Bjeshka Guri (intervistuesja)
Naxhije Kadiri (e intervistuara)
Akronimet: BG=Bjeshka Guri, NK= Naxhije Kadari
BG:Can you introduce yourself please?
NK:I am Naxhije Kadiri.
BG: What was the country like before the war broke out?
NK:Before the war broke out, we worked as always, when the month of July came the war broke out for the first time, we ran away from home.
BG:How did you find out you had to run away from home?
NK:We found out that the war came, we had to leave
Because it was full of Serbs and we had to evacuate the whole village.
We left, we went to Potoqan, to my birthplace, we stayed for 3 nights, from Pataqan we went to Ratkovc, to the bride’s birthplace, we stayed for 10 days.
Here they burned the whole village, in the first war (attack), when we returned we did not have anything.
When we returned we were left with only these two houses, the other two houses were completely burnt down.
We the living people returned here and entered these houses.
We were a crowd of 30 people, we entered these two houses.
BG:When you left can you tell me how you left, how many people were you?
NK:All of us, as we were in a hurry, we went to Pataqan, from there we went to Ratkovc, in both places we went as a whole, 30 people.
BG:Were there many people when you went there?
NK:There were a few people there, but we were a lot.
Because we went out in a hurry, 30 people.
Yes, some women, children were separated, to the brother or sister who were nearby.
We stayed for 10 days with our bride’s family in Ratkovc, all of us.
Then we split up, then the war took place in Ratkovc in September, then in September we fled again, we fled once to Pataqan, but here it was even more dangerous and then we went to Krusha e Madhe. We even came, we worked here, we had gardens (peppers), like the Albanians do, from Krusha we came and worked the garden (peppers).
The Serbian army was standing on the hill.
When we returned home, we only stayed with the lights of the Serbian army, because we did not dare to turn on our lights.
We stayed as long as we stayed in Krusha.
BG:Who did you stay with in Krusha?
NK:We stayed: I stayed with my daughter, this stayed with the uncle, my sister-in-law stayed with her sister, the sister-in-law of my brother-in-law went to Landovica, my birthplace.
The other two sisters-in-law had married girls in Xërxë, they stayed in Xërxë.
The sister-in-law of my brother-in-law had her family in Xërxë, she stayed in Xërxë, we were dispersed.
We were going in a group, but we had to disperse because it was too crowded.
When we got back in September, everything was burned. We stayed here in a house, we left it because there was nothing there, everything was destroyed, it was burned to the ground.
Then again we returned to these two houses all that crowd, 30 members.
We stayed, assistance came, we ate and we had water with these.
We thought it was over.
But, when the March came, the next attack started, again in March 23 we fled. We went to Potoqan.
Only the brother-in-law’s son went to Xërxë, to his sister.
On March 24, NATO bombing commenced.
There then started the big war, you could not since NATO strikes started to get any sleep.
When it happened on April 12, the war took place in Potoqan where we were staying.
BG:What happened in Patoqan?
NK:There was a war in Patoqan, it was filled with Serbs, with tanks.
We were all expelled from our homes.
The gathered us, some of the men fled, they went out through the fields to the mountains, but they wounded my son in the mountains.
Serbs were scattered in the fields and in all places, so we thought when they would kill us in the middle of the besieged village.
They gathered all women, men, children.
That is how we had the tanks, in the middle.
Serbs at all sides, they took women on one place and pushed men against the wall.
We just waited to see what was going on.
We did not know was going on in the mountain, then they let us go, they told us to go and do not leave our houses but they gathered us all in the uncle’s place, there was a big place.
It was spring, it was quite cold.
They told no one to come here.
They were scattered across the plains and forests.
Then when my son returned he was severely wounded.
There was no way out, except that without God’s will nothing can be done.
Three persons were killed in Potoqan, and there were three wounded refugees.
My son was from Bellacerka, one was from Përstoc, the other from Drenoc, but they were slightly injured, my son was very seriously wounded.
BG:Where was he wounded?
NK:The bullet entered here, it came out here.
BG:In the house or?
NK:Yes, my son had no chance to escape, still without God’s willing nothing is done, because my son was almost dead.
Then we received a letter from the Serbs to send my son to be treated in Rahovec.
They gave us a letter, my father-in-law and a fellow villager sent him by a horse and a cart.
The boy did not stop bleeding.
I filled a bag with clothes, and during the way, once a cloth was full of blood and I tossed it, again the other… when we went to the Hotel of Jaha in Rahoves, they returned us with the horse-drawn chart and took us off.
They took my son off.
When we were surrounded by Serbs, who surrounded us I could only see the tip of my son’s nose, there I said to myself now that I brought my son by my own hand to be killed.
