May 2011

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Belgrade even has an “Albanology” Department, something I have a feeling that more and more Balkan countries are going to have to have.

Long-Awaited Albanian Textbook For Serbia’s South By Nikola Lazic

The introduction of a primer in Albanian in September could be an important step in ending the chaos in the education of young ethnic Albanians in southern Serbia.

It was a warm September day of 2010 when tractor with a trailer appeared on the border line between Serbia and Kosovo, near the village of Medjare close to Presevo.

A police patrol monitoring one of the many illegal border crossings stopped the driver and searched the trailer finding almost 4,000 books – primers and other textbooks for the first grade of elementary school. Written on the accompanying delivery note, was the following “The Republic of Kosovo”.

The shipment, seized seven days after the beginning of the school year, is currently at a customs terminal in south Serbia, and the fate of these books lies in the hands of the judiciary because they were illegally transported.

However, even prior to the seizure it was no secret that, because of the lack of alternative textbooks, ethnic Albanian students were secretly studying from books illegally imported from Kosovo.

“Textbooks from Kosovo arrive via private channels – when returning from there, people hide a few books” – confesses a Bujanovac professor who insisted on anonymity.

Students study from these books at home, but they also often use them in school, he says.

“In schools these books are not generally used by everybody, simply because they are banned, and teachers don’t want to risk putting themselves and the students in an unpleasant situation.”

Nedzmedin Ahmedi, in charge of education in the Presevo government, says that some people have made quite a good business from importing textbooks from Kosovo.

“The Serbian authorities are not interested in solving the decades-long problem of textbooks in Albanian language. This is why students study using books from Kosovo,“ he claims.

“It would be ideal if ethnic Albanian students studied using books that are printed in Belgrade. However, this is not the case and, since books are necessary, people are forced to find a way to buy books from Kosovo,” Ahmeti explains, confessing that, at the beginning of the school year, he himself brought some 400 primers, 500 other elementary school textbooks and about 500 CDs containing material for music classes through one of the illegal border crossings.

“I only managed to get the primers to Presevo, the rest fell into the hands of the police, but no criminal charges were filed against me,” he says.

After years of fruitless discussions, the Serbian ministry of education, in association with the national council of Albanians, has agreed plans to produce a new primer which should go some way towards solving the problem of educating young ethnic Albanians’ in their native language.

Representatives of the council, which has broad authority in the field of culture, information, education and use of native language and symbols, say that an agreement with the government in Belgrade is the right way to solve the problems and that, initially, focus will be placed on the young – students in the first four grades of elementary school.

(Note the moderate tone with regard to Belgrade, whose intentions have supposedly always been genocidal toward Albanians, and note the tone’s contrast to Ahmedi’s above — as well as its contrast to that of Kosovo Albanians, who are always attributing all kinds of nefarious intentions to Belgrade.)

…“Next school year ethnic Albanian elementary school students will get a primer in their mother tongue,” Zelimir Popov of the education ministry and a member of the working group for textbooks in Albanian, confirmed at the end of February.

“Next school year we will probably have two primers for teachers to choose between. One primer from Albania, and the other provided by the state institute for textbook publishing,” Popov explained.

Fatmir Asani, the principal of the Naim Fraseri elementary school in the village of Veliki Trnovac near Bujanovac, says that only first and second grade elementary school students have textbooks in Albanian and for just four subjects and that these are textbooks from Albania that have been reprinted in Belgrade. He explains that all other students are forced to take notes in class from which they then study.

“Books in Albanian were not printed for over two decades, and a great deal has changed in the curricula from that time to the present day. The authorities in Belgrade have good intentions about solving this problem, but it takes time to make up for all that has been lost,” says Asani adding that there are some 13,000 ethnic Albanians attending elementary and secondary schools in Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja.

(Again, note the reasonable tone vis-a-vis Belgrade, but don’t count on this being the tone that wins out when it’s time for an insurrection again to separate this region from Serbia, as they’d tried to do in 2000. And of course, when it’s time for the war all these sorts of things will be cited as “repression” and “oppression” of Albanians, necessitating their “independence” — just as happened in Kosovo, where the quality of life for Albanians was significantly better than in Albania, so much so that they had it better than the non-Albanians of Kosovo whom they were intimidating out of the province.)

National council of Albanians chairman and working group member, Galip Beciri, says that he is very satisfied with the progress made so far:

“Ethnic Albanian students are studying from the notes that they take in class, but I think that we are now heading in the right direction to find a solution,” Beciri told Balkan Insight.

Nenad Djurdjevic, from the Serbian government’s co-ordination body which was set up at the end of 2000, and which is tasked with alleviating the consequences of the clashes [of 2000] and acting as a link between the local and central authorities, says that improvements in the education of all ethnic communities is one of the priorities of this institution:

…He adds that a primer in Albanian is already being drafted in Belgrade and that professors of the Belgrade Faculty of Philology’s Albanology Department are involved in its preparation.

