The first Congress of Monastir in 1908 aimed to gather key Albanian figures to select a standard alphabet for the Albanian language. The congress was arguably less about the alphabet and more about national identity and unification at a strategic time, a few years before Albania’s declaration of independence from the Ottoman Empire. George Kyrias (Gjergj Qiriazi) was one of the key initiators and organizers of this Congress. The following report was prepared by George Kyrias and sent to the R. Hodgson of the British and Foreign Bible Society (BFBS). The original report is held in the archives of the BFBS. The handwriting of the text appears to be that of George’s younger sister Paraskevi Kyrias (Parashqevi Qiriazi), who attended the Congress and observed all the open and closed-door meetings, but the signature is that of George Kyrias, who was employed by the Bible Society. This text is the only known eyewitness report of the Congress to be prepared in English. It bears the date of January 16, 1909. Below is a transcription of the original text in English.

Reports of the Albanian Congress held in Monastir 1/14 of November 1908

The tenth of July will be a remarkable day in the history of many nations of the Balkan Peninsula (who were under great oppression under the old regime) but mostly in the Albanian history, because it was they who endured and suffered the most of any other nationality, under the Turkish rule. It was the Albanian, who was prohibited to use his own mother tongue, and it was he who suffered imprisonment or exile if an Albanian book was found his possession. It was the noted Albanian who was sacrificed, because he craved the upliftment of his own people. Though the empire has always been benefited by her able men, still it is the Albanian, who has been cruelly oppressed. Who is he, who does not know that the ablest in Government office as well as in the army have been Albanian? Who can help but see that even now while all the other nations demand special rights, which the Government is not inclined to grant for many reasons, yet so many have been granted to them. The Albanians are satisfied even with what they have. The Albanians enjoy only these rights, which all the other nations had before the Constitution, but in spite of it, they are the most faithful in keeping and defending the Constitution, and no doubt that they will be the strongest to protect the Government, as it has given the word of Besa and it will shed the last drop of blood to defend the country from the foes that shall dare to attack it. Having bright  aims for strengthening the new regime and the progress of education and industry, as all the surrounding nations, came to the conclusion to found a foundation by selecting a general alphabet. Having in mind this, the club of Monastir decided to hold a Congress and invite representatives from all Albania.

So far the Albanians have had about 6-7 alphabets, but four of them have been more popular. One alphabet is known as the Constantinople Alphabet and is used everywhere in Toskeri. The Girls Albanian School in Kortcha has used it, and many text books etc., have been printed with it. In Scutari, North-Albania, three alphabets have been used. One is known as that of the Jesuits, second that of Bashkimi, and third that of Agimi. With the Jesuit Alphabet only some ecclesiastical books have been printed and a monthly periodical. This alphabet has been used for 300 years. The others are used in the Catholic schools in Scutari and surrounding villages.

Having so many alphabets, the books, periodicals etc. Did not have a good circulation, because they couldn’t be read by every one. This has been a great hindrance for the progress of the language and the Congress had this in view, to remedy this fatal wound which was absorbing all their strength, and could not take any step towards progress, besides the great hindrances from the Government, that no one dared to say he was an Albanian. The honorary president of the Congress was his Excellency the General Governor, Hifzi Pasha, and the acting president, Redjeb Efendi and Fehim Bey. The Congress was held in the rooms of the Albanian club “Bashkimi.” On the 1/14 of November 1908, 4 p.m., it was opened and the first act was to choose the president of the Congress.

