INTERVIEW WITH: NEBIH MORINA
Nebih Morina is the father of five children, three girls and two boys. In the case of Nebih, unlike the others, none of the boys are disappeared, but the oldest daughter, Mevlyde. Married in Suhareka, the mother of two sons, Genc – 5 and Granit – 3, after their house was surrounded by tanks, she is disappeared with ten people, all her children, husband, parents-in-law and brothers’ in-law.
A few years after the war, the remains of most family members were found, with exception of Mevlyde and her brother-in-law, Hajdin Berisha. Today, twenty years later, Nebih tells the pain of the missing girl and the murdered grandsons, sometimes puts in rhymes, while comparing the former life with the poverty he has been living since the Serbian forces burned, destroyed and robbed properties and belongings.
Nebih Morina: Narration in first person
My name is Nebih Morina, born in village Samadraxhë from father Nuhi Ali Elezi, on March 14, 1948. My father had seven children, the first was Vehbi, born 1945, Hysnija in ’46, Feti and I are twins of ’48, Salih was born in ’53, while Bahtija and Verijaare twins, born in ’56.
We grew up at the father’s uncle, Ukshin, then was alive, and grandfather Ali. When I was born, one of them was around 60 years, the other has been 50 years old. Then we have lived together with sons of Ukë and Ali, the two brothers. Later we split with uncle and then lived with father’s brothers. Father’s brothers were Halit, Sejdi and my father Nuhi. Two of my uncles have had by three children. The oldest brother has completed the elementary school in Samadraxhë, two sisters as well, and I have completed four years, I graduated from the night school. It has been like as today called a high school.
We worked with cattle and agricultural. Especially I, when I was little, guarded sheep and cows.
When I grow up, I got the call to join the army in ’66. In Vinkovc I had served the army for 12 months, and I continued in Han Pijesak for other 6 months. It means 18 months I have served in army of Yugoslavia. From the army I came back home and for one year I have worked with my family in agriculture, then we had profit from it. We’ve had a vineyard and we earned a lot. Two of my brothers went to Slovenia and I went for one year, I worked in a textile factory in Kranj. After a year I worked there, the brother’s wife is from Suhareka, and she met me with her sister, Elmaze. I was married when I was 22 years. After my marriage Mevlyde was born. Then other children Ramadan, Nasime, Samir, and then Elham.
As soon as I got married, I got a guaranty from my cousin to travel to Switzerland. I’ve been working with a gas company “Gas Arbeit”, where we had many next of kin. In the first month when I started working, one of my neighbours who was old he went on leave and I was replacing him, because he was a housekeeper.
In the first week I had a dangerous accident. Usually our family and friends were gathering together for breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays. I was young and I used to serve tea most of the time. As soon as prepared glasses for tea, a Spanish man came and said: “change the bottle of gas because it is empty.” I immediately stood up, took the key and went to open the old bottle and the filled one was close to me. How did it happen, where the fire was, I don’t know? The reaming gas was on fire and the bathroom was in fire. At a moment I tried to go out, but I couldn’t, and I put my hands on my eyes and shouted: “Oh God, let at least my bones remain to take them home.” I pushed again and went outside. I went there and found them ready to drink tea.
The Spanish man saw me, and he came after me. I said: “I’m burned, the bath is burning.” A friend of us, who was working with us, was very brave and quick. He took two extinguishers and unloaded on fire and suddenly the fire was off. They came to take me, and that Spanish man was shouting: “Let me, let me take him to hospital.” We were around 50 friends there, they surrounded me: “What happened?” the smoke was going out of me, the shirt was burnt completely. My eyes were safe.
They got me into a firm’s car and took me to the first aid centre. That doctor explained where to take me in that condition. I was thinking: “What are you talking about?” Before he finishes his sentence “I will die” They were asking me “How are you?” I heard them all, but I couldn’t respond to them.
They put me in a room, I know some sprinkles felt on me. I didn’t see any more but after one hour all my friends came to visit me, I was swollen, black cheeks like a black man. I stayed in hospital for 21 days. In Radio Zurich it was reported for a week in what kind of danger I was. For these 21 days they had a very good service, which I don’t even know how to describe. If I would have been here, I would have gone probably.