“The final licence from the education ministry is being issued for the import of primers from Albania,” adds Djurdjevic who conceded that the issue of textbooks in Albanian had been neglected for many years…

Related was this item from Oct. 2009: Serbian University to Teach in Albanian.

As my source “Serbstvo” put it: Vatican beatifies Quran-kisser and Serb-hater Pope John Paul II.

“Pope John Paul II is handed the holy book of Islam, the Koran. He kisses it thereby symbolically accepting its doctrine that rejects the Holy Trinity and the divinity of Jesus.”

Flashback to four days ago:

Bosnia’s Muslims may honour late pope with monument for wartime support (AP, April 27)

They may not recognize him as a saint, but Muslims in Bosnia are considering honouring the late Pope John Paul II with a monument in the heart of Sarajevo.

Because of his support for inter-religious and intercultural dialogue, “I think that Pope John Paul II is one of the most important figures of the 20th century,” the head of the Bosnian Islamic Community, Mustafa Ceric, told The Associated Press.

Ceric prayed for world peace with the late pope in Assisi. [Except Ceric was of course praying for an Islamic world peace.]

The almost 90 per cent Muslim population [that] endured the brutal Serb siege [sic!] of Sarajevo during the 1992-95 war waited “every Sunday to hear his messages of hope,” as the pope never failed to call for an end of their suffering, Ceric said. [And to hell with the Christian suffering in this Muslim-wanted war.]

John Paul had wanted to visit Sarajevo at the height of the war in September 1994 but the trip was cancelled after the Serbs said they wouldn’t guarantee his safety. [It was otherwise generally expected that the Serbs do guarantee their demonizers’ and bombers’ safety. Meanwhile, that sentence is supposed to make you think it’s a reference to exclusively Serb bullets, rather than a chaotic war zone or the fact that the more dangerous element for a pope visiting Sarajevo was the Muslim fighters who were trying to turn Bosnia into an Islamic republic.]

He visited Sarajevo a year after the war ended and tens of thousands jammed the streets to welcome him. In front of the main Sarajevo Cathedral, he shook hands with the crowd and stroked the foreheads of weeping people, many of them Muslims.

City authorities are now considering erecting the statue in that location in front of the cathedral.

He visited Bosnia again in 2003, travelling to the predominantly Serb city of Banja Luka where he apologized for crimes committed by Roman Catholic Nazi supporters on Christian Orthodox Serbs during World War II. […]

Without, of course, visiting Jasenovac death camp and after beatifying Alojzije (Aloysius) Stepinac, whose portrait hangs alongside fuhrer Ante Pavelic’s in Croatian Cultural Centers across the globe.

So the beatification chain continues with great consistency: Hitler’s Pope, Pavelic’s Bishop, and the pope who endorsed them both and repeated their mistakes by taking the side of Ustasha cutthroats and Bosniak jihadists against their WWII victims, Christian-Orthodox Serbs.

I’ve mentioned before how the pope was brilliantly lampooned in an Aug. 14, 1993 cover illustration of Rome daily La Repubblieg, which had him standing atop a minaret, calling “Isus (Warren) Christopher, Save Us!” From Bill Dorich’s book The Suppressed Serbian Voice:

The Italian Press condemned Pope John Paul for blessing an American air assault on Serb positions and for asking President Clinton to launch it without delay. On 15 August 1993, Roman Catholic priest, Don Albino Bizzotto, founder of the Beati Construttovi di Pace peace and charity orgnization, has assessed the Pope’s call for air strikes on Bosnian Serbs as ‘disappointing’ and ‘double-dealing. “We cannot understand those who speak about mercy and military intervention at the same time, he said. Fr. Bizzotto went on to say: The pope’s behavior is like a leading big power, who tries to cure their hypocrisies and failures with armed interventions.”

Also fittingly (vis-a-vis Vatican solidarity with Serb-cutters and allies of Fascism), Serb-organ-harvester and Kosovo “prime minister” Hashim Thaci attended the beatification ceremony. Pope John Paul II had given an early endorsement to an independent Kosovo.

The Vatican is sanctifying someone who is arguably a traitor to Christianity, a pope who repeated the Vatican’s mistakes and sins of WWII. On that point, are we really supposed to believe that the Vatican stood up as much as it could to what was going on under Hitler? How can we believe this when the Vatican didn’t even object to the resurrection of Fascism in 1990s Croatia? What potential retaliation by Hitler was there to fear then? Instead, the Vatican endorsed 1990s Croatia whole-heartedly, rewarding its Ustasha resurrection with statehood — just as Hitler had done — and the world followed suit. As Freenation’s Rodney Atkinson pointed out in this video, today’s New World Order is essentially Hitler’s.

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