They spat at us there, they kicked us out because a fellow villager came by car and sent us to my father-in-law.
When the Serbs came in groups, I said to myself that even if Milosh was killed, not all these Serbs had come like that.
Sometimes after an hour, my son was covered all in blood, except for his nose
Because his blood was flowing incessantly, they caught us then and took us inside the Hotel of Jaha.
Not in the big hotel, but a one-story one.
Then they put us in a room where there was a bed, me, my fellow villager and my father-in-law were seated and they stood with automatic rifles on our back, we stayed there for 3 hours in that condition. 3 hours.
We were not let go, 3 of us were on that wall, the boy was on that wall.
He was speaking, yet his teeth were gritting. I once told him that he would kill my son, even if I was to be killed I would not mind at all.
Because my son was bleeding from the house, he probably could not stand, but I did not understand, I did not figure out.
They asked in Serbian, I did not understand Serbian.
I went out and sat down with the boy, it is good that he did not cause me any problems there, I sat down with the boy while my father-in-law is with that fellow villager, they were standing on the there.
The door was a bit broken, when people entered they just pushed it by their hands.
They came and looked at that door.
We knew there was no salvation for us.
Then that Serb said he was waiting for the doctor to come and treat him and send us to Rahovec.
Sending us by truck of Serbs.
Because we had the horse-drawn carriage, they were overturning the horse.
3 hours we stayed there waiting, 1 hour they kept my son in the yard, 3 hours we stayed there, 4 hours the injured boy almost dead.
When the doctor came, well enough, he sat down and dressed his wound because they had everything there.
When we wanted to go out, one came to Potoqan.
He came and told my son that you wanted to kill me, my son was not even in the KLA, if he was, but he was not.
He said, okay I do nothing to you, just tell me where you hid the gun.
At the moment when they wanted to leave us for the track, we stayed for another half an hour because of him.
It seems to me that if I saw him today I would know him, his teeth were gagging.
He came to kill us.
After the doctor treated him, the doctor said we should go, the driver and the doctor left.
The policeman who stood unstoppable with us remained.
We were told to get in the horse-drawn carriage and go here, to take the boy in a big truck.
I got into a fight, for God’s sake in that truck.
He wanted it himself, that the truck was too high and I can use my hands, I said wherever my son goes, I will go too.
God made him say are you the “Mother”? I understood this, i told him yes.
He said someone may ask for me too, he hit me like a rag, that the truck is too high.
He threw me there like a rag.
He then went to a house in Rahovec, took a pair of shoes, a jacket and brought and brought to my son.
A pair of boots me.
Because we had all gone muddy because of spring in the middle of Poteqan village.
He brought them to the boy, they left, closed the door.
It was dark, I did not know where we were going.
That truck had no place, he told me there was nowhere to stand, I said I would stand, just to stay close to my son.
Nothing can happen to me, but it may happen to my son, not me.
Then one of them narrowed down and made me a seat and was saying you are the “Majka” (Mother)?, I understood this and I said I am “majka” (mother), I said would rather day than going through all of this with you today.
He just laughed, he understood me, well he said nothing.
He probably asked the boy if he was in pain because I did not understand a word in Serbian.
Surely the boy said yes,
He gave him some food, I thought woe me he gave him to kill.
That long, closed, dark road I did not know where we were going. It occurred to me that lasted 100 years. Not like Rahovec which is close to the Jaha Hotel.
We went when we got there, the 2-meter tall doctor brought the boy from that truck and put him here.
I jumped like I was jumping from this floor down, and it’s the place down in Rahovec.
I do not know, nor did I fall or anything, God forbid.
I went inside I did not know if it is a house or what it is.
The boy’s back had become so big.
We knew the doctor and he also knew us, but he did not dare to speak because he was Albanian.
He sat the boy down.
When he sat him down, he could hardly wait.
The doctor at the hotel was a Serb.
The doctor started cutting that thing at the back.
The house has done so much to you.
He said did he have his back like that?
He knew well but did not dare.
I said no there was nothing on his back.
He said he must go to Prizren.
Jur told Prizren, but U thought I had lost my head.
My father-in-law went, went out to cousins.
He wen to send some money, he did not know that they were telling us to send him to Prizren.
That fellow villager was waiting for us in the horse-drawn carriage.
We were told to go to Prizren.
My father-in-law was late.
The Hospital car was started.
I told the driver of the hospital car, can you assure us that you will send us to Prizren?
He said no, I can neither assure myself nor can I assure you.
Did you tell this to the doctor?
Not to the doctor, but to the driver of the hospital car, because they sent us from the hospital by car.
He said I did not even assure myself.
