Albanian weddings are impressive, and are taken seriously.
Albania, along with Croatia and Macedonia, is also expected to join NATO.
One pivotal composer in modern Albanian classical music was Mart Gjoka, who composed vocal and instrumental music which uses elements of urban art song and the folk melodies of the northern highlands.
Student agitators combed the countryside, forcing Albanians to quit practicing their faith.
The most successful Albanian pop artisits are Giovanni and Sebastian.
A number of such settlements are discovered in Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, and the Republic of Macedonia.
A violent campaign to extinguish religious life in 1967 culminated in an announcement that Albania had become the world's first atheistic state, a feat touted as one of Hoxha's greatest achievements.
Albania continued to have a large rural peasantry, comprising over 60 percent of the total population, and most of those families can do little more than feed themselves.
Duљan drew up a legal code for his realm and crowned himself "Emperor of the Serbs, Greeks, Bulgarians, and Albanians."
The main direction taken by the Albanian literature between the two World Wars was realism, but it also bore remnants of romanticism.
During his totalitarian rule, about 6000 Albanian citizens were executed for political reasons.
The majority of Albanians today claim to be either atheists or agnostics.
An organic system of assigning human personifications to natural phenomena was culturally developed and remnants of these still appear in everyday Albanian folklore and tradition.
The Republic of Albania is a parliamentary republic with a democratic constitution.
Mineral water is among the preferred non-alcoholic drinks in Albania along with carbonated beverages.
The Illyrians gradually disappeared as a distinct people, replaced by the Bulgars, Serbs, Croats, Bosnians and Albanians.
The Euro-Atlantic integration of Albania has been the ultimate goal of the post-communist governments.
In 1272 his successor, Charles I of Anjou, the ruler of the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, conquered Durrлs and much of central Albania.
Many Albanians won fame and fortune as soldiers, administrators, and merchants in far-flung parts of the empire.
Plans are to reduce the manpower of the Albanian Air Force to around 1,400 personnel.
Gjoka's work in the early 1920s marks the beginning of professional Albanian classical music.
Albania achieved a degree of statehood after World War I, in part because of the diplomatic intercession of the United States.
A restored Byzantine Empire smashed Bulgaria in 1246 and pushed to the north Albanian coast, where the Albanian tribes were briefly weaned away from their alliance with the Despotate of Epirus.
From 1944 to 1990, the Albanian economy was centralized, state controlled and dominated by agricultural production on state farms.
Albania borders Montenegro to the north, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south.
Albanian leaders formed the League of Prizren in 1878 with the backing of Sultan Abdulhamid II, and pressed for territorial autonomy.
Within time, much of southern Albania, especially to the east, developed into a branch of the Orthodox Church.
The vessels of the Albanian Naval Defense Forces are comprised mostly of small torpedo boats, patrol crafts and support crafts, most of which are of former Soviet or Chinese origin.
Mussolini's forces overthrew King Zog when they occupied Albania in 1939.
Albanian cuisine is typical of the Balkans and is meat-oriented.
The majority of the Albanian population that remained converted to Islam.
Albania has not accepted compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction, but has accepted the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.
The Republic of Albania (Albanian: Republika e Shqipлrisл, or simply Shqipлria) is a Balkan country in south-eastern Europe.
Lagging behind its Balkan neighbors, Albania is making the difficult transition to a more modern open-market economy.
Upon the Ottomans' return, a large number of Albanians fled to Italy, Greece and Egypt.
The Illyrians living in Albania's rugged mountains, however, resisted Greek settlement, attacked coastal cities, and threatened Greek trading ships in the Adriatic Sea.
The workforce of Albania has continued to migrate to Greece, Italy, Germany, other parts of Europe, and North America.
During its long history, Albania has been invaded many times.
Instead the offer went to William of Wied, a German prince who accepted and became sovereign of the new Principality of Albania.
Voskopoja, a small village in south-eastern Albania, was in the eighteenth century a cultural and commercial center of the Aromanians (Vlachs), having notably the first printing press in the Balkans.
Illyricum was later divided into the provinces of Dalmatia and Pannonia, the lands comprising modern-day Albania mostly being included in the former.
Sebastian has produced a number of films, the most famous of which is the Albanian spoken remake of The Towering Inferno.
The most popular sport in Albania is football (soccer) and the most followed sports event is the Football World Cup.
Albanians rebelled against the German prince and declared their independence, and established a Muslim regime under the leadership of a local warrior, Haji Qamil.
The campaign culminated in an announcement that Albania had become the world's first atheistic state, a feat touted as one of Enver Hoxha's greatest achievements.
The economy is bolstered by annual remittances from abroad of $600-$800 million, mostly from Albanians residing in Greece and Italy; this helps offset the towering trade deficit.
Under him, Albania joined the Italian coalition of Italy, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria against Yugoslavia in 1924-1927.
In 1928 the country's parliament declared Albania a kingdom and chose Ahmet Zogu to be the king.
Per capita GDP was $8,800 in 2011, giving Albania a ranking of 123 out of 194 countries.
Albania has an area of 17,864 square miles (28,750 square kilometers), or slightly smaller than the state of Maryland in the United States.
