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Introduction to Macedonia

 
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TRCourage



Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 6:08 am    Post subject: Introduction to Macedonia Reply with quote

TOPIC: Getting to Know Macedonia

I am following a dream to relocate to Macedonia, and I decided I would like to share with you about this unique country. I am going to use this thread to acquaint people with Macedonia, its history, land, people and culture. In the next thread, I will post all the current TESL information I have been able to track down so far. There are few jobs currently available, but this should change in coming years.

Many people have little or no idea that Macedonia exists and few could find it on the map. Macedonia (mas-uh-DOH-nee-uh, mas-uh-DOHN-yuh) is a republic in southeastern Europe on the west Balkan Peninsula. Landlocked, MK is bordered on the south by Greece, on the west by Albania, on the north by Yugoslavia, and on the east by Bulgaria. (The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. 2002 courtesy of http://www.bartleby.com/59/15/macedonia.html)

Most people who recall the name or articles about events there will probably recall that they first learned about the existence of Macedonia during the Kosovo crisis when hundreds of thousands of Muslims took refuge in the Republic of Macedonia. The presence of UN forces and a huge influx of foreign press and envoys of the diplomatic corp all pumped in SOME money and lots of photo op's, and Macedonia was promised a great deal of money to help them recover -- but of course, that never materialized and the world forgot about them again in the world of post 9/11.

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Yugoslavia's division, Macedonia has been officially known as The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), but it seems that Macedonians will eventually be able to dispense with the FYRO portion of the name.

The country has been marked by conflict between minority ethnic Albanians and majority Slavs. Much of the reason why will be described in the article below, and the rest is laid at the feet of Albanian "freedom fighters" who would see portions of various surrounding countries chiseled away and given to Albania, thus to give the Muslims in the part of the world their own ethnically pure country.

At this time, the Muslin Albanians are striving for equal political and social stature, to include more self-governance, the right to have their own university, and to have Albanian as a second official language (like the French in Canada). The Slav majority are, understandably, having difficulty dealing with all this.

However, the Macedonian drive to become a part of the EU is pushing the majority to adopt whatever reforms, social and economic, that will enable them to be recognized as a country worth inviting in.

Skopje - Where Time Stood Still
By Sam Vaknin, 2000 (with permission of the author - palma@unet.com.mk)

Frozen at an early morning hour, the stony hands of the giant, cracked clock commemorate the horror. The earthquake that struck Skopje in 1963 has shattered not only its Byzantine decor, has demolished not merely the narrow passageways of its Ottoman past, has transformed not only its Habsburgian waterfront with its baroque National Theatre. The disastrous reconstruction, supervised by a Japanese architect, has robbed it of its soul. It has become a drab and sprawling socialist metropolis replete with monumentally vainglorious buildings, now falling into decrepitude and disrepair. The influx of destitute and simpleton villagers (which more than quintupled Skopje's population) was crammed by central planners with good intentions and avaricious nature into low-quality, hi-rise slums in newly constructed "settlements".

Skopje is a city of extremes. Its winter is harsh in shades of white and grey. Its summer is naked and steamy and effulgent. It pulses throughout the year in smoke-filled, foudroyant bars and dingy coffee-houses. Polydipsic youths in migratory skeins, eager to be noted by their peers, young women on the hunt, ageing man keen to be preyed upon, suburbanites in search of recognition, gold chained mobsters surrounded by flaxen voluptuousness - the cast of the watering holes of this potholed eruption of a city.


*** To read more of this tantalizing, well-written piece, see
Skopje - Where Time Stood Still by Shmuel Vaknin
http://www.realitymacedonia.org.mk/web/news_page.asp?nid=2152


Here is a link to 1999-2000 Archives of the Central European Review, a publication available here http://www.ce-review.org/thematicarchives/macedonia/ta_macedoniamain.html

At CE-Review, you can find well-written and entertaining articles about
Macedonia's drive for European integration - see topics & links below

European Union: articles about Macedonia's drive for European integration
http://www.ce-review.org/thematicarchives/macedonia/ta_macedoniaeu.html

Minorities: on Macedonia's Jewish minority (very small indeed)
http://www.ce-review.org/thematicarchives/macedonia/ta_macedoniaminorities.html

Politics: articles about Macedonia's government, economy and relations with the West and Yugolsavia
http://www.ce-review.org/thematicarchives/macedonia/ta_macedoniapolitics.html

Society: on the decadence of Macedonian society
http://www.ce-review.org/thematicarchives/macedonia/ta_macedoniasociety.html


For more articles about Macedonia's cultural, political, economic and educational challenges, I would recommend
World in Conflict. Economies in Transition
http://ceeandbalkan.tripod.com/

World in Conflict, Economies in Transition is a large collection of articles concerning Macedonia and Eastern Europe, by Sam Vaknin, previously published to various news agencies.

Dr. Vaknin is an Israeli who has lived and worked in Macedonia since 1996. For three years, he was Economic Advisor to the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and to the Ministry of Finance. In recent years, he has been a Senior Business Correspondent for United Press International (UPI). Information about the author http://samvak.tripod.com/cv.html


Finally, there are several people here at the ESLCafe forums who have posted about more recent conditions in Macedonia. I have copied and pasted their relevant comments to another thread in this forum, "Life in Macedonia."


Last edited by TRCourage on Thu Jan 06, 2005 11:42 pm; edited 6 times in total
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TRCourage



Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 7:16 am    Post subject: Macedonian Online News Sources in English Reply with quote

TOPIC: Macedonian Online News Sources in English

I have always held that there are several good ways to become acquainted with a new place.... Examining the phone book yellow pages. Locating various neigborhoods on maps. And reading a variety of newspapers.

