The gathering in Pleshina: Seventh Story

Raif Musa and Valdete Bajrami Musa

This is the seventh story in a series of ten stories about the 1990 Reconciliation of Blood Feuds Movement. The tellers are Raif Musa and Valdete Bajrami Musa, husband and wife, information technology professionals from Ferizaj, who were activists of the Movement.

Musli Avdyli holding the camera, Pleshine village, 1990;

The Gathering in Pleshina, 1990. Photo Credits: Lala Meredith – Vula

The organizing we did in Pleshina, thanks to the people from the village, the members of the LDK leadership of that time, is very interesting. And we worked, for three days we… we prepared how and where would the gathering take place, and how to organize it in a way that no one would interrupt us, and the police would not understand that we were holding the gathering. And we held it in a place up there, maybe you watched the video , it is up, very far from the village. Professors and people from the village left all the cars that came from Pristina in their yards, and the police came to  the village,  to the place where there was the school, and they saw, because they had been informed, when they came, they saw it was calm, there was nothing. Then they went back. There  were 10.000 of us there, but we had our security  and everything else, it was organized even though not with telephones like now.

Tubimi i pajtimit në fsh.Greme

The photograph is from Raif and Valdete home archive.

We had the path through which we were supposed to take the professors out of the gathering in order for the police not to take us, we were not worried about ourselves, but at the same time, we acted here in the same way. Professor Ismail Hasani, Shefki Hasani and Selatin Sheqiri are three persons who constantly helped us, we…it was not easy for them either, to put their job  and family in danger, but we always aimed to protect them. Otherwise, in the gatherings here and there we always planned to challenge ourselves, to become their armor, to take it over, “This was done by  me, I did it.” That way, maybe because we were younger, a little younger and we didn’t have [fear]  in that sense, we didn’t know fear. [A professor] has a family, a position, it is a little different. We were not a factor in that sense, we weren’t engaged in politics at all compared to them, they were differently [engaged].

Lutfi Bajraktari e mban atin që e shalon profesori

As described in the sekction below, Anton Çetta is on the horse on the way to Krojet e Pajtimit. Photo Credits: Lala Meredith – Vula

I mean, we understood that the police came, someone came and told us because there was such [collaborative] attitude, and we put the professor [Anton Cetta] on a  horse and sent him up because the cliff was very steep  and it was difficult for the professor to make the road to the Krojet e Pajtimit [Pajtimi Springs] on foot, that place is still called Krojet e Pajtimit, the way it was named after this event back then. It is located somewhere over the village of Pleshina e Epërme [Upper Pleshina], there are eleven springs in that place, it is a very nice  place. […]

We usually finished the bloods [reconciliation] earlier, I mean they forgave the blood to us and we took notes and said, “When we organize the gathering, will you be part of it?” We took their confirmation and said, “We will notify you.” And of course, for those who didn’t want to, we just took notes. It was the same here in the village of Pleshina, I mean, those bloods [reconciliations] were done, forgiven. But we wanted to honor them with the presence of the professor, with the presence of the professor plus the crowd, in order to make  the  forgiveness of  blood  more interesting so that its echo would influence others, that is why we always tended to make them public and so on, in order to create an echo for the others.

The gathering in the village of Pleshina went well, professor Anton Çetta spoke, Prof. Dr. Drita Statovci spoke, Member of the Academy  Mark Krasniqi spoke, Don Lush Gjergji spoke, hoxha [Idriz] Kokrruki, the wife of hoxha Kokrruki, Fatime Kokrruki, Maya Fisch spoke, she was a BBC journalist whom Lala Vula brought, and she spoke in her language, she could speak two-three words in Albanian. And then, I mentioned Lush Gjergji spoke, Mulla Xhevat Kryeziu spoke, they didn’t participate in the family….Anyway, professor Ismail spoke  on behalf of the Council [for Human Rights], and I called the ones who were supposed to reconcile.

Tubimi i parë i pajtimit në fsh.Greme1

The photograph is from Raif and Valdete home archive.

And after the gathering we went to the Bajraktari family, to the one who forgave the very difficult blood, he served a dinner to commemorate it, you know. The professors always mentioned that family when they were still alive, their glorious hospitality,  and they stayed there until sometime around  11PM, that’s what  we agreed in order to avoid the police control. And then, they went by car, I mean, with escorts, we escorted them, one car of professors, two cars. They were organized like an army, maybe we didn’t know much about strategy, maybe I didn’t know back then what I know now, but I was younger. It was good, you know, it went well, and there were also three-four cameras recording it, there were many photographs.