Saturday, 21 November 2020, Hotel “Uraniku” – Debar
ADDRESS OF PRESIDENT XHAFERI AT THE SOLEMN ACADEMY ON THE OCCASION OF MARKING THE 111TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEBAR CONGRESS
Dear President of the Republic of Albania, Mr. Ilir Meta,
Dear First Deputy Prime Minister,
Mr. Artan Grubi,Dear Minister of Environment,
Mr. Naser Nuredini,Dear Leader of the Democratic Union for Integration,
Mr. Ali Ahmeti, Dear Mayor of the Municipality of Debar,
Mr. Hekuran Duka, Representatives of the Association “Community of Debar” from Tirana,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to express my pleasure of being here with you today, on the marking of the 111th anniversary of the Debar Congress, the Congress of awakening the national consciousness of the Albanians for independence, where the strength of the national feeling with all the will, vision, power and courage of the Albanian delegates from all vilayets achieved that the interests and rights of the Albanians to be put on the table for discussion, and after six days of work, in addition to the adoption of the measures concerning the overall economic and cultural development of the vilayets of the European Turkey, were also considered special measures regarding the Albanians submitted by the representatives of this national Albanian stream. And, if we deal with the historical interpretations which are different, starting from those that the demands were insufficient, that little was gained, and that in fact this Congress is a Congress organized by the Young Turks Forces, still, it is a known fact that it turned into a fiery tribune of forcible submission of the cardinal problems plaguing the Albanians. Such are the economic and cultural issues, such as the construction of railways, the drying of wetlands, the acquirement of contemporary knowledge, opening of elementary and high schools in Albanian language, the separation of the school from the church and the mosque, the conduct of religious ceremonies in the native language, the recognition of the laws in the Albanian language by the state government. And, if we add to these demands the decisive importance given by the Debar Congress, then this Congress can rightly be considered as the first mass gathering of the Albanians which achieved to submit demands with an emphasized political character and gained concrete results at the national level within the framework of the Ottoman Empire. In addition, the next year, the decisions of the Congress were published with the unified alphabet of the Albanian language which was adopted in the Congress of Manastir, and allow me to seize the opportunity and express cordial congratulations on the occasion of the holiday 22 November, and I wish to celebrate many upcoming anniversaries.
Allow me to also congratulate the organizers, the Municipality of Debar, the Mayor Hekuran Duka and the Association “Community of Debar” from Tirana, for this outstanding event in such unusual circumstances. Debar dealt with an extremely difficult health challenge, however, it overcame it and I hope that soon everything will return to normal in the country, region and around the world.
I wish You good health and thank You for Your attention.