Islamic spiritual and cultural heritage in the region of Kavaja was the meaning of the meeting that opened the onset of the cycle "Conversation with the author" for this year. Unlike previous meetings, AIITC has taken the initiative to develop the cycle of literary and cultural meetings, for 2017 in different cities of the Albanian lands, in order to know the creativity of the authors of these areas.
At the Palace of Culture "Kavaljon" at Kavaja city was organized the presentation of the book "History of Islam in Kavaja", written by Mr. Rifat Hoxha. The meeting was attended by intellectuals, poets, writers, teachers and citizens. On behalf of AIITC and its chairman prof. as. dr. Ramiz Zekaj the participants were welcomed by the Chairman of the Directive Board of AIITC, dr. Faruk Borova. Later on, deputy director of AIITC Mr.Alban Kodra, presented to the audience a brief history of the cycle "Conversation with the author", revealing the cultural objectives the library of AIITC want to achieve through the development of these meetings.
Conversation with writer Rifat Hoxha began with the question about the reasons that pushed him to write such a monograph. He replied that it was a desire of him from as long time, pushed from the family's religious tradition, but at the same time was also a concern that the historical and cultural heritage with an Islamic background is untreated in undergraduate curricula in Albania. So this book can contribute in filling this gap created over the years and serve as a reference for schools in the district that also recognize this aspect of their history.
One of the most interesting points of the book is the part who talk about the first contact of Kavaja region with Islam. According to the author, these contacts date back nearly two centuries before the Ottoman rule, through relations with Sicily and Andalusia Muslim. Sources indicate that all the Albanian coast from Ulcinj to Saranda has had such contacts, as part of the Mediterranean area where ships from kingdoms whipped around. He cited the case of “Spanjolli” family located in the region of Kavaja. According to legend, is said that they were part of a Saracen Regiment (with Arabs of Spain and the Maghreb) of the army of Anjou, in one of the battles that it has developed the Venetian army on these shores of the Adriatic.
After the author briefly described the characteristics of the historical periods of Islam in Kavaja, pointing out that this path went parallel with the establishment of the city in 1561 by Ali Hajdar Bey and his urban and economic development. The ruling family Alltuni, according to the author, gave life to the city, and ruled it for 300 years. The peak of civilization the city reached in the late of XVIII century and beginning of XIX century. In this period foreign consuls describe Kavaja as one most beautiful and richest cities of Albania. This blossoming continued until mid-century. XIX, when the city was destroyed by infighting between Albanian vilayets. However traces of this development were the Clock Tower, Kubelije Mosque and the characteristic bazaar of the city. Author emphasized that the complex architecture clock tower, mosque and arcade is very unique because it merges three architectural styles: European (tower), Islam (mosques) and Hellenistic - Roman (arcades of the mosque, imported there from ancient ruins nearby)
At this meeting discussed many of the participants. Mufti of Kavaja, Besnik Leçini greeted the activity and his organizers, noting that the book reveals the deep roots of Islam in the region of Kavaja. President of the Writers' Club of Kavaja, Nazmi Roli underlined that the population of the area of Kavaja accepted the truth of Islam, making them more than moral. According to him, the hospitality of Islam among people living in Kavaja brought religious and patriotic figures such as Hafiz Ali Zemblaku, Hafiz Ali Korca, Hafiz Ibrahim Kaduku etc. The poet Muharrem Gazioni evaluated the book for its erudition and utilization of archival data and data from books.
Discussions also highlighted other dimensions of the book, as the exemplary message of religious coexistence in the region of Kavaja, with reference to the historical facts that support this message; Beautiful linguistic style of writing that makes the book readable by all classes and not only by scholars; paving the way for the development of more studies such encyclopedic, not only for Kavaja, but also for other areas around etc. In conclusion, they continued conversations in the cocktail paved for this case.