Stories of members of families of missing persons from the last war in Kosovo (1)

Interview with: Fetije Mirena | Photo: Korab Krasniqi

“His whole foot is missing”

In the evening of 21 April 1999 in Fushë Kosova the train unloaded a group of paramilitaries who came from Serbia. They were dressed in black, armed and with masks, entered in the houses where lived different members of wide family Mirena, from whom they gather not less than sixteen men – brothers, uncles’ sons and their sons.    

The remaining women with children got terrorized by their Serbian neighbors, forcing them to leave their country. The houses got robbed and later burnt. The remained with four children, Fetije Mirena, a wife of Nezir who was kidnapped that day, tells her many sufferings during and after the war.    

In 2006 the remaining of Nezir and all other kidnapped men were found in Serbia. Their burials do not cover the tragedy of this family.  

Fetije Mirena: Narration in first person

My name is Fetije Mirena, I am born in village Trovc of Vushtrri in e very good family. I have had my father, mother, two brothers and we have been four sisters. Primary school I have completed in Strovc. I could not go on in secondary because parents did not allow females to go to school. It was so before in villages. I wanted like all others to go but the circumstances were so, we couldn’t. Our village was there close to Prelluzha with Serbs. In Vushtrri we had no road to travel as females. We had to go on foot for one hour up to the train there in Prelluzhe, and a group of young ladies, they did not let us. I have completed the exercise in Mitrovica. Serbs called us for exercise, I was for six weeks in Mitrovica, they have taken us to Shipol and then in villages.    

Even though I did not go to school, we were many cousins who had good relations, we went down to other neighbours, and we have had a very healthy family. We were around seven-eight young girls of same age that weren’t allowed to go to school, however after our time things have changed and my sisters went to school. It was good, we went to other friends, weddings. We have had good time in our village.   

I got engaged with Nezir Mirena. My father knew his family a bit. My auntie was married in his family in Hade. Family of my husband were displaced to Fushë Kosova long time ago. I met my husband at my auntie but when we got engaged, he wasn’t here. He was soldier in Pozharevac of Serbia, I think. We were engaged for one year. Seven months after our engagement he came back from army and after three months we got married.   

At my father I have arranged my wedding ceremony, lunch and everything. We have invited men, women, and the ceremony was nicely done. The wedding guests came to pick me up with cars, bus, there were many guests. They are of very good family, all were educated. When I came at my husband’s, they welcomed me. It was Sunday when I got married, on Monday as our tradition requires, we have had a ladies’ day, and we gathered and had fun. The day I got married it was 28 September 1986. In ’87 my son was born, on 10 September, just before I had one year of marriage. After two years of my first son, my daughter was born. The other daughter after six year and the other son after two years of my little daughter. It means I have two daughters and two sons. 

We have had a Serbian neighbour who had a son after seven daughters. I was owning a cow and he used to come and take milk from us. He said: “I don’t want to change the milk for my son, I am always taking from you.” Once my father was here, may his soul rest in peace, that Serb came and he said: “what did he want in your yard?” I replied: “Father, he comes to take the milk for his son.” He said: “listen to your father I am giving you a word: you should never trust to e Serb. You feed with your own bread and at the end he comes and kills you like a thunderstorm. Keep these words in mind.” I kept these words even though I was young, but I never thought in this way. 

After, when we took our children to the doctor, the hospitality by Serbian doctors in Fushe Kosova was very bad, humiliating us. How do you carry children like that, you have no conditions, this and that? Seven days before the war started in Jashari family, my father-in-law died, and four days before the condolences period we had to quit that ceremony because many people were incoming and Serbs notices why there are many cars at our house. The railway is close, they were coming Serbs from Belgrade, the wagons were full of people pointing with three fingers, and we had to quit the condolences time because we were afraid.   

All our men used to work in KEK, in-laws, my husband and all. Four days before they have taken our husbands, a house of an uncle is at the beginning of the neighbourhood, the Serbian neighbours entered in his house and forced to lay down and told: “You have to give everything you have money and gold or we are taking Fatlum.” The only son. There was a brother who had no children whereas the other one had two sons and a daughter, and the one that have taken the only son. And them everything had in both houses, three women have given all the gold they had and money just to let the son free. I have seen these Serbs later running, their heads were completely shaved and with crosses. They were without masks, civil. Since that happened, we have said to our men “Let’s go!” Where to go? Whole Fushë Kosova was full, you could not go and buy anything, neither cigarette, and we did not dare.  

