Birthday: January 6, 1882
Died At Age: 83
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Also Known As: Fan Noli, Theofan Stilian Noli
Born Country: Albania
Born in: Ibriktepe, Turkey
Famous as: Prime Minister of Albania
political ideology: Political party - Independent (Albanian nationalist)
Died on: March 13, 1965
place of death: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
education: Harvard University, Boston University, New England Conservatory of Music
Who was Fan S. Noli?
Fan S. Noli was an Albanian political activist, politician and also the man who established the Albanian Orthodox Church. Noli spent the early years of his life across a wide variety of places and in turn he picked up plenty of foreign languages; however his life changed when he came into contact with the members of Albanian expatriate movement. He went to the United States and lived there for many years as he built up the strength of that movement and it was during his time in the US that Noli established the Albanian Orthodox Church. After the end of the First World War, Noli became the most powerful representative of the movement and with the help of the US President, Woodrow Wilson, he helped Albania get the membership of the League of Nations. He went back to his native Albanai and joined the People’s Party. Noli went on to become the Prime Minister of Albania and also became the Archbishop of the Albanian Orthodox Church. Noli is regarded as one of the most influential men in the history of Albania due to his role in mobilising the expatriate movement from the United States and having a deep influence on the Albanian political landscape.
Childhood & Early Life
Theofan Stilian Noli was born on 6 January 1882 in the town named Ibrik Tepe in Eastern Thrance in modern day Turkey. When he was born, the area was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Very little is known about his family but according to most his father was Jewish of Bulgarian extraction while his mother was Greek.
Fan S. Noli grew up as an Eastern Orthodox Christian and throughout his early years he lived in a wide variety of places that included places like Athens, Alexandria and Odessa. In addition to that he also learnt important foreign languages like French, Arabic and English among others.
Later on Noli became aware of the Albanian expatriate movement and the philosophies of the movement deeply appealed to him. He was so inspired by the movement that he set up base in the United States in 1906 in order to be closer to the members. He lived in Buffalo and Boston, Massachusetts.
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During his stay in the United States, Fan S. Noli, was involved in the Albanian expatriate movement. Quite a few Albanians in the United States were part of the Greek Orthodox Church, which was fiercely opposed to the Albanian nationalist cause. When a Greek Orthodox priest refused to perform the last rights of one of the Albanians because of his nationalist activities, Noli helped create the Albanian Orthodox Church and became a clergyman. He became a priest in 1908 and a bishop at the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania 15 years later.
Noli took admission at Harvard University and graduated in the year 1912. The following year he went back to Albania in order to further strengthen the case for Albanian liberation in Europe. However, he went back to the United States after the break out of the First World War and helped in the war effort. That also made him the leader and voice of the expatriate Albanians.
The then United States President Woodrow Wilson supported the cause of a new Albanian state and Albania was inducted into the League of Nations in the year 1920, which gave it legitimacy as a country. A year later, Noli became a member of the Albanian parliament as a representative of the People’s Party which was liberal in its ideas.
In his early years as a politician, Noli found himself in a bitter power struggle between the liberals and the conservatives in the country. The conservatives were the more powerful faction at the time but after their leader Ahmet Zogu was forced to leave Albania and go to Yugoslavia; Noli became the Prime Minister of Albania on 17 July 1924.
As the Prime Minister of Albania, Noli started the ill-fated ‘twenty point program’ that led to widespread opposition and on 24 Dec 1924 the government led by Noli was thrown out by people close to Ahmet Zogu. Noli fled to Italy and later on went to Vienna in Austria where he established the ‘National Revolutionary Committee’ or ‘KONARE’.
Noli moved to the United States in the year 1932 and continued his education. He studied Byzantine Music and later went on to become a teacher in the subject. In 1945, Noli received his Ph.D. in History from Boston History.
Noli tried to get back into Albanian politics from his base in the United States for many years but he was unsuccessful in his attempts. The rest of his life was spent in academics and religion.
Fan S. Noli’s relentless campaign for the recognition of Albania by the powers that be in the world is without doubt his greatest work in his life and he moved to the United States to further strengthen the movement with the help of expatriate Albanians. He is often regarded as one of the most important founding fathers of the Balkan state.
Personal Life & Legacy
Fan S. Noli died on 13 March 1965 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was 83 years old.