The trees of Tirana

When I look out my window in Tirana, Albania, I look East towards the hills of park Dajtit, I can see seven trees. Seven, that’s it! It’s like the local population is allergic to greenery, every square meter has been turned into a apartment block, spontaneous parking lot or an area used for some kind of economic activity.

Tirana trees

Today when the temperature is reaching far above 35, some more shadow would be nice. No such luck. Except for on Rruga Ismali Qemali where the grand maple trees create a tunnel of coolness, the trees of Tirana have been sacrificed on the alter of economic growth (read: greed) and we pay the price every day in sweat. No trees mean no coolness in the summer heat, no trees mean that dust rules the streets, blowing dirt into eyes and cloths. For certain, rules and regulations forbid the cutting down of trees, even in Albania, but like all other laws they are being ignored more or less deliberate by people. Why? How about this for a theory. After 50 years of suppression by the state, modern rules and regulations are seen as tools by the state to continue to suppress the free will of the people. Rules and regulations are not accepted as guidelines to be followed in order for society to function properly, for the good of the majority, and as a result people spend all their time breaking the rules – cutting queues, driving against red, not declaring income, not using cash machines to record a sale, looking for a short cut to richness, throwing litter everywhere (even inside the elevator, why?) Rules are for others, rules are for the stupid!

Until the day when the majority of the people realize that the rules and regulations are there for their benefit and protection (to live longer and well as a life ambition, what a thought?), the rules/regulations will never be obeyed, and as a consequence chaos, dirt and heat will continue to rule Tirana. Poor trees, poor people.


About Jakob Modéer

22 years of corporate and international investor experience as well as private sector development project management, consultancy in private sector policy and business advisory services, and direct consultancy to companies in South East Europe (and now a blogger on socio-economic issues)
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