Macedonia is blessed in having a surprisingly great degree of freedom of the press. Here are some of my favorite sites. I will be including sites regardless of their political stance and rhetoric because they reflect the groups of people who live and work, vote and go to war in this country.


SouthEast European Times - serving all countries in Southeast Europe
http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/infoCountryPage/setimes/resource_centre/countries/macedonia?country=Macedonia

News by Region & Category - Southeast Europe
http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/region/

Metamorphosis
http://www.metamorphosis.org.mk/eng_default.asp

Reality Macedonia
http://www.realitymacedonia.org.mk/web/firstpage.asp

Transitions Online - SouthEastern Europe
*albania *bosnia & herzegovina *bulgaria *croatia *macedonia *romania *serbia & *montenegro
http://www.tol.cz/look/TOL/section.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=4&tpid=8

The nice thing about Transitions Online is that you can sign up for a daily email to get daily updates regarding the newest articles -- which you can access for free that day. Later, they become premium content you must pay to access.

I have a RLL feed on My Yahoo! where I get the latest headlines from Macedonia. As I find more good news sources, I will add them.


Last edited by TRCourage on Sat Jan 08, 2005 9:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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TRCourage



Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 9:29 pm    Post subject: Macedonian Web Presence Reply with quote

TOPIC: Macedonian Web Presence


Web informational system for local government
http://www.lgforum.org.mk/?jazik=2&id=01

The Project Web Based Information Infrastructure was initiated in 2001 by the Foundation Open Society Institute Macedonia and UNDP as a project that was implemented in 15 municipalities in the Republic of Macedonia. The front page of the site has a map with the location and names of those (still only) 15 cities and towns. However, some of the sites no longer exist. Surprisingly, the capital Skopje is one of those.

The project includes the following components:

Making and administering an official web site for each municipality;
* Connecting all 15 municipalities through the web sites in one municipality web forum (www.lgforum.org.mk);
* Opening discussion groups as part of the contents of the web site for the citizens;
* Training the employees in municipalities in computer use, Internet and web design.

The official governmental website for the country is, after several years, still very rudimentary and it is impossible to contact people or ministries by means of email.


MaNGO - Macedonian NGO Website
(NGO - Non-Governmental Organizations)
http://www.mango.org.mk/en_news.asp

The MaNGO Search Engine for PROJECTS in Macedonia
http://www.mango.org.mk/en_ngosearch.asp

The MaNGO Search Engine for NGOs in Macedonia
http://www.mango.org.mk/en_ngosearch.asp

Also listed are all the charitable foundations operating in Macedonia.
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Chasgul



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 168
Location: BG

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 4:36 am    Post subject: English vs local pronunciation Reply with quote

Be aware that people in SE Europe tend to say mak-eh-Don-ya.

The US recognises them as the Republic of Macedonia, a decision announced the day after GW Bush's re-election.
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travellingscot



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Posts: 64
Location: UK/Eastern Europe

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 9:44 am    Post subject: Macedonia Reply with quote

I've just returned from 3 weeks in Macedonia for a passport trip,visiting Skopje and Ochrid,with a coffee visit to Albania (Another stamp in passport to help Bg re-entry).
I had a couple of job interviews in Skopje,found a local contact,and so have a basic idea of the current situation.
Anyone with a genuine desire to work there in the near future (Rather than just a "What's it like in that far-away country" curiosity),please feel free to ask and i'll be as helpful as possible.

Sorry if the last bit seems rude,but i'm busy investigating my next move, having used up my patience and goodwill here in Bulgaria,so can't afford to waste my time.Life in the Balkans is very different,despite initial appearances,and i'm fed up with lies,broken promises and ---- from employers,who don't take a long-term view and just think of making a little money now by any means rather than building a better future. More on this in the Bg section.
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riverbui



Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Eastern Europe

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am very excited reading the forum., so much of things to learn.
I have just moved to Macedonia for a job in 2-3 years which I did not intend to this place but happy to come here.
I am so new here in Skopje, dont know people and contacts. I would like to know if you guys could share experience in find jobs related to development like NGOs as my partner is looking for .. or if it is really difficult, any other opportunities (he is Brit)
Very much appreciated for any reply,
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Prometheus12



Joined: 05 Mar 2012
Posts: 9
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, you'd be surprised how well known Macedonia really is, I think if I could find a position there I'd probably faint!

Its an amazing country!
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Prometheus12



Joined: 05 Mar 2012
Posts: 9
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, you'd be surprised how well known Macedonia really is, I think if I could find a position there I'd probably faint!

Its an amazing country!
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Sigma



Joined: 07 Apr 2003
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be difficult to earn or save a lot of money in Macedonia. Costs of living can be quite high, depending on where you live of course.

I suppose you could get a decent salary in Macedonia working at a university or an international school. However, at a private school, it might be difficult to earn a decent salary.

Again, it all depends on your expectations. Smile
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12325
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has the OP ever BEEN in Macedonia ? Or anywhere else in the Balkans ?
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12325
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The original post is full or errors, misleading generalisations and websites that have "broken links". Enough to make me belief he is Langley's "Man in Skopje" !

Last edited by scot47 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sigma



Joined: 07 Apr 2003
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is at least one American international school in Skopje - http://www.nova.edu.mk/

You most certainly won't get rich working at private or public schools. I would think someone working in Skopje might be looking at 500 euros a month.
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