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Hasan Zyko Kamberi was a distinguished bejtexhi writer of Albanian
literature.He was born in the second half of the eighteenth century
in Starje, a southern Albanian village near Kolonja at the foot of
Mount Gramoz. All that is known of his life is that he took part in
the Turkish-Austrian Battle of Smederevo on the Danube east of
Belgrade in 1789 in an army under the command of Ali Pasha Tepelena
(1741-1822). He died a dervish, no doubt of the Bektashi sect, in
his native village at the beginning of the nineteenth century. His
tomb in Starja was turned into a shrine known locally as the turbeh
of Baba Hasani. Kamberi is one of the most commanding
representatives of the Muslim tradition in Albanian literature,
though his main work, a 200-page mecmua (verse collection), has
disappeared. A manuscript of this collection is said to have been
sent to Monastir (Bitola) in 1908-1910 to be published, but all
traces of it have since been lost. Indeed little of his verse has
survived and even less has been published. Of the works we do
possess are: a short mevlud, a religious poem on the birth of the
prophet Mohammed; about ten il h; and over fifty secular poems.
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