Mulla Hasan Masurica (22 January 1869 – 1942), Old Style) was an Albanian architect, scientist, engineer, inventor and muezzin.
Family History 1860-1869
The predecessors of Mulla Hasan Masurica moved around 1860 from near Vranje. Bajram, the first of the Masurica family who moved was a muezzin. His son Islam, was also a muezzin which served in near Gnjilane. Mulla Bajram Masurica lived and died in Gnjilane, as well as his son Mulla Islam. Hasan Masurica was the first of four sons, his ethnicity was Albanian. His brothers were Shaban a muezzin and an officer, Hysen and Salih both of them muezzins. Hysen and Shaban lived and worked in Turkey, while Hasan dedicated his work to his home country.
Early Childhood, 1878–1885
Hasan's youth was similar to his peers. He was exceptional at school, and had generally a vivid imagination and was always interested in his surroundings and how things worked. Unlike his peers he was given the privilege of attending school and gaining the necessary education. Hasan's father, Islam was already a part of a relatively wealthy merchant family, while also being a muezzin and a teacher at Kosovska Kamenica, Hasan was very ambitious at his youth, shown by his exemplary grade. He finished his elementary school "Ruzhdie" in Gnjilane with exceptional grades including 10 at Arabic, 9 at technical drawing, 9 at History, Geography, Turkish and History. The program of the "Ruzhdie" school included an equivalent of a High School program now. At 14, he finished elementary and did not continue his studies but stayed at home. He had a passion for reading, which was shown by a massive library which both his grandfather and father had kept. (The library was later burned by Bulgarian forces which burned Mulla Hasan's house in 1916).
Education and Early Adulthood, 1885-1907
During his early adulthood, Hasan had still a devoted passion for books and had an ongoing desire for getting the education that he wanted. He had become famous for his wise words, and people who used to visit the house of the Masurica's were generally interested on knowing the things that he read. Even though people who visited always smoked, Hasan was always against it and warned them that it was bad for their health. He was later engaged to Raza (his first wife), the daughter of Muezzin Jakupi of Desivojca. His desire of education, even though late was finally fulfilled when he was registered at the Pedagogic school of Skopje. He did not enter an entrance exam due to his excellent grades at his elementary school.
Inventions and Adulthood
His first invention happened during 1902, where he had designed a wooden rifle. He had worked the draft of the rifle for a long time, using various literature. After trying it for the first time, there was a slight defect which caused the bullet to jam causing the trigger to break. He spent a few other months in working and perfectioning the rifle parts so it can work flawlessly. He had finally got it working by the summer of 1903 after constructing a steel mechanism which completed his one-bullet rifle. The one-bullet rifle gave Hasan motivation and he started constructing a multiple bullet rifle, which he realized soon leading on to a rifle which contained 25 bullets which could shoot at a distance of 150 meters. His other inventions included a mill (which worked with water and wind), precise wall clock, and many different calendars.
"My father had really a sensational imagination" - said Hamid, the last son of Mulla Hasan Masurica. "He was also a very strong worker. He didn't save the designed plan on paper, but he realized or gave it away to his friends and then helped them build it. He worked in many projects alone as well. Neighbors and admirers used to come and be amazed at the creations of the time, as well as us the kids did too. He drew different sketches, projects and plans and after he tried to realize those plans."
"If our father, or us, were careful enough to save everything he constructed and projected, we would have quite the museum which would not only be honored in our city, but in the whole country".
After finishing the Pedagogic school of Skopje, he was recommended to go on and continue his studies in Istanbul or Cairo. He respectfully declined the offer and came back to work as a muezzin at different villages around Gnjilane.
Airplane 1899(fictional history)
"Look at this my son, this is the best book that I've ever read", said Hasan Masurica to his son Fehmi. The book was about Leonardo da Vinci, written in Arabic. The idea of constructing an airplane which would fly had come exactly from reading about various inventions of Da Vinci. He expressed his will of building such a device to members of the community, but always complained he lacked the materials and elements of realizing this idea.
One day, Mulla Hasan went to the woodworker of the village and explained the drawn sketch of the flying device. "Impossible" said the woodworker, Abdyl, who could not imagine how it would work. Hasan borrowed various tools from the woodworker and came back to his workplace. He had gotten poplar and fabric which he softened with wax in order for air not to pass through. He worked a couple of days with Abdyl and then proceeded to work alone.
"To lose one day is nothing, to not lose your life's days without doing nothing is wisdom", said Hasan Masurica during his many days of work on the airplane.
One windy summer day, Hasan had called his neighbors and his admirers to come and see him lift the airplane. His son Muharrem had volunteered to fly the plane. After he had gotten on the plane, the fabric started to widen and the plane started to lift up. Hasan had let go of the rope and the plane was on its own, marking its way to the other hill. His son Muharrem was shouting out for help, as he had not realized the plane would lift itself up that up. Hasan ran on the direction of the plane and was constantly guiding his son and telling him not to be scared. He knew that the plane would fall down on the ground sooner or later.
This happened in July 1899.