They did not go to KEK anymore, they couldn’t go to work because they killed son of our uncle on 24 March ’99. He was working for Social Institution in Prishtina. My little son was very sick. We were coming back from health centre and told to my husband that we need to buy flour because the crises already started. A Serbian lady approached to my husband and me: “Take the child and run, run, run!” my husband was very insisting and said: “Why should I run? What did I do? I went to the shop!” there was a big shop at the train station, I said: “I want to take some flour, why should I run?” she said “I am saying as to my brother, take your wife and child and run home.” He was very insisting and I said, “Let’s take the son and go!”        

When we reached here, just before we entered, we have heard three shootings. My husband’s brother came and said: “They killed somebody. Things are going bad.” That uncle’s son came with taxi. They have killed the taxi driver and that cousin. The plaque on his name is there, Mehdi Mirena. There it started and we knew nothing who was killed because didn’t dare to go and see. Around evening I have asked his wife “Did uncle Mehdi came home?” She said “No, I don’t know what happened, he did not come from work.” That night they didn’t dare to go, the next day they woke up before morning went to check and his body and that taxi driver from Fushe Kosova, both of them have been thrown under the bridge. They have taken the car. We have taken the cousin and we have buried him in Kryshevc cemetery. From that event we have tried to open the ceremony for condolences, but it was impossible. NATO attacked the same night that they were killed but we couldn’t. We started that ceremony, people started coming but Serbs from train were shouting: “Serbia, Serbia, and Serbia.” We quit.    

After one month they came and have taken our men. It was 21 April ’99, I will never forget. I went together with my husband to milk the cow that day. The dog was on leash there and I was coming, he remained behind me to take care for it, because he was at work but for a month no one could go. The well was in our yard and I put the bucket with milk close to the well, suddenly I saw the railway was completely black. Two trucks stopped on the other side of the railway, they landed, they all were dressed in black and with masks, and each of them was holding a green ribbon on the arm. I shouted to my husband and said “the railway is dark and I don’t know what they are.” They were laying on that side, they were just raising their head up. And I said: “I run to the children, you run where ever you can, don’t go inside.” He insisted “No, I will never leave my children here.” And we went inside.    

They shot from the railway. My brother-in-law wasn’t hearing well. I remember, they said “Stop”, he didn’t. He did not hear well and they shot from the railway and wounded him here on the yard. They entered in the uncle’s house from that side. They have taken two of his sons, they were three and one sister because their parents went to Germany. From there they went and got my oldest brother-in-law, Nazif. His wife was taking shower to their children. It was evening, 7 and a half in the evening. Nazif was wounded and they caught him. They caught also the other brother-in-law Hakif. He came in here: “Nezir, come out because they came just to see if we are refugees or we are in our homes.” The second floor of our house was not completely arranged and I said “go up there!” he said “No!” My oldest son was 11. He said: “I cannot because they will take my son, I better surround myself.”    

They gathered all the men. When they took my husband, that Serb with mask came until here, children were screaming loudly and my husband said to me: “turn the back of the children this way.” When we saw the brother-in-law wounded, just before the Serbs came in, my husbanded fainted, I run to sparkle with water, children were screaming. When he stood up, the Serbs have taken him and brought him inside and they took him out again. Hakif came. The Serb said: “Let’s go out!” He replied: “With wife and kids?” he said: “No, we are gathering only men.” The sons started to run after him: “Daddy, daddy.” I just grabbed my son from hand and brought him inside. He was saying to me: “Take the son away from me.”     

Latter my daughter Enchilada grabbed her father from leg, she was screaming and screaming. Serbs grabbed her by force. I was saying to her: “Come honey, let’s go inside because they are just going to question your father and will come back.” She was grabbing him up to the stairs. It was hard to take her from her father. That Serb told to my daughter “ne boj se” – (don’t be afraid), fondling her hair. There they have taken the sixteen man from our neighbourhood and lined up. I took my little son outside allegedly for toilette just to see. They were around twenty people, but I didn’t understand Serbian what they were saying.       

