Flag of Albania

Flag of Albania

The Republic of Albania is an Eastern-European country bordered by Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Macedonia. It lies on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. It is notable for its high population of Muslims, and has been a Muslim-majority country since it was conquered by the Ottomon Empire. For much of its history, it has been occupied by other powers. It was occupied by the Kingdom of Italy shortly before World War II and it was also the only Axis-occupied country to throw off Axis occupation without help from the Allies.

After the Italians left in 1944, Albania came under the control of dictator Enver Hoxha, who would rule the country until his death in 1985. Hoxha's rule caused many Albanians to move to the United States of America, settling in major cities like Chicago and New York City. In the latter case, the Albanian immigrant community had a voice thorugh Joseph J. DioGuardi, a former member of the US House of Representatives, and the founder of the Albanian American Civic League. Among those who fled was Arten Bardha, who set up a sand and gravel business in the Big Apple, and Anton Vasic, who set up a bakery. Both men had significant ties to Albanian criminal elements like Ratko Petrovich. In 2004, Bardha was hired by those criminal elements to recover a shipment of heroin that had been stolen from Hydar Raheem. Bardha went overboard, however, and killed several people in the process of recovering the drugs. (L&O: "Enemy") Meanwhile, Vasic used his connection to very subtly bully non-Muslims in the neighborhood. It has yet to be proven that he's committed any serious crimes, but it is suspected that his mob connections were responsible for burning down an adult movie theatre that was located near their local mosque. (L&O: "Angelgrove")

Further Reading

Albania at Wikipedia