keep the promise.”

The Zogist Salute and John Belushi

The Zogist Salute is a gesture whereby the right hand is placed just above the heart with the palm facing downwards. It was first used by the Albanian military but has since spread to civilians in other countries, notably . The Zogist Salute was instituted by King Zog 1 of Albania.

Nodding and Shaking Heads in Albania

In most parts of the world, nodding of the head means the person is in agreement while shaking it translates to “no.” However, in Albania, the opposite is true. Shaking of the head means the individual is in agreement while nodding means they are of the contrary opinion.

Banned Religious Activities and Abolished Taxation

In 1967 to 1991, Albania banned religious activities in the country. Despite complaints, religious buildings such as mosques, churches, and tekkes were either shut down or converted into warehouses, workshops, or gymnasiums. This technically made Albania the first and the only constitutionally atheist state.

Railway Network

Prior to 1947, Albania was the only European country without a standard rail service. Within 40 years, the country built over 666 kilometers (410 miles) of railway. Enver Hoxha’s government extensively promoted its use; it was the country’s primary mode of transport at some point.

Civil Unrest and Economic Decline

In 1997, Albania faced massive civil unrest due to failed pyramid schemes. The reigning government was toppled, and more than 2,000 people died.

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