Son of brother-in-law, Safet, was 16, he used to sell cigarettes and he spoke Serbian and he was the seventeenth in line. They put them behind the railway and his father Hakif shout on them “turn him back because he is a child and he knows nothing.” The young boy knew Serbian. I have seen from window that Safet was coming back. But when he came, he was lost crying loudly, said: “I hear everything what they said: “don’t turn your head otherwise we shoot you immediately.”  

The night fall, we gathered in my house all together with my sisters-in-law. We were waiting their return but nothing. Children were screaming and we were trying to calm them down. To tell you the truth that night I pushed down my daughter Gentiana from the bed because of the nervousness. Our men did not come back that night.     

And old lady, who died, together with my sister-in-law from Kaçanik went to a Serb to ask. They were close to us. “Please, we have been neighbours forever and we had good relations, can you tell us where they took them?” they have taken four sons of that old lady. That Mehdi was killed earlier and other three were taken that day. When they came back, they told what that Serb has told to them: “You take your children and go to Albania because you have nothing here, we don’t know who took your men.” They said: “you, as our neighbours can go at police station at least to know where they have taken them. Did they kill them or where have they taken? But no, the old lady came back crying.       

At 3 o’clock, a Serbian neighbour holding a gun on his belt came in and said: “take your children because you have no men anymore! Go to Albanian or Macedonia, wherever you want!” he was our neighbour. Then all of us, women and young girls. To young girls we put kerchiefs on their heads because the train station was full of people. The station is not far from us; 15-20 min on foot. One of the young girls took one of my children another one of my in-laws to look like ladies and not as girls, to protect from Serbs. We left and went to the train station. When we went, a civil Serb with an automatic on arm approached and said: “Why did you come here?” my sister-in-law replied: “we are going because they expelled us from our houses.” He said: “you can’t go anywhere tonight. Go away because there is not train for Skopje or anywhere.  Take your children and don’t stay here as tonight NATO is going to attack the station.”       

We stayed there for three hours in betony together with children waiting for the train but nothing. After another one came and said: “I know you. Take your children because tonight here they are going to slaughter you together with your children.” We took the children and went back home. When we came home it was a mess. Our neighbours Serbian and Roma have broken doors and windows, have taken TVs, stoves, everything they could find in our property. For three hours they have emptied the neighbourhood.    

The children were screaming. My mother-in-law was still alive, she was grieving. The sister-in-law prepared some food for her. My youngest son was three, he started crying and I put in the cradle. While I was cradling someone said that “A car arrive.” my son woke up. Zoran together with his son has taken the car of uncle’s son. He was wearing a suit and an automatic on his arm, his son with bucket of fuel on his hand. My four children, sister-in-law Shemsie with three sons, Safet who survived from first group, two other young boys and I lined up us all to wall of the annex of the old house. And he said: “You have survived from all others?” only he remained, young boy of age 16. He said: “you have nothing here anymore. Why didn’t you go to Albania? You love Albania. Go to Albania.”   " 

They lined up us all, me and sister in law, this Safete and wanted to kill us. I have shouted: “auntie Shema take your children close to you.” I have taken all four of my children and said to him: “kill me together with my children. I will never leave my children with you to play with them, and after dogs to eat us across the fields.” He said: “Take the children away!” I said: “I will never!” But suddenly I weakened, I sat down to avoid falling and said to my children “stay here close to your mother!” they were loudly screaming. The sister-in-law from Kaçanik went out from her corridor, the one who was preparing food for mother-in-law and her child, and in Serbian said to Zoran: “you should be ashamed, you are our neighbours, and we grow up here together and now coming to burn children and women.”   

He returned, removed the automatic from arm and his son said: “Take your children for a minute and go where ever you want.” I have had a cow in the stable, sister-in-law brought two cows from across the railway because she was afraid to keep them there. I went inside, I thought my children escaped to continue through meadows that lead to Kryshevc. I was totally lost; I thought my son is in the cradle. I took the empty cradle and when I went out the Serb told me “put the cradle down and go and unleash thee cows, take them outside.” When I went in the Serb pulled out a big knife and said to me: “unleash them.” “Don’t you see that I cannot” I said, because they were jumping. He said: “Get out!” I lost completely thinking “Now he is going to cut my head and leave me here.”    