I did not know if he was Albanian or Serbian, because I did not understand them, I only know that he spoke Albanian.
He said let’s go.
I said no, we will not leave without my father-in-law coming.
I said we have many cousins here as if God made it easier for me to speak.
He said go call your cousins, I said I do not know who went.
I got out of the car once more, I saw my father-in-law.
I said my father they told us to go to Prizren, but what do we want to do?
He said what are you thinking of doing?
I said we do as you say.
I did not know how to explain it to him, I said he better speak.
I could not decide.
He said where the boy is.
I told him that this is where the hospital car is waiting for us.
That fellow villager Januzi left for the village.
I prayed for him not to go through anything.
I told him even if we do not escape, we went out for our son
And you came out for us, I beg you nothing bad comes to you.
I also told my father-in-law, inshaAllah, Januzi is saved, that he came out for us.
My father-in-law had a white cap.
When we got in the car, he said “mixha (uncle), can you take of white cap”, he took it away.
There were a lot of policemen.
In Rahovec you heard the fly when it passed by you.
God willing, we arrived in Prizren well.
When we arrived in Bellacerk, a horse-drawn carriage had been burned, the horse was making a noise.
When we went to Krusha e Madhe, half of Krusha was burnt, when we went to another village, it was all burned down.
The whole of Kosovo has been on fire and in smoke.
After we went to the hospital in Prizren, someone was waiting at the door of the hospital.
Now that I understood it, he had a Walkie Talkie talking by it.
He was very big, he had a big beard.
Until the there we went well.
Firstly, they interrogated us, they interrogated us for an hour
They did not let my father-in-law talk, they wanted to get all the answers from the boy.
When the boy went to Suka in Peja, they asked if he was from the KLA.
The boy had become all white because he had lost a lot of blood.
After we got out of the interrogation the doctor came.
The father-in-law wanted to come back, but did not let the doctor, he said both of us should stay here.
My father-in-law then came out and thanked the driver who had been waiting for him and told him to continue because we are not being allowed to leave.
He just may your son survive because I am going.
The boy was put on X-rays again.
He was sweating a lot,
We went up to the 3rd floor.
The doctor wanted to operate him, but the Serbs did not allow it.
The doctor grabbed his hair for not being allowed to have surgery.
The doctor was Albanian, but those Serbs did not allow it.
We stayed in the hospital with Serb lights, there was no more light.
He went for operation, the doctor told me that they would only clean his wound.
As a mother, I could not stand still for a second.
I told my father-in-law that it was not just about cleaning his would, they probably put him in the operation all this time.
I went out and asked the cleaner and he told me that the boy should be back soon.
I apologized but I told him I was confused.
He told me not to worry, go out as many times as you want, your sone will come back.
We waited for the boy for 2 hours.
2 punches entered the boy’s back.
For a stray of hair, his back was saved, not to remain paralyzed.
My mind wandered that now my son is saved.
When the doctor brought him from the room,
He wanted to get out of bed, from the fever, from the strong shivering.
They put him there, the doctor gave him food.
I did not know the doctor, but I knew he had a beard.
I knew him by face.
I did not know if he was Serb or Albanian, but he was Albanian.
I took everyone’s jackets and quilts to put on the boy, he wanted to fall out of bed from the high fever.
After the fever went away, I took them away.
His wound was dripping blood, I did not mind, the blood went through the mattress and dropped on the ground.
I was horrified when I saw the blood.
I was knocking on every door.
Serbs were dancing.
They were excited.
At the fourth door, there was someone.
I told that my son’s blood was dripping on the floor, he told me that we left it to be cleaned.
He was trying to take away my boredom.
He put him back there, sewed it.
My thought was that my son was surviving.
When he spent 3 days, the boy extended his hand to me and told me that today you have your son saved.
He told me, I know you are a mother but I better congratulate him today because until today your son was not saved.
It came to me and I said woe me I knew nothing.
It ended and the Serbs returned me.
Wounded Serbs came, killed and wounded.
The bus with the dead and the wounded came in the evening when it was morning they sent the crowded bus.
Whenever you wanted to go to the toilet, you had to go through the door where the Serbs guarded day and night. At night we had no light.
The car lights flickered outside, there is none inside.
Here stood the Serb, here is the toilet door, I sent the boy to the toilet as a bride, I guarded him I was afraid to leave him.
Where the boy was staying, they were all men.
Yes, all with those diseases and worries of their own.
10 days with the boy, I had no place I stayed on the chair.
It was cold, in July I stayed 10 days.
When my legs were numb, I put them in the corner of the bed.
It was looking like a good place for me, as the boy was recovering.
Then I went to the other room where there were women, there were a lot of injured.
