My name is Bianca Maria Gjomarkaj Nakovics. I am the daughter of Kapidan Ndue Gjomarkaj, grand-daughter of Kapidan Gjon Marka Gjoni. The intention of this site is to provide accurate historical facts about my family, especially my grandfather. Much is published on the internet about his background, some of which is distorted and untrue. I hope that in my research and subsequent findings I will be able to share with you the true character of a great man, as well as a heartwarming view from his second eldest grand-child about his life as a political refugee in Rome, Italy.
I loved my grand-father very much, he was known to me as Baba Gjon. He lived with us in Rome, Italy, from the day my parents were married in 1957 until his death in 1966. He was a kind man, and a gentle man. All my life I heard stories of his heroism and achievements, and although felt very proud, I loved him more as a grandfather than anything else. He was my Baba. I'd sit on his lap and he would recount stories of the "old country". He would take me on walks in the streets of our beloved Rome. He would try to teach me Albanian, which I deeply regret not learning in full, but is something I am working on.
I hope to share with you the stories of my father, aunts and uncles, some of whom died before their time and others who suffered tremendously at the hands of communism, which had a stranglehold on the country for almost 50 years.
It wasn't until 2010 that I finally made my journey to Albania, to the homeland of my father and his father and all the others before them. I was both overwhelmed and elated to meet my uncle Deda, aunt Bardha (my namesake), my cousins: Cristina and Celestina, Brigjilda, and many others, all of whom welcomed me with open arms and loved me as though I had known them all their lives. When I looked in their eyes I saw only happiness and optimism, strength and endurance, and was amazed at their resilience. Some of them suffered in internment camps and prisons from 1945 until their release in 1991. They saw their family and friends die before their eyes and suffered with them. They witnessed their home in Mirdite burn with all their possessions inside the night they were all arrested. They lived through unimaginable suffering and torture. These were my people and I was proud, so very proud to finally have met them and call myself Gjomarkaj. I finally understood all that my father tried to tell me when I was growing up, about the struggles of the "old world" that I, as a self-involved teenager, could not fathom nor really cared to hear about. I finally understood all the suffering this family went through, not only for their beloved country, but for their name and for all of us who came after, so that we could inherit the honor of the name and be proud to belong to such a great family.
I have since relocated to Shkoder to live closer to my relatives in my grandfather's home. My husband and I have been here now since November 2012 and in this short period of time we have have had great days and made some wonderful new memories. I was very blessed to have been able to make the transfer at that point and time in our lives because it gave us the opportunity to live near my dear aunt Bardha the last four months of her life. It was with great sadness that we lost her on March 19, 2013, only a couple of weeks after her 86th birthday. I know that us being here made her very happy and that comforts me every day, we miss her terribly.
My uncle Deda is now 92 and we are enjoying his company every day.
(clockwise from back row) Uncle Nikoll, my maternal grandmother, Maria Ercoli, my father Ndue, my mother Maria Teresa, me, my sister Cristina, Baba Gjon ~ Rome c.1960
I would like to thank Tome Mrijaj for his friendship to my father and for his insight, advice and input which helped me to recreate the history of my family as accurately and specifically as possible.
This book has just been published by OMSCA-1 in Tirana. It is a collection of
letters dating from 1944-1958 between Mustafa Kruja, Kapidan Gjon
Markagjoni, Kapidan Ndue Gjomarkaj and Zef. V. Nekaj. The book is very
interesting and a labor of love by Eugjen Merlika, grandson of Mustafa
Kruja. The book can be purchased from OMSCA-1 Rr. Frederick Shiroka,
Kutia Postare: 8298,Tirane 2012. Tel 2 2336 48, email:email@example.com.
Questo libro e' appena stato
pubblicato da OMSCA-1 a Tirana. E' una collezione di lettere private fra
Mustafa Kruja, Kapidan Gjon Markagjoni, Kapidan Ndue Gjomarkaj e Zef. V.
Nekaj. Il libro è molto interessante, dando conoscenza alla continua
lotta per liberare l'Albania da un gruppo di personalita nazionali che
vivevano in esilio. E 'veramente un lavoro affetuoso da parte di Eugjen
Merlika, nipote di Mustafa Kruja. Il libro si puo' comprare da OMSCA-1
Rr. Frederick Shiroka, Kutia Postare: 8298,Tirane 2012. Tel 2 2336 48,
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Austrian Pastor Franz Winsauer, founded a small private volunteer organization in 1991, "Projekt Albanien", which focuses on providing relief work to a very targeted, inaccessible mountain region in the north of Albania with about 37,000 inhabitants. This is a not for profit organization with supervised manageable projects which promote a positive development in the region. To visit the site please click on the logo box above. Your donations would be most appreciated. (Once you open the site, please click on the Google Translate button to the right)
(click above to enter)
The Albanian Rehabilitation Center for Trauma and Torture (ARCT) has been operating in Albania since 1995, designing and implementing programs aiming to contribute in building a democratic society, without use of torture in a country where strong political persecution had been present for almost 50 years during the 20th century.
This is the only official site endorsed by the Gjomarkaj family, direct descendants of Kapidan Gjon Marka Gjoni.