The following were the delegates:

  1. Sotir Pettsi, Bukarest
  2. Sotir Pettsi, America
  3. Demetre Buda, Elbasan
  4. Simeon Shuturiki, Elbasan
  5. Kamber Effendi, Elbasan
  6. Leff Nosi, Elbasan
  7. Refik Bey, Tirana
  8. Leonida Natchi, Avlona
  9. Ru…?f Bey, Argirokastron
  10. Fehmi Effendi, Argirokastron
  11. Naim Bey, Argirokastron
  12. Teherri Topuli [sp?], Argirokastron
  13. Buljet Bey, Argirokastron
  14. Midhat Bey, Janina
  15. Midhat Bey, Salonica
  16. Shefket Bey, Kortcha
  17. Thoma Avrami, Kortcha
  18. Sami Bey, Kortcha
  19. G. M. Tsilka, Kortcha
  20. M. Grameno, Kortcha
  21. Mehmed Emin, Kortcha
  22. Ali Vasfi, Kortcha
  23. Selaheddin Bey, Monastir
  24. George D. Kyrias, Monastir
  25. Ibrahim Effendi Uskub
  26. Emin Bey, Uskub
  27. Hadji Jushar Effendi, Uskub
  28. Rok Benisha, Uskub
  29. Ahil Eftim, Kostantsi
  30. Hill Mosi, Scutari
  31. Louis Goracucchi, Scutari
  32. M. Logoretsi, Scutari
  33. Pater Fishta, Scutari
  34. Dom Mjedia, Scutari
  35. Serafedin Efendi, Scutari
  36. Louis Goracucchi, Italy
  37. Shahin Bey, Kolonia
  38. Sulejman Effendi, Starova
  39. A. Shkaba, Sofia
  40. D. Mole, Philippopolis
  41. Nyshet Bey, Berat
  42. Zejnel Bey, Laskovik
  43. Fehim Bey, Egypt
  44. Pater Katchori, Durazzo
  45. 4Azis Effendi, Brzeshta [sp?]
  46. Fahri Bey, Resna
  47. Zejnel Bey, Dishnitza
  48. Malik Elmas, Nakolets [sp?]
  49. Djemal Bey, Ohrida
  50. Bekir Dalib, Ohrida [sp?]
  51. Sadullah Effendi, Mat
  52. Ramis Bey, Dibra
  53. Fret Bey [sp?], Florina
  54. Abdul Bey, Starja
  55. Sadik Effendi, Kertchova

The delegates from Constantinople
56. Feril Presha Toptani [sp?]
57. Riza Bey Miralaj
58. Hadji Vildan Effendi Dibra

The first and second meeting which was held on Saturday and Sunday, was open to all the public. In these meetings, the alphabet question was discussed and each one was free to give his opinion. The delegates chose as the president of the Congress Midhat Bey Frasheri, vice-presidents George D. Kyrias and Mr. Louis Goracucchi, secretaries Nyshet Bey Vrioni from Berat for the Turkish language and Hil Mossi and Thoma Avrami for the Albanian language.

The Congress was opened in the presence of His Excellency the General Governor Hifzi Pasha and officers of the highest rank. All Albanians there where present also many Greeks, Bulgarians, Wallachians etc., the number being over 400. The first speaker was Fehim Bey Zavalani, the president of the club “Bashkimi”. In a few words he brought up before the audience the aim of the Congress and closed with a prayer to the Almighty, asking help and wisdom for all the delegates, who had in their hands such an important work, laid by the nation and who expects that union be the outcome of it in the midst of the Albanians so as to be prosperous as other nations. Mr. George D. Kyrias read the names of the delegates of the different places of Albania. From each place two delegates were invited, and the place that sent but one delegate had a right to two votes. It was voted that Mr. G. D. Kyrias be the acting president, until the arrival of Midhat Bey, who was expected on the morrow.

