MASA faces new challenges in opening itself to Albanian scientists

MASA faces new challenges in opening itself to Albanian scientists

IBNA Special Report

Skopje, February 27, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

Macedonian Academy of Science and Art (MASA) continues to be closed for Albanian scientific personalities. For many decades since its foundation, Albanians have been represented in a symbolic way in it. The majority of Albanian academic personalities from the country during the former Yugoslav federation had only found room to become members of the Kosovo’s Academy of Science and Art.

With the independence of the country, this reality didn’t change and the Academy remained hermetically closed for Albanians. The academy counts today hundreds of members in different sections, but also external members, while there are only three Albanian academics: academic Luan Starova in the art section, academic Alajdin Abazi in the technical sciences and Abdylmenaf Bexheti in social sciences.

In 2009, this relevant social center caused an aggravation of ethnic relations on the occasion of the publication of the “Macedonian Encyclopedia”. This document saw much criticism by Albanians and also by a part of the international community.

In its part on Albanian ethnics in FYROM, the encyclopedia wrote that they have come from the mountains, that they are savage and so on. Strong reactions coming from Albanians in FYROM and the region led to the Macedonian Academy to withdraw this document and since 2012, the encyclopedia started to be modified.

In the recent days, there have been hopes for the growth of the number of Albanian representatives in this institution. In a competition for the the recruitment of 24 academics, 7 of them are Albanian scientific personalities.

Academic Abdylmenaf Bexheti, who is a regular member, told IBNA that there’s a necessity to increase the number of Albanian representatives in this high scientific institution.

“Albanians are perceived differently for the Academy and this perception became more intense with the famous encyclopedia, which damaged the reputation of this scientific institution. Therefore, there must be an increase of the representation of Albanians”, Becheti says.

Academic Alajdin Abazi says that the lack of Albanians is mainly felt in those profiles who are yet to have Albanian representatives, such as linguistic and history, in order to avoid the outrageous mistakes seen in the Macedonian encyclopedia. Albanian academics are also needed in the field of medicine, arts, etc.

“I believe that up to three Albanians may be admitted. We are confident that this time, Albanian academics will have more access to the academy”, Abazi says.

The Albanian candidates who have competed for this institution are university professors Avzi Mustafa, Fatmire Lumani, Hasan Jashari, Veton Latifi and Izet Zeqiri for social sciences, Zamir Dika for technical sciences and Qemal Musliu for linguistic sciences.

The Academy’s information office has not commented the selection of the new candidates or the increase of the number of Albanian academics. According to this academy, the selection process will go through a fair and equal contest.

MASA was established on 22 February 1967 by the socialist parliament of that time. The current chairman is academic Vlado Kambovski, known as a prominent expert in the domain of justice. /ibna/