Now, they pulled me off, they took me to the barracks. There was a big banquet there. The whole friends have heard, we were not small number, from another city people came to visit me. Even two or three Germans have been working with us in Switzerland. They were amazed, just looking what we are doing. The old man, my uncle, told them what happened. After they were associated with us, they took pictures, they were surprised.
After one week I requested to go home but the doctor said to me: “If you go home the temperatures are high and your skin will be damaged.” However, I have taken the responsibilities that I will take care as much as I can.
When I came back home, my daughter Mevlyde was 2 years old, she was playing with other children, I approached and held her. She was looking at me and after she recognized and said: “It’s my father!” when they saw me, mother and others, were terrified. After one hour I went to visit some neighbours to give some of the orders I have been asked to take to them. When I entered in the yard of a neighbour, a lady there was telling her mother-in-law who was 100 years old and couldn’t see: “mother Nifa, did you hear? The son of uncle Nuhe, Nebih, is been burned to ashes. I was behind and said: “Here I am!” they were surprised.
The family plead me not to go anymore. We have had a vineyard and father has built kind of hut. I used to go in the morning to take water and bread, the grape was good there, went down to get the grape and I stayed there for one month in the hut, which means that sun did not touch my face at all.
After one month I said that I will go to Switzerland. And when I went there, I went to see a doctor. He was surprised because I was cured, and he told me that I have taken care. He gave me an accident card, they called ‘Unfall Karta’, but I’m not even interested. I was told that I will get 160 thousand Franks as compensation, but I was not even interested. I have worked for another year and I wasn’t allowed to go anymore.
After I have worked with one of my brothers and brothers’ sons. My brothers worked in Slovenia and I have worked agriculture because we have owned five and half hectares. We have had many incomes and from them also. They have worked there for several years; we had a lot of incomes but one of my brothers came and I said: “the cooperative is asking to give us loan, but father does not allow because as he says the loan ruins you.” My brother said: “he is wrong, I see Slovenian people here, they are giving loans, go and register!” I went to Studençan and registered in a cooperative. When I have signed then 2 million and 300 thousand dinars, the hat was not staying on my head and the director said: “Why you are afraid?” I said: “I heard that the loan ruins you”. He said: After one year two water pumps that you are going to take, will have that price.” I have taken the loan, bought the stable, a Serb was construction engineer, gave us the project and we built it and put in 57 oxen. They never were suspicions on us anymore because people used to take the loan and lost the money but for us didn’t doubt since they saw we are dedicated to work.
We had bought 6600 kilos of meat, which means alive calves, and for 6 months became 36 thousand kilos, meaning we profited 30 thousand kilos for 6 months. We had our own food, so the profit was very big. At that time there were some modern stables drinking water in their own, but they were drinking from different sides.
My father called other brothers crying: “Come back, enough in Slovenia.” The stable we have transformed to carpentry, then we have also bought a mill. Life has started getting better now. A guy from village of Astrazup came at us and to go and make phone call in Suhareka. When he entered in the dining room he said to my father crying: “Lucky you, my son is in Germany but I have to come to you sleep over here and next day to go and make a phone call to him in Germany, and all of your sons are here at home.” Didn’t last long, my father got sick and died.
When the war started, Mevlydja, she started crying bothered, and said to her mother: “Mother, war has started, what you are going to do? Because the war will take someone, it takes people.” However, I said to her: “War takes those who fight. You are not fighting, you are in your home taking care of your children, your husband and parents in-law.” This went on for 2-3 months, our army was around. The boys of Mevlyda, Genc and Granit, were very little, one was born in ’94 and the other one in ’96. They were playing in the yard. The army was far away, they sometimes attempt to go to and see the KLA, around hundred meters down there. There I was a courier.
When the first offensive fell, on March 26th, all the points were withdrawn and went there uphill. I went to Pagarusha, and my family went to Medvec. And I was forced to go there because some young boys were there, I stayed over there to some of my nephews, one of my cousins was married there.
