August 22, 2013
Albania is beautiful, but for decades it was cut off from the rest of the world by a communist dictator. “There were no foreign clothes, which was a big thing for us,” Vilma Zenelaj says, drawing a deep laugh out of her older sister Greta, a dark-haired beauty often mistaken for Demi Moore.
Albania’s communist regime collapsed soon after the Berlin Wall fell. Vilma left first, arriving in Oregon as a high school exchange student in 1996. Greta stayed in Albania to finish her degree in journalism, even as civil war broke out. Luckily, Mom and Dad, both doctors, won the visa lottery and emigrated to Michigan. Best friends, the sisters in 2003 packed everything into a red Volkswagen Beetle and headed to L.A.