Chameria

Fragmet of story

The car was slipping without being felt among the blocks of olives, oranges, mandarins and lemons that were lying like a green sea across the wide field around the main city, Gumenica, of the new Chameria or Thesprotia (this was the name held by this land in antiquity), as the Greeks of today intentionally called it to cancel the name “Chameria”. The pent-up blue sea lay farther on the right, in the Corfu Channel. There was a mountain range standing on the left, which used to divide Gumenica from Janina of Ali Pasha and to protect it by the cold North winds, converting it into a very likeable climate for olives and citruses. In some parts of it, the eyes caught even blocks with vineyards and with characteristic trees of the Mediterranean coastal areas lovingly well-maintained… A scholar’s sharp eye, like Fatos Mero Rrapaj’s, who carefully observes everything, could immediately understand that the area was fed due to agriculture, more exactly arboriculture, maybe tourism too, but industry not at all… Thus, environments were virgin and submerged in that lustrous sun, and despite the end of autumn, you couldn’t think to find any piece of polluted nature. And this was a privilege for the habitants…
Fatos was not satiated by enjoying the rare beauties of that nature where the mountain, the hill, the field and the sea were prodigiously harmonized… What more could a man want to live the earthy “paradise”?!… You might be crazy to launch wars in that region…
Eh… The Greeks!… If you dug the ground where the roots of that greenness lay, you would come across bones and skeletons of grave less murdered people… The Cham grave less people… And this was Greeks’ work, those who used to get out of the graves at night, like elves and bogey-men because neither soil could accept them…. Yes!… These were the Greeks… And their descendants pretended to bring peace and justice in the United Europe… No, God shouldn’t hush anymore!…
Kostandin at the wheel was talking and talking about the elims, about their castles in Kuç, Mazrek, Paramythia, about the wells in Mount Kladhi, about the cave in Arpica, about the three stones in Paramythia, about the stone in Luarat, which the elim women utilized as troughs to wash their clothes… But Fatos was more quarreling with his thoughts than listening to him… Do you know Fatos, Kostandin said, that the elims have worked at the Saddle of the Wall, near Margelleç, to build up a high-high wall which would link Mount Krane with the Peak of the Priest and they hoped they could reach the sky and see the whole world when they climb in there… But the wall they built up during the day would fall to pieces at night and they never could stop working… Wasn’t their willpower to be envied?… If people nowadays had that power, that willpower…, – whispered Kostandin, who seemed to madly admire and be almost blinded by the elim world’s grandiosity and his desire to talk to the others about the elims was already converted into a mania… At the end of every story he wouldn’t forget to work out the conclusion that not only Chams but whole Albanians are elims’ successors, that’s why they are able to survive in the most unusual circumstances.

Extracted by the story “Elims”, summarized in the volume with stories “Chameria Flavor”


Shefki Hysa
Writer

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International organization about the culture, traditions, customs, mentalities, popular physiology, etc...
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