Selahedin Bey, office Kaimakam, an Albanian from Prizren (and a member from the Djemiet) stood as Monastir delegate. He gave us an interesting and solid address about the aim of the Congress. He referred also how fortunate we were to hold a Congress at the time when parliament is being opened in Constantinople. He said: “I consider myself very happy to see the love of brotherhood exist between the Christians and Muslims”. Many other persons took part and after the addresses the secretary Mr. Hil Mosi read some telegrams that were sent by the Albanians of Italy, from Bib Doda Pasha of Mirdita, from Primo Dokit Abbot of Mirdita, and the Jesuits of Scutari. After we were through with the telegrams, Pater A. Mjedia, a Catholic priest in Scutari, who presented to the audience the most interesting address on the subject of the alphabet from a philological standpoint. Many others followed but each one of them ended his address by saying that they have to sacrifice their self interest and all to bring a Albanians by means of the alphabet. Meeting closed until late in the afternoon. The meeting opened at the same day at 3 p.m. At Telegram received from the Albanian club in Constantinople was read warning the Albanians to be ready to defend their fatherland in case the enemies wish to divide it – such telegrams we sent all over Albania. As soon these telegrams were received, every where meetings were held where all Albanians gave their besa that they will fight their enemies and give their lives for their country. This afternoon, besides the telegram other things were taken into consideration. The question of the alphabet was brought up. Mr Tsilka gave weight to the Constantinople Alphabet – because that is the one that is so well known among all Tosks and because it is so easily read – each sign of the letters had a sound, etc. Meeting closed earlier, for in the evening the president of the Congress was expected from Salonica and thus in the evening all the delegates held another meeting.

When Midhat Bey was cheered and congratulated, Frasheri a small town of Albania was highly praised for having brought forth such noted men who have rendered such great services to the nation. Midhat Bey answered the speaker (a man from Scutari) by bringing forth all the services that Scutari has rendered to the Albanian language, for while it was prohibited elsewhere, Shkodra had the privilege to continue to use it and work for its progress.

The second day. Before the opening of the session the scholars of the Idadi came, they were in a large room, where are they sang many patriotic songs. After the singing the meeting was opened and the following persons took part: Mr. Hil Mossi, Mr. Louis Goracucchi, the Italian and Scutari delegate, Mr. Leonidas Natchi, Mr. Mihal Grameno, Refik Toptani and Mr. Dimitri Buda. All expressed their opinion with regard to the alphabet concluded by saying that all have to sacrifice their self interest so as to bring a union between the North Gheg and the South Tosk.

Sunday evening 6-11 p.m. In this meeting several speakers spoke on (the subject most interesting) viz. the alphabet. The speakers were Shefket Bey, Pater G. Mjeda, Mr Goracucchi, Fehmi Effendi Topuli, […jet] Bey [sp?], Selahedin Bey, Mr. M. Grameno and Ferid Bey. Each one of them expressed the great benefits of the union among the Albanians and it is very necessary that all the responsibility be put to a committee and decide what is best for all. Ferid Bey Y… [sp?] gave an interesting address. He mentioned that it was not right that we should say the Frasheri Alphabet, [to the on known] a Constantinople alphabet, because when it was founded in 1879 in Constantinople by an Albanian society. Besides Sami Bey Frasheri there were Vasa Pasha from Scutari, Constantine Christophorides from Elbasan, John Vreto from Postenan, Fabsin? Hodja from Philati and some other noted Albanians. After the session was closed, it was announced by the president that on the morrow the meeting was going to be opened at 9 a.m. It was  requested that only the delegates be present to vote for the election of a committee that is to take the responsibility to decide on the important question of the alphabet.

III-rd Day. On Monday morning the meeting opened at 9 o’clock a.m. and closed at 1 p.m. The first speaker was Don Nikola Katchori [sp?], a Catholic priest from Durazzo, whose theme was the alphabet – proving the great loss that Albania has had so far by not using one alphabet and the great importance of a union. As a delegate from Durazzo he said, that they were to adopt with the greatest pleasure, to use the alphabet the Congress decides upon. After him Pater G. Fishta gave a very brilliant talk on the same subject of course. He spoke of the important work done by the Alphabet “Bashkimi” and concluded by saying, “I have not come here to defend neither of the alphabets, but have come to unite with you and adopt that alphabet, which the Congress decides as most useful for the upliftment of the people.” He dwelt on the great loss of civilization as well as education on the part of Albanians, because for lack of a general alphabet. He also spoke of the great benefit the Government shall have if it helped towards the civilization of the Albanian people. He spoke of the benefit the Government has had from the Albanian soldiers and that will be far greater if the people are well educated in all branches of knowledge. He also said: “The enemies that have surrounded Albania are many and each one of them strives to take a piece for itself – but if we can’t defend our fatherland with the moral powers we possess, we will stand with arms in hand and will not permit our enemies to take even a foot of Albanian land.” I will never be able to write down all the appreciative instruction he gave us with which everyone was so much impressed and their hearts so touched, that Moslems and Christians were not able to hold their tears. When he was through and coming down the platform, Afes Ibrahim Efendi Hodja from Uskub, rushed towards him, embraced him and with tears in his eyes kissed him. This scene in the presence of 300-400 people of which 3/4 were Moslems, left a great impression on all.

