Celestina Markagjoni (Gjomarkaj)
Celestina Markagjoni was born in Orosh, Mirdite in 1935. She is the second daughter of Kapidan Mark Gjon Marku. Celestina was 10 years old when the communists took over Albania in November 1944. She and the rest of the family managed to find shelter with a family friend who hid them for 3 months. In March of 1945 an amnesty was announced by the government stating that anyone who was hiding could return to their homes without being arrested.
As soon as the family left their shelter they were immediately taken under arrest. They were brought to the house of Guljelm Luka, which was directly across the street from their home in Shkoder. They remained under house arrest for the next 3 months. In July they, along with other noted family members of the area, were taken by truck to the first of many internment camps in which they would live for the next 45 years.
Celestina would grow up in the camps, under the care of her aunt Bardha, as her mother, Marta, became paralyzed shortly after the arrest. She, her older sister Kristina and young brother Gjon, would all grow up and work in these camps; Berat, Tirana, Tepelene, Lushnja.
In the early 1970’s she would marry and move back to Shkoder. Celestina continued her life during the regime in Shkoder taking care of children of mothers who had to work. She had a daughter in 1976. Currently Celestina resides with her daughter and two small grandchildren in the U.S.A.