“Families which are supposed to take revenge sometimes, do not even mean to do it, but there is a social obligation that pushes them to take action. We believe that these families are victims of this phenomenon twice: in addition to the loss of a loved one, their members are regarded as potential assassins by the rest of society. We do our best to stand by both parts involved in the feud. Every day we visit these families in order to bring them some positivity and thereby defuse the tension. This is not easy. It is a long and challenging process.”
When talking about the phenomenon of the blood feuds in Albania, there is the risk to address superficially an issue that, actually, is difficult to grasp.
First of all, in order to understand the vendettas, it is essential to consider the Albanian socio-political context. At the beginning of the 90’s, Albania came out of a ferocious dictatorship, which lasted for about 50 years and attempted to make disappear several traditions of the country. Paradoxically, for this reason, nowadays the blood feud practices are so hard to eradicate. Indeed, despite the strides forward Albania has made in the last 20 years, the legacy of the previous regime, as well as the weaknesses of the democratic institutions and the shortcomings of their judiciary system, have created the conditions where traditional values and customs are practiced and carried out in a distorted way. (more…)