I went and talked to Mevlyda by phone, to ask her “How are things over there?” Mevlyde was at home in Suhareka, at Berisha family. She asked me: “What happened with you?” I said to her: “I came the next day.” We withdraw and next day before the morning with some soldiers we have enter at my place, in annex, behind the house. It was 45 meters, two floors, there were planks, different kind of materials; wheat for mill were around 200 thousand kilos. When we came nothing was left, no shovel, dust everywhere, nothing left at all. I went and told to my uncle” “Your house is safe but ours is burned.” He started to cry.
The next day I came again, I went to second floor, when my daughter came with her father-in-law and her two boys, Genc and Granit. They put two fingers in their mouths, they were surprised because four days before the offensive they left “Where are we?” they said crying. My daughter and his father-in-law. I hold up Granit – I loved only God more than him, and said to my daughter: “My daughter, why are you crying for our houses? Since I have Granit, I own the world”
Just before they left, the daughter’s in-law told me “Don’t worry, I will come and build the roof of the house.” Didn’t last long and my brothers came from the uphill, they stayed for one month down there, and we entered in the village. The village was half burnt, so they tried to make a kind of shelter here. The brother-in-law of my daughter was very known professor in Prishtina, HajdinBerisha. He came to see if any from international observers sent anyone to help us. A friend from Slovenia came, his house was partly burnt and said: “You are in very bad condition, poor you! Come and take money, I will give you three thousand DM and build the roof!” We built a roof with planks and sheltered in there. The war had some ceases and my daughter had come and gone for several time.
The last time, two or three days before the last offensive came, because some other nephews and nieces came, some with their wives, around 100 people gathered. She noticed that there was not enough space and said: “I want to go.” I was so upset and I could not go in front of her sons, she was looking for me: “Where did father go, I want to say him goodbye!” I could stand. Meanwhile they went with buses.
I called them in the phone because there was a check point in Rashtan. “How did you go?” I asked. She replied: “Daddy, only God knows how did we go.” Didn’t take long and the second offensive arrived. In this time I was only with my uncle here. All the army went uphill, and I slept at my uncle’s home. My uncle asked: “Did you talk to Lyde? What did she say?” we have had the phone in our village, 10 DM per minute. I said: “She told that it was very dangerously, they went through garbage.” The uncle replied: “Your in-laws are very good.” I said: “Uncle if the father-in-law of my daughter dies before me, I will open the condolences for one month.”
My brother came from Pagarusha to take me, because everybody was there, no one was here anymore. Someone tried to warn me but somehow troubled because I heard on the radio that Berisha family were pulled out from the house and been killed. This happened after two days of Mevlyde’s return there.
I knew they are alive and in the morning I went to the village because we have had 10-12 cows, I put some food and went around the village to see if anyone is there and then to leave. An old lady said: “Should you stay here?” I replied: “Yes, here around but at the stream there are many people and I want to go there and take them out of there because the forces might find them and shoot.” I went there and I saw many, many children, women and old people saying to them: “run, run.” The last one was an old man with his wife. He was Member of Parliament of former Yugoslavia and for Balkans, he was very responsible. He was old and tired. I said: “Uncle Shaqë, run!” there around 300 – 400 meters away was Nëpërbisht, and automatics where firing ceaseless, Kalashnikovs. He said: “Let them kill me, I have no place to go.”
I saw a fellow villager. He was old also and I said: “why did you stay so long?” “I got stuck and now here I am.” I said: “will you be able to go through Nëpërbisht now because they are killing there down, shooting a lot.” There I saw a family with 10 members and a little boy. They were our fellow villagers. I knew the man but didn’t have any contact. I had a package of biscuits and I said: “Run as much as you can because you will have difficulties to cross the ambushes.” That old man said: “I will walk in front, and if they shoot me you don’t walk. If I survive, you may leave.” To that little boy I gave those cookies and when that boy left I remembered my sons. That boy said: “Uncle Nebih, thank you for the cookies.”
