The Life and History of Naim Frasheri

Naim Frasheri (25 May 1846 – 20 October 1900) was an ethnic Albanian romantic poet and, together with his brothers Sami and Abdyl, a prominent figure of the National Renaissance of Albania (Rilindja Kombetare). His father was an impoverished bey from Frasher, Kolonje, now District of Permet. Naim studied at the Zosimea, Greek high school, in Ioannina, back then the city was part of the Ottoman Empire. [edit]Career: Censor, poet and translator

Memorial to Naim Frasheri in Tirana Hailing from a family with long connections to the Bektashi Sufi order, Naim became an Ottoman official in Sarande, Berat, and Ioannina. In 1882, Frasheri became the head of the censorship department in Istanbul. Naim took part in the Albanian National Renaissance of Albania, and often had to sign his writings using his initials, as otherwise he would have placed himself in danger in front of Ottoman officials.

His works had to be smuggled into Albania. Early on, he started writing poetry. The very first pieces Frasheri wrote were in Persian. In all, he authored twenty-two major works: four in Turkish, one in Persian, two in Greek and fifteen in Albanian. The patriotic poems and highly popular lyric poetry, were at first strongly influenced by Persian literature, and later also French poetry. He also translated several fables of Jean de la Fontaine.

Naim Frasheri’s poem Herds and Tillage depicts the activities of the shepherd and the tiller, alongside his personal reflections on the beauty of Albanian landscapes and expressions of longing after his homeland. The epic poem Skanderbeg’s Story retells the life of national hero Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg, while intertwining it with imaginary episodes. He also translated Homer’s Iliad, and wrote articles on didactics and Islamic practice. Frasheri died in K? z? ltoprak, Kad? koy, an Istanbul neighborhood, in present-day Turkey.

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