By Mal Berisha

Sir Noel Malcolm’s ALBANIANIADA” refers to the extensive work and research conducted by him on the history and culture of Albania. His books titled “Kosovo A Short History,” “Agents of Empire: Knights, Corsairs, Jesuits, and Spies in the Sixteenth-Century Mediterranean World” and Albanians, “Rebels, Believers, Survivors”. explores their complex history in the Mediterranean region.

The term “ALBANIANIADA” is not a commonly recognized or standard term. It is used informally to refer to Sir Noel Malcolm’s substantial contribution and research focusing on Albania’s history, particularly within the context of his book and his extensive writings on the subject. Malcolm’s work has been influential in expanding the understanding of Albania’s historical significance and its connections to the broader historical narrative of the Mediterranean region.

The interviews documented in this book, titled “ALBANIANADA,” are sourced from the triple-episode documentary film named “The Gratitude.”



Sir Noel Malcolm’s book “Kosovo: A Short History” has had a major influence on the understanding of the complex history of Kosovo. Published in 1998, the book provided a comprehensive and detailed account of Kosovo’s history, spanning from ancient times to the late 20th century. Its influence can be observed in several ways:

  1. Historical Context: Malcolm’s book offers a detailed historical context of Kosovo, shedding light on its cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity. It provided readers with a deeper understanding of the region’s complexities, including the presence of various communities and their interactions.
  2. Clarification of Historical Narratives: The book helped to challenge and clarify historical narratives and misconceptions about Kosovo. It provided a more nuanced view of the region’s history, countering oversimplified or biased interpretations that were prevalent at the time.
  3. Contribution to Academic Understanding: “Kosovo: A Short History” contributed significantly to academic research on the Balkans and became a reference point for scholars, historians, and researchers studying the region. Its extensive research and documentation offered a valuable resource for understanding the historical, cultural, and geopolitical dynamics of Kosovo.
  4. Impact on Public Discourse: The book had an impact on public discourse, influencing the way people discussed and understood the history and complexities of Kosovo. It helped to broaden perspectives and encouraged a more informed dialogue on the region’s history and the various ethnic and cultural groups within it.
  5. Relevance in Political Discussions: Given the geopolitical significance of Kosovo, especially in the context of the Yugoslav Wars and subsequent events, Malcolm’s book provided valuable insights into the historical background of the region. It became a crucial resource for policymakers and analysts seeking to understand the complexities and historical roots of the conflicts in the Balkans.

Above all, “Kosovo: A Short History” by Sir Noel Malcolm has been influential in shaping a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of Kosovo’s history, impacting both academic discourse and the broader understanding of the region’s complex past.



  1. Sir Noel Malcolm’s book “Agents of Empire: Knights, Corsairs, Jesuits and Spies in the Sixteenth-Century Mediterranean World” is highly regarded as an illuminating and scholarly work. It explores the intricate and interconnected history of the Mediterranean region during the 16th century, highlighting the roles and actions of various individuals and groups within that period.
  2. Malcolm’s book delves into the complex interactions between different Mediterranean powers, including knights, corsairs, Jesuits, and spies. Comprehensive research and in-depth analysis shed light on the multifaceted relationships and power dynamics of time, offering a rich portrayal of the political, religious, and social landscape of the Mediterranean during the 16th century.
  3. Critics and scholars have praised “Agents of Empire” for its meticulous research, engaging narrative, and its ability to offer a deeper understanding of the historical complexities and interactions that shaped the Mediterranean world during this era. The book has been applauded for its scholarly rigor, clarity, and the breadth of its examination of various agents and their impact on the region’s history.

Overall, the work is well-regarded within the historical community for its contribution to understanding the intricacies of the Mediterranean world in the 16th century.



  1. Sir Noel Malcolm’s book, “Rebels, Believers, Survivors: Studies in the History of the Albanians,” is considered a significant and insightful work on the history and culture of Albania. Malcolm is known for his meticulous research and scholarly approach, and this book reflects his expertise and deep understanding of the complexities within Albanian history.
  2. The book covers a wide range of topics, offering an in-depth exploration of the historical, cultural, and social aspects that have shaped Albania over the centuries. Malcolm’s work is praised for its detailed analysis, comprehensive research, and the way it sheds light on lesser-known or overlooked elements of Albanian history.
  3. “Rebels, Believers, Survivors” delves into the various challenges and transformations Albania has faced, exploring the country’s evolution from the past to the modern era. The book’s thorough examination of historical events and their context within the broader Balkan and European history has been highly regarded by critics and scholars.

