The big Cham concussion

Shefki Hysa is the author of many narratives and story books in which echoes the troublous Cham wind and where people’s fate is connected with their land like the roots thrust deeply into stones but also like the life fingers which blooded, they grasp reality. As the author, he likes realism and the truth, no matter how shocking it is and that’s why he becomes its historian, strong witness, and feeder of collective memory. Aforetime I have written that in meanwhile the massacres in Kosovo are so close and still vivid, when “The Balkans’ executioner”, the Serbian Milosevic, the last communist dictator, keeps on being judged for anti-humanism crimes to the Court of Hag (in TV screens was often displayed like in the Bible, the escape of Kosova population, the expulsion from their Dardan lands since the world was created), we are haunted to another big expulsion of Albanians in the Illyrian south, the most ancient as well as cruel, although it didn’t have international televisions as witnesses nor the worlds army were congregated, NATO, to punish the evil. And so the Cham nationalities were forced from their Epirus land, houses were set on fire, people were slaughtered together with livestock, olive-groves and the future were destroyed, and the national mythology was being killed. Their terror peregrinated towards the mother-land and then came like another massacre the cruel deaf-forgetting. Nobody used to say nothing, even though after three thousand years, in the mythical Balkans, another Troy was set on fire in modern times. In meanwhile, the Chams found in their homeland a dictatorship, which not only didn’t ask to protect the rights of its compatriots, but contrary, it didn’t let them in peace, it persecuted them even more than the others, devised enemies and imprisoned them. In order to meet their dreams, Chams people among their motherland communist prisons joined the Kosova’s people to elope from hither to thither but, the only thing they touched were the rusty manacle… In this way, while Albania was cruelly fragmented by the others, Albanians did fragment inside by themselves. Later on was difficult to remember Kosova and Chameria, nothing was said about them in geographic scholastic prints, history didn’t dare, conscious was stifled…
Nonetheless, collective memory, secretly strengthen and sharpen the right resistance, which flowed like a subterranean river. Literature achieved to bring out some anonymous songs about splitted lands, any tremulous Cham wail or a blustery Kosova’s elegy. Folk-dancing’s recalled apocalypse with their hullabaloo, while writers tried to create metaphoric possibilities or to say something about Kosova and Chameria through Aesop’s language. I remind that, if the poet from Kosava, Ali Podrimja, would go in Chameria after the state border, like in our big sorrow and there would write hermetic poems which he could secure triple: from the Albanian dictatorship, the Serbian conqueror and from the Chauvinist Greeks. Here, in the remaining Albania, Cham writers felt difficulties and prosecution, their books were prohibited, and they set themselves in prisons, eloped, remained silent, waited… Now the Cham voice has came back from its sorrow ember, covered with the ash of the ancient obliteration, to shines with Promethean fire and the world is always seeing and feeling more and more its illumination and its heat, it will be burned without quenched for the Truth and Justice… and a massacring population deserves to be given back their land and their spirit, wealth, songs and the future… A shocking deep crying is the literary creativity of Shefki Hysa, bearer of the tragedy of its population, to have the mythical Balkans finding its calmness…

Visar Zhiti
Albanian Writer

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