Gjovalin Gjadri


Bridge Builder under surveillance

In 1926, 27-year old named Gjovalin...
was returning home to Albania with a degree in Civil Engineering from an Austrian university. With two degrees in hand, one from Saverian College, the other from the University of Vienna, Gjovalin, the son of a Shkodra merchant, joined the Italian Construction Company, Mezzarana, dreaming of a bright future for himself.

He'd had a difficult childhood, his father had died while he was still a boy, and his mother had raised him in a city that was constantly being torn apart by war. But here he was now ̶ a highly educated man. Tall, broad-shouldered, black-haired, with the looks and character of an Albanian highlander and the manners of a Viennese. He'd left his country a callow youth and returned a gentleman.

It was Gjovalin Gjadri, whose career and reputation were launched with his job as Supervising Engineer of Mat Bridge. A year later, he travels to Moscow and stays there till 1932, working as a Design Engineer at the Institute for Bridge Design ̶ ”Mostovoi Byro.”

But neither Gjadri's self-appraisal nor his Order of Merit succeed in protecting him from State Intelligence, which puts him under surveillance. His file with the Sigurimi labels him “clean” at times and at other times “suspicious.”

Equally obnoxious to the Party is the fact that Gjadri shows no evidence of resistance to Fascism and remains apathetic on the subject. Almost like an afterthought, the file goes on to say that “he has always been fond of money and [preoccupied] with his own personal self-interest.” At the time, this was considered a serious offense.

In 1956, surveillance of Gjadri finally ends. At the age of 75, the now gray-haired engineer dies in Tirana, leaving behind the only remaining love of his life ̶ the son he had with Zejnep. He wonders if he will ever see his wife again. His greatest fear was losing her forever. Perhaps that is why he did not fear death and was not afraid of living as though he were a free man, regardless of the consequences.

Gjadri me kolegë ne vitet 50
Gjadri me te birin ne vitet '60
Gjadri me te shoqen ne vitin 1935
Gjadri ne vitet 50
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