National Geographic : 1931 Feb
EUROPE'S NEWEST KINGDOM Photograph by Melville Chater OCCIDENTAL INFLUENCE IS INVADING ALBANIA'S CAPITAL Electric-lit thoroughfares intersect hodgepodge bazaar alleys, taxis and mule teams throng the same square, and baggy-pantalooned chauffeurs are discarding the donkey-prodding stick for the tire pump. Tirana was chosen as the Albanian capital because it lies about midway between north and south. One thing is certain: Its Government stands squarely behind Young Albania's determination to be educated. Something like 600 primary and continuation schools, not to mention technical schools conducted by American and other foreign organiza tions, are in being. The need is only too obvious. When an Albanian civic official politely hands you back, because he cannot read it, a typed letter in his own tongue, one might be ex cused for registering amazement. Con versely, when another civic official replaces hard labor with compulsory ABC classes in jails, one registers prolonged applause. Our final lap, from Tirana to Shkodra (Scutari), took us through the quaint hill town of Kruja (Kroia), with its ruined citadel, its covered bazaar streets, and its hillside alive with fantastically costumed mountain folk who thought it no hardship to travel all night to insure arriving in time for the local market day. They were Christian Ghegs. The women were unveiled and were frankly unaf frighted by the presence of an American he-man. Rather it was the he-man who longed to retire behind a veil that would shelter him and his camera from their ram pant curiosity.