By Namik Mehmeti
– WHEN THE LLUJA FAMILY OF SHKODRA, DONATED THE ALBANIAN DIASPORA, THE BOOK WITH THE STATUTE OF THE ALBANIAN KINGDOM-
Memorie.al / In the neighborhood “Dudas”, one of the oldest in the city of Shkodra, the Lluja family has inherited a history with many values, both in the relations between the inhabitants of the city and the surrounding areas, in terms of the development of trade, which dates back to since 1705, in trade relations with Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and Italy. This family is also known for its contribution to national affairs, as well as to the consolidation of the Albanian state. Brothers; Abdyl and Kasem Lluja were the first citizens of Shkodra to support the revolt against the Austro-Hungarian invaders in 1916-18, where the Lluja family attempted to imprison Adyl and confiscate their assets.
Equally well-known is the contribution of this family, in the Koplik War, in 1920, being the head of the volunteers of the “Dudas” Neighborhood. What gave this family an even greater recognition, not only in the Prefecture of Shkodra, but also in the prefectures of all Albania, was the commitment with a pure feeling and loyalty to the Zog Monarchy and Legality, being targeted, after the invasion of Albania by Italy, in 1939. The Italian Fascists exiled and continued to hold a critical attitude towards the status of the Fascist Party.
But the Lluja family, which was labeled and known as the Zogist family in Shkodër, would suffer the most vicious persecution with the establishment of the communist regime in November 1944 and until the overthrow of the communist dictatorship.
This family spent 25 years of internment, in the infamous Shtyllasi camps in Fier, starting with the oldest; Muharrem, Hamidi, Fitnet, Rasimi, Hakiu and even the youngest, the brothers; Feridi and Hadi. But, being in a family relationship with Man Tepeline, one of the best-known merchants of Shkodra and Albania, who was executed by the communist regime, Llujet, in addition to political persecution, they also face sequestration of property, from the agrarian reform and beyond, also religious persecution.
Ferid Lluja, with his brother, Hadi and Fredi, with the victory of Democracy, was among the first to support the opposition movement, opening the doors to the leader of the Democratic Party, Mr. Sali Berisha, and making the first contacts with Zogist families from Shkodra King Leka Zogu and the political diaspora; “Legality Movement” led by Dr. Fuad Muftija. For more about this and other things about this family, we know Mr. Ferid Lluja, in this short interview that we are publishing in this article.
Mr. Ferid, I remember how today, when in Shkodër the Zogist families were waiting to revive the tradition announced by King Zog I and the legality “Homeland above all” and your house opened its doors to communicate with King Leka , the Royal Court, with Minister Abedin Mulosmani and the President of the National Organization “Legality Movement”, Dr. Fuad Muftija. How do you remember that time?
More than thirty years have passed since I managed to install a telephone connection as a persecuted family. Some Zog, politically persecuted in Tirana, who had come into contact with King Leka, had given him the phone number of the Lluja family, where one day, I answered the phone call coming from South Africa. It was the voice of H. M. TIJ, King Leka, wishing me the victory of Democracy.
This conversation, no doubt, surprised you for the moment and impressed you for a moment
It is not even discussed, where the words of N. M, TIJ, King LEKA ZOGU, are imprinted in my mind, as if I had recorded them. Moreover, what moved me were the last words: “Soon, we will see you in Albania and greetings to all the Legalists and sympathizers of the Monarchy”.
Before the much-awaited moment came, with the meeting of King Leka I, at the Lluja family, some of the exponents of the Albanian political diaspora knocked…?
With the establishment of Democracy, without wasting time, a group of intellectuals from Shkodra created the “Albanian Islamic Community”, for 20 years, until the official approval, with Hafiz Sabri Koçi as chairman, a former political prisoner from the Enverian communist dictatorship. It is understood that a valuable contribution was made by us, the Lluja family, where I was the chairman of the initiating committee.
With the inauguration of the first prayer, at the Lead Mosque, where, in addition to the citizens of Shkodra, hundreds of believers from the villages of Shkodra, as well as representatives of the Catholic Clergy, were present, the reaction of the Albanian Diaspora was not long in coming, where in September 1991, waiting at home, a delegation of the Albanian Muslim Community, from America.
This meeting, as far as I remember, was echoed, not only in Radio-Shkodra broadcasts, and in the independent press bodies that had begun to appear, at the beginning of Democracy.
It is true; this news was also published in the “Albanian Newspaper”, as well as in a newspaper in the USA.
Do you remember some of the names of this delegation?
Of course yes. At the head of the delegation were Imam Vehbi Ismaili, Imam Isa Hoxha, legalists Mysli Mulosmani, Fahri Barolli, Zenun Nezaj and Skender Meka. After they got acquainted with the traditions and historical, national, religious and commercial heritage of the Lluja family, among the documents, relics preserved with fanaticism and care by our parents, in difficult conditions, where the State Security was constantly tracking, to annihilate any heritage and having consequences in punishments and deportations.
What surprised our friends from America, was when we gave them three brochures, published in the years of the Zogist Monarchy, as “THE FUNDAMENTAL STATUTE OF THE ALBANIAN KINGDOM”, (published in 1929),
“DJELMNIA, FUTURE HOPE SHOULD BE PREGADITE”, written by Aqif Domini, (published in 1931), as well as “A SERMON ON PATRIOTISM AND NATIONALISM”, written by Kristo Floqi, published in 1928, these three booklets, were printed in Tirana.
