Kristina Markagjoni (Gjomarkaj)
Kristina Markagjoni was born in Orosh, Mirdite in 1933. She is the eldest daughter of Kapidan Mark Gjon Marku, and eldest grand-daughter of Kapidan Gjon Markagjoni. Kristina was 12 years old when the communists took over Albania in November 1944. Her 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.
Kristina would grow up in the camps, under the care of her aunt Bardha, as her mother, Marta, became paralyzed shortly after the arrest. Kristina, her younger sister Celestina and young brother Gjon, would all grow up and work in these camps; Berat, Tirana, Tepelene, Lushnja.
In 1973 she would marry Gjovalin Vata and move back to Shkoder. Even though she was no longer in the camps her life was still very hard. She would work in a cement factory, about 7km from home. She would have to walk there every day; rain or shine, cold or hot. Her life was only made a bit brighter by the birth of her son. She lost her husband in 1985 and a few years after the fall of communism in 1991, she finally moved back to the family property she was taken from almost 50 years before.