Albania, Land of the Eagles, Ancient Shqipëria: Lets do business
By: Nora Hughes
The first time I flew into Albania, the German engineer sitting next to me said, “the plane will circle a couple of times because the runway isn’t really a runway it’s a collection of paving tiles so the pilot has to find the best way to land.” Sure enough, that is what happened. I found myself in the poorest country I had ever seen. Everything was broken, factories were destroyed, nothing could be purchased, not even a jar of jam. The year was 1993 and Albania had just overthrown its oppressive communist government and hoped to have a democracy. Albania was the North Korea of Europe – a Xenophobic dictator, totally closed to the outside world.