Memory at the margins of the official narrative – Part I

Which events deserve to be commemorated? Who gets to have a statue and why? by Blerta Hoçia For the time being, in Kosovo, some of these questions receive spontaneous and casual answers. There is no museum of memory or any special central level regulatory law on memorialisation to determine the standards and guidelines about memorials. The only institution […]

Storm of revisionism and pogrom of remembrance  

On Friday, I watched my fellow citizens go to Prijedor for a commemoration of victims of the military operation Oluja. Everything was the same as two months ago, when they went to an assembly to support Aleksandar Vučić in Belgrade, which was also organised by the local SNSD and entailed a non-working day and extended weekend, flags[…]

He went with his uncle and he died too

Zorica says that Serbs have lived well in the village mixed with Albanians. Up until 1998. At that time, she recalls, the Serbian regime uniformed the skilled Serbs in the villages as military reservists. This act frightened a lot the Albanian neighbors. The two village communities, which had once wished each other well for the feasts, which[…]

It will not go away until I join them 

After they burned the village where Zoja lived with her husband, two daughters, and two sons, the whole family, after many vicissitudes, finally managed to move to Germany. With the decision of her husband, they returned after the war ended in order to rebuild their burned house and to start their life in Kosovo. They lived a[…]

My daughter’s name is Albulena

Born into a poor family with eleven siblings, going abroad, and working hard as a teenager, Sabri, now 61 years old, has experienced a lot in his life. Also, during the war, Sabri had terrible experiences. Sabri joined the KLA and he exchanged fire with the Serbian army while transporting the family on a tractor trailer while[…]

I know who dropped the bomb

In March 1999, a bomb exploded in the Mitrovica marketplace. Rrahim Hasani’s five-year-old daughter Elizabeta dies on the spot. The other seven-year-old daughter, Elvira, got wounded on both of her legs. Rrahim, now living in Podgorica, remembers the times when he lived and worked happily throughout Kosovo. He is happy that on the memorial plaque of the[…]

Let them kill me, I want to be a martyr

Mursel Gashi, a former KLA soldier, and his wife Bahria complement each other in the story they tell about the murder of their minor daughter, Vlora, who was murdered together with her grandmother while they were running away from home in a tractor-trailer during wartime. “When my mother and father died, it felt a great pain, but[…]

When I woke up, the boy was not there

Mursel and Shehria got married in 1988. A year later they got married, and they got a son. Ironically, the firstborn child of Veliu family was named Gëzim, which means happiness in Albanian language, but he caused them so much sadness and grief. In 1999, while the family was in a column of refugees leaving for Albania[…]

Can I hug you just one more time?

Born in 1998, Marigona was just a baby the day paramilitary forces killed her uncle and took her father in an unknown direction. Everything she knows about him today, she has learned from her mother, her aunts, and her uncle. Already grown up and at the end of her studies, she recalls how she grew up all[…]

Why did they take my father?

The real saga of the Kpuzi family begins right after the war, when their father is kidnapped, and they never find him again. The father of this family was a man with a disability, as he could barely stutter anything. He worked in front of the Pashtrik Hotel in Gjakova as a shoe polisher. His son, Homez,[…]