It was arranged to elect a committee, that will decide upon the alphabet question. Since the discussions were mostly for the three principal alphabets, Constantinople, Bashkimi and Agimi, they thought of choosing members among those that used one of those three. The election was done by private votes. Discussions were made as whether to give a full power to the Committee. In deciding this important matter, they came to the conclusion by giving the Committee full power to decide what was best and it will be accepted by all the Albanians. The committee consisted of eleven members. A great deal was said of the responsibility the nation is beying in the hands of the Committee and that the members must be the best known writers in the Albanian language and those who will understand which alphabet will be the the best for the Albanian nation.

The following are the elected members:

  1. Pater Fishta
  2. Louis Goracucchi
  3. Sotir Pettsi
  4. Midhat Bey Frasheri
  5. Shahin Bey Kolonia
  6. Demeter Buda
  7. Dom Mjeda
  8. George D. Kyrias
  9. Fehmi Effendi Topuli
  10. Nyshet Bey Vrioni
  11. G.M. Tsilka.

Meeting closed by signing the protocol of the election of the Committee, by all the delegates, and it was decided that the Committee meet next day at 9 a.m. to begin the sacred work.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, these were the days the committee had its private meetings on the subject of the alphabet.

The president, Pater G. Fishta opened the meeting by making some very important remarks. He said that this duty which our nation bestows upon us, is a great hour, for the alphabet upon which we are to decide, is the soul of the nation and the only instrument by which the nation will progress. He went on saying that we must forget our self interests and try to bring a union by the alphabet and unite the Albanian nation, so as to grow and flourish in education and literature. Each person even the president had the right to have two votes. It was resolved that all the members of the committee give their word of “besa” to each other and that nothing be communicated to anyone outside of the committee, until the question of the alphabet settled. It was decided to adopt the Latin alphabet as a foundation, and after that decide what sound to give to each sign. As to the signs and sounds found in the Latin alphabet will be taken whatever signs the Committee decide upon, according to the necessity of sounds the Albanian language requires.

It was decided that all the minutes of the meetings of the Committee, be taken down and reported. After the final decision of the alphabet, a general protocol was made and signed by all the members of the committee and each delegate was supplied with a copy to take with himself.

“The decision of the Committee on the alphabet question”

After the minutes of the past three days were read, we saw that the work which already has been done was considerable, but not so much as to satisfy us all and which would have served our language as well as the progress of science among us; being urged also from some outside reasons, we took a step backward and with the consent of all the members of the Committee, it was decided to accept the Constantinople (Frasheri) Alphabet and together with it, another purely Latin alphabet and these two alphabets to be taught and used by all the Albanians. All Albanian Schools will be under obligation to teach the children both alphabets which are the following:


It was proposed and accepted with great enthusiasm by the Committee that after two years another Congress be held, where and when the present Congress decides with the objects of deciding questions concerning the Albanian orthography and literature.

Pater Fishta, Louis Goracucchi, Midhat Bey Frasheri, Demetri Buda, Sotir Pettsi, Dom Mjedia, Shahin Bey Kolonia, George D. Kyrias, Nyshet Bey Vrioni, Fehmi Effendi Topuli

The decision of the special Committee was accepted by all the delegates of the Congress which they undersigned giving their “besa besa” (good faith) that they will keep it:

A long letter was received from Mr. D. Kuthilis in Athens who strongly recommended to the Albanians to adopt the Greek letter. This letter was left aside, as the committee had already taken action to have the Latin alphabet for foundation. It was decided that the meeting take no action unless there were eight persons present.

