Albanians in Montenegro
|30,439 Albanians |
4.91% of Montenegro population (2011) 32,671 Native Albanian speakers
5.27% of Montenegro population (2011)
|Regions with significant populations|
|Sunni Islam majority|
Roman Catholic minority
|Related ethnic groups|
|Albanians, Arbëreshë, Arbanasi, Arvanites, Souliotes|
Albanians in Montenegro (Albanian: Shqiptarët e Malit të Zi; Serbo-Croatian: Albanci u Crnoj Gori) are an ethnic group in Montenegro of Albanian descent, which constitute 4.91% of Montenegro's total population. They are the largest non-Slavic ethnic group in Montenegro.
Albanians are particularly concentrated in southeastern and eastern Montenegro alongside the border with Albania in the following municipalities including Ulcinj (71% of total population), Plav (19%), Bar (6%), Podgorica (5%) and Rožaje (5%).
After the territorial expansion of Montenegro towards the Ottoman territories in 1878, Albanians for the first time became citizens of that country. Albanians that obtained Montenegrin citizenship were Muslims and Catholics, and lived in the cities of Bar and Ulcinj, including their surroundings, in the bank of river Bojana and shore of Lake Skadar, as well as in Zatrijebač.
After the Balkan wars, new territories inhabited by Albanians became part of Montenegro. Montenegro then gained a part of Malesija, respectively Hoti and Gruda, with Tuzi as center, Plav, Gusinje, Rugovo, Peć and Gjakova.
With the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes after World War I, Albanians in Montenegro became discriminated. The position would improve somewhat in Tito's Yugoslavia. In the mid-twentieth century, 20,000 Albanians lived in Montenegro and their number would grow by the end of the century. By the end of the 20th century the number of Albanians began to fall as a result of immigration.
Albanians in Montenegro are widespread in southeast and eastern parts of the country. Ulcinj Municipality, consisting Ulcinj (Albanian: Ulqin) with the surroundings and Ana e Malit region, is the only municipality where Albanians are majority (71% of the population). Albanians are also majority in Malesija (Malësia) region, consisting of Kuči, Hoti, Gruda and Zatrijebač (Kojë, Hot, Grudë and Triesh in Albanian), that is part of Urban Municipality of Tuzi, a territorial unit of the Podgorica Municipality, which continuously seeks to acquire the status of a municipality, but without success. Also a large number of Albanians lives in the following regions: Bar (Tivar) and Skadarska Krajina (Krajë) in Bar Municipality (2,515 Albanians or 6% of the population), Plav (Plavë) and Gusinje (Guci) in Plav Municipality (2,475 or 19%) and Rožaje (Rozhajë) in Rožaje Municipality (1,158 or 5%).
The Albanians in Montenegro are Ghegs.
Montenegrin Albanian culture in this region is closely related to the culture of Albanians in Albania, and the city of Shkodër in particular. Their Albanian language dialect is Gheg as of Albanians in Northern Albania.
According to the 2003 census, 73.37% of Albanians living in Montenegro were Muslim and 26.08% were Roman Catholic. The religious life of Muslim Albanians is organized by the Islamic Community of Montenegro, comprising not only Albanians, but also other Muslim minorities in Montenegro. Catholic Albanians, generally living in Malesija, Šestani and some in the Bar and Ulcinj municipalities, are members of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bar, whose members are mainly Albanians, but which also includes a small number of Slavs. The current Archbishop, Zef Gashi, is an ethnic Albanian.
Albanians in Montenegro speak the Gheg Albanian dialect, namely the northwestern variant, while according to the 2011 Census, there are 32,671 native speakers of the Albanian language (or 5.27% of the population).
