23 June 2020 President Meta awards the prominent ethnomusicologist Ramadan Sokoli (posthumously) with Decoration “Honor of the Nation”
The President of the Republic, H.E. Ilir Meta awarded the eminent ethnomusicologist, composer and pedagogue Ramadan Sokoli (posthumously) with the High Decoration “Honor of the Nation”, with the motivation: “As a sign of appreciation and gratitude as the founder of Albanian ethnomusicology, musicologist, composer and lecturer. His study and music work is an inalienable part of the European cultural identity of Albanians. His extraordinary contributions have made the discoveries of our musical archeology speak Albanian, giving exhaustive answers about the way of organization and basic typology of Albanian musical folklore, inside and outside the state borders of our country ”.
In his welcoming speech, at the solemn ceremony, the President of the Republic expressed his satisfaction and privilege that he is honoring one of the most important personalities of culture and national art.
“Professor Ramadan Sokoli was born 100 years ago in the city of Shkodra, while in Vlora the shootings had started to throw the last invaders left on our land into the sea.
The year 1920 is a blessed year in the history of the Albanian nation and state. It starts with a big event such as the Lushnja Congress. It continued with another event in Paris, very large which was also a state-building act. And it ended with the throwing of the last invaders into the sea, thus giving life to the Albanian state and successfully crowning those eight years so arduous, tedious and exhausting since November 28, 1912.
Professor Ramadan Sokoli went through many life challenges, becoming an inalienable pillar of reference for the discovery and unveiling of the extraordinary cultural values of our nation.
He came from a patriotic and civic family from Shkodra, nurtured in the cradle of patriotism by the historical family of Sokoli, as a worthy descendant of Hodo Pasha Sokoli, one of the main commanders of the League of Prizren.
Returned full of dreams from studying at home, after the Second World War he was unjustly imprisoned by the communist dictatorship, which tried in vain to break the indomitable character of this proud and noble Albanian man.
Professor Sokoli, despite his personal ordeal and persecution as a family, managed to rise above the pressure and difficulties of the time thanks to the talent, dignity, cultural formation, passion and spiritual heritage of the family!
At the age of 16, Professor Ramadani began to bring to life the first songs such as: ‘Blegëron delja’, and then, the song ‘Lulja me erë’, which in the demonstrations of ’80 -’82 in Kosova and in all areas where they lived Albanians, spread like an inspiring hymn dedicated to freedom.
In 1954, as a young lecturer at the Jordan Misja Artistic High School, he treated the subject of Music Folklore for the first time, opening a new chapter in Albanian ethnomusicology, which did not exist until the early 1950s.
Professor Sokoli’s entire ethnomusicological contribution is an encyclopedia of the transmission and explanation of the phenomenon of Albanian musical folklore in a very wide time and space.
Professor Sokoli showed his talent and professional capacity in leading research expeditions, together with German, Romanian, etc. researchers, in various regions of Albania, with which he enriched the Photo Library of the Albanian Folklore Institute. ” – noted President Meta.
“The values of Professor Sokoli’s work have been outlined together with the professional, scientific and artistic growth of the author himself.
What has conceived them in a single radiant unity is his soul, his work, and his devotion to the true renaissance.
Thanks to his extraordinary contribution and his scientific interpretations, the discoveries of our musical archeology, such as the great Nikete Dardani, Jan Kukuzeli and Danush Lapacaja, as well as the figure of our National Hero, Skanderbeg in music, have spoken in Albanian.
Essential studies on the way of organization and basic typologies of Albanian musical folklore have also been carried out, starting from our musical instruments to the complex answers of the origin of our folk music, inside and outside our state borders.
Equally important is his musical creativity of all kinds and genders based on the values of ethno music; as well as the finding that in his albanological studies, the ethnomusicological view of the albanological problem is more than original.
Emphasizing that his extraordinary work was carried out without the proper support and without the special care that this colossus of our national spiritual heritage deserved, his work becomes even more precious today.
All his work bears only the stamp of tireless work, performed outside the premises of the official institutions of the study of traditions, under the special care of Mrs. Lili, his beloved and devoted wife to him until the last moment. She has dedicated the work ’16 Centuries’ to her, because of her love and contribution to the common work.
His study and music work is already part of the European cultural identity of Albanians.
His name ranks in foreign encyclopedias alongside the world’s largest ethnomusicologists.
After the 1990s, the values of his contribution were restored to the deserved pedestal, sought after throughout the Albanian space as a leader and artistic director of many national and regional folk festivals.
His study creativity continued until the last moments of his life. With his extraordinary work, Professor Ramadan Sokoli has already become part of the pantheon of the most prominent personalities of our nation.
For Professor Ramadan Sokoli, there will only be a birthday! – President Meta emphasized, handing over to Mrs. Linda Sokoli-Duma the high decoration for her father.
In the solemn ceremony, attended by family and relatives, friends and colleagues, musicologists, artists and personalities, the opening speech was given by Zhani Ciko, and then some musical pieces from the works of Ramadan Sokoli, performed by Albanian artists, Shqipe Zani and Kastriot Tusha.