The Ashkali are an ethnic group in Kosovo who are related to the Romanies but do not speak the language. It is likely that they did once speak it. They could alternatively be the descendants of a nomadic group of local origin such as the many Travelers in Europe who are not of Indian origin. Similar groups in Albania and Macedonia are called evgit or gupt (as opposed to the Romani Gypsies who are in Albanian called medjup) to the extent that the majority population distinguishes between the groups. All three names appear to be derived from the term Egyptian.
   The largest number of Ashkali live in Ferizaj. Many are educated and have professional qualifications. They have taken the lead in wanting to be called Egyptians, rather than Ashkali, and claim descent from Egyptians who came to the Balkans many centuries ago. There have also been Ashkali political associations, some of which survived the recent conflict. The pro-Albanian Democratic Party of the Ashkali of Kosovo was set up in Ferizaj in 2000.
   During the hostilities, Ashkali were attacked first by Serbs and then by Albanians, and many fled to neighboring Macedonia and Montenegro. The situation at the time of writing is that it is still not safe for Ashkali in many parts of Kosovo.

Historical dictionary of the Gypsies . .

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