I think Shkodra is one of the only cities in this beautiful country where you hear the Muslim call to pray and Catholic church bells back-to-back.
Apparently just 20 years ago the city was rife with a sort of “civil war” that pitted the Muslims against the Catholics. The city was divided down the middle with the Muslims on one side and the Catholics on the other. Now, tensions have cooled and it seems that no one still harbors hard feelings. But the evidence is definitely all around me.
I live in the historic district (above is a picture of our mosque), so it’s pretty much smack dab in the middle of Shkodra. That means I hear church bells chiming every30 minutes to mark the time, and in between I hear the call to prayer. My favorite time of day is when they overlap and there are duel for air space, deafening us all. No, its actually quite beautiful though. I never thought I’d live in a place where you hear the call to prayer. It’s just not that common in the US so it never even ocurred to me. It’s definitely growing on me, even though every time the voice starts over the loud speaker I’m jerked back to reality with that “wow you are not in the US anymore” realization. It may be noisy all the time, but I think I’m pretty lucky to be in a place where both church bells and the call to prayer can ring in peace.
-“It’s not better. It’s not worse. It’s just different.”