What surprised me was the fact that; “THE FUNDAMENTAL STATUTE OF THE ALBANIAN KINGDOM” could not be found in the Albanian Political Diaspora, this is probably due to the fact that the Zogist exponents were deported to the refugee camps in Italy, Greece, etc., in addition to the damage, there were also seizures by the police secrets of these countries.
These brochures were quickly printed in the Diaspora and did not delay and circulated in Albania as well, giving them away for free.
The printing press “Prishtina Printing” in Toronto Canada, property of Fisnik Prishtina, the son of the patriot, the worthy son of Kosovo Kreshnik, Hysen Prishtina, with a valuable contribution as a legalist and king, elected for years; Chairman of the National Council, of the “Legality Movement” National Organization, made these reprints free.
The brochures were circulated throughout Albania, without a doubt, distributed by the leadership of the “Legality Movement” Party. On November 2, 1991, at the address of the Lluja family, a letter of thanks arrived from Mr. MYSLI MULOSMANI. I wanted to add that Mr. was also welcomed in our house. MENTOR ÇOKU, Chairman of the “Religious Islamic Center” in Rome for Europe, this visit on 26.11.1992, and this news was also published in Italy.
We return to your contribution to the creation of the “Legality Movement” Party in Shkodër and Tirana.
After the somewhat unexpected visit of the group of the National Organization “Lëvizja e Legalitetitet”, led by its chairman, Dr. Fuad Muftija, who came to Albania in 1991, after the meetings that were held first in Tirana and then in some of the main cities of the country, the work began to activate the elderly legalists, who had served sentences, in the system’s prisons dictatorial and in the internment camps, their heirs and sympathizers of the Zogist Monarchy. I want to point out that the descent of the leaders of the National Organization “Legality Movement” in Rinas, led by Dr. Fuad Muftija gathered at the airport of Rinas, dozens of legalists, obviously and their families.
When they presented at the airport counters, 12 passports of the ALBANIAN KINGDOM, passports bearing the stamps of several Western European countries, with which they moved without any restrictions to Canada, Australia and Asia, they found the airport employees unprepared. , its leaders, who in communication with the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, up to and including the Presidency, directly with Ramiz Ali, to find a solution. The ultimatum of the Diaspora leaders was; if the Royal passport was not recognized, all would return to America. Albania, how much it had accepted political pluralism.
You, Mr. Ferid, have not been absent from any of the events held in Albania by the Albanian Diaspora, in cooperation with the Presidency of the “Legality Movement” Party!
I was included in all the commissions that prepare the arrival of the Royal Court for the first time, headed by Minister Abedin Mulosmani, on June 26, 1993, whose composition included Mr. Skënder Zogu, press spokesman of the Royal Court, Mr. Ylli Spahia, major, representative of King Leka I, in France, Prince Tati, Kryeziu – Kosovo, major Mergim Bramëll, military advisor of King Leka, etc. Or in the event that reverberated in Albanian politics, the development of the 12th Congress of the “Legality Movement” Party, for the first time in the Homeland, after 47 years, in the Congress Hall in Tirana, on May 29-30, 1993, where greeted the right-wing parties, the Association of the Politically Persecuted, the Association of former Owners.
In addition to the delegates, from the branches of this party, which were organized in all the cities of Albania, were the Presidency of the National Organization “Legality Movement” and its National Council, delegates from the USA, Canada, Australia, Belgium, France, etc. ., where, after running for president, among the legalists Rasim Sina e, Dr. Guri Durollari, there was no procedure for voting, as the former director of the newspaper and radio “Atdheu” in America, Rasim Sina, with a democratic gesture, withdrew, to leave the place of the chairman, his countryman, Dr. Durollari.
Of course, the arrival of HIS MAJESTY, KING LEKA, on November 19, 1993, for the first time, in the Motherland, remains indelible in your memory and that of all legalists, royalists, why not all Albanians.
In Rinas, we were a small group of legalists and sympathizers of the Zogist Monarchy, from Shkodra I remember, it was you and me. The descent of King Leka I, accompanied by Minister Mulosmani, was a very emotional moment for King Leka I himself, who, as soon as he set foot on Albanian soil, sat down and kissed him, then, greeted all of us present and my brother, Fred, managed to capture dozens of photos from this very impressive and exciting event.
I remember that, although the news was not made public, hundreds of sympathizers of the Monarchy and Legality, and ordinary citizens of the capital, were gathered at Rinas airport and in front of the “Dajti” Hotel, where King Leka I greeted them and thank you for the enthusiastic reception. There was no shortage of cheers, but also calls “Long live King Leka I”, “We want the Kingdom”, “Bless the auspicious foot of Naltmadhni”, etc.
Mr. Ferid, the Lluja family, through documents, has left traces of nationalism and patriotism, not only at the local level but also at the national level. What can you tell us more about this?
Without question, I have preserved dozens of documents, which were hidden by the ancestors of this land, but I have traced the archives of the Museum of Shkodra, the State Archive, etc. This work also started by my brother, the late Hadi Lluja, who after many years of exile in Shtyllas of Fier, waited for the victory of Democracy, to show the civic values, not only of our family and of Tepelijaj, but of all the families of persecuted from Shkodra.
After graduating from the Faculty of Law at the “Luigj Gurakuqi” University of Shkodra, he started working in the National Information Service, with the rank of First Captain. His premature death was a great loss for our parents and us as brothers and all our relatives. Hadi died at the age of 36, on February 16, 2000, without being able to experience his dream, that the victory of Democracy would bring the freedom of speech and the rights denied by the communist dictatorship. Memorie.al