I was afraid to go to the toilet alone, I had to send the boy alone.
BG:Were there any other Albanian patients?
NK:There were 2 doctors and 2 others who brought the bread.
The doctor who accepted my son and the other doctor who cleaned him.
At first, he took him upstairs to clean his wound, but later it was full and then he came to the room to clean it.
There was no light, everyone was injured.
The doctor came to the rooms and checked the wounded because he could not send them upstairs.
Because we were on the third floor then they took us down to the first floor.
The doctors wanted us to let him go.
The doctor let us go and said if you have somewhere to go, leave because here the place is being emptied there will be no one left.
Only God knows how it works, your medical background is being left open to you and if you meet anyone while going, say that you are going to be cleaned in the hospital.
I have my husband’s sister in Xërxë, she came and we felt a great embarrassment.
She came but said that no one is checking the bus when after we got on we did not walk even 20 meters they stopped us.
When the police stopped us, they came straight to my son, the other group was waiting outside.
I am repeating it, without God’s willing nothing can happen, with God’s willing they came down.
Everyone told me good luck for you that your son is saved because they all understood the Serbian language. All old people.
We came to Xërxë to my sister-in-law but I did not know where I was.
I did not see the village, nor did I meet people, when my sister-in-law told me to come down, we came, she was surprised, again I did not know where I was.
Difficulties were easily forgotten, he is now normally tired and not well, he even always has complaints and always has obstacles.
Well, even 21 years after wartime, he is never left without complaints.
BG:Do you remember the liberation of Kosovo?
NK:Yes, we were in Albania.
BG:Have you been to Albania?
NK:Now we have come from Xërxë.
I stayed in Poterqan for 3 weeks, I stayed in Poterqan for two weeks, my son was wounded after 3 weeks, I stayed in the hospital for two weeks, I stayed in Xërxë for two weeks. we stayed in Albania for a month and a half.
BG:We got out by truck, we had a good time but we were in a hurry, half of them stayed in Poteqan, half of us went to Albania.
I had my bride in Poteqan with my daughter, I had my husband in Poteqan, but my husband came with the bride 2 days before going to Albania.
One of the brothers-in-law was in Poteqan with his wife and children, but he came, he also went to Albania, the one who died and the brother-in-law’s son was in Xërxë from the beginning.
Then the news came to us to go out.
I stayed in Xërxë for 2 weeks, I stayed with my brother-in-law’s daughter, she took care of the boy, thanks a lot to her, she took care of the boy, she took care of us, we stayed well and free. We did not stay in our house better either.
But then the news came out, then we went to Albania. After we went to Albania we went to a house, they would take us in. Yes, we paid him, we stayed for a month and a half, but he was the one who wanted to pay him.
But, they have brought assistance.
In Albania we did not behave badly, we had to eat and drink, only because we had the grief of half of us left in Kosovo, I had my entire family in Kosovo.
The doctor came every day and treated him. Every day he came home, he did not even let him go out.
1 and a half months.
Then, after Kosovo was liberated, he said ah Xhi (Naxhije) they are not telling only about Poteqan.
For other places they were told that the forces withdrew from this place, the forces withdrew from that place, and they are never mentioning Poteqan.
To take away the old man’s boredom because he was very bored.
I told him, Dad, maybe they tell about it but we did not hear it, I said to myself No, they did not tell it.
He woke up one day before dawn, who was sleeping … on the balcony, it was a balcony.
The house was good, only we paid for it.
We are sitting on the balcony, my father-in-law listened to him, he understood well, he understood things well only when he said “Today they withdraw from Potaqan i Ulet, and they are leaving to Malisheva” saying eh Xhi (Naxhije) do you see that until today they did not retreat.
They have finally left Poteqan.
Then we did not wait for a second to come to Kosovo.
BG:How was it here when you came?
As homeless, the grass had grown too much.
However, the part that had stayed in Kosovo had come before us and cleaned it, because they said they did not have where to go.
Then when we got to Xërxë, my father-in-law told me he wanted to go.
I left my son in Xërxë.
I told him if you want to go I am coming with too.
We went on foot.
He said I want to go on foot, I told him on foot too. You on foot, I on foot.
The road was one-way, the grass had grown a lot. We were afraid to walk.
It was cold. We had placed the stove in the yard.
Believe me, we had no pillow to put our head on.
Because all our houses have been burned down.
We have been beaten 3 times.
We put a mattress the door instead of the door.
Cold, the boy was cold we as spouse and husband placed him as a child in the middle.
God is bringing everything, just to be healthy.
We are not constrained by anything.
I put my wallets in place of the pillow, my neck hurt.
BG: Thank you very much!