I have followed them. I know I have cleared all that stream and went down to a stream. There I found other four people. I joined them and one of them went to look at the shore, saying: “They are coming this direction”. Some armed military noticed us there. We run and went down to the vineyard to a stream. They were shooting from all sides. Just before the evening a tank came, we were down and them above us, but thanks to God the rain started and them withdraw and we left.
We went out to the village. When we came out with a small mountain, there’s a villager. “Where are you going?” “We are going to the village.” He said: “There is only dust, it’s full of police, army, no one survives there.” We are going to look. When we approached the village, in a small street there was our bus that people left and there we saw a white dog. The dog was steering on us but did not bark. We walked for another five meter and saw two dead bodies. I said to them: “wait, because one of them seems like my brother.” He was looking like my brother a lot.
When we approach it was terrible, one was missing cover of the head and the other one we did not recognize, he was a guest. We didn’t dare to enter in the village, and we went down and found there tractors, cars and all other things belonging to civilians, they were are burnt. There remained only one small tractor and a quilt. Five of us covered with that quilt, it was very wet because it had been raining for one night and one day.
Not to forget, there were four young boys of age 20, three brothers from Retia and one of their brothers-in-law from Samadraxha, they put a fire and were baking sausage and had beers. I said to them: “Hey, don’t you see them, they are coming here.” Because I have seen them coming from slope since we were in direct air line of 300 meters. One of them replied: “Don’t bother me!” He was joking with me: “I will not leave before eating this sausage and drink these beers.” When I came back in the evening, we went in the tractor to have some rest, just before falling into sleep, a person from Opterusha came and said: “Is Nebih here? I said: “Yes, what happened?” he replied: “They are calling you down there, three are dead and one is alive and is asking for help.” I knew who was because I knew where I left them. I went, they were withdrawn, I called over and over, but I did not hear anymore. Even the fourth one has died, the three brothers and that brother-in-law. The brothers were our friends.
When I went above the village, I saw an old man. I said “come”; he went in and took the rifle but when I looked behind, he was not. Three of my uncles where with me. When we went upper, I looked again, three of my uncles were not, with me remained only one and another villager. Where did they go I don’t know? I know that that old man was killed at the graves. When was found dead, they have pulled out the brain and placed it on his hand. Whereas, others have left to Mamusha.
We got thirsty. I was not hungry, but I was thirsty. We said we were going to Mamusha. A night before, people were going in and out, but we did not know how the situation was. Then we found out, they said, “No one is in Mamusha, they are all taken to Albania.” We said let’s go earlier, we get water and bread and we go back. An old man had wear three pair of clothes and a coat. The uncle was having a bite for himself and next one offered to me, but I couldn’t eat, he did a little, it was a pie. He was saying: “Why are you rushing?” “Oh, walk faster because we want to go and come back.” “No, you are scared.” “Walk!”
When we approached there, eleven people were killed. There I saw the jacket of my uncle who was with me a day before, but I couldn’t tell my uncle: “look your brother”, I didn’t think about… When we went there, we had some relatives, went in the mosque and I said, “you stay here, I’m going to seek for bread and water.” When I went to these relatives, these millers they said: “Did you come here?” I said, “Can I get some water?” “But leave as soon as you can.” When I returned to the mosque, they were waiting. “Didn’t you get water?” I told them how the situation is. Another old man came and said” Leave from here because now they will come and shoot you. Here are they a lot, don’t go uphill because they will not let anyone pass alive to go to Samadraxhë, they will kill you all.” He said: “you go down to Albania as are saying no one will touch you.” “Come on!” I replied.
Later my father’s uncle from Studençan came. “Can I please come because I am with two women, three children and on co-villager but we don’t dare to go downhill.” “How come uncle”. “Come on.” A man from Mamusha came and said: If you want, I can take them because I just sent a crowd, I left them at the border, and no one has stopped me.”
Some were insisting: “we want to go downhill”. When I get in the car, a villager from Samadraxha, who was living in Mamusha was waving me, but when I saw how things are going, I said: ‘no’. The uncle from Studençan was saying to his wife: “They will do same as there where they have taken that four years boy, put under knife and taking around the Suhareka.”There I was convinced that this happened to my Granit.
