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A Peshtana mule in the party dome and Muharrem Xhufi's dignified protest!
Written by Kristo MËRTIRI 5 Tetor 2022
"The age is shadowed by the wave, the man is shadowed by the word", that's what our wise and patient father said, that in recent years the Municipal Council of Tepelena honored him with the highest title (posthumously). He often used that wise sentence as a conversation cap, whenever we remembered and talked with my brother about the unforgettable Muharrem Xhufi. That the good man without malice, the good and the brave and uncompromising in the face of the hypocrites, the hypocrites and the fools who lit the fires of injustice, is not easily forgotten by honest humanity at any time. At that time, I had not yet put a razor on my cheek. But I had fixed his name early in the family... Someone from the leadership of the district gave an order to fire my father, who never waved the Anti-Fascist card of the first hours and later the Communist card in the party offices and power. He believed a lot and doubted very little. But absurdity and wickedness often know no bounds. The one who ordered bluntly and with a provincial haughtiness from the "pasha's" chair, about a month ago had gone as the main delegate to our blessed birthplace, in Peshtan. Haber no small at that time. The great (great) man was doing his best. Fellow villagers, men and women, were finishing their day's work in T?endafila, near the boardwalk bridge where various travelers entered and exited. Some donkeys, horses and mules were also grazing on that blessed strip of land that kept the spirit of Peshtanakas alive for generations. At sunset over Golik and Trebešina, the ascent began. Many of them were loaded with grass and leaves for the cows and small cattle, carrying their masters on their backs. But on that day, the best animal, without the nastiness, would be chosen for transport. no xanxare and no dangers for the most important delegate of the district. And they chose our Red (by this name we called our beloved mule). The officials of the cooperative had to honor the "friend" with upper party slats as best as possible. While our late mother, so tired and tired from working with her arms in the fields, would walk home, without grass or leaves! However, on the way up, the heavy overweight of the official shows that Red had also made "sinful" mistakes from behind. And the "doable" (the great) was insulted and irritated quite a bit for this unexpected "hospitality"! His face was blackened, he was tired and tired... After a few days, in a Bureau or Secretariat meeting, the "circulation" of cadres and specialists from the city to the countryside was being discussed. "-Here, for example, this one should go and work immediately in Peshtan, in the cooperative! There were also houses and mules there...". Muharrem felt as if his chair was moving nervously. He didn't wait and was the first to speak against that mindset of Anatolian injustice. He even left the meeting faster than other times. With an inner tension covered by a slightly smiling face, he was descending the steps of the Committee together with an old instructor. My brother, going up the stairs, greeted them normally. The instructor introduced him to the new Secretary. When he heard the name, Muharrem put his lips on the gas and one hand on his shoulder: "Wow, you must be one of those mule masters in Peshtan?! Be careful, boy, don't be declared a "kulak"... Bitter humor, but full of honest and righteous revolt. That Muharrem never tolerated the incompetent, the intriguers, the servile and the ignoramuses, who had injustice in their blood. The real intellectuals of Tepelena, when this learned man left, excellently educated inside and outside the country and always modest and dignified, were feeling a kind of real void in front of bureaucratic officials and irreparably crippled in knowledge and character. Very harmful officials, to the point of dizziness and cloudy water! And we don't laugh when we remember the tragicomic episode of Kuqe, a mule that only stayed with our mother as an old pet, very domesticated. And it became dirty or bitter, when they poured the cup of patience on him. I grew up with that rare mare, which my father and I bought as a foal at the Market (that's how we called my Këlcyra, full of childhood dreams). A pitiful bear with a caravan of children was selling it regretfully. When we put on the halter and were going back to Peshtan, I remember the big-eyed bear telling her to wear something with his tongue, caressing her palm and kissing her forehead... How did I know that one day she would become a really special kind of gas-free vehicle for mom, in field and mountain. Even less handsome with a very mature face and a mustache that did not remove from his hand a whip-like whip for other ungulates. And it didn't even occur to him that one day he would become the subject of heated conversation at the top of the party dome of the district! (Save the almost-unbelievable stories about that lovable, honey-reddish pet pack animal!). For any leader who is in a bad mood, it was not for nothing that he asked: "Where is the mule taking him?". Today they also use it in other senses... Now we laugh bitterly even when the authorities talk about state "social assistance" with rather ridiculous conditions for the poor, where the latter may not benefit if they have a refrigerator, washing machine or color television (! ). The wonder of bureaucrats who see Albania from the caves of Ndroqi in the capital. O tempora, o mores! Many years passed. We became men with children, a house and a house. But the above episode remained like an unextinguished ember in the grace of timeless time. After traveling as a professional journalist in several districts of Southern and Central Albania, with children and household goods as "on a mule's saddle" (that's what was usually said about Vlachs walking with cattle through the fields and mountains), I finally came back in the capital, on the eve of Political Pluralism. Pluralism that, together with some colleagues from the