Naim Frashëri

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Naim Frashëri
Picture of Naim Frasheri
Born (1846-05-25)25 May 1846
Frashër, Ottoman Empire, now Albania
Died 20 October 1900(1900-10-20) (aged 54)
Kadıköy, Istanbul in Ottoman Empire, now Turkey
Occupation Poet, and translator
Genre Romanticism
Literary movement Albanian National Awakening
Spouse Hatixhe
Children Nerqeze and Nevrezi
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, writer and one of the most prominent patriots of Albanian national movement for independence from the Ottoman Empire. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Albania.[1] He authored 22 works.

Early life and career[edit]

Naim Frashëri was born in 1846 in Frashër, a village of 1500 residents in the Vilayet of Janina. He was one of eight children of Halit bey (1797–1859) and Emine Hanım (1814–1861).[2][3][2] His paternal family traditions held that they were descendants of timar holders that hailed from the Berat region before coming to live in Frashër.[2] While their mother Emine Hanım (1814–1861)[3] was descended from Imrahor Ilyas Bey, a distinguished 15th century Ottoman Albanian commander from the Korçë area.[2] Kristo Frashëri, a member of the family points out that the first Frashëri documented was an Albanian merchant in Thessaloniki.[4] Although of distinct origin the family seemed to be of modest financial means by the mid-nineteenth century.[2]

Naim spent his childhood in Frashër, where he began learning Ottoman Turkish, Persian and Arabic. As a member of a family which gave him a strong Bektashi upbringing he spent a part of his time in a Bektashi tekke. After the death of their parents the family moved to Ioannina in 1865. The oldest of brothers, Abdyl (b. 1839), became the family head at the age of 22 and started working as a merchant.[5] That year Naim and Sami enrolled in the Zosimaia secondary school.[6] The education there provided Naim with the basics of a classical education along Western lines. Apart from languages he learned in the Zosiamaia (Ancient and Modern Greek, French and Italian), Naim took private lessons in Persian, Turkish and Arabic from two important local Bektashi.[5][7] Frashëri showed interest in Bektashism, Persian poetry and Age of Enlightenment. Robert Elsie states that "His education in Janina made of him a prime example of a nineteenth-century Ottoman intellectual equally at home in both cultures, the Western and the Oriental".[5] After he finished his studies in 1870, Naim worked for a few months at the press office in Istanbul (1870) but was forced to return to his home village because of tuberculosis. The climate of Frashër helped Naim and soon he started work as a clerk in Berat and later in Saranda (1872-1877).[8] However in 1876 Frashëri left the job and went in Baden, in modern Austria to cure his problems with rheumatism in a health resort.[5][7]

Influence and Recognition[edit]

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. Some Albanian elementary schools are named Naim Frashëri in his honor.[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]


Museum house of the Frasheri Brothers in Frasher, Permet, Albania
  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 e Gawrych, George (2006). The crescent and the eagle: Ottoman rule, Islam and the Albanians, 1874-1913. IB Tauris. p. 13.
  3. ^ a b Robert Elsie (2005). Albanian Literature: A Short History. I.B.Tauris. p. 67. ISBN 978-1-84511-031-4. 
  4. ^ Frashëri, Kristo (2010). Frashëri, shkëlqimi dhe rrënimi i tij: vështrim i shkurtër. Geer. p. 14. ISBN 9789995688097. 
  5. ^ a b c d Cite error: The named reference Elsie2005 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ Robert Elsie (2005). Albanian Literature: A Short History. I.B.Tauris. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-84511-031-4. 
  7. ^ a b Rexhep Qosja (2000). Porosia e madhe: monografi mbi krijimtarinë e Naim Frashërit [The Great Instruction]. pp. 34–42. ISBN 9789992713372. 
  8. ^ Dhimitër S. Shuteriqi (1971). Historia e letërsisë shqipe (History of Albanian Literature). 
  9. ^ Elsie, Robert (2005), "Writing in the independence period", Albanian literature: a short history, London, UK: I.B. Tauris in association with the Centre for Albanian Studies, p. 100, ISBN 1-84511-031-5, retrieved 18 January 2011, major source of inspiration and guiding lights for most Albanian poets and intellectuals 
  10. ^ Naim Frashëri official website,; accessed 5 February 2017.
  11. ^ Bank of Albania. Currency: Banknotes in circulation]; retrieved 23 March 2009.

External links[edit]