AUDIO SABERNETE NURAJ
BG- Can you tell me something about yourself?
S.N- Yes, I am Sabernete Nuraj- Cuni. During the war, I was with my mother, I had a father, younger sister, brother and grandmother at home, there were also uncle’s sons and daughter, while my uncle was in the KLA.
Serbs were coming, they controlled us and did not force us, but there was fear because we were children, we were afraid that something would happen.
We were very scared, thanks God we didn’t have anything dangerous (weapons) in the house, they didn’t do anything to us, after a while the bombing, shootings, arrestments of people in the village started, and after a while the decision was made to leave the village of Racaj. We set off for Albania.
BG- Before the war, do you more or less remember what your impressions were before the war, how did you feel?
SN- Before the war, I was 8 years old, and my father went out to fight, because fighting started here and there, while in some places Serbs were looking for people in the village to take them away.
I was a child, my mother tried to calm us down in her own way, not to be afraid of them, but it turned out that in the whole country the war started in several places and after a while we had to leave our place, our houses and we headed for Albania.
There were many Serbs in Bishtazhin and in the cars, they fired and shelled.
BG- And with what did you cross the border, what was your vehicle?
SN- We did not cross the border, in the village of Bishtazhin in a nearby village, they took us with a tractor, because we did not have our own, they took us from the village, and in Bishtazhin they bombed us, at that moment I knew nothing, only darkness, darkness which I saw.
And when I came to consciousness, I saw a catastrophe, I couldn’t see my mother, brother or sister, I was looking for them … no one. People were burning, bombs hit them.
I was the only one conscious there, I wanted to see my mother where she was. When I saw her, I was very lucky, but she was in a very bad condition, I saw my brother, because they were injured a lot, I took my younger sister, I tried to calm her down because she was crying, she was only 11 months old. Then an ambulance arrived from Gjakova, they took us and we stayed in the hospital until the moment when Kosovo was liberated, in Gjakova.
The moment when the decision was made for NATO troops to enter, for me it was a joy that I cannot even describe in words. My mother was very ill, she was in a coma for 3 days, 24 people died out there, 15 were saved with many injuries, I was a little stronger than the others, but others were very injured.
Still, she has been suffering from wounds for 21 years, wounds caused by bombings.
BG- Did anyone take care of these people after the war?
SN- After the war, I have to say NO, no one cared and come and ask, they even said – we don’t know what to do with you- or to get some information about us. All those who died there had children, wives, husbands, there was only social assistance that we received, and there was that assistance that was not receive at all and they needed it, because my mother could not walk, her whole back was injured, and is still, there are all wounds.
There are many others in the village who were in one tractor, there is a woman without one eye, she can’t see, she goes to Italy with her own funds to take care of her, of herself.
I have a sister, she also has shrapnel on her head, and no one cares about them, I have a few small pieces on my body, but I don’t have many of them, they are not dangerous.
My mother was in a very bad condition, except for the hospital which took care of us for 5 months, because we had family members who helped us a lot. After that time when we left the hospital, no one was interested in us.
BG- Although it happened that the mother is a doctor at the hospital, did you stay in Kosovo?
SN- Yes, yes, in Kosovo, as soon as we came out of the hospital after the liberation of Kosovo, my uncle came and took us, we stayed with my uncle for a while until house was built for us, and was built a one-story house for living.
BG- And why did the house burn down?
SN- Yes, the house was burned down completely. There was a help and two-room house was built for us, modest house just to live, even then my father was very sad, he came back here from abroad, and so we had to live every day, but my mother had wounds all over her body, it took a lot of money to take care of her, to help her because she was very ill.
BG- Did you stay in the hospital until Kosovo was liberated?
SN- Yes, yes, we stayed in the hospital for 5 and a half months.
BG- How did you get there?
SN- We passed, as I can tell you, we had no problems from the Serbs, except a few days before the decision was made to come to Gjakova, the Serbs made a decision that said that there would be a big massacre, it will be worse than in Srebrenica, and in those days I was very scared, I was wander about how I could see my uncle’s sons and daughter and my mother, I know what they will do to us.
I was afraid, but we prayed for NATO to enter and free us, but I will never forget that day, I have never felt greater joy, nor will I ever have it again.
It was a joy for all, not only for me, but also for the whole country, for the doctors, and there were many injured. There were women who didn’t even have a needle, where to go, didn’t have houses, they were very bad.
But the Serbs did not harass us like this, they did not tell us anything, only those few weeks before joining NATO, those were the words we heard from the Serbs and which we were very afraid of.
BG- How did it go on; do you remember the moment you came home?
SN- I remember, as soon as we left the hospital, we stayed with my uncle for a long time, we stayed there until house was built. We stayed with my uncle for a short time, whose house had burned down also. We stayed there for a short time and everything was aimed at healing my mother, because everyone who saw her so disable, it was very bad for us.
Then they built a house and we went home. Then we worked and tried a lot, but there was no help from anyone.
BG – how do you think the war affected you personally, do you often remember?
SN- I remember, I remember very often and after the war, after I grew up a little, I realized that I was very nervous, there was a lot of nervousness because nothing could be done.
When we went to the place where we were shelled, to Bištažin, leaving was a kind of trauma, when I go there and only when I close my eyes, everything that survived appears as the first day.
I was so reserved, my heart wanted to burst, because I was very upset.
I was 9 months old, sorry 9 years old, I saw a lot – I saw a lot of bad things. I don’t know, sometimes I think I’m so good when someone sees me, but I’m so scary. You can suffer a lot of trauma and pain, but I have had so much trauma that when I close my eyes, you would think I am very upset, but every time I try to hide the trauma from myself, but I cannot achieve anything with it.
Yes, I even tried to fight it, because no one came to help us, even those who gave their lives for this country should not be forgotten.
BG- Have you consulted or have you been consulted any other person, doctor or psychologist regarding any psychological help?
SN- I was, I was, they helped me a little by consultation, there was a doctor who helped me, not to accept anxiety close to the heart as much as possible, but everything is somehow for those people who died and the state does not care about them, or to provide some explanation, not justification, some historical story, something, or to talk or to show an interest.
Men and women died, there were no children, I cry because it bothers me the most, no one was interested in it, not even the state itself.
I realized that I have nothing to do, we need to come to live with that, but we must not forget those who gave their lives.
BG- Before I finish, do you have anything to add?
SN- No, thank you very much to all of you who are interested and if God wills, God bless you and hope it will be returned to you with good things, you have done a lot to keep this history from being lost.
Thank you very much.