Friday, July 18, 2014

Macedonia: Victim or Perpetrator of Identity Theft?

Mustafa Pasha Mosque in Skopje
Watercolour sketch
©2014 Charlene Brown

On May 28 we crossed the border into the Republic of Macedonia, which until 1991 was part of Yugoslavia. When that country broke up, the ages-old dispute with Greece over the use of the name Macedonia was reignited.  The Greek government contends that Macedonia is, and always has been, a region of Greece, and although there are many true (Greek) Macedonians living in the Republic of Macedonia, that doesn't make the rest of them Macedonians.  Various compromises have been worked out with the EU, USA, etc. about how they are to be regarded internationally, and they seem to be dealing with it… but the Greeks have succeeded in forcing them to rename a huge statue in the main square of Skopje, ‘The Great Warrior’ instead of ‘Alexander the Great,’ as originally intended – because he was really a Greek.

Another interesting, though not particularly relevant, fact is that the mosque in this sketch was completed in 1492.