By Tefta Cami
Memorie.al publishes a report from the city of Pogradec, authored by Tefta Camin, former Minister of Education and Culture in the ’70s and’ 80s, which tells about her two unknown meetings with the famous poet Lasgush Poradeci , whom, by order of the then Prime Minister, Mehmet Shehu, she first met in one of the premises of the Tourism Hotel of that city, (because, according to Prime Minister Shehu), Lasgushi refused to come to the offices of the state party and then, at his invitation, she paid a home visit to the famous poet, but he refused to introduce the chairman of the Pogradec Executive Committee and the first Secretary of the Party Committee of that district, saying: I have invited only the minister! Rare testimonies of Mrs. Tefta Cami, for the unknown conversations with the ‘liqueur poet’ in his house in Pogradec, as well as for the visit he made to her house in ‘Mustafa Matohiti’ street, Tirana, which she makes public for the first time!
Full 42 years ago, the Prime Minister, Mehmet Shehu assigned me the task to go to Pogradec and meet the great poet, Lazgush Poradec. He told me to wait for him in “Tourism”, because he does not come to the party and state offices. Ask him out well if he is no longer absorbed in the connection.
I went to Pogradec and they informed me that the next day at 10 o’clock in the morning the Minister would meet you at the Tourism. I waited for him in one of the waiting rooms. Lazgushi came at the appointed hour. He was wearing a black suit, with borsaline on his head and his cane in his hand. We greeted each other with a handshake and he sat in the armchair in front of me.
I asked him how he was doing and I told him that the Prime Minister had instructed me to meet with him and ask him about the problems you had.
He told me: “I am in good health, but I want my daughter to continue the University in the branch of Albanian language and literature,” so that my daughters can serve Albania as my descendants “.
I replied that I will definitely fulfill this request. When I returned to Tirana, I instructed the head of the Education and Culture Section in the Executive Committee of the Tirana district, Musa Kraja, to plan Lazgushi’s daughter in the branch of Albanian language and literature.
Then I say, I want to tell you an episode from our student life that we experienced together:
“The subject of literary commentary was developed by Professor Ziaudin Kodra. In a lesson commenting on your poem “Old Drini walks through Albania” Professor Kodra said: “Lazgush Poradeci is a great poet, but ignorant in geography.” A student of the course, Rinush Idrizi, had informed you. You came one day at the hour, that we had the literary comment. After knocking on the auditorium door, you went inside, greeting us with your hand. You put one foot on the podium of the chair and said: “Professor Kodra! I am not ignorant in geography, but you have forgotten your birthplace, “Great Dibra. I have written that the old Drini walks through ethnic Albania and not this Albania, which the Great Powers robbed us of, unjustly tore up and gave to the neighbors, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Greece to satisfy their envy and greed. .
We students stood up and applauded you, Professor Lazgushi. You, grabbing the corner of the borsalina, greeted Professor Kodra and us students and with the cane in your hand passed in front of us, giving us a great national message “.
Professor Lazgushi got up, smiled and gave me a business card, as well as invited me to pay him a visit at 4 pm at his house in Pogradec.
At 4 pm I went in front of his house, accompanied by the first secretary of the Party Committee and the chairman of the Executive Committee of the district. Professor Lazgushi was waiting for me in front of the gate and said: “I only invited the minister and she took me by the hand and led me into the house, after closing the gate. We climbed the wooden stairs to the second floor and entered his room. There was a small desk and on it a bottle of ink and a pen for writing and notebooks and letters. Nearby stood his loving and loyal Cuci, who rose to his hind legs to greet us. The professor ordered him to sit in a corner of the room and Cuci was ordered to sit where he told him.
I recently read his diary dated 2,3,4 August 1975, where he writes “” They came and forcibly took my very beloved and very loyal conco (Cucin) to kill (shoot) him “. Although ill he went out for three days in a row with his daughter, Mrs. Marie and has knocked on several offices to save his beloved concubine and finally got it after they had vaccinated him. They hugged Cuci and fed him meatballs.
