Suzana Aliu KrasniqiAdministrator
Bestar Krasniqi (interviewer)
Suzana Aliu Krasniqi (interviewee)
Acronyms: BK= Bestar Krasniqi, SAK= Suzana Aliu Krasniqi
BK: Can you tell us something about yourself?
SAK: Yes, of course. My name is Suzana Krasniqi, I am an agronomist by profession.
BK: Susanna, how do you see the nineties?
SAK: Yes, I was still a student in the 90’s, while I was just finishing my studies in 1993, and I had the hope that I would start working immediately and thus return the debt to my family. But the exact opposite happened, during the year 93,94,95 it happened that the workers who were employed were fired from their jobs, so that dream of mine started to leave me, and it started to get harder and harder for each of us, unemployment. At that time, I was also married with two children, my husband was fired from his job, he was doing something private, to earn a living, until the year 1998 when those fights started, even though we were in an area that was not directly in the area. war, but the pressure could be felt. Since we had a neighbor, right next to our apartment, a former police officer, we watched him return from work in the morning, from the actions in which the war was taking place, we always had the pressure that something would happen to us. Until March 24, when the bombing began.
BK: What was the situation on the day the bombing started, how did you feel?
SAK: We got the news that the bombing would start on the night of March 24, so we were with the family, where I was married, we were with my mother-in-law, brother-in-law, but we had an older brother-in-law in a downtown building, we were afraid for him. The forces were right around his building, they were more concentrated there, so the brother-in-law came with his children and we were all in our apartment, there were 12 people. 6 adults and 6 children.
That night when NATO attacked, we were all inside, I don’t remember exactly, after the bombing or before the bombing, we didn’t have electricity. I had a replacement, I speak for myself, I had fear in me, but joy overcame me more. I am glad that we finally saw that the world reacted to the crimes and the pressure that Serbia was putting on us, but the fear was that we were all there in one place and we were waiting for our neighbors to attack us at any moment. All the Serbs were there, we could hear the noise they were making, they were all gathered at the entrance.
BK: When it happened, when you left home, how did this situation come about?
SAK: On the night of March 24, we passed since we got up, when we got up tomorrow morning, we started preparing, we ate something, we had a kitchen overlooking the road and we noticed a column of people, how to say as demonstrations, protests, and I walked into the room and told my husband and brother-in-law about it. I told them something was going on. Everyone is going somewhere. Let’s not be the last. We decided to leave us, because we found out that they started breaking into the apartments of friends we had in Lipjan and told them to leave Lipjan in 2-3 hours. Otherwise, they will be responsible for themselves and their families.
Then we also decided to go out, but at that time we only had one car, so the brother-in-law took the children, 4 of his children, 2 of my children and mother-in-law because she was older, and they went by car and settled with relatives in Babush. We knew about Godance that there were fights there and that there were more Serbian forces, even though Godance was the birthplace of husband’s family, so they decided to go there. They left by car, we set off on foot. Me with my husband and brother-in-law with his wife.
On the way we met a tractor, with a carrier and he picked us up and drove us to Babush. We stayed there for 2-3 days, there were attacks by Serb forces and we did not dare to stay there, so the family from Glogovac came and took us away, and we stayed there in Glogovac for a month. But in Glogovac it was not safe, especially when the massacre happened _______, they burned the house in the village where we were staying, so we saw a lot of smoke, even then as we could, although the children were always dressed, and it was also very cold, rainy and cold weather at that time in April. We also took the children, the clothes we could take, we didn’t know how, we took the mother-in-law to the neighbor there with a tractor and we went out but we had nowhere to go, all of them, to the fields … mud, we couldn’t even step, We would stay there … but we saw Serbian Pinzgavers leaving, so we returned to Glogovac. Now I don’t remember, after 3 days or a week, then without a passport we were not allowed to go to Macedonia. But then we found out that now they allow it without a passport and we decided to go, because staying here is not safe.
BK: During all this time, as long as you were in Babush and Glogovac? What were you thinking, what came to your mind?
SAK: If you think, whether to stay or go outside, I had a standing position there, but not because of myself but because of the children, because I didn’t want the children to have a problem. I was afraid that something would happen and that the children would be attacked. We followed the news what about the crimes, what they did, and I was so afraid that the children would not see something, and that does not disappear … I was more afraid for the children than for myself. I completely forgot about myself, I was afraid for the children. As for me, I would stay, I would not leave the apartment, nor Kosovo. But because of the children, we decided to leave. Although we took a risk, we may have put the children at risk, but at that moment it was more reasonable for us to go on the train, maybe someone will see us, than for someone to break into our apartment during sleep. So we took a risk, we went to a village, where there is a train station, because we didn’t go to Lipljan, and all those people were there, and only one car came. Somehow, we managed to get on the train, and then the train started. When we reached the Macedonian border, they left us to wait for an hour. We didn’t know if they would let us out or not, we waited for an hour. ______. Then, when we got the permit, we moved to Macedonia, and even there it seemed to me, I don’t know how to explain, as if we were saved. I was no longer afraid, neither for myself nor for the children, … now that I am free, I care a lot about of my family that was still in Kosovo, I didn’t know where they were. They stayed in Ferizaj, I had no news at all, I had my younger brother in the KLA, I didn’t know about it until late. When I found out that he was in the KLA, I was always worried about them, because I didn’t know how they were doing. Since the brother is in uniform, the family is always at risk.
BK: And what happened now after you went to Macedonia? Did you stay in Macedonia when you returned to Kosovo?
SAK: We stayed for a month in Macedonia, in Stankovac, we had a good time, then it came to us as an invitation, they wanted to take us to Norway. We were in Glogovac for a month, in Stankovac for a month, then we went to Norway. We stayed there until Kosovo was liberated. I mean until June 12, when we found out … then while the procedures were being prepared there in Norway, we returned immediately afterwards.
BK: How do you remember the return?
SAK: When we first got the news that Kosovo was liberated, we celebrated as if we were in Kosovo. If you only saw the reactions of the people, _____ a man from Pristina, broke the living table, so much because of emotions that he did not restrain himself. Even when we returned to Kosovo, although it was completely destroyed, from the airport to Lipjan, you had nothing to see, it was completely destroyed. But it seems to me like one word, paradise or paradise that we use. No matter what your country is like, there is nothing to pay for … that Norway was a real paradise, they welcomed us very well, but not with our country. I mean the same when we came back, we started all over again. The apartment was completely ruined, what we had: clothes and so on, a set of furniture, with the pictures we had on the walls, to the cradle, everything was broken. We started from the beginning, but compared to the fact that we saved ourselves, as well as the family of my husband and children, … it is something that cannot be compared to someone’s life. We started from scratch.
BK: Even today, when you get up and think, what effect did all these events that happened to you and your family have on our personality? What effect do they have on everyday life?
SAK: The effect now is that I appreciate freedom a lot, regardless of our economic situation, the main thing is that now that the child goes out, I am not afraid that something will happen to a Serbian militant, a neighbor. That is the most important thing, Freedom. Regardless of the economic situation.
BK: Thank you.
SAK: Thank you.