        Meeting adjourned at three p.m.


It was decided in the absence of the president another member of the committee be elected by private votes. The president brought before the meeting the following points:

  1. Whether we are to adopt one of the three principal alphabets: Constantinople, Bashkimi and Agimi?
  2. Whether we are to combine the three into one?
  3. Whether we are to leave aside the three and adopt entirely a new one?

The committee dwelt on the above-mentioned points much, and in the end came to the following conclusion: that it must not take in view any of the three alphabets, but take for the foundation the Latin alphabet and gives each letter the necessary sound according to the need of the language – thus form a new national alphabet. All the letters of the Latin alphabet where looked over it carefully and were accepted with the difference of some changes by giving to letters a different sound.

The letters δ, γ, ŋ, σ, θ laid before the Committee great difficulties. So meetings were given alone to the letter δ and still the committee could not come to a satisfactory end. Considering the time given to one letter alone, we can easily see what difficulties were confronting us for the rest of the letters, namely gj, nj, sh, th, therefore it was proposed and accepted to adopt the Constantinople alphabet with a few changes, and a second one which will be entirely Latin with 25 letters and for the rest of the letters to be found by uniting two letters for the sounds the Albanian language requires.

This proposition was accepted by all the members of the Committee. It was voted in the afternoon of the same day to bring the settled question of the alphabet before the delegates and all the rest of the Albanians.

The the 7th Day. Friday. The Hall of the Club-house was crowded with Albanians impatiently waiting to hear the results of the important question which concerned every Albanian.

The president of the Congress, Midhat Bey, got on the platform and said: “The Committee (elected by the delegates of Albania) came to an end, trying and hoping for unity.” After these words, Mr Louis Goracucchi brought in the black board on which the alphabets were written.

Pater G. Fishta said that the Constantinople alphabet is that enough to answer the need of the nation, but to be able to print books outside of Albania and for wiring, we need to have also be pure Latin alphabet, therefore the committee was obliged to consent to two alphabets. The Germans up to this day do the same – that use of the Latin and Gothic. The whole meeting expressed great joy by applauding and calling at the top of their voices, “Long live the Alphabet”.

Friday afternoon. The meeting opened at ? p.m. and closed at 7 p.m. Abdul Bey Upi spoke on the subject: “The benefit of unity of the Albanians among themselves as well as with the Djemiet.”

The words of this gentleman were fiery. He proved what a power the Albanian nation could be, if they only were united. The union will develop them mentally, morally, materially, and bring great services to the nation for its progress and civilization, as well as in other things.

He was followed by other speakers: Don Nikola Katchori, successor of the Archbishop of Durazzo and delegate of the same city. He spoke on: “The duty of each Albanian to help materially for the progress of its nation.” On the same line were also the speeches of Mr. G. D. Kyrias, Mr. G. M. Tsilka, who referred to the blessing of giving and the beauty of activity, which alleviate misery, saves life, and gladdens the heart of him who does good. The same day a committee of the Albanian Club in Constantinople was expected, who were to travel all over Albania as an advisory committee to the Albanian Club.

The Committee consisted of three members: Hadji Vildan Effendi, Dibra, Fazil Pasha, Tirana, Mirallay, and Riza Bey, Dibra. All the members of the Club as well as the delegates went to the station to meet these honorable men.

8th Day Saturday. The meeting opened at 9 a.m. and had the largest audience than we ever had – besides the large hall as well as the four large rooms around were crowded – in our room we had 70 students of the Turkish school Idadie. The first speaker was Vildan Effendi, who spoke on the Constitution, refering the despotic government of former days etc. He gave great weight to the importance of union the Albanians must have for thus they will be able to defend themselves as well as the Ottoman Kingdom. He mentioned of the blessed day we have reached with such golden opportunities for union. Albania is blessed, because it is now United by means of the alphabet, which is one of the best and strong instruments for propagating progress among the nation. Every nation has its letters to write its language and has the right to choose for itself such signs, which can best express the language. The Albanian took the Latin with some additions to write their own language. The Turks themselves don’t have their own letters – they use those of the Arabs. As to the writing we are free to begin on the left or right – above or beneath. This is an instrument for the uplift of a nation. When we come to religion, that belongs to the heart and everyone is free to have his own views. But let us remember that we are all the sons of Adam, have one Parent and one fatherland.