Lazgush Poradeci has been and remains a model of love and care for animals. While staying in his room, he opened a package of plums and rented it to me. He sat down and told me about the Patriotic Society “Drita” and later “Dituria” of Bucharest, because he had been a member of it and had befriended Asdren and Mitrush Kuteli. He told me that he had the Archive of this Patriotic Society.
I asked him: why not submit it to the Central State Archive? But he told me, that he was afraid, that he would not lose me. He felt very devoted to that Archive, which he rightly valued as a great asset and guarded very carefully. I do not know what happened to the fund of that Archive after Lazgushi passed away, because I have not heard talk or writing about him, where he is now.
Vlora Vlora recited the poem to me / The hand is happier! / Here it will become our Vlora / Here it will turn to ashes! /
This poem, he told me, has remained anonymous, but it was written by me (Lazgushi) and which became the anthem during the Vlora War of 1920.
He spoke to me about the Lake with much love. He showed me how the appearance of the lake surface changes during the seasons of the year, during the day, in the morning, at lunch and in the evening, which are also interdependent from the clearness of the sky. For example, he told me: “In the morning, when the sun rises, the surface of the lake takes on a golden appearance and then like silver and blue. When torrential rains fall the lake becomes wild and the waves rise high and crash into the shores of the Lake louder than usual. “I look at the lake during daylight hours and see how it changes its appearance.” Only Lazgush Poradeci, who was in love with the Lake and was inspired and received energy from it, could observe, distinguish and enjoy these changes.
I said: “Professor! Three generations of my ancestors fought as squad commanders against the Serbian and Bulgarian occupying forces during the First World War and against the Nazi-fascist occupying forces during the Second World War, giving their lives shed blood as martyrs of the homeland for the freedom and independence of Albania. and are placed on the altar of liberty. As you fight with the weapon of your golden feather and you are the unique poet of universal love poetry, giving great messages with your poems to all Albanians, to love and protect the homeland, to work for the nation and for the national unity. You with your creativity will be on the altar of eternity of the Albanian nation “.
After a few months, Professor Lazgushi paid me a visit to the apartment where I lived on “Mustafa Matohiti” street in Tirana. I was glad that he came to visit me and I welcomed him warmly. We talked as friends and drank coffee. He recited to me some of his last poems. He gave me a poem with a title…! I read it immediately and we talked frankly and I said: “You have a very honorable and coveted position where you are”. We understood each other. The conversation with Lazgushi I did not feel how time passed so quickly, because he was a living archive, in terms of great historical and cultural baggage and numerous experiences inside and outside the country.
I escorted him to the courtyard gate. This was the last meeting with Lazgush Poradec, the great poet of universal national love. When he passed away, I was not able to pay my last respects or comfort his family at home because I had been fired as Minister of Education and Culture.
When I was visiting Kosovo as Minister of Education and Culture, invited by them in October 1980, the Publishing House “Rilindja” gave me the set of publications of Lazgush Poradec, Eqerem Çabej, Ismail Kadare and the five volumes of History of World Literature, with special links, which I keep as a precious treasure in my library.
But during the demonstrations of the spring of 1981 in Kosovo, with the main slogan “Republic Constitution, – here with hatred, here with war”, Belgrade used violence against the youth and the Albanian population of Kosovo, killing and imprisoning them, deporting them, practiced savage and barbaric terror against the Albanian population. Deployed the army along the entire border of Albania. Burn Albanian textbooks, publications of the Academy of Sciences and prominent authors of Albanian literature and culture, such as Çabejtë e Budës, Kadare and Poradec, etc., actions as in the Middle Ages.
The first two weeks of July this year I spent holidays in Pogradec near the beautiful Lake that surrounds and wets the shores of four Albanian cities: Pogradec, Bitola, Struga and Ohrid. The city of Pogradec has grown and expanded as a population and territory with many constructions. As in all of Albania, the process of removing the inhabitants from the village and settling in the city has taken place, which have created difficulties in education and employment, etc.
