Naim Frashëri

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This article is about the Albanian writer. For the Albanian actor, see Naim Frashëri (actor).
Naim Frashëri
Picture of Naim Frasheri
Born (1846-05-25)May 25, 1846
Frashër, Ottoman Empire, now Albania
Died October 20, 1900(1900-10-20) (aged 54)
Kadıköy, Istanbul in Ottoman Empire, now Turkey
Occupation Poet, and translator
Genre Romanticism
Literary movement Albanian National Awakening
Children Mehdi Frashëri
Relatives Abdyl Frashëri (Brother)
Sami Frashëri (Brother)
Mit'hat Frashëri (Nephew)
Ali Sami Yen (Nephew)

Naim Frashëri (25 May 1846 – 20 October 1900) was an Albanian poet and writer. He was one of the most prominent figures of the Albanian National Awakening (Albanian: Rilindja Kombëtare) of the 19th century, together with his two brothers Sami and Abdyl. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Albania.[1] He authored 22 works.

Early life and career[edit]

He was one of eight children of Halid Bey (1797–1859) and Emine Imrahor (1814-1861), born in the mountainous village of Frashër in the Sanjak of Delvina, Ottoman Empire (now southern Albania).[2] The family was of Aromanian descent,[3][4][5] the village being inhabited by Aromanians,[6] today a mixed Albanian-Aromanian village.[7] He spent his childhood in the village of Frashër, where he most likely began learning Turkish, Persian and Arabic, and went to the Bektashi tekke.[8] After the deaths of their parents, the oldest, Abdyl (b. 1839), became the family head at the age of 22.[2] Abdyl was a merchant.[2] In 1865, the family moved to Ioannina (Sanjak of Ioannina).[2] The younger brothers, Naim and Sami, attended the Zosimaia School.[8]

As he hailed from a family with long connections to the Bektashi Sufi order, Naim became an Ottoman official in Sarandë, Berat, and Ioannina. In 1882, Frashëri went to Istanbul and started his service in Ottoman culture ministry.

Naim took part in the National Renaissance of Albania, and often had to sign his writings using his initials, as otherwise he would have placed himself in danger working in an official Ottoman position. His works had to be smuggled into Albania[citation needed].

His earliest writings were poetry. The very first pieces Frashëri wrote were in Persian. In all, he authored twenty-two major works: four in Turkish, one in Persian, two in Greek and fifteen in Albanian. His early patriotic poems and highly popular lyric poetry were strongly influenced by Persian literature, and later also French poetry. He also translated several fables of Jean de la Fontaine, Homer's Iliad, and wrote articles on didactics and Islamic practice. Naim's poem Herds and Tillage depicts the activities of the shepherd and the tiller, alongside his personal reflections on the beauty of Albanian landscapes and expressions of longing for his homeland. The epic poem Skanderbeg's Story retells the life of the Albanian national hero George Kastrioti Skanderbeg intertwined with imaginary episodes.

Frashëri died in Kızıltoprak, Kadıköy, a neighborhood of Istanbul, in present-day Turkey.


The renowned Albanian poet was also Ali Sami Yen's uncle, founder of the Turkish football club Galatasaray.

Influence and Recognition[edit]

Memorial to Naim Frashëri in Tirana
Portrait of Naim Frashëri on the 200 lekë banknote

Through his writings, Frashëri exerted a strong influence on later Albanian literature and society.[9] The independent Albanian state created an order of merit that bears his name, awarded to, amongst others, Mother Teresa. A publishing house in Tirana was named Naim Frashëri. Also in his honor some Albanian elementary schools are named Naim Frashëri too.[10]

Naim Frashëri is depicted on the obverses of the Albanian 500 lekë banknote of 1992-1996, and the 200 lekë banknote issued since 1996.[11]

Bagëti e Bujqësi[edit]

His most famous work was Bagëti e Bujqësi. The following in an excerpt:

Albanian lyrics Translation
Bagëti e Bujqësi (Small impression)

Ti Shqipëri, më jep nder, më jep emrin shqipëtar,
Zëmrën ti ma gatove plot me dëshirë dhe me zjarr.
Shqipëri, o mëma ime, ndonëse jam i mërguar,
Dashurinë tënde kurrë zemëra s'e ka harruar.