The dog was barking all the time. He pulled the automatic and shot the dog in the hovel. I saved the dog’s leash. Children started to shout because they thought that their mother is killed. He said: “Get out!” he went and cut the leash of the cows with that knife and cows went out in the meadows. All the ladies run but a daughter-in-law of a brother-in-law came back, and I said: “Stay with me because I am going crazy.” He didn’t let me go. I said: “I am going crazy because I don’t know where my children went.” In such cases you lose your mind. He told me: “you go!” we didn’t look back anymore and when I went out I just grabbed the cradle because I thought that my son was in. Then I saw my daughter, she was 8 and half, was holding my son on her back and said to me “mum come because I have the brother.” I dropped down the cradle.     

That night we went to Kryshevc, and there we stayed for five days, they were barely sheltering us. They said: “we don’t dare to have refugees.” We came back and took care for houses hoping that they are releasing our men. We came back twice and entered carefully.    

My husband’s uncle was left alone at home because he was paralyzed, and his daughters-in-law could not carry him. When we came on the next day, they brought that uncle to the house of Mehdi Mirena, placed in a living room, undressed him completely. Serbs and Roma’s brought the dog inside with him. The dog didn’t touch him because it was a home dog. When his daughter opened the door, the dog jumped on her. When she saw her father like that, she got terrified. She was 19. She screamed very loudly and we run after her. They let the uncle like that intentionally to be bitten by dog, closed the door with purpose that when dogs get hungry to eat him. He was confused, just saying “Aaauuuuu” as he could not talk, he was paralyzed and unmovable.      

We covered him with a blanket, but we could not find anything to carry him out because he was big. We went out to search for any handcart. We found and put the uncle on it and took to Kryshevc. Kryshevc is close. We have stayed there for other two days. They: “We wouldn’t like to house refugees because police from Obiliq are coming at our homes also.”  

One morning we decided to leave. The train was coming from Belgrade, we got in the train and went to Bllaca. When we reached there, we were dropped down by Serbian soldiers or I don’t know what they were. They forced us together with children to walk through some garbage. A lady there gave me two breads and some cheese to take with me as she said: “Children will starve”.   

My hand was swollen because the son was little, the other daughter five, another son was ten and half and the other daughter eight and a half. It was difficult with four children because no one could help you, everybody was looking to save their selves. I had to carry some clothes for four children. While walking on the garbage, a piece of glass crammed into foot of my son. He started “Ouch mother! I replied “Walk, don’t talk! Just walk and don’t talk!” I have pulled out that glass after six months in Prishtina, when we came back. I didn’t know while we were there because my son didn’t mention anymore.     

So we went like animals, we have waited and they crossed us to Stankovec. We were waiting for any news from our husbands but nothing. Some who were released from prisons were coming but for ours nothing. In Stankovec we stayed for two months, until June. I was asked to go to Australia together with my children but children were very young, I was afraid then. It was a time when we women were not so much civilized because to whom I mentioned this, used to say “Australia is far from Europe, you go there and will be lost together with your children.” Children were very young. When you have no men close to you is different. Some of my sisters-in-law went to Germany to their sons but we remained lost. I refused to go to Australia and I had to come back.   

When we came back, it was a mess. The house was abounded. Even the taps were broken, it was completely burnt. Two years ago, we entered to live in that year but it was burned to ashes.  Even the other house was burnt and after we have destroyed that house. When we came back from Stankovec the grass was grown to two meters and children could not go in there.     

I had no place to go and I was told: “We are taking to some place to Germia.” I told them that my brother-in-law is in Dardania and “take me there” because I did not know where to go. I went at my brother-in-law, he was there with his family, two other sisters-in-law with their children who were returned before me. I stayed there for 2-3 days and I told to my brother-in-law, only he survived, “I want to go and see the house.” He said, “You don’t have to go.” I replied, “I want to go because my oldest son is insisting”. There was no place to go, it was like abounded, burnt to ashes, taps were broken and was flood everywhere.       

