The Bektashi World Leader, His Holiness Hajji Dede Edmond Brahimaj
Hajji Dede Baba Edmond Brahimaj was born in Tirana on May 19, 1959, from devoted believers of Bektashism, from the village of Brataj of Vlora. After graduating from the 8 year school, he continued his studies at the Skanderbeg Secondary School and reached High scores which given him the right to pursue high military studies at the Land Forces Academy, today “Skanderbeg”. From 1982 to 1990 he served in various military functions, in Burrel and Peshkopi. With the revival of Bektashi faith in the late 90’s, together with other clergy and other believers, he participated in the Organizing Council of the Holy See of the Bektashi World Headquarters.
At the beginning of 1991, he was released from his military duty by taking over the burden of organizing the Bektashi Community. It is worth pointing out that even in the most difficult conditions, when the practice of religious belief in Albania was banned by a special article of the Constitution, his parents’ home in Tirana served to keep alive Bektashism, endangering many of the regime that did not forgive.
On January 2, 1992, handed over to his spiritual leader, Haxhi Dede Reshat Bardhi and Baba Barjam Mahmutaj, thus finally entering the path of bright Piri Haji Bektash Veliu. Here begins his religious career. On May 16, 1996, he was proclaimed with the Order “Dervish”, immediately charged with duty at the Bektashi Gjyshata Korça, in Turan’s tectonics. His hard work on the continuity and revival of the Bektashi faith in Librazhd, Pogradec, Moker, Korce, Devoll and Kavaje, on April 13, 1997, is decreed with the _title “Baba” and after passing from this life his spiritual father Bajram Mahmutaj is appointed as the first deputy of Bektashi World Captain Haxhi Dede Reshat Bardhi. In this high function, his contribution has been especially valuable in the design, preparation and realization of the three consecutive congresses of Bektashism. Even at the last two congresses (Tirana 2000 and 2005), he has reported on the responsibility of the Grand Master Council.
In March 2006, with the passing of Baba Tahir Emini’s life, he is also nominated for the function of the grandfather of the Bektashi in Macedonia. His contribution has been as far as the organization of believing communities there, even in terms of recognition from internationals. Both in Korea and Tetovo, Haxhi Baba Edmond Brahimaj has manifested the outstanding qualities of the Bektashi cleric in the doctrinal, moral and civic aspect, becoming the factor of religious tolerance among other religions. In 2004 for his valuable contribution, the City Council Korca County has honored with the highest title “Honorary District of Korca”.
He has received many praise and high consideration from the governments of Albania and Macedonia, civil associations, and also the accredited diplomatic corps in Skopje highly regarded as a man with all the attributes of a religious leader, especially his peaceful role in Harabati Baba, teqe in Tetovo and its way, faced with legal discrimination against the Bektashi community, using wisdom, intelligence, and remains the man with the words wise and sweet.
From 1992 onward Haxhi Baba Edmond Brahimaj participated in training of prestigious international organizations, and doctrinal, symposiums and various activities of religious, human and social character, where he also referred, bringing the voice and experiences of the Bektashi communities anywhere in the world. So in 1966 he referred to Tehran regarding the Bektashi tolerance in the Balkans. On June 14, 2003, at the International Conference “Religions and Civilizations in the New Millennium” refers to the challenges of Bektashism in the future. In June 2004, with the training of the organization of the Albanian Traditional Religious Communities, he visits the White House in the US. From the board of this organization he deserved the title “Peace Ambassador”. He went to the US by the State Department and the US Embassy in Albania for a 21 day period of religious diversity in the United States. He has participated several times at the 16 August celebrations at Haxhi Bektash, where he was hosted by senior Turkish state leaders as well as at the Haxhi Bektash Veliu Institute at the Turkish Gas University. He has also been present and contributed with his lectures in analogous activities in Tirana, Skopje, Pristina, Ohrid, Istanbul, Ankara, Afiyon, Stuttgart Cologne, and Detroit, USA. Participating in the World pilgrimage to Hajj in Mecca, 2004. Participating in holy visits to Jerusalem in Israel in 2007. He was invited to the 33rd World Religion Freedom Congress in India and together with the prominent religious leader Dalai Lama. He attended three World Religion conferences in Macedonia 2006-2011. He is in the last year of law studies at the State University of Tetova, Macedonia.
After passing away from the life of the former Bektashis World Leader, Haxhi Dede Reshat Bardhi, Father Mondi on June 11, 2011 is elected to the post of Bektashis World Headquarters. These years as the Bektashi World Leader, His Eminence, Haxhi Dede Edmond Brahimaj, has worked with dedication by continuing the path of Dede Reshat Bardhit, the Bektashi tradition in institutional affiliation in and outside the country. There has been a busy agenda throughout this period of time in various international activities around the world. In the Balkan countries, there have been meetings with Presidents of Prime Ministers of Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Greece, Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina , Kosovo.
But the most important meetings are: Meeting with Council of Europe representatives on religious issues in 2012.
