Congress of Manastir
The Congress of Manastir (Albanian: Kongresi i Manastirit) was an academic conference held in the city of Manastir (Bitola) from November 14 to November 22, 1908, with the goal of standardizing the Albanian alphabet. November 22 is now a commemorative day in Albania, Kosovo, and the Republic of Macedonia, as well as among the Albanian diaspora, known as Alphabet Day (Albanian: Dita e Alfabetit). Prior to the Congress, the Albanian language was represented by a combination of six distinct alphabets, plus a number of sub-variants.
The congress was held by the Union Association (Albanian language: Bashkimi) literary society at the house of Fehim Zavalani, which served as the place of the Union. The participants in the Congress were prominent figures of the cultural and political life from Albanian-inhabited territories in the Balkans, as well as throughout the Albanian diaspora in places such as Bucharest, Sofia, Sicily, and Boston. There were fifty delegates, representing twenty-three Albanian-inhabited cities, towns, and cultural and patriotic associations of whom thirty-two had voting rights in the congress, and eighteen were observers. Among prominent delegates were Gjergj Fishta, Ndre Mjeda, Mit'hat Frashëri, Sotir Peçi, Shahin Kolonja, and Gjergj D. Qiriazi. Zavalani, held the introductory speech led the congress. Other delegates of the congress from the family included Izet Zavalani, delegate of Florina and Gjergj Zavalani.
The delegates decided that the Albanian alphabet and its orthography should be as phonemic as possible. Three distinct alphabets were proposed: the Stamboll alphabet, the Bashkimi (English: "Union") alphabet proposed by the Union Association, and the Agimi (English: "Dawn") alphabet. After the presentation of the three alphabets, the delegates voted unanimously for the use of the modified Bashkimi alphabet as the standard Albanian alphabet. Both the Bashkimi and the Agimi alphabet were based on the Latin alphabet; the Stamboll alphabet was based on the alphabet used officially in the Ottoman Empire and contained mostly Latin characters, supplemented by ten improvised symbols.
The congress represents one of the most important dates of Albanian culture, and the biggest event for the Albanian people after the League of Prizren, not only because of the decisions taken, but because those decisions would be legally implemented by the Ottoman authorities. In 2008 festivities were organized in Bitola, Tirana and Pristina to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the congress. In Albania, Kosovo and Albanian-majority areas in Macedonia in all schools the first teaching hour was dedicated to honour the Congress and give more information to the students about it.
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- Mustafa, Avzi (2014-03-19), Kongresi i dytë i Manastirit [Second Congress of Monastir] (in Albanian), Dielli,
Kongresi i parë i Manastirit, pas Lidhjes së Prizrenit, ishte ngjarja më e madhe e popullit shqiptar, që u hapi rrugën jo vetëm të kërkesave legjitime të shqiptarëve, por që edhe ato kërkesa të realizohen në mënyrë legale dhe të jenë të lejuara nga qeveria e Sulltanit përmes rrugës parlamentare. translated
First Congress of Monastir, after the League of Prizren, was the biggest event for the Albanian people, which not only opened the path to the legitimate demands of the Albanians, but those demands to come implemented pretty soon in a legal way by the Sultan's government through parliamentary channels
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- on YouTube