When we went, no one has not touched us at all. We went to the border. There my uncle dropped down. There they have told us to remove the registration plates, leave the IDs there and go. “But we have not ID cards.” We throw the plates. When we get to the other side, a car stopped “Welcome brothers.” “Oh, I have dreamed for 50 years to come and visit you but not in this way.” I said.
We entered in Kukës, a guy came in front of us. We were very tired, wet because of rain, he said: “Pal, I am poor man but to you I am seeing here I will give a dinner and warm you up.” That old man who told me “Why are afraid?” asked me, “Do you know him?” “How come I know him, he is not my uncle?” he was saying come at my place to sleep, eat and rest.” “Nooo, he said.” “Ok, you go where do you want.”
We went there, he put some fire in the stove, cooked a dinner, warmed us up and we got dried. In the morning we went to find out about my daughter. I understood that my daughter is disappeared, that all were shot. On the same day, later my family came with a truck. I went at the city hall and asked: “Where is this family?” an official came out and told: “Look at that building there.” Just before I approached two-three hundreds of meters, my daughters appeared. My jaw was dislocated. I felt on my knees and slowly put it back.
My oldest brother with three sons of other brothers, a cousin, adolescent, always happy, have been stopped at the bridge in Suhareka. A police officer saw him and asked: “Are you laughing at me?” he took and lined up to be shot and my brother reacted: “Wait, he is young, he even does not speak your language, and he is not joking with you.” Police replied: “Did I ask you?” Come on here!” with three boys, cousin and him lined up to shoot. As my brother said: “I wasn’t worried that they are going to shoot us but what will children do behind us?” at that moment some other police came and told to him: “Leave them, come with us!” he left, and they continued walking. My children came, Nasime, Elhame, my wife and all family.
I wasn’t worried anymore if they held somewhere because once I got an information that they were held somewhere but they are alive but didn’t cross the border. From that night that have that have taken us, he had a garage, he put in both tractors and our truck. They slept on tractors. He gave food. In the morning they walked down to Laç. I have stayed and every day I went to the border. I went there until one week before NATO entered.
My family from Laç went to in Maikë, there they were placed in another house and when NATO entered, and my brother was the first behind the tank and me after him. We entered with trucks and children. When we arrived in the evening in Suhareka, I went directly to Mevlyde’s home. When we went there, Granit’s shoes, sandals one in one side and other on the other side. I was looking for them, but they were not. Our soldiers were there, have eaten, and left dirty dishes. We’ve locked the door and came to our home. My brother got an information that they went to Macedonia, in Bllaca, he sought there but nothing.
It has been a week of research in the cemeteries. Eleven members of the family, ten members, because the mother Tixhë was 104 years old. Mother Tixhe is found it in the Suhareka’s cemetery with a number but them never found until today. We have opened the door for condolences, 49 towels were here all over Samadraxha. I have smoked for some time but after I quit but the day we opened for condolences, I put the cigarettes in my pocket to give to other people but when I sat I smoked and said: “Oh Granit, I lighten a cigarette.”
The villagers started to come. Many rumours. Someone was saying that they were taken and shot. But no bones were found. After we started to go protests in Prishtina for 12 days I stayed on the ground, people have mobilized, they understood the case because 3500 people. People were bringing, coats, breads, blankets, every day. So, there we have urged the internationals to initiate our case. Meanwhile, two years have passed and there is nothing.
We went to Merdare for 13 times when the corpses were brought. When they have brought them to the morgue of Rahovec they were put in row. Before the bodies were found, I was at my neighbour in Batajnica watching TV, and Genc was the first one. I recognized in tooth, face and clothes that he had. And I said: “Oh my boys.” But I didn’t tell anyone. We went at the Rahovec’s morgue and there I have seen bodies of the boys. I have seen grandfather, their father, sister-in-law, grandmother except my daughter Mevlyde.
From 2002 to 2005, they were in the morgue. From there they have taken to Prishtina and after when they have taken DNA and blood from us, they have been identified. How many times did we go to the morgue, how many times did we get those bones in our hands? It was a disaster, initially in some tents until with our efforts we got the refrigerators. However, researches have continued. Where there we have, her brother-in-law Hajdin and my daughter Mevlude are not there.