Turkish High Representative Meeting, Prime Minister Erdogan, Turkish Presidency, and High Representative of the Turkish Muslim Community in 2013. Participant at the 1OOth Anniversary Conference of the “Vatra” Society in 2013, White House personalities meeting in the US with Secretary of State John Kerry in 2013, the World Conference on Peace in Peja, Kosovo, year 2013.Visit to the holy places of Iraq in the city of Nexhef, Qerbela, Kufa, Baghdad, April 2014. Participate in the Peace Summit in Seoul September 2014. Meeting with Pope Francis in Tirana 21st of September 2014.In international activity for peace among peoples 9 -12 October 2014, Palermo-Italy.
He attended the White March with representatives of the four religious communities of Albania in Paris, France, in January 2015. He made it possible to realize Dede Reshat Bardhi’s dream at the magnificent inauguration of the Bektashi prayer place in Tirana with participation of personalities from many world countries on September 7, 2015.
Meeting with Pope Francis on May 10, 2016 in the Vatican. On June 17, 2016 he participated in the inauguration of the bust of “Mother Teresa, in the province of Munich, organization of the Cultural Association” Sali Çekaj “, September 4, 2016 participates in Mother’s Teresa Sanctification, Rome-Italy, Meeting with the Istanbul Ecumenical Patriarch, Istanbul’s First Bartholomew in Istanbul, September 2016, and this month the UN World Peace Academy awarded the title “Doctor Honoris Causa.” October 9, 2016 attends the ceremony of announcement “Cardinal” of humiliated Albanian Dom Ernest Troshan.
March 22, 2017, “The Sultan Nevruz Day” is a grand international manifestation according to Bektashi rituals, followed by 27 televisions from different countries of the world. On May 25, 2017, is the organizer of the second year “Bektashi Culture Day” in Paris, France. June 2017 participates in Berlin’s “Breakfast of Prayers”. This month also organizes the magnificent activity of the 500th anniversary of the Balli Sultanite Second Pyrus of Bektashism, Tirane-Martanesh. September 2017 participates in the Third Conference of Religious Leaders for World Peace in Seoul, South Korea.14 October in Skopje, Macedonia, organizer of the International Conference on “The Bektashi Religious Community Order Prize” Speaker and honorary guest participated Josef Weinerholster, under the chair of the European Parliament. October 2017 meeting in Brussels on the problem of Harabati Baba Tetovo with members of EP and EU Reporter for Albania, Knut Fleckentein. His participation at the International Conference on Religions, Pluralist Culture for Middle East Peace, Athens Greece October 30, 2017. November 2017 participates in the ceremony of raising the bust of “Mother Teresa” in Croatia, together with the President of the Republic of Albania, Ilir Meta, where he also meets Mr. Stipe Mesic for future talks on the development of Bektashism in the region and beyond.
January 2018 participates in the International Conference “Iraq after victory over the Islamic State”, organized in cooperation with the European Dialogue between Religions. 7 February 2018 is the organizer of the jubilee of the 480th anniversary of the founding of Harabati Baba, Tetovo -Macedoni, attended by accredited embassies in Macedonia, representatives of OSCE, intellectuals, professors from Balkan countries and Albania. This was the occasion of the presentation of the photographic exhibition in this rare event. On September 21. 2018 The Headquarter of Bektashi Community was register in Transparency Register of EU, for the first time His Holiness opened an office of Bektashis in Brussels. On 25 June 2019 Hadji Dede Edmond Brahimaj participate in the meeting of Freedom of Religion of Belief, round table in the Brussels EU. On June 26, 2019 Dr. Munr Kazmir vice President of Jews Congress honored and donate in sign of gratitude His Holiness and Bektashi Community American Flag. On 11-12- June 2019 Hadji Dede Edmond Brahimaj was a special guest in the awarding om the “Global Official Dignity Awards” in the 7-th edition held in Geneva Switzerland. On July 16, 2019 His Holiness participate in the Conference “Freedom of Religion”, invited by the Ministerial of Advance, Religious Freedom 2019 Washington D.C Department of State US.
His Holiness has received honorary titles:
“Ambassador of Peace”, 2004;
“Honor of Korça District”, 2004;
“Honorary Citizen” of Zerqan-Bulqizë Commune, 10 June 2014;
“Honorary Citizen” of the Municipality of Martanesh-Bulqize , 29th of June 2014;
“Honorary Citizen” of Bogove-Skrapar Commune, August 22, 2014;
“Honorary Citizen” of the Municipality of Frasher-Permet , 25 May 2014;
“The prominent personality of Laberia,” Laberia “Association, February 2015;
“Honorary Citizen” of Fier District, March 2015;
“Honorary Citizen of Berat District, May 2015;
The Order of Skanderbeg’s cavalryman, September 7, 2015 by the President of the Republic.
“Dr. Honorus Causa “, UN Mission, September 2016;
High Commissioner for World Peace, AUGP, DMPP, UN Mission, September 2016;
Honorary Commune of Bulqiza, October 2016;
“Gratitude” by US President Obama, January 2017;
Gold Award “Peace Icon” United Nations Association, “G.O.D Awards” October 2017;
Skrapar’s “Honorary Citizen”, Municipality of Skrapar, January 2018;
On June 26, 2019 Dr. Munr Kazmir vice President of Jews Congress honored and donate in sign of gratitude His Holiness and Bektashi Community American Flag;
Honorary Colonel (Kentucky Colonel) Governor of Kentucky US, 2019;
Golden Medal, “Order of Peace Missionary Mahatma Gandhi”, AUGP, DMPP, UN Mission.