Main Characters

Dritëro Agolli – Writer and former member of the Party of Labor’s Central Committee.

Ramiz Alia – Albania’s last communist leader, 1985-1991. Died in 2011.

Vehbi Alimuçaj – Head of Albania’s largest pyramid scheme, Vefa Holding. Released in 2010 after eight years in prison.

Lulzim Basha – Head of the Democratic Party 2013-present. Minister with various portfolios 2005-2011 and mayor of Tirana 2011-present.

Mero Baze – Journalist and Sali Berisha confidant turned anti-Berisha journalist and analyst.

Sali Berisha – Albania’s dominant post-communist political figure. President 1992-1997 and prime minister 2005-2013.

Elez Biberaj – Head of the Albanian program at Voice of America 1986-2006.

Ridvan Bode – Democratic Party minister of finance 1996-1997, during the pyramid schemes, and again 2009-2013.

Neritan Ceka – Founding member of the Democratic Party, then expelled from the party and helped found the Democratic Alliance. Minister of interior 1997-1998. Later a Berisha-appointed ambassador to Italy.

Adem Çopani – Military advisor to Presidents Ramiz Alia and Sali Berisha.

Bashim Fino – Mayor of Gjirokaster 1992-1997 and prime minister in the Reconciliation Government of 1997.

Aleksandër Frangaj – Journalist and businessman, previously with anti-Berisha Koha Jonë newspaper and then pro-Berisha TV Klan.

Bashkim Gazidede – Head of the Albanian intelligence service, SHIK, 1992-1997. Died from cancer in 2008.

Skënder Gjinushi – Last communist-era minister of education, then leading member of the Social Democratic Party. Chairman of parliament 1997-2001.

Xhelil Gjoni – Last Tirana head of the Albanian Party of Labor.

Azem Hajdari – Student leader in 1990 and then first head of the Democratic Party. Assassinated in 1998.

Xhavit Haliti – A founding member of the Kosovo Liberation Army, responsible for international relations. Deputy chairman of the Kosovo parliament 2007-present.

Chris Hill – U.S. diplomat who served in the Tirana embassy, was ambassador to Macedonia and special envoy to Kosovo. Later U.S. ambassador to Poland, Korea and Iraq.

Enver Hoxha – Leader of Albania from 1946 until his death in 1985.

Nexhmije Hoxha – Wife of Enver Hoxha and head of the Democratic Front and Institute for Marxism-Leninism.

Arben Imami – Founding member of the Democratic Party and the splinter party, Democratic Alliance. Held various ministerial posts under Socialist Party governments and then re-joined Berisha, serving as his chief of staff and minister of defense 2009-2013.

Hekuran Isai – Last communist-era minister of the interior.

Ismail Kadare – Albania’s most celebrated writer.

Muhamet Kapllani – Deputy foreign minister in the last years of communism and briefly foreign minister in 1991.

Fatos Klosi – Head of Albania’s intelligence service 1997-2002, during Kosovo war.

Joe Lake – U.S. ambassador to Albania 1994-1996.

Sofokli Lazri – Senior advisor to Albania’s last communist leader Ramiz Alia.

Marisa Lino – U.S. ambassador to Albania 1996-1999.

Fatos Lubonja – Writer, analyst and political prisoner for 17 years during communism.

Pandeli Majko – Socialist Party prime minister 1998-1999 and 2002, minister of defense 2002-2005.

Aleksandër Meksi – Democratic Party prime minister 1992-1997.

Fatmir Mediu – Head of the Republican Party. Minister of defense 2005-2008 and resigned after military warehouse explosion in Gërdec killed 26 people. Then minister of environment 2009-2013.

Rexhep Meidani – President 1997-2002.

Ilir Meta – Head of the Socialist Movement for Integration. Prime minister 1999-2002, foreign minister 2002-2003 and 2009-2010. Chairman of parliament 2013-present.

Alfred Moisiu – Deputy minister of defense during communism and president 2002-2007.

Fatos Nano – Socialist Party head 1991-2005. Prime minister in 1991, 1997-1998 and 2002-2005. Imprisoned for corruption after unfair trial 1993-1997.

Spartak Ngjela – Political prisoner during communism and minister of justice in 1997.

Gramoz Pashko – Founding member of the Democratic Party and minister of economy in Stability Government of 1991. Expelled from the Democratic Party in 1993 and helped found the Democratic Alliance. Died in a helicopter crash in 2006.

Genc Pollo – Senior aide to President Sali Berisha 1992-1997. Expelled from the Democratic Party and co-founded the Reformed Democratic Party in 1999. Then held various ministerial posts under Berisha 2008-2013.

Edi Rama – Head of the Socialist Party 2005-present. Minister of culture 1998-2000, Tirana mayor 2000-2011 and prime minister 2013-present.

Shinasi Rama – student leader in the 1990 movement.

Ibrahim Rugova – President of Kosovo 1992-2006, died in 2006.

Genc Ruli – Founding member of the Democratic Party, various economic-related ministerial posts since 1991.

Bill Ryerson – First U.S. ambassador to Albania after communism 1991-1994.

Richard Schifter – Various senior foreign affairs positions in U.S. government 1981-2001, including Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs and special assistant to the president at the National Security Council.

Eduard Selami – Head of the Democratic Party 1992-1995. Expelled from party in 1995, left Albania, and returned in 2013. Democratic Party member of parliament 2013-present.

Mehmet Shehu – Partisan military commander during World War Two and prime minister from 1954 until his apparent suicide in 1981.

Tritan Shehu – Senior Democratic Party official 1992-1997 and minister of foreign affairs 1996-1997. Split with Berisha and co-founded the Reformed Democratic Party in 1999.

Perikli Teta – Minister of defense in 1991 and minister of the interior in 1998.

Hashim Thaçi – Founding member of the Kosovo Liberation Army and prime minister of Kosovo 2008-2014. Kosovo foreign minister and deputy prime minister 2014-present.

Franz Vranizky – Chancellor of Austria 1986-1997. Special envoy of the OSCE to Albania in 1997.

John Withers – U.S. ambassador to Albania 2007-2010.

Safet Zhulali – Defense Minister 1992-1997. Died from a heart attack in 2002.

Preç Zogaj – Writer and founding member of the Democratic Party and minister of culture in the Stability Government of 1991. Founding member of the Democratic Alliance. Advisor to President Meidani.

Leka Zogu – Known as King Leka I, pretender to the throne. Only son of King Zog I, who was Albania’s prime minister 1922-24, president 1925-1928 and self-declared king 1928-1939. Died in 2011 with one living son.

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