You, Albania, give me honor, give me the name Albanian,
You filled my heart, with desire and fire.
Albania, oh my mother, even though I have emigrated,
my heart has never forgotten your love.


  1. Kavâid-i farisiyye dar tarz-i nevîn (English: Grammar of the Persian language according to the new method), Istanbul, 1871.
  2. Ihtiraat ve kessfiyyat (English: Inventions and Discoveries), Istanbul, 1881.
  3. Fusuli erbea (English: Four Seasons), Istanbul, 1884.
  4. Tahayyülat (English: Dreams), Istanbul, 1884.
  5. Bagëti e Bujqësi (English: Herds and Crops), Bucharest, 1886.
  6. E këndimit çunavet (English: Reader for Boys), Bucharest, 1886.
  7. Istori e përgjithshme për mësonjëtoret të para (English: General history for the first grades), Bucharest, 1886.
  8. Vjersha për mësonjëtoret të para (English: Poetry for the first grades), Bucharest, 1886.
  9. Dituritë për mësonjëtoret të para (General knowledge for the first grades), Bucharest, 1886.
  10. O alithis pothos ton Skypetaron (English: The True Desire of Albanians, Greek: Ο αληθής πόθος των Σκιπετάρων), Bucharest, 1886.
  11. Luletë e Verësë (English: Flowers of the Summer), Bucharest, 1890.
  12. Mësime (English: Lessons), Bucharest, 1894.
  13. Parajsa dhe fjala fluturake,(English: Paradise and the Flying Word) Bucharest, 1894.
  14. Gjithësia (English: Omneity), Bucharest, 1895.
  15. Fletore e bektashinjët, (English: The Bektashi Notebook)Bucharest, 1895.
  16. O eros (English: Love, Greek: Ο Έρως), Istanbul, 1895.
  17. Iliadh' e Omirit, Bucharest, English: Homer's Illyad, 1896.
  18. Histori e Skënderbeut (English: History of Skanderbeg), Bucharest, 1898.
  19. Qerbelaja, Bucharest, (English: Qerbela), 1898.
  20. Istori e Shqipërisë (English: History of Albania), Sofia, 1899.
  21. Shqipëria (English: Albania), Sofia, 1902.


  1. ^ Cornis-Pope, Marcel (2004). History of the literary cultures of East-Central Europe: junctures and disjunctures in the 19th and 20th centuries. History of the Literary Cultures of East-central Europe 2. John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 291. ISBN 90-272-3453-1. 
  2. ^ a b c d Robert Elsie (2005). Albanian Literature: A Short History. I.B.Tauris. p. 67. ISBN 978-1-84511-031-4. 
  3. ^ Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers (March 1999). "The Albanian Aromanians Awakening: Identity Politics and Conflicts in Post-Communist Albania". European Centre for Minority Issues. p. 16 (6). 
  4. ^ Arno Tanner (2004). The Forgotten Minorities of Eastern Europe: The History and Today of Selected Ethnic Groups in Five Countries. East-West Books. p. 213. ISBN 978-952-91-6808-8. it is claimed [...] were in fact Aromanians 
  5. ^ Ethnologia Balkanica. LIT Verlag Münster. pp. 150–. GGKEY:ES2RY3RRUDS. 

    Aromanians [...] In Albania, the famous Frasheri Brothers are considered as important figures of the Albanian national movement.

  6. ^ Basilēs G. Nitsiakos; Vassilis Nitsiakos (2010). On the Border: Transborder Mobility, Ethnic Groups and Boundaries Along the Albanian-Greek Frontier. LIT Verlag Münster. pp. 142–. ISBN 978-3-643-10793-0. 
  7. ^ Arshi Pipa (1978). Albanian Folk Verse: Structure and Genre. Trofenik. p. 64. ISBN 978-3-87828-119-1. 
  8. ^ a b Robert Elsie (2005). Albanian Literature: A Short History. I.B.Tauris. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-84511-031-4. 
  9. ^ Elsie, Robert (2005), "Writing in the independence period", Albanian literature: a short history, London: I.B. Tauris in association with the Centre for Albanian Studies, p. 100, ISBN 1-84511-031-5, retrieved January 18, 2011, major source of inspiration and guiding lights for most Albanian poets and intellectuals 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Bank of Albania. Currency: Banknotes in circulation. – Retrieved on 23 March 2009.

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