He dwelt on this subject quite a long while and made a great deal of good impression to many Moslems, who are fanatical and think that they must not write like the Christians and must not consider the Christians as their brothers.

Pater G. Fishta was the next speaker who said:

The life of the Government Osmanli is the Albanian. Go and ask and you shall find that it is they who fought for this empire, and it is the Albanian sword that has always conquered the enemies of our fatherland. And the more it is uplifted, the more powerful it will grow materially and mentally. I beg of these honored gentlemen, as the Vali and all the officers of the Government who have honored us with their presence, to help us in every possible way for progress of these sacred national aims – knowing that the Albanians will never spare even is last drop of blood to defend the Osmanli Empire and our dear fatherland.

After him followed Fehmi Bey, Fehmi Topuli, Abdul Bey Starya, Pater A. Mjedia, Don N. Katchori and others. From all that was spoken that day, the hearts of all the audience were filled with great enthusiasm – Moslems and Christians.

In the evening the Monastir-Club gave a banquet to all the delegates, the Vali of Monastir and some other Government officials were present.

That evening speeches were held by Pater Fishta, Pater Mjedia, Hadji Vildan Effendi etc. His highness the Vali expressed his great joy for the union among this nation, which will make it the more powerful by means of the alphabet.

9th Day – Sunday
In this meeting only the delegates were present and two resolutions were passed.

  1. That all clubs and societies existing in Albania send a report once a month to the Monastir Club – and thus keep in touch with the general report she is to forward to all clubs and societies of Albania.
  2. That after two years on the 10th of July 1910 another Congress be held in Janina, to discuss another important question viz. the language and its literature.

The meeting adjourned after the president Midhat Bey, gave an expression of appreciation to all the brothers for honoring us with their presence. He also expressed the great joy he felt in his heart for the brotherly love and joy which existed among all the brethren.

In the evening of banquet was given to all the elders of the Monastir Club and to all the delegates. All expressed their great joy for this first Albanian Congress ever held in this empire which is the first step aiming towards unity and civilization.

Many noted Albanians gave their life for their country and were remembered, and also many others who after that have helped us, as Miss Stone, Miss Durham, Abdul Bey, Naim Bey, Sami Bey, the Bible and Foreign Society etc.

Thus did this Congress end after laying strong foundations for the future Albania.

Next day most of the delegates left – some of them went to Kortcha where they were invited.

No doubt the fruits of this Congress will be seen hereafter but I must admit that there are some fruits as its results even this day viz.: The union of the Tosks and the Ghegs, and the settled question of the alphabet which will certainly enforce the more their union. Thus we can help that hereafter even the Albanians can enjoy liberty of language and education.


Club, Schools, and Societies opened since the Constitution was proclaimed:



Boy Schools

Night Schools


Albanian Deputates




Berat: Ismael Djemal Bey, Azis Pasha

Preveza: Agim Bey Narta

Kortcha: Shahin Bey

Elbasan: Abdullah Mahir. Eff.

Durazzo: Esat Pasha

Prishtina: Fuad Pasha, Hadji Mustafa Effendi

Vutchitrn: Hassan Bey

Prizren: Mehmed Emin Effendi, Sherif Effendi, Jahja Effendi

Uskub: Said Effendi, Nedjib Bey Draga

Argyrokastro: Myfit Bey, V. Desiri

Dibra: Ismail Pasha, Hadji Vildani Effendi

Scutari: Shaqir Bey, Mustafa Effendi

Lenice?: Hassan Effendi

Janina: Myfit Effendi















































































Why were there chosen two alphabets?

