The modern term "Albania" comes from the name of the Albanoi tribe. This tribe gets it name from the word "alba" (meaning "white") and may be the root for "alabaster," a white stone found in abundance in Albania. But Albania was known in ancient times as Illyricum, that same province visited by the Apostle Paul in the early days of the Church (Romans 15:19). The Albanians call their country Shqiperia which means "land of the eagle." The national flag is red with a double-headed eagle and is based on the banner of Skanderbeg (their greatest national hero).
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Skanderbeg
Gjergj Kastriot Skenderbeu is the greatest Albanian national hero. He was responsible for driving the Ottoman Turks out of the country for a season and is also credited with preventing the Turks from spreading into Europe.

Recent Events

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The Rocky Road to Democracy: 1985 to 1998

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The Communist Regime: 1944 to 1985

During World War II

Albania was occupied throughout World War II. First by the Italians until their surrender in 1943. When they withdrew, Nazi Germany (who had defeated Greece and Yugoslavia earlier) took over in September. Throughout the occupation three resistance groups were active: the National Front, the Legality Party, and the Communist Party (which had formed in 1941). With the withdrawal of the Germans in 1944, the Communist party seized control on November 29th. Enver Hoxha was secretary-general of the party and through his position took leadership. In 1946 the country became officially the People's Republic of Albania, and in 1976 the People's Socialist Republic of Albania.
This statue on the waterfront in Durres commemorates the sacrifice of partisan fighters during World War II

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The Struggle for Independence

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Under the Ottoman Empire

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Under the Byzantine Empire

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Under the Roman Empire

Before the Roman Empire

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