Gerim (sometimes spelled Qerim) Panarity was the editor of the first Albanian-American newspaper in the United States, Dielli ("The Sun"). Taking on the position in the 1940s, he remained there for nearly 25 years, until his retirement in 1963. Started in 1909 by the Society of Besa-Besen in Boston, Dielli is now the oldest continuously-published Albanian language newspaper in the world. In 1912, the Pan-Albanian Federation of America, Vatra ("The Hearth") was formed, becoming one of the most influential voices in the movement for Albanian independence. Dielli became Vatra’s main organ for fostering Albanian nationalism.
Gerim Panarity was dedicated to the cause of Albanian independence his entire life. As a young man in 1911, Panarity left the United States for Albania, to fight with Memet and Faik Konitza for liberation from the Ottoman Empire. He eventually returned to the United States to complete his education, attending the Hitchcock Free Academy in Brimfield, Massachusetts. He graduated from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1926, receiving the Washington Franklin Medal for excellence in history. During World War II, Panarity broadcast through the Voice of America in Albania, encouraging Albanian resistance to the Axis powers. He was also instrumental in post-war efforts to send food, clothing and medicine to the country.
Throughout his life, Panarity published numerous articles and books on the subject of Albania. In 1925, he published an article in Current History entitled, "Albania’s Latest Revolution." He was also chief author of the WPA Federal Writers’ Project book The Albanian Struggle in the Old World and the New. In 1957, he published and edited the collection Albania: The Rock Garden of Southeastern Europe and Other Essays. He published a work on Metropolitan Fan Noli, a prominent Albanian-American leader with whom he was in active partnership through Vatra. He also contributed to such publications as The Globe and The Christian Science Monitor.
From the guide to the Panarity, Gerim M. Papers, 1911-1985, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)