I went to a cousin, we left from brother-in-law and gave us an apartment, which belonged to a Serb. All three sisters-in-law were living in the same apartment; there with children from three families it was hardly: four of mine, four of Sherife, three of Shemsie, all in an apartment with two rooms. Eleven children and three ladies in one apartment. The son of sister-in-law pushed my little son and the heavy heater felt on him and he fractured his head. We were close to emergency unit. Behind that heater was hidden 7-8 automatic guns but we removed from there and handed over to KFOR. I have taken my son to the emergency unit. They told me “Urgently to the hospital” they have taken him there with their own vehicle and he was shouting: “daddy, daddy.” A doctor there was from Bellaqevc and said: “do you love more your daddy or mummy?” I said: “He does not know where his father is. He has been taken during the war and we don’t know where they have taken him.” He said: “How come you don’t know?” “I am from Bellaqevc and your men, all the sixteen were killed in Pomozotin.” I said: “No way!” than he replied “Yes, how come you don’t know?” I said: “Believe me, we don’t know, maybe my brother-in-law knows, but they did not tell this to us, women.”      

I have taken my son crying and went to Sunny Hill, at my husband’s uncle and asked: “Uncle Kamer, do you know if our husbands are killed or they are alive?” I have told what the doctor has told me, that one who treated my son. He said: “A work permission of Elmi was found. Around 16-17 graves were found in Pomozotin. Some signs are found but we don’t to tell you because we don’t know exactly, and we don’t want to upset you.” He said: “this was a war; you never know they might be alive.” As I was young, I trusted him, I was 30 that time. I trusted him.    

A mother in-law came, and I said: “See if there is any apartment available until I reconstruct my house at least, because I have no other place to go with my children.” She said to me: “Just tell me if you can because a Serb has abounded his apartment and you can come in it.” I replied: “How is possible a lady to usurp an apartment on her own?” Two people from KLA came and they arranged. There were two apartments, but they break a door of one and placed me in there with my children.”    

I entered there but some neighbours have told to the Serb in Belgrade. The next day the lady came and said to me: “what do you want here? I didn’t kill anyone neither…” I said: “I know that you haven’t kill my husband, but I have no place to stay, I am homeless.” The Serbian lady came together with KFOR just to pull me out. “Get out” she said. I said: “I have no place to go, I am not touching you and you don’t touch me. I have no place to take four of my children just to sleep on the street.” I said: “I am not usurping forever neither taking but it is temporary solution. Your apartment is here, you will come again in it, and I am not taking it forever. My purpose is to shelter myself and children because I don’t know where my husband is.”    

That night the Serbian lady slept in the other room. She did not sleep all night, me neither. The kitchen was full of knives, I was afraid that she will wake up during the night and stab my children. The neighbour had informed her, not because her husband was abroad, but the purpose of the Albanians was to take that apartment. The Serbian lady slept overnight and next day another Serbian lady came, who was married to an Albanian, who she spoke Albanian clearly and was translating for me. I said: “my intention is not to buy neither to live here, because things that don’t belong to me will never be mine.” I said I have my house, my land but I have no place to go because everything is burnt. I don’t have my husband and I said that I don’t have any help from anyone. Both of my brothers in Albania, none of them were here. I said none who could help me did not survive and I said: “as soon as you have any chance to sell your apartment you can sell it because I might reconstruct my house and make a solution. Somebody will help me.” The other lady said to her: “Let this lady live in it because I am here, and I will see what she does.” And since KFOR came with her have told that the next day will take to a place where they take women and children. The next day when KFOR came the Serbian lady told to them “I am going to Belgrade, let this lady live here but don’t you dare to sell it.” I said: “I am giving my word that I will only shelter myself with my children here until I make a solution with my house.”     

The Serbian lady left and after a week she came back with her men. She has taken a truck and took all of her things, she took everything. When she left from there, one of my brothers helped her to lift all the items down, and I said: “Let her take all because we can sleep in mattresses just to have a shelter somewhere.” I had no stove, nor heating plate or anything where I could cook for my children. KFOR stayed there until thy removed all the items and then KFOR told me that: “They are going to bring all the items and you stay here. I signed to KFOR that I am not going to usurp the apartment, I will use it as shelter with my children.  