In 1206, Qutb-ud-din Aybak, the first ruler of the Slave Dynasty established the Delhi Sultanate and chose Delhi as his capital.
The European Great Powers endorsed an independent Albania in 1913, after the Second Balkan War.
The two greatest representatives of Albanian Romanticism of the nineteenth century were Jeronim De Rada (1814-1903), and Naim Frashлri (1846-1900).
Tirana is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Albania.
Later in the twentieth century, Albanian composers began to focus on ballets, opera and other styles.
The constant warfare in Albania caused poverty and deadly famines.
The population of Albanian lands increased in the Neolithic age (c. 8000 B.C.E.
Albania is divided into 12 counties (called qark or prefekturл in Albanian).
Albania has made progress in its democratic development since first holding multi-party elections in 1991, but deficiencies remain.
Before World War II, about 90 percent of Albania's women were illiterate, and in many areas they were regarded as chattels under ancient tribal laws and customs.
The postwar regime brought a radical change in the status of Albania's women.
Albania is a patriarchal society, in which women have subordinate roles.
The lands that are today inhabited by Albanians were first populated in the Paleolithic Age (Stone Age), over 100,000 years ago.
The city of Korca has long been the cultural capital of Albania, and its music is considered the most sophisticated in the country.
Albania's capital, Tirana, is the home of popular music dominated by Roma people influences and has been popularized at home and in emigrant communities internationally by Merita Halili, Parashqevi Simaku and Myslim Leli.
Albania’s best-known contemporary writer is Ismail Kadare, born in 1935 whose 15 novels have been translated into 40 languages.
Between 1990 – 1992 Albania ended 46 years of xenophobic Communist rule and established a multi-party democracy.
Albanian exiles also built communities in southern Italy and on the island of Sicily.
When Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece laid claim to Albanian lands during the war, the Albanians declared independence.
Beginning in the fourteenth century, many Albanians left their troubled homeland and migrated southward into the mountains of Epirus and to the cities and islands of Greece.
Albania's European Union membership bid has been set as a priority by the European Commission.
The three lakes of easternmost Albania, Lake Ohrid (Liqeni Ohrit), Big Prespa Lake (Prespa e Madhe), and Small Prespa Lake (Prespa e Vogлl), are remote and picturesque.
Energy shortages and antiquated and inadequate infrastructure contribute to Albania's poor business environment, which make it difficult to attract and sustain foreign investment.
Albania, with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been a strong supporter of the global war on terrorism.
Albania has extensive customary law codified in the Kanun of Lekл Dukagjini.
Divided into warring clans, the Albanians were unable to prevent the occupation of their country by outsiders.
All Albanian borders are artificial, established at a 1912-1913 conference of ambassadors in London.
Remaining under Roman influence, most Albanians living in the mountainous north maintained their Roman Catholicism, whereas in the southern and central regions, the majority became Orthodox.
Considered the "father of evolutionary theory," Darwin made two contributions of enormous impact to the idea of evolution.
Albania would be a part of the Ottoman Empire until 1912.
The Albanian leader concentrated on reforming the military, government bureaucracy, and economy as well as on creating new support for his Stalinist system.
The conflict that broke out in 1997 was between Kosovo Albanians and a hostile Serb regime in Belgrade.
Albanian folk music falls into three stylistic groups: the Ghegs of the north, the southern Labs, and the Tosks.
The last Albanian submarine, a Russian-built Whiskey-class submarine, was retired in 1995.
The government attacked dissident writers and artists, reformed its education system, and reinforced Albania's isolation from European culture in an effort to keep out foreign influences.
About 95 percent of the population are ethnic Albanians.
Albania built over 700,000 bunkers during the 40-year communist rule under Enver Hoxha.
Albania's coastline on the Ionian Sea, especially near the Greek tourist island of Corfu, is becoming increasingly popular with tourists due to its relatively unspoiled nature and its beaches.
After decades of unrest, in 1912 an uprising exploded in the Albanian-populated Ottoman territories, on the eve of the First Balkan War.
Albania has played a largely helpful role in managing inter-ethnic tensions in southeastern Europe, and is continuing to work toward joining NATO and the EU.
The literacy rate in Albania for the total population, age nine or older, is about 98.7 percent, according to the CIA World Fact Book 2007.
The Serbs occupied parts of northern and eastern Albania toward the end of the twelfth century and conquered Shkodлr in the 1180s.
Albanian communists and nationalists fought a partisan war against the Italian and German invasions in World War II.
The Albanian language, shqip, is Indo-European without being a member of any major branch of the Indo-European family.
Many Albanians are bilingual, and also fluent in English, Greek, Italian or French.
The last of Albania's fighter jets were withdrawn from active service in late 2005.
In 2006 Albania signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU, thus completing the first major step towards joining the bloc.
Meshuggah, Dino Cazares, Rusty Cooley, & Charlie Hunter go a step further, using an 8 string guitar with two extra low strings.
Ethnic relations between Albanians and Greeks along their border have improved, but relations between Albanians and Slavs in the former Yugoslavia have worsened.