Today the Bektashi celebrate the 25th anniversary of the annual pilgrimage to the shrine of Abbas ibn Ali (Abaz Aliu) on Mount Tomorr in Skrapar. The yearly event was prohibited during the communist regime.
Abaz Aliu was the son Imam Ali, the first Imam of Shiite Muslims and the fourth Caliph of Sunni Muslims.
The Bektashi are an Islamic Sufi order founded in the 15th century. The order was banned throughout the Ottoman Empire in 1826, after which the Bektashi leadership went into exile in Albania and established its headquarters in Tirana. About 20% of Albanian Muslims are said to belong to the order, although exact figures are not available.
The shrine of Abaz Aliu was built first in 1908 and was destroyed by Greek military forces in 1914. It was rebuilt in 1916.
This year, President Ilir Meta and his wife and LSI leader Monika Kryemadhi took part in the pilgrimage. President Meta received a golden medal from Baba Edmond Brahimaj, the head of the Baktashi order, to commemorate the festive occasion.