On the Boulevard
In this prologue, the author describes the changes that have occurred in Albania since the first free elections were held in the country after four decades of isolation and dictatorship. Recalling his time in Tirana, the capital city, in July 1993, the author reflects on the freedom that Albanians now enjoy following the collapse of the Stalinist regime led by Enver Hoxha. He notes some of the signs suggesting that Albania was marching towards democracy, such as Albanians traveling abroad for the first time or churches and mosques sprouting across the country. He also compares Albania’s current situation with that in the previous regime, when people had to endure brutality and repression.
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