Etëhem Bey Mollaj

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The resting place of Etehem Bey which - unlike other graves - did not get destroyed during the Communist dictatorship and which still can be seen right of the entrance

Etëhem Bey Mollaj (1783–1846), also known as Haxhi bey Tirana Etëhem or Et'hem be Mollaj,[1] was an Albanian poet of the Bejtexhinj era.

Etëhem Bey was the son of Molla Bey of Petrela, from one of the prominent families of the Tirana area, back then part of the Ottoman Albania. He is descendant of Sulejman Pasha Bargjini, who gave the main contribution to the development of Tirana as a commercial and religious center.[2] His family was an opponent of the powerful Toptani family and with connected to the Bushatlliu family of Shkodra. As a result, Abdyl Rahman Toptani exiled him away from Tirana. He would reconcile later with the Ottoman rulers by joining the Ottoman campaign against Mustafa Pasha Bushati in 1831.[1]

Etëhem Bey finished in 1819 or 1821 the Ethem Bey Mosque in the main square of Tirana, which bears his name. The mosque was started by his father Molla Bey between 1791-1794. He was buried in Ethem Bey Mosque, next to his wife Balkis.[2]

Etëhem Bey was also a diwan poet. He wrote both in Turkish and Albanian. His work in Turkish consists of 4 diwans.[2] In Albanian he wrote a Bektashi mystical poem and a diwan, out of which nothing has survived.[3] For the Turkish work, he used the pen-name "Shehidi" (the Martyr).[1]


  1. ^ a b c Dhimiter Shuteriqi (1976), Shkrimet Shqipe ne Vitet 1332-1850, Tirana: Academy of Sciences of PR of Albania, p. 262, OCLC 252881121
  2. ^ a b c H.T.Norris (1993), Islam in the Balkans: Religion and Society Between Europe and the Arab World, University of South Carolina Press, pp. 77–78, ISBN 9780872499775, OCLC 28067651
  3. ^ Robert Elsie (1992), R. Sellheim (ed.), "Albanian literature in the Moslem tradition", Oriens, E.J.Brill, 33: 303, ISBN 9004096515, ISSN 0078-6527, OCLC 32677759