Margarita Farka with her first husband Ismail and daughter Lilyana

Margarita Farka with her first husband Ismail and daughter Lilyana

The picture was taken in Prague on Vltava embankment in 1993.

My first husband Ismail Farka was appointed plenipotentiary Ambassador in Czechoslovakia after democratic reforms in Albania, and I visited Czechoslovakia (Czechia now) with our daughter Lilyana on his invitation.

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. I was met and welcomed perfectly in Tirana, Albania. His parents had a house of their own in the outskirts of the town.

My husband Ismail worked in the town of Elbasan.
I lived in Albania for four and a half years, at first in Tirana, working as a construction engineer at a mechanical plant, and later working as a chief power engineering specialist at a wood processing combine in the town of Elbasan.

However, 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!

Many years later, when we met after three and more decades, Ismail told me that it was the wisest decision in his life. Soviet wives, who stayed with their husbands, were arrested and imprisoned for 8-10 years.

Ismail was also thrown into prison, since he refused to divorce me officially. He was told, 'You don't want to divorce, which means that you hope, that the relations with the USSR will improve'. He stayed in prison for more than 12 years, besides, he was tortured.

During the following meetings with Ismail I understood that it was a very painful subject for him, so I tried not to ask more questions about it.

In 1969 I got married for the second time. My second husband is a Jew, his name is Izyaslav Kerzhner, he is a biologist. In 1974 our daughter Olga, Lilyana’s younger sister, was born.

As during 1960-1980s there was no connection with Albania, I knew nothing about Ismail or about his fate till the end of the 1980s. When in 1989 democratic changes started in Albania, I managed to get some information about him.

In 1989 he visited me in St. Petersburg with his wife and daughter. We saw each other after such long a parting. They spent more than 3 months in St. Petersburg. I found out that he did not know anything about me either.

He got married in 1969 for the second time, the same year as I did. His wife is an Albanian, she is a Christian. Their daughter is my younger daughter's coeval. In 1990s Ismail was appointed Ambassador in Czechoslovakia and later in Denmark.

In 1993 I visited Prague with daughter Lilyana according to his invitation. Later Lilyana visited him there with my younger daughter and her sister Olga.

At present Ismail lives in the USA with his family and works there. He obtained American citizenship as a person, repressed by the Communists.

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