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Bikinis and hijabs contrast on Albanian beach
by Briseida Mema
September has seen devout Muslims again flocking to Albania's only "burqa beach" after the Ramadan holy month, where women bathe in full hijab -- a short distance from the "other" Albania where girls romp in scanty bikinis.
The contrast is not to everyone's liking but is a testament to Albania's centuries-old tradition of religious tolerance, which even survived nearly half a century of a communist rule that tried to stamp out all religion.
About two-thirds of this Mediterranean state's 3.2 million residents are Muslim. Much of the rest is Christian -- both Orthodox and Catholic -- and co-habitation among the different faiths is the norm in EU-hopeful Albania.
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