The area of Pogradec, both in the city and in the villages and in the depths of the lake shores, bears treasures of the archeological findings of the Illyrian tribes of Enkelej and Desartes, as well as the archeological findings in the castle and the underwater ones. before Christ. For the first time, Moikom Zeqo conducted underwater archaeological research and finds in Durrës and Lake Pogradec. I’m glad that the archaeologist, Dr. Adriatik Anastasi who, as a specialist, continues to work and dates the antiquity of archaeological findings, comparing them with the archaeological findings of the Maliqi culture of the Iron Age.
In some Eastern Countries and in Albania, mainly in Maliq, the Swiss anthropologist, Professor Eduard Pittard, made archeological excavations during the years 1914-1924, who identified the Illyrian race in contrast to other populations in the Balkans. Legends are known in Pogradec, which are evidence of the antiquity of the Illyrians and Pelasgians, although the Avar-Slavic and Bulgarian attacks have tried to alienate and appropriate or eradicate them, in order to elevate their legends and myths.
I went after 42 years to visit the house of the late “Honor of the Nation”, Lazgush Poradec. I thought it would be a Museum House because it deserved it. Its name symbolizes Pogradec and Albania. I was surprised when I saw it. That house with great value was sold so cheaply that I could not write it, perhaps because of the needs of the family.
When I went inside I saw that the apartment had been alienated. Instead of the floor of the ceiling and the wooden stairs that creaked under the weight of the years, they were paved with concrete and tiles, as the Albanians are practicing, forgetting the tradition of using wooden planks for the floors, ceilings and verandas and stairs. This house had no trace of Lazgushi. I was looking forward to seeing the desk with the ink bottle and pen, manuscripts and correspondence with friends, documents of the Archive of the Patriotic Society of Bucharest “Drita” and “Dituria” clothing and photographs, living exhibits, life and activity inside and outside Albania , even the cape with a hood, which he is said to have worn when writing, because he entered his world of inspiration and creation.
Why is this done ?! What can be done to turn it into a museum? I believe that the Municipality of Pogradec and the Ministry of Culture, although very late, will buy the apartment again and return it to its identity as it was and return it to the Museum, because it is and will be in the honor of Pogradec and Albania.
As much as I was hurt for the house of the great Lazgush Poradec, I was just as happy for the Odeon erected in Pogradec by the Municipality of Pogradec, to be congratulated on the two statues of the two luminaries of Pogradec, Lazgush Poradec and Mitrush Kuteli, the writer and translator of outstanding. These two statues were surrounded by colorful flower gardens. An Amphitheater was built next to it, where Albanian concerts and movies were given every evening. On the left side of the statue of Lazgushi, next to it was the bust of his head, Cuci. Lazgush Poradeci (Llazar Sotir Gusho) and Mitrush Kuteli (Dhimitër Pasko), have made a name and are known by their nicknames. How can it be explained that Lazgushi called Pogradec Poradec?
In Pogradec I was very attracted to the German project, which has built the entire shore of the Lake from the city to Drilon, which is not affected by the sand. There were promenades and gardens and above all in the evening listen to light Albanian music. I asked some citizens what the street was called above the sand and they said: “Shetitore” I was happy with the fact that they named it in Albanian and not as they call it in Tirana and some districts: Pedestrian.
In Pogradec lives a population that is civilized. They speak in a low voice and greet in familiar and unfamiliar ways, which I value as a citizen, radiating kindness and positive energy, as well as optimism to others in the community. An example of this kindness, I found in the little boy, Kelvin Tona, 11 years old, who worked with his father in a ‘Mobile Phone Service’ who fixed my cell phone but refused to be rewarded. It struck me that Kelvin is talented and radiated only kindness.
My sister Drita and I did not feel like strangers. As soon as we arrived in Pogradec, the businessman, Bajame Topalli, who we are very grateful for, helped us to settle down at home. A friend of mine, who lived in Peshkopi many years ago, Drita Shkëmbi, invited us for lunch. Wherever we went and whoever we met, we were accompanied only by smiles and kindness. /Memorie.al