I’ve been asked how to arrange their graves. I have written them that since the body is missing, leave the grave in between. Both of the boys I have buried one to the left and the other to the right, with intention that when my daughter is found to put her in the middle. How long have I been waiting for my boys, but now when Igo, I say, “I’ve found the boys,” and I am very constrained when I see these two there and the grave there empty.
There are many of rumours, we have asked several times at least the ones that are burnt to publish the names. I have had an interview in Prishtina, they came to Belgrade to take me with someone. We have taken a stand that not to go there because we knew that their court will do nothing, Asdidn’t do anything until now. But Anka and Bekim were begging me to go to Belgrade, but I also stated there in Prishtina, even there was a Serb attorney and an American, and at the end I have told them I have told this to whole world about those circumstances. I know that I have never seen an imam or a priest with such hatred to support the war like Serbian clerics. They worked a lot. They turned the academy on their side, and they are responsible for this. That Serb told to the secretary “Write this, you need to publish in newspapers.” I said, “Find me and imam who plant hate about the war, even our academy didn’t do that. They have urged the war. They did everything and we demand responsibility from them. ”
We know very well, I knew Nenad, I have seen him every day because he was our neighbour. He committed the massacre. Even that Boban, who was killed. They took it and let him go, he was convicted for 13 years but released him immediately. They have taken a nomad by Cuba (57:38 min) and have convicted him also. Where are the 48 and even 520 all in Suharekë? One family has 10-11 members who have been killed, seven missing, in another family one is killed, eight missing. In my family two are missing.
When we came in the village, we have grieved a lot but when we were expecting for condolences, in another place played music, they didn’t care because they had no one murdered. When we went to Pristina, in strikes and protests, Nysrete and I were beaten. Once we went with Albin, he did not have political party yet, but he was among us. He led us on strikes, we blocked the road, and one man came and said: “Are you out of your mind? Go to your homes, why did you block the road?” I stood up and hold him from the neck, another one reacted and said: “Leave him alone, he is stupid.” I said: “No, he is not stupid, why he is coming with us, let him go on his way.”
We continued with the associations, so much work has been done, but we will never forget, the International Red Cross and the Red Cross of Kosovo, not only then, in the last twenty years keep us alive. Otherwise, for us no one cares. In the moments when we have no way out, Kushtrim Koci and also Ylber Morina, and internationals who are friends with us, they all the time were with us at the meetings. They go out of beg to ask for us, collect money, and invite us in gatherings.
We attended to a spontaneous gathering at Viktoria in Vermica, a lady name Mihone, her mother is Muslim, father is Jewish and her husband is catholic, and she was saying that she is Albanian speaking. So, she had training for us, sometimes she made us cry, sometimes laugh. We stayed seven days with her there. There we started to develop somehow, eleven of us, still today, after thirteen years, it has changed a bit, we felt little bit better when we gather with associations, telling the stories to each other. I think it was around 2008 we went for a protest at the New Year Eve around 300 people. We couldn’t stand on our feet. When the time rang at 12.00, we went to take pictures of fireworks. It was messy, my lady was freezing, and her hands were trembling.
It was Rame Manaj, we went out there, but that day they were very weak, they did not care for us. We were so bad there, we sat, so tired, I laid under a table and slept there. I am hearing that Nysrete, where crying for their sons, daughters. “Did we cry enough?” I heard saying “Yes!” “Shall we laugh now?” how to laugh? Said: “See now we are going to awake Morina!” “O Morinë!”
When I got up, all those women had their heads padded in the pillow with me. I was ashamed and hit the table, all the cups felt down. Then they started laughing. Later police came and picked us up, took to a bar, gave us food and loaded in the buses.
