The family of Margarita Farka

This is our family today; no one from the elder generation is alive already.

From left to right: me; younger daughter Olga Kulina (nee Kerzhner), electrical engineer by education; elder daughter Lilyana Farka, biologist; Olga's father, my present husband, Izyaslav Kerzhner.
He is a Professor, a famous scientist-entomologist.

The picture was taken at the summer house near St.Petersburg in 2002.

I married my first husband, Ismail Farka, in 1956. He came to the USSR to study from Albania, which was considered the country of 'people's democracy' at that time, like Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and other USSR's allies.

The governments of those countries sent young people to study in the USSR. We got acquainted at the Academy, where we both studied. Our daughter Lilyana was born in Leningrad in 1956. In 1957 I left to Albania after my husband together with my child.

Soon the relationship between Albania and the USSR became complicated and developed into a critical conflict. Finally Ismail made a final decision - me and Lilyana had to leave for the USSR. It was in 1961.

After the relationships between the USSR and Albania were broken, there was no telephone or post connection between the countries, and during a number of decades Ismail and I knew nothing about each other!

In 1969 I got married for the second time. My second husband is a Jew, his name is Izyaslav Kerzhner. He was born in Dnepropetrovsk in 1936 and got a Jewish name by birth - Yeguda (Euda in Russian).

A child with such a name could not have lived in Russia, he would have been tormented. So later parents changed his name to a Russian one, Izyaslav. His parents were office-workers, they were non-religious people and their income was pretty average.

As a schoolboy Izyaslav was already keen on biology and composed collections of insects. But in the 1950s state anti-semitism in the Ukraine was the strongest in the USSR, and for this reason he was able to enter the biological faculty of a university only in the neighboring republic of Moldova, in Kishinev [capital of Moldova, former Soviet republic].

Later on, when the department of entomology was liquidated in that university, he moved to the biological faculty of Leningrad State University with great difficulties, as he had to pass extra exams, and then he graduated from State University successfully.

We first met in a group of friends. He was divorced and had no children from his previous marriage. Soon we got married and in 1974 our daughter Olga was born.

My elder daughter Lilyana finished a school with thorough English study and later graduated from the faculty of biology of the Leningrad University.

She now works at the Cytology Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. She did not create a family of her own and lives with me and my husband.

My younger daughter Olga graduated from the Electrical Engineering University (former LETI), where I tried to enter once unsuccessfully. She met her husband-to-be there and married him.

In 1996 their daughter Alexandra was born, my granddaughter. She attends a Jewish kindergarten. Olga worked in that kindergarten as a cook, when she studied at the University. Olga's husband is Russian, Alexey Kulin.

We have very good relations with him and his parents. However, his relatives, especially the grandmother of my son-in-law, expressed certain discontent with the fact that Sasha attends a Jewish kindergarten.

My son-in-law is an expert on computer technologies. He works as a manager in a large company. They live separately from us.