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Parashqevi Qiriazi, "morning star" of women's emancipation

December 17, 2020 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Parashqevi Qiriazi, born in Bitola (now North Macedonia) on June 2, 1880, one of the key figures of the Albanian Enlightenment of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her pioneering role in the education and emancipation of women in the Ottoman Empire can be only compared to the achievements of Marianne Hainisch in Austria, Annestine Beyer in Denmark or Maria Montessori in Italy.
Parashqevi Qiriazi was the first woman to write a textbook in Albanian and the only woman to participate in the Bitola Congress which codified the Albanian alphabet in November 1908. Holder of two diplomas (Robert College, Istanbul, and Oberlin College, Ohio, USA), she attended the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.
There is a long list of outstanding roles that Parashqevi Qiriazi played on the women's education scene and, more broadly, in the Albanian national movement for independence from the Ottoman Empire.
Nothing could undermine her determination, neither the harsh working conditions, nor political pressures, two Balkan wars and two World Wars, nor even the difficult moments spent in a concentration camp, where she was deported in 1943 with her sister Sevasti and other members of her family, as a result of their anti-fascist activity.
The magazine she ran in her youth, as well as the women's association she was one of the founders of, bore the name of Morning Star, which wonderfully suited this woman whose contribution to the emancipation of the Albanian people was invaluable.
Tribute to Parashqevi Qiriazi, video by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of North Macedonia
The diary of Parashqevi Qiriazi, published by the Institute for Intellectual and Cultural Heritage of the Albanians, Skopje, North Macedonia (information in Albanian) 
Source: National Commission for UNESCO of the Republic of North Macedonia