Work has been done by Red Cross and the associations, the Coordination Council, I have told him from Geneva, who was from Human Rights, that we are an example of Kosovo, and an example of the world. Because we had contacts with Greeks, Turks and Bosnians every day. Because of our efforts the number has been decreased, the number was 7700 and now is around 1620. If we would had kept quiet no one would have been found. However, Serbia still knows where they are, because they have had a regular army. We have had it too, but our army has not been prepared as theirs. We got people who just picked the rifle and went out there.
In 2005 I saw a movie how Serbs came to Fushë Kosovo at Milosevic’s, when it started its revolution and bombing. The program was going on, I have seen both boys at the bars of the basement of Suhareka and police were there. I said, “There are the boys, they were at the bars, both of them. Behind was pizzeria where they have been killed.
One relative, Ylli Morina, is in France, he was born there. He has funded Rambouillet and I begged him to find that documentary. They say that is in 5th channel but he cannot extract it. I was told that Avni Spahija will extract it.
When Mevlyde became seven she begun the school. I have the book that received the gratitude, she was excellent. When she finished eighth class, she brought the certificate with excellent marks, my father cried: “My son, take her for further schooling.” I said, “No daddy, things are going very bad, it’s impossible.”
She has a friend, now she is a Deputy. Mevlyde has been very smart, but the fate was so. Shortly after she completed the school, she got engaged then married and her children were born. I love all my children but Mevlyde was my heart, she would never say no, always helped. I don’t know how I am living without her. I found one of her essays when she was in fourth grade, the description she did about the grandmother of Dini sitting close to the stove and how she used to tell fairy-tale.
I wrote in internet about an event “early in the morning when I wake up, I have seen a dove with two pigeons playing in my yard, but raven surrounded them fast. The eagle came also, but surprisingly only on shadow to save, but they could resist to the raven.” So, Albania couldn’t save us. The ravens were militaries, and the pigeons were the children with my dove daughter.
When I spoke to Mevlyde on the phone for the last time, it was probably one hour before they have taken them and throw out of the house. She said: “our house is surrounded with tanks, poor us. “I said, “O daughter, do not be afraid, you are innocent, you did nothing.” I said, “when they get our army will fight bad, but you don’t worry because it will go on the best way.” At that time the phone wasn’t working anymore.
Last time she came home we have talked about the war, how to survive and she said that is better if you come in Pagarusha. The father in law of her came also, said “Come, he is stubborn”, for his son, the one is professor. He said “I don’t worry about him at all but what to do for the children?” he was rich. It was even said that they have taken fifty thousand of DM from him and after they have killed him.
They couldn’t come here up because if they could have come in Pagarusha they would have been alive today. When they entered in their neighbourhood, Berisha, with order of Boban they run into the houses of Vesel and Shaban.
If Mevlyde would have been alive, my life would be longer. She was educator, she had great speeches. She never made upset anyone, she knew how to educate others, and she didn’t need any education. I have dedicated a poem for Mevlyde, for the testament she gave to us:
Will and message,
Testament to my friends
Congratulations the independence of half-freedom
When you celebrate Independence
Do not forget me either
Just with words remember me
No place for flowers to take for me
In Suhareka whenever you go
These cemeteries to visit
There I have my two sons
I have Genc and Granit
My grave is empty
My boys are in the graves
There they will also be orphans,
In the absence of my body
A will for my parents
Don’t leave my bones in Serbia
Another one I never published. It’s very painful, they say because it’s my family. I will not publish. It will make the soil cry. It talks how Granit was following his family until when he was the last one. Maybe I will publish but probably later, maybe someone will sing as tribute song.
When we opened the house on the third day, I screamed when I came out: “Poor me, I will never step in this door anymore.” One of their neighbours calmed me down. Now a girl who survived, is married in Suhareka, is living there. She has two sons, one girl and her husband. Every time I go there, she feels like her father went, and I feel that I see Mevlyde there. It’s interesting, I love that family so much.
One of my sons worked in KFOR. Thirteen years he stayed at home, didn’t work anything. We own the land, it’s all field, no technical means to cultivate. The other one is in Prishtina, eight years in primary school, in Samadraxhë, three years technical school in Suharekë, three years of music in Prizren, four years in the faculty and three years in Master. How much it makes? Another one is in Switzerland, with her money, otherwise couldn’t afford. My wife cries: “What shall we do now with our son, without work, how many expenses we had for his schooling, now in Pristina without a job?”
