By Raimonda Moisiu/
I do not believe that Fan Noli ever had any personal enemies. He was a humanitarian and a man of letters. He, not only served as a statesman, but also became a priest. In order to become a priest, a person must be a person of high ideals, who lives in the world of the divine and the world of the human and he must be tolerant and merciful. Since Noli possessed these qualities, he wore the black robe with ease. Immediately afterwords, he made a brilliant declaration which allowed him to more easily push the limits of the millennium, in which he lived. He said that the Albanians, with a Muslim majority, chose an Orthodox priest as their leader. And where would you find a more beautiful expression of religious tolerance, especially in today’s world rife with religious conflict? Fan Noli bridged the gap between cultured Albanians and nonAlbanians alike. The brilliance of both his original works and his translations is undeniable. As a poet and journalist, I would like to point out an example which demonstrates this excellence to all of us who create literature and to aspiring artists in this field. If we call a miserly person a Jew, Fan Noli was a Jew of the cultivated word. When he wrote, he resembled a goldsmith or a clock maker. You would not dare to remove a single syllable of the golden poetry he left us.
It is our duty to preserve the legacy of Noli, Mjeda, and Migjeni. We must respect Professor Noli for his choice of words. It is said that Noli, in search of the beautiful Albanian word gérdallé, (jade) wrote from America to a childhood friend while translating Cervantes. And in the end, who was the jade one? And who else but Rosinant? Or another? And after the War, when they sent him other works by Shakespeare published in his country, at the same time as he congratulated them for their work, he said,”Albanian has other words that are more beautiful, my friends.”
Noli was modern in every sense of the word. Because of the church he founded, Albanians were and still are more united in America than in any other country in the world. Because of Noli, respected clerics such as Father Arthur Liolin preserve this unity. Also, a special thank you to Neka Doko for her support of Father Arthur Liolin and the Fan Noli library. Is it not so, brothers and sisters?