Former home of Albanian author Kadare becomes a museum | AFP

Ismail Kadare draws the curtain to bring a shaft of light into the Tirana apartment where he wrote furiously during the dark days of communism — a space visitors can now explore first-hand after his former home was turned into a museum. During that time, the windows were covered with heavy drapes to shield their home from the paranoid eye of the communist regime led by former dictator Enver Hoxha, who painfully isolated Albania during his 40-year-reign.

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Police, protesters clash in demo against Albania PM | AFP

Thousands of Albanians protest against Prime Minister Edi Rama, throwing firecrackers and lighting flares at a rally in Tirana. Several police, a protester and a reporter were injured, according to authorities and witnesses. IMAGES

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In hidden mountain air base, Albania stores MiGs for sale

On a barren hillside in northern Albania lies a portal to the country’s communist past: a massive steel door creaks open to reveal a hidden former air base burrowed into the heart of the mountain. Made up of 600 metres of tunnels that once teemed with military life, the secret Gjader air base is now a tomb for dozens of hulking communist-era fighter jets collecting dust in the darkness. Three decades after shedding communism, Albanian is trying to sell off the Soviet and Chinese-made MIG fighter jets, drawing interest from museums and collectors.

In Albania, a sole Jewish history museum on the brink

The first and only Jewish history museum in Muslim-majority Albania is at risk of disappearing after the death of its elderly founder, Simon Vrusho, who passed away following a heart attack in February at age 75. At the centre of his ‘Solomon Museum’ in Berat is the extraordinary story of how Albanian families sheltered thousands of Jews fleeing persecution during the Holocaust.

Albania on fire: Thousands rally against alleged govt links to crime in Tirana

Tear gas has been fired and barbed wire put up in the capital of Albania, which is in the grip of intense anti-government protests. People want to get rid of the current cabinet alleging corruption and links to organized crime. Opposition MPs have resigned en masse, demanding new elections.

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Albanian youth dream of a future elsewhere

Albania is not at war, ruled by an authoritarian regime or battered by natural disasters, but its young people are leaving in droves, chiefly for economic reasons. Frustration with the lack of opportunities at home bubbled over in mass student protests that started in December, calling for an overhaul to the education system.