On 2006, professor and former Albanian ambassador in France Ylljet Alicka, published a satirical novel titled Nje Rrefenje me Nderkombetare (A story with internationals). The book has been published in French, and ten years later, it was translated and published in English under the title The Internationals, and was also produced into a film funded by the National Center of Filmography, with a script by Alicka and directed by Pluton Vasi.
The book, which got a negative appraise from the international community in Albania and beyond, has been recently published in Italy by the Rubbettino publishing house under the name Gli Internazionali, translated in Italian by Italian Albanologist Elio Miracco and Albanian author Amik Kasoruho.
The publisher refers to the book with the description “Career diplomats- a bitter comedy and a stinging irony.’’ Director Pluton Vasi who directed the film adaptation of the book referred to the story of The Internationals as a black comedy.
The novel’s characters include international officials, who, often anonymous at their home countries, upon arriving to Albania, after “struggling to help this country or tell locals the way to progress,” their life takes a new meaning thanks to the “indigenous” taking care and welcoming them.
“This is the reason why many of the internationals cannot leave or grow so desperate when they finally leave Albania,” said Aliçka in an interview conducted with Tirana Times’ Europa Magazine.
The following description is an excerpt by the Rubbettino publishing house in Italy:
The residency of an international diplomatic body in Albania, right after the fall of communism; a desperate ambassador, because of his young girlfriend’s treachery; a few attaches with different nationalities, who make ‘elbow wars’ who will make it on top. And a young Albanian official, who observes the paternalisms, the envies, the carrierisms and the hypocrisies of this diversified circus.
A simultaneously sweet and bitter comedy, which unveils the behind-the-scenes intrigues to one of the ‘humanitarian’ missions, from which the following question naturally arises: how can the West come to the developing countries’ aid, when it has a megalomaniac and domineering approach, and how can a transitional country accept the help of those who mock its identity?
Alicka’s sharp and poignant irony- who as a former diplomat knows well the world he confesses- smites both the zealous international saviors, and the subdued and wretched locals. A sarcastic novel, fresh and funny, which deserves an honor spot in the best Balkans tradition of this genre.