Albania, the oldest country in Europe, lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, just across the narrow waters from the Italian peninsula and Rome. This country where is myanmar not much larger than Maryland, the smallest states of the US. And its population is only about a half as many as Maryland has. But that’s not the whole story. The thing here is no one could find what goes on and went on here. It’s said to be a country of mystery.
Two thousand years ago, Albania was called Illyria. It was a prosperous colony of the Roman Empire, which was then the center of the civilized world. Yet today Albania is a poor, backward land. One reason, perhaps, is the high mountains that hem Albania in from its neighbors. Another reason may be that so many different conquerors have come to Albania to kill and oppress the people. Many of the people who live in Albania today are descended from the ancient Illyrians who lived there before written history began. They speak a language brought down through the ages from that ancient people.
Other Albanian people came there, long ago, from Greece, which is Albania’s neighbor on the south. The Turks, and Slavic people from different parts of what is now Yugoslavia, and Italians, have all ruled Albania at one time or another, and some of them have stayed there. Most of the Albanians are poor, and they make their livings in the two oldest kinds of work known to man: farming, and tending cattle and sheep. Albania has some good farmland, but there is hardly enough of it, and besides the Albanians do not have modern farm machinery and do not use the best methods of farming. Sometimes they cannot raise as much food as they need, and have to buy some from other countries. Nearly three out of four Albanians follow the Mohammedan religion.