May 25, 1846|
Frashër, Ottoman Empire, now Albania
|Died||October 20, 1900
Kadıköy, Istanbul in Ottoman Empire, now Turkey
|Occupation||Poet, and translator|
|Literary movement||Albanian National Awakening|
|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. He authored 22 works.
Early life and career
Naim Frashëri was born in 1846 in the village of Frashër in the Vilayet of Janina to a distinguished Muslim Albanian family of Bektashi religious affiliations. Naim, alongside his brothers Sami, Abdyl and 5 other siblings were the children of Halit Bey (1797–1859) and their paternal family traditions held that they were descendants of timar holders that hailed from the Berat region before coming to live in Frashër. While their mother Emine Hanım (1814–1861) was descended from Imrahor Ilyas Bey, a distinguished 15th century Ottoman Albanian commander from the Korçë area. The surname Frashëri of the family is derived from the village of Frashër. The settlement was noted in the late Ottoman era for having a mixed Albanian and Vlach population. Thede Kahl and the Vlach community in Albania claim that the Frashëri family were of Vlach origin.
Naim spent his childhood in the village of Frashër, where he most likely began learning Turkish, Persian and Arabic, and went to the Bektashi tekke. After the deaths of their parents, the oldest, Abdyl (b. 1839), became the family head at the age of 22. Abdyl was a merchant. In 1865, the family moved to Ioannina (Sanjak of Ioannina). The younger brothers, Naim and Sami, attended the Zosimaia School.
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.
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.
Influence and Recognition
Through his writings, Frashëri exerted a strong influence on later Albanian literature and society. 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.
Bagëti e Bujqësi
His most famous work was Bagëti e Bujqësi (Herds and Crops). The following is an excerpt:
|Bagëti e Bujqësi|
Ti Shqipëri, më jep nder, më jep emrin shqipëtar,
Shqipëri, o mëma ime, ndonëse jam i mërguar,
You, Albania, give me honor, give me the name Albanian,
Albania, oh mother of mine, though I am émigré,
Fjalët e Qiririt
One of his best known spiritual poems:
- Fjalët e Qiririt (Words of the Candle)
Në mes tuaj kam qëndruar
Do të tretem, të kullohem,
Për ju do të rri të tretem,
Unë zjarrit nuk i druhemi
Kur më shihni se jam tretur,
Unë jam në shpirtin tuaj,
Se ma k'ënda t'u bënj mirë,
Në shpirt kam dashurinë,
Dua ta djek trupn' e kretë
Bashkë me gëzimt të tija
Në bëhi shokë me mua,
O zëmëra fluturake,
Unë duke përvëluar,
Gjithë tuajt' i kam parë,
Edhe sot nër ju ata shoh,
Pa jam bërë shumë herë
Edhe ndër qiej fluturonj,
Bënem qëngj e kec i pirë,
E ku shkruhenë në kartë
Amongst you I stand
I’ll be exhausted, drained out
For you I will exhaust myself
Fire I do not fear
When you see me exhausted
I am inside your soul
Much I like to do well
I have love in my soul
I want to burn body and head
Together with its happiness
If you become my friends
Oh fluttering heart
By scalding myself
All your relatives I have seen
And today I see them in you
Many times I have become
And in heavens I fly
I become a lamb and a fed kid
Can there ever be written on paper
- Kavâid-i farisiyye dar tarz-i nevîn (English: Grammar of the Persian language according to the new method), Istanbul, 1871.
- Ihtiraat ve kessfiyyat (English: Inventions and Discoveries), Istanbul, 1881.
- Fusuli erbea (English: Four Seasons), Istanbul, 1884.
- Tahayyülat (English: Dreams), Istanbul, 1884.
- Bagëti e Bujqësi (English: Herds and Crops), Bucharest, 1886.
- E këndimit çunavet (English: Reader for Boys), Bucharest, 1886.
- Istori e përgjithshme për mësonjëtoret të para (English: General history for the first grades), Bucharest, 1886.
- Vjersha për mësonjëtoret të para (English: Poetry for the first grades), Bucharest, 1886.
- Dituritë për mësonjëtoret të para (General knowledge for the first grades), Bucharest, 1886.
- O alithis pothos ton Skypetaron (English: The True Desire of Albanians, Greek: Ο αληθής πόθος των Σκιπετάρων), Bucharest, 1886.
- Luletë e Verësë (English: Flowers of the Summer), Bucharest, 1890.
- Mësime (English: Lessons), Bucharest, 1894.
- Parajsa dhe fjala fluturake,(English: Paradise and the Flying Word) Bucharest, 1894.
- Gjithësia (English: Omneity), Bucharest, 1895.
- Fletore e bektashinjët, (English: The Bektashi Notebook)Bucharest, 1895.
- O eros (English: Love, Greek: Ο Έρως), Istanbul, 1895.
- Iliadh' e Omirit, Bucharest, English: Homer's Illyad, 1896.
- Histori e Skënderbeut (English: History of Skanderbeg), Bucharest, 1898.
- Qerbelaja, Bucharest, (English: Qerbela), 1898.
- Istori e Shqipërisë (English: History of Albania), Sofia, 1899.
- Shqipëria (English: Albania), Sofia, 1902.
- 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.
- Gawrych, George (2006). The crescent and the eagle: Ottoman rule, Islam and the Albanians, 1874-1913. IB Tauris. p. 13.
- Robert Elsie (2005). Albanian Literature: A Short History. I.B.Tauris. p. 67. ISBN 978-1-84511-031-4.
- Arno Tanner (2004). The Forgotten Minorities of Eastern Europe: The History and Today of Selected Ethnic Groups in Five Countries. East-West Books. pp. 213–. ISBN 978-952-91-6808-8.
- Nitsiakos. p. 142 https://books.google.com/books?id=H-7toRTGrFkC&pg=PA142. Missing or empty
- Ethnologia Balkanica. LIT Verlag Münster. pp. 150–. GGKEY:ES2RY3RRUDS.
- Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers (March 1999). "The Albanian Aromanians Awakening: Identity Politics and Conflicts in Post-Communist Albania". European Centre for Minority Issues: 6.
- Robert Elsie (2005). Albanian Literature: A Short History. I.B.Tauris. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-84511-031-4.
- 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
- Bank of Albania. Currency: Banknotes in circulation. – Retrieved on 23 March 2009.
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