Whenever we meet with the Association, I thank. I’m the most modest person there, just an individual. All of them are intellectuals, as well as respect, so much we get along. When we go to the hotels where they do the lectures, when we go with the food, Gjyla accompanies us.
We had a meeting with nine deputies in Suhareka, and a man called Ali Berisha was the chairman of the association, together with him, we have blockedthe Assembly. We have forced to vote that there is no dialogue without the agreement of the family members, regarding the fate of missing persons. They’ve signed up and they’ve deceived me. I was mostly deceived by Hajredin Kuqi. We went to Skopje for lectures with lawyers, and Hajredin approached me and said: “We have to do something, because you have blocked us, and the work must continue.”
And they arranged with Prenk Gjeta and me, five people to meet with Hashim. When Nysrete took the speech, she said, “You have stepped on our blood with two feet, you are not taking care of.” The other and the other, they also said, “You have finished the war, created Rambuillet, and you have to take the responsibility.” He has taken the responsibility, swear on the children, family, on nation and God that our matter will be taken into consideration.
My message, like everyone else, would have been: “Families seek to enlighten the fate, at least they seek for support, employment.” I know, there is a mother in Mitrovica, who takes care for eleven children and without a husband without any support. What can she do with 170 euros? At the beginning it was 103 but now is 170. I was in Durres for law issues. In Durres was made a decision, all family members were insisting, requesting salaries. I was the last one to talk: “They are correct, I am requesting the most. I don’t want to have even two thousand, even this one I am earning, but I am requesting for my son to have a job.” Then he said: “You are right, when you come to Prishtina, come to the Ministry.” I went to the Ministry: “The last thing I am asking is employment.” All that are living today, who are enjoying the life, enjoying on behalf of our blood.
Is the fighting in Syria, the army with the army, is there anybody who will have strikes like us? Not! Here the international world came, and the Americans, all over the world, regarding the ‘Kosovo matter’. The independence is gained in the name of our children, never anyone has talked in our name: “wait, there are some people like me.” If my son gets employed, because I am dying, leaving, but I am not leaving anything behind. I applaud Ramush, who two days ago accepted that his sister-in-law got the job in Telekom, but I was surprised also. Afterwards I said to myself: “His sister-in-law wasn’t employed for twenty years; he had many options and possibilities.” But what to do to him? I know Telekom is the biggest corruption, but she got involved there.
Overall, our request is at least to find a bone, a knee, and remains, just to know I have her. For me the important is to put her bones in the grave. Life is life, maybe the poverty will come with everything, but we have to challenge, can’t do anything. The son who is living in Prishtina, he cannot pay his apartment and we have to assist him. This is the worst. Further, I apologize for being traumatized, but I have to go with my life.
Ballad for the Missing
How many days and nights,
We waited sleepless
Who know for hours and moments?
In an endless waiting.
How much tears we poured for you?
Since we called you dead,
No word or address
You were given the name “Missing”.
Twenty years gone without seeing you
Twenty years gone tears flowed like a river
Twenty years our souls were killed
Twenty years of suffering is not over,
Twenty years the time remained hanging
Twenty years the pain is pending
Twenty years we nourished hopes
For twenty years the candles remained lit,
Twenty years of snow has not been melted
August looks like January,
The sun releases strong rays
In our hearts full of frost!
The granny releases the groan:
-Can someone tell me?
Where are the boys to make the misery?
Because I’m leaving this world.
Do you listen, you authorities?
Where my boys are gone
They are alive or dead
Do not call them Missing.
For twenty years I’m waiting desperate
I do not enjoy the costly freedom,
The pledge will leave on me if I die
If I don’t put the bones in the grave.
(This story is part of “Living with memories of the missing: Memory book with stories of family members of the missing from the last war in Kosovo”, implemented by forumZFD program in Kosovo and Integra, in cooperation with Missing Persons Resource Centre, with the support of Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Rockefeller Brothers and Swiss Embassy in Kosovo)