|Sotir Jovan Peçi|
July 13, 1873|
Dardhë, Ottoman Empire
|Died||April 10, 1932
|Occupation||teacher, mathematician, politician|
|Known for||Having been the Minister of Education of Albania|
Sotir Peçi (1873-1932) was an Albanian politician, educator and mathematician. In 1906 he published the first Albanian-language newspaper in the United States of America in Boston. In 1908 he participated as a delegate in the Congress of Monastir. In 1920 he was appointed Minister of Education of Albania.
Sotir Peçi, the son of wealthy merchant Jovan Peçi, was born in Dardhë, a village near Korçë, on July 13, 1873. His father died while he was a child. Peçi studied at the local school in Korçë. In 1890 at the age of 17 he enrolled at the University of Athens where he studied physical sciences and graduated with a degree in mathematics. While in Athens he published the Albanian dictionary written by Kostandin Kristoforidhi.
Activities in the USA
In 1905 Peçi migrated to the USA, settling in Boston. There he became a member of the Patriotic Brotherhood of Dardha (Albanian: Vëllezëria Patriotike e Dardhës) and published the weekly newspaper The Nation (Albanian: Kombi), the first Albanian-language newspaper in the USA. In 1906 he employed the literary, religious, and patriotic figure Fan Noli as deputy editor of the newspaper.
Activities in Albania
In 1908 Peçi participated in the Congress of Monastir, an academic conference held in the city of Manastir, today's Republic of Macedonia while back then Center of the Vilayet, from 14 to 22 November 1908, with the goal of standardizing the Albanian alphabet, as a delegate of the Albanian communities living in the United States of America for whom he was granted three votes. After returning to Albania in 1908 he taught at the Normal School of Elbasan.
Sotir Peçi wrote a series of textbooks in physics, mathematics and grammar and was appointed director of education of Korçë. He was a member of the Committee for the National Defence of Kosovo, founded in Shkodër in late 1918. He also participated at the national Congress of Lushnjë where a new national cabinet was elected with Sulejman Delvina as its prime minister. Sotir Peçi was elected Minister of Education. In 1921 he was elected deputy of Korçë. He also became a member of the Supreme Council of Regency.
In 1924 he appointed the bishop of Durrës Fan Noli as prime minister of Albania. After the failure of the June Revolution and rise of Ahmet Zogu in power, Peçi left to Italy and later settled in Greece. He was given a death sentence in absent, but then revoked by the partial amnesty that Zog applied. Anyway, he never reconciled with the Tirana politics. Sotir Peçi died in Florina in 1932. His body was reburied in Korçë with great honors while Zog was in power. He was honoured posthumously with the title Teacher of the People (Albanian: Mësues i Popullit). A road and a school in Korçë were renamed after him.
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