The Serbian lady has left the key at one of her neighbours whom she worked together in Graçanica. The Serbian left and later KFOR brought me mattresses, some quilts, dishes, forks, spoons, knives and some food. KFOR used to come often and they brought a bag of toys for my children.  

The next day as soon as I put two of my children to sleep at midday, it was June, two men knocked on the door and said: “Mam, why did you enter in this apartment? I said: “because I have no place to live, I was out in the street with my children and the Serbian lady in accordance with KFOR allowed me.” He said: “Do you know that this apartment is ours?” I said: “No, I don’t”. He said: “look the key!” he put the key in the door and said: “you see the key. This is ours.” My son was sleeping, the other three went out to play in front of the building. I put my hand on the door to push them go out. He: “sister takes the hands off because we are going to cut your hands.” I said: “Cut them but I am not going to leave. My son is inside sleeping.” He said: “we are going to give you your son.” I said: “Now I am going to call KFOR because they give me their number.” He said: this apartment is ours, you are in wrong apartment.” I said: “I know I am in someone else’s apartment.” Both of the men pushed the door and I said to them “you should be ashamed. A lady with four children, instead of helping her you are doing to me this.”     

My brother came. They attacked him, but I said: “You go away. I will deal with them in my own.” They went down the stairs and said: “While we are alive, we are not going to let you here.” They did not come anymore. That neighbour has made up this issue.   

I lived in that apartment until and associating helps me to reconstruct my home. I lived there for two years. I stayed up to June 2001 upon children finished the school because they were enrolled in “Ismail Qemajli” school. My uncle was in Sunny Hill and with an agreement he bought it from the Serbian lady.  The uncle told me: “You stay as long as you want.” However, I reconstructed that floor of my house and children wanted to go back. I also wanted to go back at my home, where my husband left me and children because things that don’t belong to me will never be mine. I returned, we have suffered, poverty, children were all young, school was far away. They went to school walking, on snow and cold. Later, in 2003 I found a job. The salary was low but it helped me a lot because I could take to school my children and I did not beg to anyone. The pension for husband – at the beginning I used to receive 300 DM until we found them and buried. When we found them they gave us this pension. 

The first one to be found was Idriz. They all were in the same group in Batajnica, in Serbia. They have withdrawn from Pomozotin. There we have seen 17 graves, because it was a guest in our family, uncle of these guys. He left his wife with a daughter. They all were found at the same time. They are all buried.  

But they were not completely buried. This was not told to us that are missing… in 2017 they brought an arm of my husband. They have told this only to my brother-in-law and his son. To us, women, no one has told this. I don’t mean that this should have been told to children also. I came back from work and I met a guest of us, Sokol, he received also a part. When they told me this, I felt that whole Kosovo felt on me, it was very hard. I said: “what are you talking about?” I was told: “it was Ahmet Graiçevci, and a remaining of Nezir came. I said: “But we have buried him.” Because we knew that we have buried. I went in my room crying, blood pressure was high, and I told this to my daughter-in-law and daughter. The daughter said: “Yes mum, Ahmet Graiçevci was in our yard.” they did not tell this to children but to my brother-in-law who came from Prishtina. 

My oldest son came back from work in the evening, but I have told to the daughter-in-law: “Don’t you tell him before he eats his dinner!” He was tired; I said “Kushtrim, my son, there were missing some part of your father’s body.” He walked around the dining room for around twenty times saying: “This is not true, this is not true.” I told him the Ahmet Graiçevci was at our yard. “You are guilty. You did not let me to see the body!” we hardly have seen the body because you had nothing to see, bones only. But they did not let the boy because he was 19 that time. He was saying: “The house remained on women. You did not know, that is not body of my father.” He was shouting and crying “Where did I go, to whom I have paid courtesy, it was not the grave of my father at all.” I said: “Honey, I will call now Ahmet Graiçevci because you are driving me crazy. When a coffin of your father arrived, I identified his clothes.” I did not recognize his bones but all the clothes in front of his coffin were his. Inside were bones. I did recognize all of my husband’s clothes.    

My husband was killed with seven bullets, as is written in the papers. One on head, one on arm and one on heart. The sweater had several holes but not down, the sport trousers and jeans that he had. We were keeping things ready to leave. Underneath he had a pair of sport pants and had a zipper inside where he kept 100 DM to have in any case. They found that pocket and took the money.  

