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Albania has been under the communist regime for about 50 years. A totalitarian dictatorship among the wildest and darkest in the entire communist system of the east. During this period freedom of speech and belief was forbidden. Many churches, mosques, religious places were destroyed. No one was allowed to leave Albania and very few tourists entered. Many Albanians were killed and exiled and declared "popular enemy" for nothing, just only for spiking out their minds. Yet even under such a dark period people manage to find the strength to survive and move forward.

Brikena Xibinaku holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Tirana, Albania in Italian Language and culture. She has worked for more than 5 years as an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Foreign Languages at the University of Tirana.  She has taught Italian language, culture and Italian Literature to Albanian students. For more than 15 years, she’s worked at RTSH (Albanian Radio and Television) as an editorial archivist and translator. She is knowledgeable about Italian culture and its influence on Albanian Culture.

University Open Air is generously supported by The Morris & Alma Schapiro Fund. WNYC is a media partner of the 2020 BPL Presents Season.

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