Petar Ivic (interviewer)
Goran Smic (interviewee)
Acronyms: PI= Petar Ivic , GS= Goran Smic
PI: Can you introduce yourself briefly? Your name and surname, where are you born?
GS: I am Goran Stošić, born in Rahovec. I have been living here in containers for five and a half years. How to say, about conditions, they are catastrophic, there are mice, many bugs, this is God save us, cannot even…
PI: You said that you used to live in Rahovec. You had your house there, right?!
GS: In Rahovec, I did not sell my house, everything is ruined, this is confirmed from Serbian Municipality down here in the village, thus, this was confirmed by them, this was also confirmed from Municipality of Kosovo. We have made five applications for these apartments, houses, everything. The commission also came, I am blind person.
PI: Tell us, are you a blind by birth?!
GS: No, since my wife was abducted in 2004 year, then I got diabetes and blood pressure and all bad things, let’s say.
PI: Tell me, can you describe the period before the war?
GS: How to say, I worked in a beverage cellar, before the war in Rahovec. That company, how to say, went into private hands, apparently it was bought by a private person, I cannot lie to you. I was before, let me tell you, three and a half or four years ago, at the time when I could move a lot, but here, as far as this circle is concerned I cannot move anymore. For example the neighbor comes, we call the taxi, we go down to the village to buy food with taxi, he looks at everything, I with the help of the stick, I apologize somewhere here I have the stick, I go with the stick and he helps me.
PI: YES, that is now. While you lived in Rahovec, did you have your own house?
G.S. My house, but it was ruined. However, I also lived there, at a neighbour. But, the neighbor cannot always keep me, he can keep me for 5 or 10 days, mostly.
PI: Therefore you lived in the neighbor’s house.
G.S. Yes, at the neighbor’s.
PI: Tell me, can you describe pressures, what made you to leave the house, the state of war, etc.?
G.S. Yes the state of war, how to say, we were in the ghetto. How to tell you, go down for example, I mean where you live in the Serbian part of your house in Rahovec. Now, nobody will provoke you. If you made problems during the war, for example, God forbid you robbed someone, or killed someone, or you were mobilized, you were, for example, against Albanians. But, with Albanians, the locals, people from Rahovec, they are good people I can say, down I have worked with Albanians and how to say only the beds separated us, we were very close, we went to each other, my father had worked while he was alive, now for 15 years he has passed away in Serbia, the son was with me, but he went to Serbia because of the work, there is no job, I live, how to say, with social aid.
PI: Tell me, do you remember the moment when you left your house?
GS: How can I not remember. This had happened on the ninetieth, no, in September of the year two thousand.
PI: Can you describe the event, what happened?
G.S. Like what had happened. It happened, we went with a so-called caravan, as we say KFOR in Rahovec at that time was Dutch and German. Therefore, up to the border, I do not know, they have sent us by bus.
PI: Thus, here the residents collectively wanted to leave the country, because of the pressure?
GS: Yes, due to the pressure, nothing else. As for Albanians, the locals, they never complained, only that they were I do not know how to say, they were like us, in the ghetto, they could not speak or express willingness for example to the neighbor and to comfort him, to say stay neighbors do not leave you were born here, this they could not do, let’s say people from abroad, now whether they are from Albania or from…
PI: So, you left Rahovec with a queue in 2001 year. Where did you leave?
GS: I went first to be honest to Kragujevac, I worked privately, therefore in entire Serbia.
PI: Where did you live then?
GS: How to say, in Kragujevac I was already reported. I was at a godfather from my father’s side, as I say, my grandfather had baptized the godfather, they live in Kragujevac, I was just reported in his address. I still have my green paper-board and ID, so I am almost a fugitive from Serbia. And I went to Rahovec, there was nothing left from the house.
PI: When did you return to Rahovec?
G.S. I returned in Rahovec to be honest at the end of 2015 year.
PI: And what did you find there, describe everything?
G.S. We have found a disaster, to be honest, I only took these pictures that you see attached, an icon that I celebrate St. Nicholas has remained, in winter, now it was on 19th December. My mother who lives in Kragujevac is still alive, she is with the young brother and they live together, the brother, how to say, he is not disabled, he is capable thanks to God, he works there in Kragujevac in the City Sanitation. He was married but now, two years ago he got divorced.
PI: So, in Rahovec you found the house that was destroyed. What did you do then?
GS: Nothing, I was a bit and I came here, I reported in the Municipality, they gave me a container somewhere here across, and the container burnt with all the things that I had from electronic items, TV, refrigerator, my container got burnt. This one here across the street, now a woman lives in, they are locals, divorced, I think she lives there. This man who brought her is also a local from Rahovec, he was in the west side, he has another wife and children, I do not know.
PI: All right, but we are asking about your story.
GS: Yes I am honestly saying what I know, I have not seen but they speak themselves, and/ or I do not care. You came for my story and I am telling you that I live let’s say in catastrophic conditions, I have no means to help me with the conditions, I would like, if possible to buy me a pair of glasses, an organization gave me only this stick.
PI: One more question. Do you hope that there is an initiative to improve and solve your issue, since you live here?
GS: I want my problem to be solved now, to be approved as they said since we have applied in the Kosovo Municipalities, in which there are also Serbian and Prishtina, Kosovo, we have applied for apartments, there was also the commission and now almost…
PI: When did this happen, has it been long time?
GS: Yes, let me say this was in the beginning. They were two or three times, we have applied, and the commission was twice. In terms of income I live with social aid, from the social assistance of Kosovo, from the social assistance of Serbia, from these I live. While my son was, as long as I could work because I was a wall painter by profession and I worked as a workman, I worked all over Serbia, I was only in Kragujevac reported to Dimić Mihajlo, street, how to say Pavla Jurišića 16 in Kragujevac I was reported there. In terms of conditions I had worked as much as I could, I used to have, I brought, I carried, I educated the children, thank to God he finished the school of auto electrician, now he works privately. He does not do his craft, he pays appartment, he sometimes comes to visit me. I, to be honest, at times when I have and when I run out of money, that’s why the difficult times have come now in the winter time, no work, disaster.
PI: Is it possible to just hold on while I contact my colleague, just a minute, to ask him something and then to continue?
GS: No problem.
PI: Thus, in 1999 year your wife was kidnapped?
GS: In Malisheva, my wife and my father-in-law, her father.
PI: In 1999 year. Where did this happen?
GS: They were kidnapped in Malisheva.
PI: Who kidnapped them?
GS: KLA. People said well, from Fushë Kosova and Prishtina who were reservist in the Police, had said that they saw everything, Stanković Stojan and Stanković Brankica, this is the name and maiden surname, they are buried here and have a monument in the cemeteries in Gracanica, opposite to the Monastery.
PI: When did you find them?
GS: In 2004 year, since that time how to say I lost, how to say, I have lost 40 years.
PI: This is a very touching story.
GS: Touching, that’s why I got sick from diabetes, so I got the diabet and I lost my sight, in the left eye I have a prosthesis, with the right one 99.8% I do not see at all.
PI: Tell me, where did they find them?
GS: In Malisheva.
PI: And where were they kidnapped?
GS: They were abducted near Malisheva, while in Malisheva it seems to have been the main base, and as they had foreseen I do not know, people apparently were transported with any vehicle, and what they have done to them now only God knows.
PI: Thank you.