Peter Ralph Prifti

November 24, 1924August 17, 2010

Peter R. Prifti...An American Scholar of Albanian Orgin

He was born in Rehova, Albania on November 24, 1924. Peter Prifiti is an eminent intellectual among the Albanian-American scholars in America. Educated in the United States, thanks to the understanding and support of his father (owner of a restaurant in Philadelphia, in partnership with others), he first attended and completed high school after arriving in America in 1940. Thereafter he enrolled at penn state College, in College Park, Pennsylvania, where he won a "Bachelor of Arts degree in Arts and Literature." In 1947 he became an American Citizen. Eager to expand his knowledge of world culture and philosophy, he attended the "University of Pennsylvania" where he won a "Master of Arts degree in Philosophy" (1955). The title of his M.A. thesis was, the "political Philosophy of David Hume."

In 1958 the Pan Albanian Federation of America--Vatra, in Boston, offered him a post as co-editor of its newspaper Dielli, and secretary of the organization, then under the Honorary Presidency of Bishop Fan Noli. The two years he spent with Vatra, were a valuable experience, giving him a better understanding of the Albanian community and its problems.

During 1961-76, he worked in Cambridge, Mass., at M.I.T (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), at the time a notable center for international studies. The fruit of this period was the book, "Socialist Albania since 1944" (1978), an objective chronicle of developments in the country in that time frame. The work was well received in academic circles, as shown by letters form readers received by the author, as well as by the reviews that were published about the book.

In 1976, the Department of Linguistics of the University of California in San Diego, initiated a project for studies on the Albanian language, and invited Peter Prifti to join the project as a consultant. The project itself was a short duration (1976-79), but it succeeded nevertheless in producing three works for the study of the Albanian language, either in a classroom setting, or as "self-study" materials. These are: Standard Albanian, Spoken Albanian and Readings in Albanian. Prifti figures as co-author in all three of the works.

The situation of the Albanian population in the province of Kosova, became a cause for concern for the author as early as 1968, when a strong movement was under way to make Kosova a Republic. The movement was harshly suppressed by the Yugoslav authorities. Prifiti wrote on all developments in the region during the next 30 years, in defense of the rights and demands of Albanians. The net result of that effort is the book, Confrontation in Kosova, which was published in 1999.

Two other volumes of collected writings deal with the politics, history and culture of Albania. In addition, the volumes contain memorial tributes, essays, literary critiques and book reviews, which he had published over the years in professional journals and various magazines and newspapers. The volumes are titled: Remote Albania-the politics of isolation, and Land of Albanians-A Crossroads of Pride and Pain

Peter Prifti has devoted himself to Albanian studies in a consistent effort to enlighten readers about his native land and the nature of Albanian society. Throughout his career as a writer, he has sought to promote the ideals of freedom and democracy, taking care in the meantime not to become embroiled in Albanian partisan politics. He stands as a fine example of the intellectual who is conscious and concerned about his country of origin, even while living and working far form its borders.

Arrangements under the direction of Merkley-Mitchell Mortuary, San Diego, CA.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, August 28, 2010

Peter Ralph Prifti

have a memory or condolence to add?

Gary Paul Prifti

September 17, 2010

To My Dearest Uncle Pete

Our paths is tremendously influenced and altered by the passing in time a life worths we create and inherit . We share a common desire to heal and be healed through a mutual exchange of thoughts and emotions. A true friend searches our eyes with a perception of the heart..
Uncle Pete was this person .
Each person claim a particular place within us, and their absence will leave a noticeable cavity.
But the effort required is minimal compared to the rewards of a life time . Uncle Pete you have enriched my life with the gift of yourself that is separate from any other form of love . I will miss you forever,
Love Your Nephew , Capt.Gary Paul Prifti , Irene, Mom.-
( Doylestown, Pa )

Mary Abdall-Romano

August 28, 2010

U hidhruam pa mase per vdeqen e Peter Priftit. Qe nje njeri shume i mire, i qete, dhe krenar per atdheun e dashur, Shqiperin, per gjuhen shqip, si dhe per historin e Shqiperis. Na ka lene shume kujtime te mira me shkrimet e tija.
Se baskut me burrin ngushellojme te gjithe familjen. Te rroni vete me gjithe te dashurit. Shpirti Peterit te vendoset ne parajse dhe kujtimi tij qofte i perhershem.
Mary Abdall Romano dhe Malcolm Romano

August 26, 2010

On behalf of the members of the Society for Albanian Studies and myself, I should like to express our condolences on the death of Peter. Peter was one of the founding members of our organization and we were pleased to know him as a colleague and friend for many years.

We have been indebted to Peter in our own work for the many significant and and interdisciplinary contributions he has made to the field of Albanian Studies. Peter has also enriched the lives of those of us who have had the pleasure of sharing his company in a variety of settings over the years.

We shall miss Peter, but take comfort in the knowledge that his rich scholarly legacy will serve as an inspiration and a valuable resource for future generations of Albanologists.

Our sincere sympathy to his family.

Prof. Nicholas C. Pano
Society for Albanian Studies
c/o Department of History
Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL 61455

Merita McCormack

August 24, 2010

Peter R. Prifti was an outstanding Albanian -American scholar , whose work in the fields of history and literature will remain a treasure for all Albanians and for those interested in knowing more about Albanian nation.

He contributed so much to the Albanian Nation Cause, in many levels, while as a researcher, scholar, historian, involvement with VATRA Federation as its Secretary, consultant to many who dealt with written word,etc.. and never got tired.
For all the people that had the privilege of knowing or communicating with him, I'm sure the feeling is that he was a very pleasant person, a gentle soul, a warm heart, yet a very firm advocate of Albanian Language , History, Art and Albanian Literature.
I have been honored to have known the Professor and also honored to have had his excellent advice on Literary matters as well.
My husband John and our children join me into expressing our condolences to the family and friends.
May he rest in Peace and may his legacy be honored and followed.

Merita McCormack,

Very Rev Arthur Liolin

August 24, 2010

Peter R. Prifti was an outstanding historian and scholar of the Albanian nation and her people. His research and writings are considered classics for those interested in the ancestorland that he loved. His advocacy embraced essential human and civil rights both here in the U.S.and abroad, the territorial integrity of those seeking self-determination in the lands were his people lived for centuries.
As a proficient academic, he had also applied his expertise in the field of journalism as an ever-vigilant spokeman and consultant in arts and letters. The Albanian people here and in the homeland - where his work was much valued and heralded - relied upon his objectivity and acumen. It was also my personal privilege to have considered him a friend and colleague.
May his memory ever be eternal. I perjetshem qofte kujtimi i tj.
Very Rev. Arthur E. Liolin
Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America

Ramazan Cerma

August 21, 2010

Peter Priftin kam pasur nderin ta takoj e bisedoj nga afer. Ai ben pjese ne ate plejade atdhetaresh e ikonash shqiptare qe historia do te shkruaje per to, qe brezat e ardhshem shqiptare e ne diaspore to mesojne, frymezohen e te ndjekin shembullin e tyre per te miren e atdheut e popullit shqiptar.
Ngushellime familjes si dhe te gjithe te te njohurit, kjo dhimbje i perket te gjithe shqiptareve.


Peter Philadelphia, November 1992


Grandmother with Peter 3 & Paul 5 In the natal village of Rehove, Kolonje, Albania 1927


Older brother Paul, Father Rafael and me 1940 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Peter, Paul and Misto Ligori Phila, Pa 1940's