Sabiha Kasimati

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Sabiha Kasimati
Sabiha Kasimati (portrait).jpg
fair use image
Born15 September 1912
Died26 February 1951
Cause of deathShot
EducationUniversity of Torino
Known forexecuted for dissidence

Sabiha Kasimati (15 September 1912 – 26 February 1951) was an Albanian ichthyologist and dissident of the communist regime in Albania. She was shot, one of the victims of the regime of Enver Hoxha – with whom she had gone to school.


Kasimati was born in Edirne where her father practiced as a doctor.[1] Her family returned to Korca in Albania and Kasimati was the first girl to attend the French inspired Albanian National Lyceum in Korçë. This gave her some fame for this achievement. One of her classmates was the future dictator Enver Hoxha.[1]

Taking her excellent French accent and her knowledge of the language she taught at the Korca Women's Institute. After this she studied biology at the American-Albanian in Koraja. The results she achieved enable her to gain a rare scholarship to study abroad.[1] She attended university in Italy at Torino[2] where she achieved perfect marks. She returned to work at the Albanian Institute of Science in Tirana after turning down a job offer at Torino University. She became Albania's first ichthyogist working under Selahudin Toto. She spent a decade documenting the fish of her country from a scientific and economic point of view as she believed that fish were an underused resource. She ignored social norms and lived alone in a flat in Tirana, but taking part in the intellectual life of the city.[1]

Her former schoolmate came to power and Kasimati was concerned when Albanian's first woman writer was interned and her former teacher Selahudin Toto was executed. Kasimati had an interview with Hoxha but to no avail.

She was accused of planting a bomb in the Soviet embassy but the case was fabricated.[2]

Kasimati was accused under the new law of Agitation and Propaganda against the State and died near Tirana. She was shot without a trial, of any sort, on the night of 26 February 1951.[2] Kasimati and the others executed without trial were buried in a field not far from Tirana.


Her story at the Museum

Her enormous work was published but not under her name. "Fishes of Albania" documented the fish of Albanian lakes, rivers and the seas and it was publicised under the name of the Russian scientist Anatoly Poliakov and two Albanian researchers in 1955.

Kasimati is credited with creating the idea of an Albania's National Museum of Science. In October 2018 it was announced that the Albanian National Museum of Science would be named for and that an area of the museum would be set aside for her life story and sacrifice.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d GazetaExpress (15 September 2015). "Sabiha Kasimati: Shkencëtarja e parë shqiptare". Archived from the original on 26 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Platform calls for a minute of silence for the women executed, killed, imprisoned, tortured and persecuted during Communism | Platform of European Memory and Conscience". Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  3. ^ "Sabiha Kasimati, founder of Albania's National Museum of Science, executed by Communist regime". (in Albanian). Retrieved 2018-10-26.