The body was found in 2006 but the part of the arm arrived in 2017. We did not know, and I immediately have phoned my brother-in-law. He said: “Yes, it’s not complete.” I said: “You should have told to us women at least to prepare our children.” Now my son is 31 years old. When he became 20 or 23, I would have told him because I am today, but I may not be the next day. Why children to be surprised and think that “Mother did not tell us.” I phone the son of my brother-in-law and said: “to Veton just came six months ago but I did not make it big and Red Cross have issued there.” I said “You should have made it a big deal because if only a finger is missing is yours. Why should we leave it to Serbia?” I want to bring his remaining and have the whole body.” My son was completely mad, he was insisting “I am going to take the body out and make the analyses on my own, once more.” My son gave blood twice for analyses, the daughter, mother-in-law and sisters.     

When they found the arm, I was invited and went there to sign and met Teuta, who works for UNMIK. She said to me: “Talk to you children because it might happen that after seventy years to be found another remaining and you can bring your son at us.” I have told to my son “to go to Red Cross.” He went there told “I want to know everything” they have told that those are all bones of your father because this was verified through analyses, but some bones were mixed. The son was calmed little bit. Now complete foot is missing and two of his knees’ covers. The arm was buried with other bones. The Red Cross came and did with their tools. I have signed at the municipality. But the knees’ cover may not be found, as Red Cross said to us. But for the foot I have told to my son, of course because he is his father and my husband, and we should know.        

My husband was very good man, wise and lovely, for his children and wife, and for his close family. Once my daughter was hospitalized in Belgrade because of an infection in intestine, when she was still a baby. We were so happy when doctor told us that she is very well, and we had to come back home. When we came home our sisters-in-law cooked a dinner. Whole family of my husband was happy family. I considered my brothers-in-law like my own brothers, they were very good, they were educated, with culture, they never insulted me, I could never complain.   

I will never forget our last moments, I have had pie with spinach for lunch – since then I don’t like it anymore, we have eaten it for lunch, but he again said: “Oh my God I am so hungry.” I said: “I am going to milk the cow and we go and eat dinner. This is our last conversation we have had in the yard. When we entered inside, I don’t remember any words of him.    

He could not eat that night anymore. Since that day I cannot eat pie with spinach anymore, I just make it for my children, as I feel sorry, he could not eat his last dinner in his house.  

Sometimes I dream him, but he just turns his back and tells me: “Stay there, you are fine!” he says to me only these words. When I talk to my colleagues, they say to me “it means stay as you are fine, take care for your children.” But I cannot know. A night before our men were taken, my oldest son has dreamed and when he woke up said: “I have dreamed that they are going to slaughter us like at Adem Jashari.” I told this to my husband, and he said: “It’s good to leave from here somehow.” We remained her, only this neighbourhood. When I went to the brother-in-law I said: “Kushtrim dreamed” he replied, “Leave it he is only a child.” Whatever children dreams that becomes reality, as they came in the evening and have taken our men. 

My message is to find all the killed persons and not to forgive this to Serbia before finding them, because Serbia knows all who killed our people. If sixteen potatoes get spoiled, you will be without lunch and let alone sixteen men.    

The tax is very good, we agree with Ramush. Let the Serbia tells who have killed them, one by one, because it knows, let confront this people and when they get the punishment we will agree for our children, grandchildren to have a better life. But currently we would not like and there is no need that Hashim, Ramush either Fatmir Lima or anyone else to give land to Serbia. Serbia has taken a lot from Kosovo. I don’t know what is requesting more. They left women with small children to suffer, children aren’t going forward.    

Because our children are with traumas. Hashim did not say any word and never came to visit for anniversaries. We all know what happened to Jashari family, there is nothing worse, but they never remembered the orphans, they never had advantages for schools, faculties neither jobs.  

All men were working in KEK. None of our children is hired in KEK to work in their parents’ places, at least to have jobs in state institutions. This is my wish, let our politicians know what they are doing, let them take the wish of the fallen people as they shed blood for this freedom that today they are enjoying, and our children are suffering. 

(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) 

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