By Dr. Haim Reitan
“Eagle’s Wing”- a prestigious Albanian magazine
“Eagle’s Wing” (Krahu i Shqiponjës) is a national Albanian magazine
which first appeared in the democratic years, after the collapse of
communism. It is published by a group of journalists and writers in
Tirana, since 1995. Its aim is to promote the national problem as well
as the social, political and literary life of Albania, Macedonia,
Kosovo, Montenegro and the problems of the Albanian communities
in Diaspora. It has a big group of collaborators in America, Canada,
Australia, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey etc. The spiritual
leader was and still remains Bilal Xhaferri.
Bilal Xhaferri was its founder, editor and leader. “Eagle’s wing”
magazine was first published by him in 1974, in two languages:
Albanian and English, as an organ of the Cham League in Chicago,
USA. Bilal Xhaferri was born on November 2, 1935 in Ninat,
Konispol. After an intense literary and publicistic activity he was
obliged to leave Albania because of a continuous persecution from the
communist dictatorship. He died in exile, on October 14, 1986 in
Bilal Xhaferri baptized, directed, prepared and published “Eagle’s
wing” magazine till the end of his life. He was able to transform it in a
powerful arm in the war against communism.
Hereby “Eagle’s Wing” was a free democratic thinking tribune, with
anticommunist, anti- dictatorial and anti-enverists inclinations, which
had as a purpose the union of all the political Albanian forces in exile,
the unification of thoughts, programs and the unification of their goals
for a free pro-western Albania.
Albanian national problems, especially the Cham issue and Kosovo
problem were widely treated among the magazine’s pages. Even the
problems of other territories that had remained outside the maternal
body, Albania, and problems of Albanian communities around the
world and Diaspora, were considerably discussed in this magazine.
Bilal Xhaferri could establish through “Eagle’s wing” magazine,
tightly connections with a lot of patriots in USA, Europe and Canada,
Turkey and elsewhere, with newspapers and other magazines of
Diaspora. He influenced through his activity in the approach, the
union and the collaboration between Albanians of all territories,
dispositions, parties and different political organizations. Soon
“Eagle’s wing” was converted in a national magazine. It was yet
destined to all the Albanians, wherever they were.
“Eagle’s wing” magazine had a great brotherly, moral and material
support from the Albanians in Kosovo and Montenegro, from parties
and their national organizations. Even Bilal Xhaferri’s close friends
and collaborators were from there. In a congratulation note in the
magazine he writes: “During this summer (1981) I stayed for some
months in Detroit. Among many friends, whom I want to thank very
sincerely for their brotherly hospitality, I want to mention in particular
Prof. Prenk Gruda, who never negated his help as a great patriot”.
Besides the publications of many foreign and Albanian authors, Bilal
Xhaferri published even his works, a lot of publicistic articles,
poetries, tales and fragments of the novel “Opposite sidewalks”
(1975), fragments of the novel “The moon of the yards” (1977), skits
for the Albanian language courses that were situated near mosques,
masjids or Albanian churches. He also published his drawings and
caricatures, artistic photos and short films made by him. He wrote in
USA some movie scenarios. In the magazine number, where it was
published for the first time a passage of the novel “The moon of the
yards”, it was advertised that Bilal was producing a scenario from this
novel for a feature-length film, under the adapted title in English “The
moon of the Countryside”. A company from Hollywood was going to
But even in America, the country of the big freedom, Bilal Xhaferri
was being victimized by the security of the Albanian dictatorial state.
They frequently tried to efface his work and kill him. Hereby in 1978
they wounded him. “Eagle’s wing” wrote these words for this terrible
episode: “Bilal Xhaferri, the editor of “Eagle’s wing” magazine was
assaulted in darkness from three unknown people while he was going
in a meeting for the celebration of the hundredth anniversary of
Prizreni League. The friends that were waiting for him in the meeting,
worried from this delay, went out to look for him and they found him
in the street, wounded in the head and face and with a knife cutting in
the rib. The police that was informed and came immediately, brought
him to the hospital” (“Eagle’s wing” 1985, May).
When the editorial office was burnt in 1981, Bilal Xhaferri and the
magazine met with a severe knockout. This fact has been published
even in “Eagle’s wing” magazine: “A fire that burnt up in the building
where was located “Eagle’s wing” magazine, burnt down all the files
and the collections. This was a personal tragedy for Bilal Xhaferri,
who lost his books and his manuscripts, thorough literary volumes,
studies, scientific researches, translations, political notes, letters,
pictures, photos, works and efforts of the ten difficult years in exile”
(“Eagle’s wing”, January 1981). So the Albanian state security
impeded by all means the activity of Bilal Xhaferri and “Eagle’s
wing” magazine. The Prime Minister and the Minister of the Interior
of the Albanian dictatorial state in those years expressed themselves in
this way: “We will bring back Bilal Xhaferri in Albania, dead or
alive”. Bilal Xhaferri could publish 39 editions.
Since 1995 and following “Eagle’s Wing” goes on being published in
Tirana, as the organ of the Cultural Association “Bilal Xhaferri” (The
cultural community of Chameri), founded and directed by the well-
known journalist and writer Shefki Hysa. He initiated the return of
Bilal Xhaferri’s bones in Albania and the exaltation of the
extraordinary values of this rare personality, prosecuted and thrown
into oblivion by the former dictatorship of the communist Albania.
In the magazine’s pages, among editions that defend Albanian
national issue, notably the Cham problem, have often been published
even articles and selected creations by personalities of the Albanian
pens like: Bilal Xhaferri, Dritëro Agolli, Ismail Kadare, Ibrahim D.
Hoxha, Jakup Mato, Martin Mato, Namik Mane, Pjeter Arbnori,
Arben Çokaj, Sazan Goliku, Sokol Jakova, Shefki Hysa, Vath
Koreshi, Visar Zhiti etc. and also by other well-known global authors
like: Jack London, Jean-Pol Sartre, Alfred de Musset, Edgar Allan
The foreign authors who have notably treated the Chame issue like
Miranda Vickers, Doris Pack, Hillary Clinton, James Pettifer and Dr.
Haim Reitan etc., have taken a special place among the magazine’s
pages and they will do the same in the future.
Acting as an editor and chief editor of the monthly magazine, Shefki
Hysa, with his contributions and that of his friends, managed to
publish more than 100 editions and consistently insists in chanting this
pedestal of the free-thought in the trench of Bilal Xhaferri’s ideals.