As an Albanian citizen, I am very interested to know more about the true history of my country, as it is the best way of understanding many of our current political problems. Coincidence is not the most convincing explanation for our corrupt politics, as well as for having had the worst form of communism in the world, for having a government which forces our people to leave the country. There must be some more convincing reasons than merely bad luck.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Albanian people were part of the Ottoman Empire. In fact, the Muslim Empire belonged to us more than we belonged to it, especially towards the end of its life. We needed the empire as it needed us because we were located at the most important frontier. This could be one of the reasons which accounts for the large number of the Albanian people who served the Ottoman Empire as grand viziers (similar to a prime minister), viziers and war generals.
The importance of the Albanian people couldn’t be more emphatic when the warrior and brave general Muhammad Ali Pasha defeated the British army at the beginning of the 19th century and saved Egypt from an imminent invasion. Not only was Muhammad Ali honored by the Egyptian people, but his bravery and devotion to the empire was valued by the Sultan himself by making him the wali or governor of Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, and Hijaz (Mecca and Medina).
So, it is clear that under the Ottoman Empire, Albanians gained importance. After all, they were the people of Muhammad Ali Pasha – the man who shook the British army and who must have terrified the Europeans. The fact that the Great Sultan Abdul Hamid II (1842-1918) spoke Albanian language shows how much respect the caliphs had for the Albanian people.
Therefore, when the Ottoman Empire was falling apart, as the whole Europe got united under the leadership of the British Empire to bring it down, Albanians, who were dominant and the majority in the Balkans, were a big player.
There is no doubt that the British Empire must have attempted to reach an agreement with them instead of resorting to battles. Given the power of the Albanians, the British Empire, in my view, must have promised them an empire of their own in the Balkans, as an incentive to break apart from the old Empire.
So, in 1912, the declaration of independence could have contained interesting facts, exactly what the British Empire was not willing to honor later. It is not the first time when the British Empire destroys contracts and fails to deliver promises, as it did with Hussein bin Ali, the Governor of Hijaz.
That’s why we don’t have the original copy of the declaration of independence of 1912. In short, Albanians – the people of Muhammad Ali Pasha – were betrayed by the British Empire, and then occupied, killed, murdered, imposed on them communism, and to this very day, Albanians continue to face the consequences of that deception.