O moj Shqypni

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O Moj Shqypni (English: "Oh Albania") is a poem written by Pashko Vasa, a writer and activist of the Albanian National Awakening, around 1878–1880. A critique of religious and political factionalism, the poem is considered to be one of the most important and influential literary works of the Albanian National Awakening and the best known work of Pashko Vasa, while its verse The Faith of the Albanian is Albanianism (Albanian: Feja e Shqyptarit asht Shqyptaria) has become the motto of various Albanian organizations.


O moj Shqypni (Oh Albania)
"Albanians, you are killing kinfolk,
You're split in a hundred factions,
Some believe in God or Allah,
Say "I'm Turk," or "I am Latin,"
Say "I'm Greek," or "I am Slavic,"
But you're brothers, hapless people!
You have been duped by priests and hodjas
To divide you, keep you wretched....
Who has the heart to let her perish,
Once a heroine, now so weakened!
Well-loved mother, dare we leave her
To fall under foreign boot heels ?...
Wake, Albanian, from your slumber,
Let us, brothers, swear in common
And not look to church or mosque,
The Albanian's faith is Albanianism [to be Albanian]!

Excerpt from O moj Shqypni by Pashko Vasa, 1878.[1]

Written in Vasa's native dialect of Shkodër O Moj Shqypni is a 72-verse poem, which was first published by the Czech linguist Jan Urban Jarník (cs) in his work Zur Albanesische Sprachenkunde published in 1881. Throughout the Ottoman Empire, it was disseminated in the form of brochures and flyers. Two other versions have been found in Thimi Mitko's archives in Alexandria and those of Jeronim de Rada in Cosenza. Found in 1975, the latter version, unlike the other two, has a different first verse, which is Mori Shqypni instead of Moj Shqypni. It was originally considered to have been transcribed by Vasa, but eventually it was proven that it's a transcription of Sami Frashëri, another important Albanian writer of the era.[2]

Pashko Vasa wrote the poem during the formation of the League of Prizren, which sought to unify all Albanian-inhabited areas into one single state entity and later adopted the verse The Faith of the Albanian is Albanianism of the poem as its motto.[3] O Moj Shqypni contains the widespread view among Albanian intellectuals, which considered the overcoming of religious division as a way to reinforce national consciousness that could be realized by replacing the importance of religion with that of Albanian culture and patriotism.[4] The poem criticizes political and cultural factionalism, which Vasa considered an obstacle to national unity.[5]


O Moj Shqypni is considered to be one of the most influential works of 19th-century Albanian literature and has been described as one of the most influential and most important poems written in Albanian.[6] Its verse The Faith of the Albanian is Albanianism (Albanian: Feja e Shqyptarit asht Shqyptaria) was the motto of the League of Prizren and in modern times remains the motto of various Albanian nationalist organizations. During the assemblies of 1910, the music director of the orchestra of Vlorë melodized the poem.[7]




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