SHKODER – I met Meri and her husband Paulin in the seminary of Shkoder during a meeting with some Italian boys. Paulin is a plumber, while Meri is a teacher. They got married in 1984 in a civil marriage and in 1986 they celebrated the Catholic wedding in secret. They have three children, secretly baptized, and two grandchildren.
While they were working in a cooperative, Meri contracted the plague and remained in the hospital for months. Then, when the regime fell, she realized her dream, attended university and at the age of 40 became a teacher.
The original surname of Meri’s family is not Buka, but Mirdita. Her father was Zef Mirdita. At 20, Zef attended the Illyrikum high school of the Franciscan friars, was co-founder and then secretary of the Albanian Union, as well as a great friend of Gjovalin Zezaj, at the time seventeen. He was arrested with Gjovalin and other students belonging to the association.
At the trial they gave him 101 years which were later turned into 30, he was released in 1958 at 32 thanks to an amnesty, after spending 12 years in Burrell prison.
Once free he was ordained a permanent deacon and changed his surname to Buka, to try to help his daughters, labeled by the government.
When I asked Meri what his father had told her about the arrest, she replied: “As soon as he entered the prison they put electric cables in his ears, he was beaten, they broke his nose and hands, squeezing them with bullets between his fingers, once they terrified him by simulating a shooting “.