Brief Facts About Albania

1. The Albanians call Albania ‘Squiperia’ or Republika e Shqiperise in full.

2. Mother Teresa (Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu) is generally celebrated as the only Albanian to win a Nobel Prize, though born in Skopje in 1910 (now in Macedonia but then in the Ottoman Empire).

3. The Tirana International airport was named after Mother Teresa in 2001.

Albanians call Albania ‘Squiperia’

4. The only other Nobel Prize winner of Albanian origin was Ferid Murad (USA) who won the 1998 prize for Medicine. His father was Albanian.

5. John Belushi, star of the film The Blues Brothers, also had an Albanian father.

6. Albania, Armenia and Vatican City are the only European countries without a McDonald’s branch.

7. In 1995, drivers in the Albanian city of Shkodra refused to pay a new traffic-light tax on the grounds that their city had no traffic lights.

8. Albanians nod their head up and down to mean ‘no’, and shake it from side to side for ‘yes’.

9. Albania has never won a medal at the Olympics.

10. King Zog of Albania (ruled 1928-39) was the only national leader in modern times to return fire during an assassination attempt.

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