Zenel I
King of Albania
Reign (1868 - unknown)
Predecessor None
Spouse Princess Nimet of Egypt
Issue Aleksandër, Prince of the Albanians
Full name
Zenel Buzi
House House of Buzi
Father Tafil Buzi
Born 13 October, 1833
Tirana, Albania

Zenel Buzi is an Albanian character in the interactive AAR A Federation of Equals.


Early Life

Zenel is the son of Tafil Buzi, leader of several rebellions against Ottoman rule in the 1830’s. Though his father’s rebellions ultimately resulted in failure, they caused Zenel to greatly value liberty and freedom, things his people were refused by the Ottomans. Zenel closely followed the events of the republican revolution in Austria, and the subsequent rise of the Danubian Federation, pleased to see people claiming their freedom from the old regime. Zenel learned about conducting war and leading men from his father, until he was arrested for his constant rebellions and then later sent to Syria to act leader of service for the Ottoman government. Zenel stayed with his Uncle in Albania and did well in school, eventually, if briefly, he studied to become an officer in the Ottoman Army. Though he hated the Ottomans, Zenel knew that knowledge of war would be necessary to secure his people’s freedom. Zenel dropped out of the officer school after learning what he felt was all he needed to know, and returned home. During the war between the Danubian Federation and the Ottoman Empire, Zenel lead a group of roughly 200 Albanians in guerrilla attacks and raids against the Ottoman Army. When Albania joined the Danubian Federation Zenel eagerly signed up to the army and climbed to the rank of to Colonel in the 1st Southern Army.

Military Career

Following the outbreak of the war with the Ottomans and the British, and the lack of experinced officers, Zenel was made executive officer of the 1st Army under General Artur Georgescu.  Following the Federation's victory of the Ottomans and the Treaty of Berlin, Zenel was promoted once again, this time to General of the Danubian Expeditionary Force.

Upon being selected as King of Albania, he elected to stay with the Army until the end of the war with the with the Russians.

Political Career

Zenel is a centrist, and though his interest in politics is limited as long as his people have their freedom, he supports the Danubian Patriotic Union.  During the Monarchist revival following the victory of the liberals in the 1868 election, he was strongly in favor of establishing a monarchy in Albania. Up until this point Zenel had rarely spoken of politics, but he made it very clear he supported the revival. It was during this time that he provided a rousing speech, "In Defense of Monarchy".

As the revival began to take affect in many of the smaller states, an Albanian representative proposed a bill that would establish a monarch with the powers of the presidency. The title of King of Albania was originally offered to Juan, Count of Montizón, in recognition of the old Albanian Kingdom. This proposal met with mixed support and was reformulated to select a native Albanian as the monarch. Out of recognition for his father's fight for Albanian Independence, as well as his own, and the loyalty to the Albanian people that he showed, Zenel Buzi was proposed as the King in the next draft of the bill. This time the bill received significantly more support and the Monarchy was established, however it would be some time before Zenel was able to accept the crown due to the sudden outbreak of war.

With the war's end he returned to Albania, ready to fulfill his duty as king.  Shortly after he returned he married Nimet, youngest daughter of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, whom he had spent time with during his time managing reserves during the war.  For the most part, their wedding was largely ignored by the nobility of Europe, though several Muslims, including Isma'il Pasha, Khedive of Egypt and Sudan and grandson of Muhammad.

A few months after their marriage, Nimet became pregnant and in the spring of 1872, gave birth to a son, Aleksandër, Prince of the Albanians.  Zenel went to Vienna shortly after the birth of his son to take part in the constitutional convention where he argued for the defense of states' rights.  He reacted with shock upon hearing that Albanian nearly had gone to war for the liberation of Venice, but would later praise his minister for the decision, proud to see Albania supporting their right to self determination.

Over the several years he worked hard to serve Albania, pursusing a policy of modernization.  During this time he used his powers as king to help create a more favorable business environment in the state.  At the same time he fought to remove what he saw as backwards institutions like the Bey's plantations and their use of serfdom. In order to pursue his policies he made several attempts to gain more power in government, meeting varying levels of success.

He continued this even during his time as Minister of Finance in Lilic's DPU government.  While he did not care much for some of the parties policies, like the limitations it put on the free market, which he attempted to mitigate, he found it favorable to any of the alternatives.  He continued to support Lilic during the accusations of fruad that he faced following the next election. 

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