His book “Rebels, Believers, Survivors” is recognized as an important and valuable contribution to the understanding of Albanian history, appreciated for its depth of analysis and scholarly approach.


Mal Berisha

It has been an honor and a privilege to represent the Albanian State as the Extraordinary Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Court of St. James’s in London. This position provided me with the opportunity to acquaint myself with all members of the Anglo–Albanian Association. Naturally, Sir Noel Malcolm, the President of the AAA, was among those individuals to whom I dedicated the triple-episode documentary film titled “The Gratitude.” This tribute acknowledges his immense contribution to the recognition of Albanian history worldwide, particularly within the English-speaking community.

After reading and studying his works, which were published before I went to London, Kosova – A Short History, during my time there, Agents of Empire, and after I completed my duty, Rebels, Believers, Survivors, I endeavored to find ways to make more widely known the truths about Albanians that Sir Noel Malcolm has conveyed in the 1,600 pages of his books. I believed the best way to do this was to produce a documentary film featuring considerations and opinions from eminent scholars and experts regarding his work. Producing the film required extensive effort, travel, and collaboration over the course of two years. Finally, we may introduce this documentary series in three episodes, entitled “Gratitude is the Parameter of Human Nobility.” Alongside the film, I also thought it would be valuable to publish the full text of interviews with twenty-three scientific experts who have shared their thoughts on Sir Noel Malcolm’s work on Albania and on Noel himself.

Convinced of the extraordinary value of Sir Noel Malcolm’s work for Albanians, I believed that producing a documentary film about his life and work, narrated by distinguished figures from Britain, Albania and Kosova, was an obligation and an expression of gratitude for his contributions. Such a documentary film would also serve to strengthen our nation’s relations with the United Kingdom. Therefore, alongside this documentary film, there is a book, which contains transcribed and translated interviews in both Albanian and English. Through this book and the accompanying documentary, I aim to offer viewers and readers the opportunity 8 to gain a deeper understanding of the scholarly and human aspects of Sir Noel Malcolm’s personality, as illuminated by the insights shared by the participants in the film.


Besnik Mustafaj

Writer, Former Ambassador and Foreign Minister of the Republic of Albania.


