By Roald A. Hysa
– All the names and families who moved to the capital from 1913, where they created the “Mëhalla e Dibranë”!
Memorie.al / Mahalla e Dibranë is one of the well-known toponyms for all old Tirana residents. A large part of the Sheherli Dibrans settled in this part of Tirana after the dark year 1913, when they were violently forced to leave their homes in Dibër te Madhe. The emigration of the years 1912-1913 carries the character of violence from the Serbs, where almost the entire city of Dibra was moved or in some way expelled and in a very short time it was almost completely emptied. This violent migration of the Dibrans in this period to Albania, where they first went to Elbasan and then settled in Tirana, is shown by the fact that; today in Tirana we have over 55,000 inhabitants who are of Dibra origin.
Many of these families of Dibra origin hardly exist in Dibra. Today, the Çausholli family, an aristocratic family, the Jorganxhiu, Abule, Strazimiri family, a pure Dibra family, as well as many other families who were forced by Serbian violence to emigrate to Tirana no longer exist in Dibër.
This is the first wave of Dibrans who arrived in Tirana from two different routes. One group followed the route: Dibër-Strugë-Elbasan and Tirana, while the other: Dibër-Mat-Shkalle e Tujanit-Tirana. A few families settled in Elbasan, while most of them settled in Tirana. All these sheherlins arrived, only the clothes of the body, because they did not have time to take any booty.
The sufferings of that difficult journey the ancestors of the Dibran families took with them to the grave, and left behind a feeling of deep gratitude to their descendants for Tirana, which welcomed them and opened the doors of generosity. In his song where he thanks Tirana and the people of Tirana, Haxhi Maqellara says:
“There we ate bread and salt,
Work for me, not beg for me…”!
Dibran families integrated with the society of the time and were distinguished by their dedication to their family and work. This made them quickly overcome the sufferings of that terrible exodus.
They settled in several parts of Tirana, but a large part of them founded what is still known today by the entire Mahalla e Dibrani.
The Dibran families settled mainly to the right and left of Xamllik or Straus Square and helped each other succeed there. Very soon they bought the land where they built the houses and with hard work and dedication gave life to a new Tirana. The doors of the houses were open, and just as they were welcomed by the Tiranians, they responded with the same generosity.
Even marriages between Tirana and Dibrani started very soon, so that 80% of the early Dibrani families have one parent from Dibran and the other from Tirana. Sulejman Popinara was among the first there around 1913, which arrived in this neighborhood and exactly where the center is today, on Rr. “Architect Sinani”.
They bought the first houses at each other’s expense one distant day of those years, the Gorenca and Suti families put in the middle, the Popinara family, facing the south, where Sulejman Popinara was the only one in the entire neighborhood who had rented, and later bought 10 dunymes of land with napoleon gold.
Some of the surnames that we can mention here of the Dibrani neighborhood are: Saraçi, Klloboçishta, Sengla, Jashari, Shamku, Torozi, Çanka, Ostreni, Muhaxhiri, Gorenca, Varvarica, Çoku, Basha, Pregja, Popinara, etc.
Tirana has had several places where Dibran families have settled, such as: in “Namazgjaja”, “Shebekve” neighborhood, “Selvia”, “Pazari i Ri”, “Abdullah Bey”, etc., where in historical periods, there have been various movements demographic. The Dibran community is the second to arrive in Tirana; where before them the “shepherds” or “mud-faces” of Tirana (Vlachs) were settled.
We cannot leave without mentioning “Rugica e Dibranë”, on Rr. “Shaban Jegeni”, the name of this street was given to a patriotic figure. In this alley, the families who came from Dibra e Madhe lived during the years 1913-1939 such as: Shatku, Krajka, Ramku, Dervishi, Pilku, Laçi, Gonxhe, Gazideda.
A part of those who settled near the “New Market” area are: the family of Xhelo Dibra, the Juglins, the Kurins, the Hysats, the Borovats, the Turkeshs, the Hatibs and others. It was precisely the Dibra families that helped build the new building of the Kokonozi Mosque in 1933, together with the Tirana Kokonozi family, the descendants of Mahmud aga Kokonozi, who was the one who built the mosque first.
During this period, the Dibra families were also distinguished by their participation in politics, where we remember here Haxhi Vehbi Dibra (Agolli), with Hafuz Sherif Langu, the Shatku family distinguished for the outstanding jurists it gave to this country. Regent Fuad Dibra, who melted all his wealth for Albania, Hafuz Xhemal, who left Istanbul and the high positions there, to give his contribution to Albania.
After World War II, a new wave of refugees would come from Peshkopia and its surroundings. During this time, many Dibras excelled in all areas of life, such as sports, music, science, etc. The name of Agim Bardulla, is well known in mathematical sciences, of Hiqmet Gonxhe, one of the first topographers who mapped the Albanian mountain relief. Engineer Tofik Jegeni, with his group with a special study on the Radika River.
Ramiz Hatibi is one of the early Dibrans, he actually came in 1908 and opened the first Albanian school in the district of Tirana, in Shëngjergj (in the city of Tirana there were three or four open schools).