well-known newspaper "Bashkimi", attacked us wildly and unfairly on the main road. The time of masquerades had come to an end! Left like that with our fingers in our mouths, we started to earn the daily morsel of the family by working in the new newspapers with minimal royalties, which in monism we provided on the state salary! Modest, but not worthless. ..Completely without expecting or remembering, almost 30 years ago, one morning in the editorial room of "Kombi" there was a knock and a man from my neighborhood came in. He was turning the new book "On the history of Progonat" in his hands. When I saw the author's name Muharrem Xhufi, I was honestly surprised. And I begged him to leave me until the next day. I consumed it mostly at night, because the day rolled through other people's writings for editing and late evenings at the printing press. Berti Lula, hand typography with strong roots from Smokthina e Labërija, my friend whom I trusted and trust a lot, hand embroidering the writings in lead letters, filled my mind to go home earlier and not at midnight. I took some notes from the book and after two days I prepared the article for publication: "We sow a seed, the fruit is harvested by youth...". After the brief evaluation of the author's work as a high obligation of the patriot and intellectual from the "disobedient exile" (as the famous chronicler E. Celebi called him), I could not stay without mentioning the unshaven Alush Milori and his song beautiful:" These beautiful mountains,/ You look at them and you dream of them,/ With bread and water inside!...". He was a born rhapsodist and dancer, manly like him. Early in love with the treasure trove of popular culture. To this day, Alushi's labe dress is often admired by me revealing the ember motifs from Progonati e Labëria "washed in the moon", with those "Mountains gill to gill,/ Snow outside and embers inside"... I could not leave without mentioning the editorial work of the critic of unrepeatable, Brave Long; the help of Halil Qëndros, the special poet who once killed some songs (poems) for Progonat "with a seal" and took him as a side worker from an editor in Tirana, a cooperator in his hometown (!); but also for the sponsor of the publication, the village boy Enver Guga, who had finished his studies in pharmaceuticals with the "Gold Medal", etc. The next day, a gray-haired man with a straight body, without a hat and dressed smartly, was waiting for me standing in front of the door of the Editorial Office. It was the wicked years of 1995, '96, '97. The typist: "-Here, this gentleman has been meeting you for about an hour... He told me that he doesn't know you closely yet". It was Muharrem Xhufi. Almost a quarter of a century I had not seen or met him. I was the age of Pëllumbi, the boy with the stilts, our full-headed historian who never batted an eyelash in defense of the historical truths that the squeamish lickers of the servants of the Nazi-fascist occupiers wanted to drown and suffocate in the smelly swamps of rolling Pluralism. He thanked me heartily for the unsolicited and unsolicited writing and wanted to reward me with something. He himself did not drink anything, neither coffee, nor cigarettes, nor alcohol! He was forced to accompany us with a bottle of water. "You did me a big favor, Leonidha's brother! I am very grateful. Except in this timeless time, beware of the evil one...", that's what he said when we parted. The portrait of this beautiful man, open-minded and with a strong character, was never erased from my memory. After a while, the ordeal of the trials would begin with the direct accusation of Gazidede, former head of the National Intelligence Service. I was going to be investigated by a prosecutor, the son of a former instructor in the APS Central Committee apparatus (!). And I would be judged by a former construction technician, who was trained as a lawyer in that steep and infamous course of Poplars in Durrës. "- Long live the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, where you studied and graduated after a few years! Drink the juice...", a friend of mine from the University used to sing about my "wound", every time I appeared at the doors of the Tirana court. I would be criminally liable for the only "guilt" of why I also agreed to the publication of the former author's article?! Freedom of the Press, trumpeted so loudly with drums and cymbals, he was fleeing from those who are cursing and crying for Edi Rama today. (At a time when we can't find a blank screen where those owls don't lecture with stinky diarrhea vocabulary)... The first to react publicly, was our great Dritëroi, defending me by name and surname in the name of Freedom of Speech . But the young and black veladons of Plepa, loyal soldiers of the ruling party (1996), did not hear anything from this ear. "- When he heard about your trial under the serious charge of SHIK, Muharrem was not carried by the country, - a mutual friend of ours told me. - Several mornings in a row, he came down from Sauk and kept pace around the High Court and the one of Tirana . With the newspaper in his hands where it was written about your plight, he wanted to meet the sons of two old friends in those two courts. I saw one with my own eyes when he met him and talked very worried about you. In the end, it seemed as if he said briefly: "I will do the laundry, if you didn't help that innocent boy!"... Those were dark times with trials, handcuffs, fines and cell bracelets on real professional journalists. How quickly did they forget today's hypocritical leaders, who scream and shout alive and dead about Freedom of the Media?! That Muharrem Xhufi and his friends never measured themselves against the shadow of the morning. And they never slammed the door on his head. With the pure partisan ideal, they fought and worked for a New Albania, without the dalkauka and kopuka that even the mule bells rang in the meetings, together with the arbitrary and violent decisions. And they always told tales in the name of the party, the fools! But the good Muharrem without vices, was and remained "chimney door, not chimney"...