The Congress of the Albanians, which was held in Monastir chiefly for discussing the important question of the alphabet, is the first Congress the Albanians have ever had. Most of the learned men of Albania who heard of it, thought it was not the time to do such a thing, and many of them came just to be present without expecting any good results. However its good results proved that they were mistaken. All the different delegates sent from different places, tried to stand for the alphabet they were told to support – but in spite of it the most strived to choose that which was going to bind the Tosks and the Ghegs. When the Congress was opened, when the fiery addresses were delivered during the first three days, when Moslems and Christians got well acquainted with each other, and when they all saw that Albania too has men that are able to work for the progress of their nation, everyone forgot his own self, seeing the great necessity of choosing one alphabet to unite the Tosks and the Ghegs, and with heart and soul aimed towards that end. They all said, “Let us have to Chinese or Japanese alphabet – only let this question be settled, for if we don’t a great loss comes to Albania.” Being in such spirits they chose the Committee whom they gave a full power to do what they thought it was best. This Committee as it has been mentioned before, bore a heavy responsibility, viz. that of all of the nation. It was a sacred duty, which they had to fulfill, for from that Committee that was to decide whether there would be union among the Albanians and on its results depended the life and progress of civilization of the nation. All the letters and telegrams which were received from other different parts of the world, expressed their hearty congratulations for the success of the Congress.

That the Albanians are very behind in the literature is quite evident, but how can they make any progress when they used 7-8 different alphabets? In Scutari, more than in any other place they have had this trouble, using three different alphabets. Telegrams received from Ghegeri begged us to take the alphabet of Bashkimi, and telegrams received from Toskeri begged us to use that of Constantinople, or Frasheri. The Committee had to take in view all those letters and telegrams for, if they were to ignore that one or the other party, there was to be a great hindrance in the progress of the nation, and since these two were used in schools, the one in Ghegeri, the other in Toskeri, we decided with full votes to adopt two alphabets, that of Bashkimi and that of Frasheri, with some changes, according to the needs of the language. Both alphabets Will be introduced in all the schools of Albania and will be obligatory to be studied by every Albanian student. Everybody will have the free use of either of them for print. During these two years before the next Congress takes place it will be found out which one will be used the most and that is to be adopted as the national alphabet.

The following are those who preferred the Frasheri Alphabet:

1) Bairam Effendi Topuli, 2) Midhat Bey Frasheri, 3) Nyzhet Bey Vrioni, 4) Shahin Bey Kolonja, 5) Pater A. Mjedia.

The following are those who preferred the Bashkimi Alphabet:

1) Dimitraki Buda, 2) G.M. Tsilka, 3) Pater G. Fishta, 4) S. Pettsi, 5) Louis Goracucchi, 6) George D. Kyrias.

As we have already stated above, both alphabets were accepted as national alphabets and it was decided that all schools be under obligation to teach both of them – and every writer use what he prefers, with the understanding that he shall not fight the second, but with the hope that one day, one alphabet is to remain.

From all that work stated we see that the Committee did its best to fulfill its duty to the nation. The following are some of the results of the Congress:

1) The Albanians had seven different alphabets. Now they have only two, as other civilized nations have.

2) In Ghegeri, three different alphabets were used, mostly in Scutari. Now they use only one, the Latin.

3) A union was formed which greatly strengthened the Albanian nation, which will help to spread knowledge etc.

I am very pleased to say that nearly all the delegates that were present in this Congress expressed their great gratitude and how much indebted they are to the Bible Society for all it has done for the nation.

They spoke also of the great obligations the nation feels toward the Society, because it has sacrificed so much for its enlightenment. The services of this society will never be forgotten by grateful Albanians because during the times and every other Albanian book was prohibited, only the Bible Society could circulate the Bible in our mother tongue. Everybody in Congress was greatly impressed and very grateful too, that the society is planning to print the other books of the Old Test. Which are not yet translated. Among those who expressed this gratitude were many Moslems and many of them asked me to express their heartfelt thanks to the society on their behalf for what it has done and is planning to do.

Monastir, 16 / I / 1909
Geo. D. Kyrias

(The handwriting of this letter is that of Paraskevi Kyrias; the signature is that of George D. Kyrias)

Transcribed by David Hosaflook, 2017