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  • You know how in high school, there's always like that one little emo kid, that just kind of keeps to themselves

  • and sits in the corner. But then about 10 years later at the reunion, you find out that

  • they actually have a lot of friends and are actually pretty cool. That's kind of like what Albania is.

  • It's time to learn geography - NOW!!!

  • Now, you know the drill. Before anything, let's dissect that flag.

  • As you can see, the Albanian flag is actually pretty simple.

  • It's just a red banner with a double-headed eagle emblem on top of it.

  • The red represents bravery and courage, and the double-headed eagle is an emblem that

  • the Albanians have claimed that they have used to historically identify themelves as a people group.

  • Even though there may be some other countries that would argue otherwise.

  • Political Geography

  • In terms of its political geography, Albania is located in the south Balkan region,

  • right north of Greece, south of Montenegro, west of Macedonia and Kosovo, even though Serbia

  • will tell you that Kosovo is totally no Kosovo - it's just part of Serbia.

  • But we'll discuss that in another video.

  • And off the coast are the Ionian and Adriatic Seas.

  • Now when it comes to Albania's borders, it almost kind of looks like every single country surrounding Albania

  • is trying to take as much coastline away as they can from Albania.

  • In the south, Greece is like, meh, I'm just going to take these extra 10 miles of beach.

  • In the north, Montenegro's like, meh, I'm just going to take the entire Buna river.

  • And even inland, Macedonia's like, meh, I'm just going to take the majority of the Prespa and Ohrid lakes.

  • And also access to those lakes.

  • Albania doesn't really get that much regard.

  • Now unlike many of its neighbours that border the Meditteranean, Albania doesn't really have many islands

  • that border its coastline. In fact, there are only 7 to 10ish islands, most of which are small, uninhabited or barely inhabited

  • like Tongo and Stillo Island in the south which each have only one house on them,

  • and most of the other ones are barely even the size on an Ikea.

  • However, a lot of them do have a lot of cool, historical ancient sites and landmarks on them.

  • Such as Ali Pasha Castle on Butrint, and the 13th century monastery on Zvërnec Island.

  • Except for one, Sazan Island.

  • Sazan island has actually played a very crucial role in Albania's history.

  • It was taken over by the Romans, the Byzantines and the Ottomans, and the Greeks, and the Italians, and the British, and the Greeks,

  • but the Greeks didn't want it again so they gave it to the Italians, and then the Italians finally gave it to Albania.

  • It's a long story.

  • To this day, Sazan Island is the only somewhat inhabited island as the people living there

  • are only there to maintain the former military bases that were built.

  • In terms of its physical geography, Albania is about 70% mountainous with about 25% of the land being arable for agriculture and farming

  • Which by the way, is a sector that employs almost half of the entire population of Albania.

  • Albanians take their agriculture very seriously.

  • In fact, for a while, they were completely closed off from the rest of the world and self-reliant.

  • In addition to fruits and vegetables and other produce, one thing that Albanians really like to grow:

  • Tobacco.

  • They do, I think. They just do.

  • Now Albania is also loaded with a bunch of other types of landscapes, like

  • rolling green hills, and lush forests, and very nice warm temperate beaches.

  • Such as the ones at Ksamil and Durrës.

  • Speaking of which, interesting factoid.

  • If you go to Albania, pretty much everywhere around the entire country you'll notice these WWII concrete war bunkers located everywhere

  • The reason being, because in the middle of the 20th century, the old communist leader Enver Hoxha

  • took over and built these war bunkers, about 700,000 of them and placed them all over the country

  • as a means for militaristic preparation.

  • Now, of course, that costed the country a lot of money that they pretty much didn't have

  • and it was a poor investment because they never really needed them.

  • However, to this day it's almost like a little I-Spy game.

  • When you go to Albania, see how many bunkers you can find.

  • Demographics

  • Now in terms of its demographics, about 85%, the vast majority of people in Albania identify as ethnically Albanian.

  • Now there are some minorities like Greeks, and Macedonians and Montenegrans as well.

  • The vast majority of people in Albania also speak the Albanian language,

  • which is one of the most distinguishable facets of this country.

  • The Albanian language, to this day, relates to no other Indo-European language branch in the world.

  • It stand alone as its own, and is a very unique language.

  • Albania also has a very interesting faith-based background.

  • About 60% of the people identify as non-denominational or secular Muslim,

  • and about 20% identify as Christian, mostly Catholic or Orthodox.

  • Although historically, Albania at one point banned all religious freedom

  • and was declared the very first atheist state in the entire world during the Communist regime until 1992

  • Interesting sidenote: in Albania, they shake their head to say yes,

  • and they nod their head to say no.

  • The Friend-Zone.

  • This is where things get a little interesting because historically Albania has probably been

  • one of THE most socially awkward countries in the world.

  • Shortly after Albania was relinquished from the Ottoman Empire,

  • Albania went through a few decades of not exactly quite knowing how to be Albania again.

  • And that's when the Soviets came in.

  • For a while, Albania was part of the Soviet Bloc. However, during the Sino-Soviet split,

  • (which is something we'll discuss in another video),

  • Albania actually decided to side with China, and not Russia, which strategically,

  • may have been a bad decision.

  • The reason being, because that made China Albania's only ally in the world.

  • And it can get kind of hard when your only ally in the world isn't even close to you geographically.

  • And to add to that, in the 70s, China was kind of like:

  • Look, Albania, it was cute how you wanted to tag along, but you're on your own.

  • And then Albania had no allies.

  • In the last few years of Communism and following the death of Enver Hoxha,

  • Albania saw what was going on and thought, yeah, we kind of need to turn things around.

  • Finally, in 1990, the Communist regime ended, making Albania a constitutional republic.

  • This opened up a lot of doors.

  • From the 90s, up until today, Albania has become one of the most social countries in the world,

  • opening up its arms, trying to gain as many diplomatic relations as it can with as many countries as it can.

  • To this day it has about 40 different embassies in 40 different countries.

  • Albania is not a social butterfly. Albania is a social pterodactyl.

  • They even named a street after Geroge W. Bush after he visited there one time in 2007.

  • Interesting sidenote: there's an early episode of the SImpsons in which Bart signs up for a foreign exchange student programme,

  • and goes to France whereas the Simpson family receives an exchange student named Adil from Albania.

  • The episode was filmed in 1990, right before the fall of Communism in Albania.

  • It lightly portrays the tensions between America and Soviet-influenced nations at that time.

  • In terms of its best friend, Albania would probably consider Kosovo to be it,

  • considering that the vast majority of people in Kosovo are Albanians.

  • Gotta support your brothers.

  • In conclusion, Albania may have been that little reserved, quiet kid,

  • and maybe they made a few bad decisions here and there historically.

  • But they've really started to turn things around. And you gotta give them credit for that.

  • Stay tuned! Algeria is coming up next.

You know how in high school, there's always like that one little emo kid, that just kind of keeps to themselves

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地理Now!アルバニア (Geography Now! Albania)

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    羅紹桀 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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