Another very well-known Hatib was Belul Shefqet Hatibi, an outstanding 10-point athlete and lecturer for many generations at the Institute of Physical Education. Gold medalist in the 1946 Olympics and holder of many records in several disciplines for years.
Other prominent names in sports, we can mention: Feti Borova and Astrit Grevë in basketball, Luan Sengla or Lushku, prominent footballer-midfielder from Tirana, Dan (Ramadan) Jashari footballer, Ramiz Pregja football referee, in the field of art: composers Agim Krajka, Munir Shehu, Naim Plaku and Is’hak Shehu; the famous cellist Ymer Skenderi, director and caricaturist Bujar Kapexhiu, Adriatik Metuli, soloist and choreographer in the Folk Dance Ensemble, actress and dancer Adivije Sharofi, outstanding dancer Mukades Erebara.
The great theater and film actor Sulejman Pitarka. The pastry chefs of the Reka family are well known throughout Tirana for their sweets.
After the 1990s, the sheherli people of Tirana have gathered around the Dibrane Community association, where with various activities in Tirana and Dibër te Madhe, they try to preserve the old values and connections with the city from which they come. At the head of the association is the well-known director and cartoonist Bujar Kapexhiu.
In the following, you will find other information about the sheherli of Dibra e Madhe located in Tirana and who served the nation of the motherland with their skills in various fields of social – national life.
We also have an improvement in the registration of surnames after a more careful research through an investigation of several directions with several Dibrans, where we thank Asim Pregja, Arian Karpuzin, Edvin Camin, Edmond Guzja, etc., as well as other Dibrans, who brought them to us info through social networks.
The Hafuzlers of Dibra in the service of the nation:
Hoxhe Voka (Said Najdeni); Hafiz Vildan Faik Dibra – (?-1925); Hafiz Raif Kadiu (1884-1943); Hafiz Ismet Dibra – (1886-1955); Hafiz Muharrem Mullahi (1880-1964); Hafiz Fiqiri Skenderi (1903-1969); Haki Sharofi (1894 – 1977); Salih Ferhat Hoxha -(1917-1995); Hafuz Xhemal Dibra; Haxhi Vehbi Dibra Agolli – (1867-1937); Hafiz Sherif Langu – (1877-1956)
The presidents of the Association “Dibrane Community” founded in 1992 in Tirana:
- Hiqmet Gonxhja – He was born in Tirana on 21.04.1928
- Gëzim Erebara (1929-2007) received the title “Deserved Artist” of the Albanian people, he was born on May 19, 1929 in Dibër; died February 12, 2007.
- Feti Borova – (1931-2005) He is the son of a well-known Dibran family that settled in Tirana from an early age.
- Arian Kadiu was born in Dibër (Peshkopi).
- Faruk Borova – was born in Tirana on September 14, 1946 in a citizen family with parents from Dibra e Madhe [Shehri].
- Mira Pirdeni, prominent civil society activist.
- Bujar Kapexhiu – Born on March 22, 1944 in Tirana, he is a well-known Albanian director, screenwriter and actor.
Surnames of Dibran families from Shehri i Dibra e Madhe:
- Abule, Agolli, Alimani,
- Baholli, Bali, Ballanca, Balliu, Basha, Batku, Borova, Brekofska, Budini, Buxhak
- Çanka, Çausholli, Çoku, Çelik
- Daci, Dardha, Dervishi, Dibra, Difi, Doda, Drini
- String, Thread,
- Gazideda, Gorenca, Gonxhe, Grazhdani, Guri, Guzja,
- Hajdari, Hasku, Hatibi, Haxhirexha, Haxhiymeri, Hoxholli, Hysa,
- Jashari, Jegeni, Jorganxhiu, Juca,
- Kaba, Kadiu, Kaja, Kapexhiu, Karpuzi, Kirçishta, Kirluku, Klloboçishta, Kodra, Korumi, Kosovrasti, Krajka, Krifca, Kuçka, Kuçuku, Kujofska, Kuriu,
- Laçi, Langu, Lata, Lazimi, Leksani, Lera, Lika,
- Maqellara, Mera, Muhaxhiri, Mullahi,
- Ostren, Oshafi,
- Pasholli, Pijaneci, Pilku, Pirdeni, Pitarka, Plangarica, Pocesta, Popinara, Pregja, Pustina,
- Qatipi, Qylafku, Qorrpasha,
- Radovicka, Ramku, Reka, Reka-Ramadani, Reka-Shabani, Resuli, Rusi, Rustemi,
- Sakiqi, Saraçi, Sengla, Sfërdelli, Skenderi, Skudrina, Spahiu, Strazimiri, Sturçe,
- Shamku, Shatku, Shehu, Shijaku, Shkreta,
- Tërshana, Tomini, Torozi, Trenova, Turkeshi,
- Varvarica, Vejsiu, Verzivolli,
- Zeqja, Zeraliu, Zlatku. Memorie.al