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Maro Mokra Podkozhani, how painful the Motherland is!
Written by Pandeli Bardhi 3 Gusht 2022
And this, pain, to you Maro Mokra, and not only to you, but also to your parents and parents, you have shown with heroism, with deeds, with books and rifles, with the "weapon" of the Albanian language! There may be someone who has not heard about your heroics and those of your ancestors.. For this, Maro Podkozhani, the symbol of the bravery of the Albanian woman, a drama with the same title staged by the troupe of the Korça Theater forty years ago four years, briefly, before I present your activity, your family and the apartment as the first Patriotic Club of Mokra, I am introducing them to Pogkozhan. Knowing this village with patriotic and educational traditions. I, and all of us, will get to know even better Mokra of heroism, Mokra undefeated by invaders, Mokra who does not "sleep" but is always standing with "the neighbors around, Pogradec, Korca Gramshi, Berat and Skrapar, proud as the surrounding mountains, Guri e Kamjes, Ostrovica and Lenien to "Shenjtori", Mali i Tomori. Podkozhani, a village in the surroundings of Pogradec, is very early Christian. Podkozhan, has the meaning of the word "Kozirjat", to give, to honor, according to researcher Muzafer R. Berberi. It is located near the "Kozicë" Mountain since the Slavs, it was called "Podkozirjok", meaning "The Subsidiary", which is located in a place with the "Holy Temple" which consists of the Churches of "Saint Spassi", "Shenpremte" and "Saint Sava". which were Pelasgian deities. In the records of the Ottoman Empire in 1519, the village of Podkozhan had 130 Christian families. It produced outstanding people, patriots and patriots, such as Arsen Vako, once the head of the Gorë Mokër Bishopric, the brothers Konstandin and Anastas Zografi, among the most famous painters of the 18th century, etc. People's Artist Tefta Tashko Koco (1910-1947), daughter of patriot Thanas Tashko from Frashëri (Përmet) and mother, Elena Zografi (Vako) from Korca, originates from Podkozhan, the trunk of the Zografi (Vako) brothers from the village of Podkozhan. Yes, from the village is the patriot Nikolla Naco who gave his life for the Motherland... and many, many others, not to mention all of them. We are already getting into the topic. The "Bitro" family is the family of Maro Mokra. Maro's father, Jani Spiro Mitro, in 1878, together with other patriots Stefan Gegprifti, Pit Rumina, etc., immigrants to Constanta Romania, built the "Patriotic Club of Mokra" in Podkozhan. The club which became a shelter for warriors and patriotic groups who fought for the Motherland, for learning the Albanian language. Brave warriors gathered there from all the surrounding villages and further afield. This club was supported by the patriotic Ceta of Shahin Matrak, Kajo Babien, Tren Kokonesh and others who had their headquarters at Guri i Nikës. In Podkozhan, patriotic men gathered from Podkozhan, Pevelan, Pleshisht, Llëngë, Nice, Grabovë, etc., from the villages of Lower Mokra, Bërzeshte, Velcan, Slabinje, Slatinë, etc. We recall here that the Ceta of Mokra, in close cooperation with those of Gora, which participated in the liberation of Pogradec from the Ottoman hordes, received instructions from the Patriotic Club of Podkozhan from the Headquarters, which consisted of twelve people with Chairman Xhelo Selca and Vice President Kajo Babieni. Ceta of Gora, of Kajo Babieni, Xhelo Selca, Fetah Goca, Malkë Zvarishti, Feim Zboji, Hysen Pirgu, etc., made their union at "Guri i Kamjes", the place called "Lisi i Gorareve", while the detachments of Mokra, Ibrahim Baci, Tun Kokonesh, Jashar Starova, etc., with more than 150 members, took place in Podkozhan. And in Podkozhan, the unification of all the Mokra and Gora citadels took place for their cooperation for the liberation of Pogradec. The Patriotic Club of Podkozhan had another great goal, that of awakening the national and provincial feeling for the spread of the Albanian language. It is to the credit of this Club, the opening of the First Albanian School on March 21, 1887, the third after that of Korca, March 7, and Pogradec, March 14, 1887. Ottoman supporters, Greek clergy and local opponents discovered the activity of this Club . Gjokë Shqiptari, an immigrant to Romania, brought Albanian language books from Romania and distributed them for free in the villages of Mokra, Gora and Opar. The enemies of the Albanian language, that we mentioned above killed the Albanian language teachers, Gjokë Shqiptari, Apostol Kollcaku, Andrea Hoshtece, etc. The main aim of the enemies was to destroy the "Bitro" family of Maro Mokra and they started this with the son of Jani Bitro, Tasin, 22 years old, with the side of poison in the coffee. Since