Islam Spahiu is a former art teacher, writer and translator of works by Dostoyevsky, Kandinsky, and Nietzsche. He has published translations of Dostoyevsky’s White Nights and an anthology of European poets. His thirst for knowledge led him to engage in activity deemed illegal under the communist regime. He was arrested and sentenced to 12 years of prison time for having in his possession works by banned writers including Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the poetry of Gjergj Fishta, and for translating Dostoyevsky's White Nights. Ironically, that same handwritten manuscript which landed him in prison became available to the wider public when Spahiu was able to publish it after the fall of communism.