There are a couple of interseting articles in today's English language Albanian Daily News:
Blood Feuds Trap 1,200 Albanian Youths at Home
According to this article more then 1,200 children are without schooling because of ongoing feuds in Albania. There used to be a rule against involving children in the feuds but in recent years those rules have been forgotten. The blood feud code (which goes back to the 15th century) requires that the victim's family take revenge on any of the killer's male relatives. The only safe haven is within the boundaries of a family's property, outside those lines all male relatives, young and old, are targets of the feud. The former dictator Enver Hoxha banned these feuds but since the collapse of communism in the early 90's more than 20,000 families have been affected by these feuds and more than 6,000 lives have been lost. How can we put a stop to this terrible tradition?
Study Shows Tirana Stands on Top of Air, Water and Noise Pollution List
Oh how I hate reading this sort of headline! It must be the reason why I and so many of my friends always have an irritating cough. Air quality in Tirana is 6-10 times above the acceptable EU standards. Poor roads, old cars without emission controls, and poor quality feul are the main reasons for the polution. In some areas of the capitol the dust concentration is 400 mg/m3 when the acceptable rate is 40. There is an estimate that 200 deaths a year can be blamed on pollution.
Drinking water is also unsafe, being microbiologically contaminated because of the outdated water supply network and the lack of water treatment facilities. Noise levels are also above EU standards in many areas of Tirana. Yes I have to admit I have a lot of fun here and I have so many fabulous friends but we face these unseen hazards everytime we walk out the door.
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