the "Bitro" tribe was a merchant tribe, and they moved for trade, Tasi Bitro, returning from Qukësi, with animals loaded with goods, some agallars introduced by the enemies, poisoned him. In 1889, the other son of Jan and the brother of Maro Mokra, a student at the school in Manastir, who had come to the village for vacation, also died. On August 15, 1900, the opponents sought reconciliation at Jani Bitro's house, and in disbelief, Jani Bitro was smoking a cigarette, jumped on him and stabbed him with a knife! In the Bitro family, only the Grandfather of Maro Mokra and the Father of Jani Bitro remained. , Spiro Bitro and Jani's daughters, Sofia, Maro, Dafina and Fania. Maro Mokra, formerly married to Sotir Vako from Podkozhani, who died of a serious illness in 1901. After her husband's death, Maro Mokra, with her only son Riston, moved to her Grandfather Spiro and the son Risto, is adopted in his grandfather's house, taking the name Risto Jani Bitro. The Bitro sisters decided to take revenge on the enemy. Upon receiving the signal that her two enemies were coming from Pogradec, Maro Mokra went ahead to the place called "Serjan's Grave" and told the first of them : "Greetings from Jan", shooting both enemies and leaving them dead on the spot!. The killer of Jani Bitro was from the village of Podkozhan. It was 1906, and after a year, the Bitro sisters, due to the threats they received, moved to Manastir. With the intervention of the Orthodox Church of Istanbul, Istref bey of Kaza i Starova, in 1910, the order was issued for the daughters of Jani Bitros to return to their homeland and ensure their lives. Maro Mokre's son, in 1919, married Lenka Stefan Gegprifti, and together they gave birth and raised four daughters, Lirika, Athina, Vasilika and Dhimitrulla and son Josif Bitro. In 1932, Risto, the son of Maro Mokra, continues the theological school and becomes a Priest where he served as a Priest in several villages of Upper Mokra. As early as the end of 1941, Rosto was associated with the National Liberation movement, with the People's Hero Reshit Collaku, and the martyrs Nuci Tira, Sabri Ruci, Et-hem Haxhiu, Nexhat Tirana, etc. and although he was a Priest, his house was turned into a base of the National Liberation movement. Risto Bitro, he was among the first to create the Mokra cell on March 7, 1942 in the village of Pleshisht and a fighter with a gun in his hand. Risto, not only participated in every battle, but was the one who made the biggest contribution to the establishment and functioning of the National Liberation Councils. In June 1943, Enver also visited the patriotic house of Maro Mokre. Hoxha, with the highest leaders of the Army... After the liberation, Risto Bitro, went to visit the former Soviet Union and in 1949, he was elected Chairman of the Trebinje Locality Council and then in many other state functions. In 1960, he fell ill with a serious illness and was sent to the Czech Republic for treatment. He passed away in 1968 at the age of 68. Maro Mokra, Risto's mother, born in 1880, passed away in 1964, at the age of 84. four years before her only son Risto. Maro Mokra, Kapedanja, has a lot of patriotic activity, in the service of the national and patriotic issue, of learning the Albanian language.. Almost sixty years have passed since her death and she deserves greater attention from the central government bodies local, because Maro Mokra belongs to Albania and not only Pogradec, so that at least this house that has served as the "Patriotic Club of Mokra" becomes a "Museum". We remember that for the Heroine of France from 1412-1432, Joan of Arc, it took only twenty-four years to become a "Martyr" and later "Saint" and "Heroine of France"! Maro Mokra Kapedane, there is no less activity than Jeanne D'Arc or Jeanne Darc. When we walk in Podkozhan, in these fabulous beauties of nature, embellished even more by patriotism and patriotism, from the many warriors that this Province has produced of generous braves that time has left "behind time; I remember the verses of the great Dritëro Agolli, who more than once came and wrote in this region that makes not only Pogradec but all of Albania: "Far from Podkozhani in the cemetery / Maroja is sleeping with four murres / Above her and blue, the trellis trembles / And under the head, two cobras are sent. Maro Podkozhani had a son / For him, he didn't even hesitate to die / This Bajram Trebinja, opened the word / The boy was killed by the hair / Maro Mokra with kobures / Bajram Trebinja comes out of the house / To give the two kobures to the fish / One to ten, one to five or six. We remember Dritëro Agolli the Great and we walk like that, he wrote:". Traveling through Mokre / What did you remember Maro Podkozhani / We laid together in a mahogany / Meke Partizani and me.