This is a sui generis publication. It is dedicated to the British historian Sir Noel Malcolm. It does not, however, resemble a biography in any way. Sir Noel Malcolm already has a very extensive and multidisciplinary opus, accepted and highly regarded not only by academic and scholarly circles, but also by a wide readership in English and in the dozens of languages into which he has been translated. Three of his works focus on Albanians and their history. They are: Kosova, a Short History, Agents of Empire, and Albanians, Rebels, Believers, Survivors. All three are valuable and have been translated and published in Albanian. This publication focuses on these three works. However, it is neither a critical examination of the truths and facts brought forward by the author, nor of the conclusions he reaches within his methods of evaluating evidence. Said in a more proper way, this publication is the script of a documentary film in three episodes, produced by Ambassador Mal Berisha and dedicated to Sir Noel Malcolm. It includes a meticulously chosen text, written by the author in the role of the film’s narrator, through various interviews with the protagonist of the work, as well the testimonies of many British and Albanian personalities. It must be noted that those who are interviewed are not all friends of Noel Malcolm in the truest sense of that word. Undoubtedly, however, they are familiar with him, and most of them are familiar with him precisely because of his extraordinary work as a historian and scholar work that led Dr. David Shankland, director of the Royal Anthropological Institute in London, to state that among his contemporaries, Malcolm is the closest to a genius in modern historical studies. I do not see exaggeration in Dr. David Shankland’s praise, noting that other interviewed participants gave the same estimation in one form or another. It is a conclusion which they reach due to the wide acceptance of Sir Noel Malcolm’s great work, and the personal knowledge sometimes more and sometime less of his personality as a human being. Just like the documentary film, this publication is addressed primarily to the Albanian public. Hence, from the outset the author Mal Berisha highlighted the three works that Sir Noel Malcolm has devoted to the Albanians and their history. In his introduction, written specifically for this publication, Ambassador Mal Berisha found it imperative to address the question of what motivated him to create this documentary film: “Recognizing the immense significance of Sir Noel Malcolm’s contributions to us, the Albanians, I was convinced that creating a documentary film about his life and work, featuring prominent figures from the British, Albanian, Albanian-British, or British-Albanian spheres, were both a duty and heartfelt expression of gratitude for his invaluable work. Furthermore, I thought that a documentary film of this kind would also contribute to enhancing our nation’s relations with the United Kingdom.” Gratitude is a prominent virtue in the character of the Albanians. In this case, I believe that any gratitude is enhanced based on who communicates it. Mal Berisha has established a good name in Albanian diplomacy. His experience in the foreign service, especially his time spent overseeing Albania’s relations with the United Kingdom, arms him with the ability to express his gratitude towards Sir Noel Malcolm not merely with noble emotion, but also with a broad diplomatic perspective. In this context, the gratitude of Mal Berisha is a wholly logical conclusion, founded on numerous significant facts, when someone observes how a book like Kosova, A Short History, for example, played a pivotal role in influencing the engagement of today’s democratic world and addressing of the critical issue of Kosova, ultimately contributing to its liberation and independence. As one of the readers of the manuscript, I am firmly convinced that in this instance, Ambassador Mal Berisha conveys the profound gratitude of an entire nation to Sir Noel Malcolm in the truest sense of the word. It appears as a divine miracle, or at least very difficult to believe, that a book, in this case Kosova, A Short History, has wielded such a decisive influence in altering the stance of political establishments for major democratic powers, regarding the fate of the people of Kosova. Mal Berisha has chosen individuals with strong personalities who, by affirming this fact, provide him with unequivocal support. However, even that, perhaps, might not suffice to persuade the public that this occurred a quarter of a century ago. Berisha, as author, takes this risk into account. He does not attempt to recapitulate the facts and arguments presented by Sir Noel Malcolm in his work to demonstrate that he has brought historical truths to light. Mal Berisha is careful to sketch the historian’s profile. He draws from wisdom gleaned from the elders of his birthplace, who believed that while the truth holds significance, the individual delivering it is equally vital. Hence, we also discern certain moral and intellectual traits within Sir Noel Malcolm’s character, related to the motivations that compelled him to embark on the extremely difficult undertaking of shedding light on the history of Albanians. In short, from this publication and the documentary film that precedes it, we come to understand that Sir Noel Malcolm possesses a natural inclination towards romanticism, a quality that has consistently driven him to passionately dedicate himself to truths that have been forgotten, overlooked, or, even worse, manipulated by historiography and sinister politics, with profound consequences for the peoples or human communities who bear these truths. Such is undoubtedly the case of Albanians in general, and of Kosova’s Albanians in particular. Through a series of significant works, Sir Noel Malcolm had already demonstrated unwavering integrity before the British public and the world. The pursuit of truth was consistently a sacred commitment for him, one from which he would not compromise for any reason. Sir Noel Malcolm is also a man characterized by a keen sense of curiosity. This is evidenced is also by the fact that Albanian is among the 23 11 foreign languages he has learned. Naturally, this would further facilitate his research in the archives. The continuation of his writing would involve issues of methodology, determination, and analytical ability, all of which he possessed in abundance. To summarize, the truth about the Albanians, their roots and branches, which he has conveyed in some 1600 published pages, would become a trustworthy basis for both politicians and the general public, not only due to its accuracy, but also because it came from the pen of Sir Noel Malcolm. In conclusion, I would like to highlight another aspect which I believe is important to remember. Given the established fact that Kosova: A Short History exerted a significant influence on the decisions taken by the Euro-Atlantic democratic powers during 1998- 2007, concerning Kosova’s destiny, we, the Albanians as a whole, should be motivated to critically re-evaluate a stereotype deeply ingrained in both our folklore and official historiography, as well as in our collective national memory. It is about the stereotype, according to which, during our clashes for survival, the great powers of the times supported our predatory neighbors because of their a priori anti-Albanian spirit. The impact of Sir Noel Malcolm’s book on the decisions made in London, Washington, Brussels, Paris, or Berlin during the aforementioned period serves as a reminder that the actions and biases of these powers are often the consequence of their lack of awareness about the truth regarding the Albanians in these capitals. A thorough critical examination of this stereotype would help liberate us from the burdensome victim complex.