The government of Montenegro provides Albanian-language education in the local primary and secondary schools. There is one department in the University of Montenegro, located in Podgorica, offered in Albanian, namely teacher education
The first political party created by Albanians in this country is the Democratic League in Montenegro, founded by Mehmet Bardhi in 1990. Most Albanians support the country's integration into the EU: during the 2006 Montenegrin independence referendum, in Ulcinj Municipality, where Albanians at that time accounted over 72% of the population, 88.50% of voters voted for an independent Montenegro. Overall, the vote of the Albanian minority secured the country's secession from Serbia and Montenegro.
In 2008, the Albanian National Council (Albanian: Këshilli Kombëtar i Shqiptarëve, abb. KKSH) was established to represent the political interests of the Albanian community. The current chairman of the KKSH is Genci Nimanbegu.
History and Politics
- Elia, Crown Princess of Albania - Albanian actress, former singer and wife of Leka II, Crown Prince of Albania
- Ali Pasha of Gusinje - Albanian military commander and one of the leaders of the League of Prizren
- Ded Gjo Luli - (1840–1915) leading nationalists of the Albanian revolt against Turkey.
- Sokol Baci - Albanian leader in the liberation of Malesia from Ottoman rule.
- Baca Kurti Gjokaj - Albanian nationalist
- Tringe Smajli - Albanian guerrilla fighter who fought against the Ottoman Empire in the Malësia region
- Pretash Zekaj Ulaj - Albanian tribal leader
- Çun Mula - Albanian freedom fighter
- Cafo Beg Ulqini - Albanian nationalist
- Mirash Ivanaj - Albanian politician
- Nikolla bey Ivanaj - Albanian journalist, publisher and writer
- Rexhep Qosja - prominent Albanian academic (lives in Kosovo)
- Mujo Ulqinaku - officer in the Royal Albanian Army and People's Hero of Albania
- Mark Gjonaj - politician Democratic Party for District 80 in the New York State Assembly
- Dritan Abazović - Albanian Montenegrin politician, President of United Reform Action since May 2017 and current member of Parliament of Montenegro.
- Gëzim Hajdinaga - Montenegrin-Albanian politician
- Fuad Nimani - Montenegrin-Albanian politician
Science and Academia
- Nokë Sinishtaj - Albanian writer and poet
- Gjelosh Gjokaj - Albanian painter, and graphic artist.
- Mark Lucgjonaj - Albanian poet
- Nikolla bey Ivanaj - Albanian journalist, publisher and writer
- Hajro Ulqinaku - Albanian writer
Music and Entertainment
- Kristine Elezaj - Albanian-American recording artist
- Emina Cunmulaj - Albanian-American model
- Malësor Prenkoçaj - Albanian singer
- Afërdita Dreshaj - Albanian-American model
- Hana Cakuli - singer
- Adrian Lulgjuraj - Albanian singer, winner of the Festivali i Këngës 51.
- Nikollë Nikprelaj - Albanian singer
- Rexho Mulliqi - Montenegrin composer
- Edita Abdieski - Swiss pop singer
Television and Cinema
- Nickola Shreli - Albanian-American actor
- Victor Gojcaj - Albanian-American actor
- Pjetër Gjoka - actor and People's Artist of Albania
- Pjeter Malota - Albanian actor,martial artist.
- Enver Gjokaj - Albanian-American actor
- Rrok Mirdita - Catholic Archbishop of Durrës-Tirana, and the Primate of Albania
- Gjon Buzuku - Albanian Catholic priest who wrote the first known printed book in the Albanian language: Meshari
- Lesh Shkreli - football player
- Ardian Đokaj - football player
- Fatos Bećiraj - football player
- Sead Hakšabanović - football player
- Emrah Klimenta - football player
- Asmir Kajević - football player
- Ronaldo Rudović - football player
- Halil Kanacević - American-born Montenegrin professional basketball player
- Arijanet Muric - football player
- Driton Camaj - football player
- Aljbino Camaj - football player
- Mirnes Pepić - football player
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Most of the ethnic Albanians that live outside the country are Ghegs, although there is a small Tosk population clustered around the shores of lakes Presp and Ohrid in the south of Macedonia.
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