National Figures

Albania presents the greatest national figures to have ever walked the land of eagles and others who currently live and contribute to making Albania more wonderful each passing day.

Gjergj Kastrioti Skenderbeu, born on 1405 – died on 17 January 1468, known as Skanderbeg, was a 15th-century Albanian warrior and nobleman. As a member of the noble Kastrioti family, he was taken by the Ottomans and educated to enter the military service. After abandoning Ottoman military, Scanderbeg returned back home and created his army which for around 3 decades effectively fought the ottomans in over 20 battles. His success during this period of time, made him a hero to the western world – mainly Western Europe.


Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (Albanian ethnicity), known as Mother Teresa was born Shkup – Skopje on 26 August 1910. Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic Religious Congregation, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and was active in 133 countries. Mother Teresa received numerous prizes, including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2003, she was beatified as “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta”. A second miracle was credited to her intercession by Pope Francis, in December 2015, paving the way for her to be recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.


Bajram Curri (16 January 1862 – 29 March 1925) was an Albanian chieftain, politician and activist who struggled for the independence of Albania, later struggling for Kosovo’s incorporation into it following the 1913 Treaty of London. He was posthumously given the title Hero of Albania. Years later after his death, in honor of Bajram Curri the town of Kolgecaj was renamed after him in 1952.


Marin Barleti was a historian and Catholic priest from Shkodra. He is considered the first Albanian historian because of his 1504 eyewitness account of the 1478 siege of Shkodra. Barleti is better known for his second work, a biography on Skanderbeg, translated into many languages in the 16th to the 20th centuries. Scholars variously assert that he was Italian, Dalmatian or Albanian.


Çesk Zadeja (8 June 1927, Shkodër – 15 August 1997, Rome) was an Albanian composer. A native of Shkodër, he studied in Moscow and did much to promote the arts in Tirana. He is known as “The Father of Albanian Music”.


Ernest Koliqi (20 May 1903–15 January 1975) was an Albanian writer, literary scholar, journalist, translator, teacher and politician.


Sami Frashëri (Turkish: Şemseddin Sami Bey; June 1, 1850 – June 18, 1904) was an Ottoman Albanian writer, philosopher, playwright and a prominent figure of the Rilindja Kombëtare, the National Renaissance movement of Albania, together with his two brothers Abdyl and Naim. He also supported Turkish nationalism against its Ottoman counterpart as well as laicism against theocracy. He gained a place in Ottoman literature as a talented author under the name of Şemseddin Sami Efendi and contributed to the Ottoman Turkish language reforms. Frashëri’s message, however as declared in his book “Albania – What it was, what it is, and what will become of it” published in 1899, became the manifesto of the Rilindja Kombëtare. He discussed the prospects for a united, free and independent republic of Albania. In this way, beginning with a demand for autonomy and struggle for their own alphabet and education, Frashëri helped the Albanian National Movement develop its claim for independence. His lifetime goal, as that of many other members of the Albanian renaissance was the development and improvement of Albania’s culture and eventual establishment of an independent country.


Ermal Mamaqi (born Tirana 21 March 1982) is an Albanian actor, singer, comedian, DJ, and TV host. Mamaqi is mostly known for his appearances in Portokalli (2004-2007) and Apartment 2XL (2008-2013). He is also known for hit songs that he created and performed, such as “Dita e Veres” (Summer Day), “Vetem Beso” (Just Believe), and “Ditet e Mia” (My Days). He now hosts his own TV show called “Xing me Ermalin”.


Eliza Patricia Dushku is an American-Albanian actress, model and producer known for her television roles, including starring as Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer[3] and its spinoff series Angel. She starred in two Fox series, Tru Calling and Dollhouse. She is also known for her roles in films, including True Lies, The New Guy, Bring It On, Wrong Turn, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, as well as her voice work on video games.


To achieve a position in the history of contemporary visual arts is an indisputable merit and such was given to Ibrahim Kodra, born in the town of Durrës and formed and shaped as an artist in Italy. His masterpieces stand alongside other famous painters such as Modigliani and exposed in the most well-known galleries around the world.

The opera singer Inva Mula ranks among the ten best sopranos of the world, with a collection of extraordinary arias from nearly all the best opera composers of all time. The soprano appears in the most prestigious opera scenes of the world and is particularly appreciated at La Scala in Milan and at the Metropolitan in New York. But she is not alone , Ermonela Jaho another great soprano and Saimir Pirgu a wellknown tenor they are doing a great world tour in all the most important Operas ever .

The violinist Tedi Papavrami has been described in the media as the “little Albanian virtuoso” because of his skillful violin playing upon the international stages as a child.