Haxhi Dedebaba Reshat Bardhi.
Dedebaba Reshat was born in Lusën, in the region of the northern town of Kukës in 1935. When he was fourteen years of age he visited Asitâne-i Madhe, the mother tekke of the Bektashi order. It was here that he made his home and four years later was initiated as a Dervish of the order and served as Rehbar of the ceremonies.
During the communist rule of Albania, religious institutions were heavily persecuted and eventually outlawed, and the Bektashi order in particular suffered immensely. Dedebaba Reshat was placed under house arrest from 1957 till 1967 with Dedebaba Ahmed Myftar in a tekke near Drizaar, Mallakastra. During ten years of exile, this tekke served as the mother tekke of the Bektashi and visitors from all over the Balkans risked their lives to visit. In 1967 all houses of worship were foricbly closed and religion became prohibited within Albania. Dedebaba Reshat was forced to work on a state-run farm, as was the fate of many Dervishes and other clergy.
On March 22nd, 1991, the mother tekke was reopened during the festival of Sultan Nevruz. Dedebaba Reshat made the pilgrimage to the holy city of Meccaa along with the first Albanian pilgrims to go in an entire generation. It was then he recieved the title of Haxhi (Hajji). For the rest of his life he worked endlessly to restore the order he loved and spread the Bektashi message of love, compassion, forgiveness, and restraint.