Abdullah Zeneli

Pristina | Date: May 15, 2018 | Duration: 92 minutes

Then we had big crowds in our cinemas. You know, Cinema Rinia, Cinema Vllaznimi and Cinema of People’s Army, known as APJ […] The Cinema Vllaznimi was where ABC is today. Rinia Cinema is here {shows with hands} facing Qafa. While APJ is where UNMIK used to be. Recently, I think it was reopened. It was by chance that I was there and I saw some people, and I was really glad. I remember that cinema very well. And sometimes they held… we went there for various brasswind concerts, instruments… and different theatre plays. As a child, I followed theatre plays. I loved it very much. […] The best world plays were staged. At that time the adventures of the Indians [Native Americans] were interesting. For example, it was Winnetou.  We not only watched Winnetou on film, but it was also staged in the theatre. I also remember something very interesting from that time period. For example, as I was walking one day I saw the commercial announcing Tartuffe [The Impostor] in the theatre, it was 1962, I was eleven years old then. I went and bought the ticket, and went to see the play. I was very interested in Molière’s Tartuffe, seventeenth century, mid-seventeenth century… That long hair of {touches his hair}, you know, French aristocrats. And to me it was an entirely new world, very interesting. Perhaps it has to do with that time, also the Beatles, and I had an admiration for long hair and since then I have long hair (smiles).


Aurela Kadriu (Interviewer), Donjetë Berisha (Camera)

Abdullah Zeneli was born on March 25, 1952 in the village of Sibovc, Podujevo. He studied mathematics at the University of Pristina in 1971. Two years later, he started working for Rilindja and was in charge of book sales. In 1979, he finished his studies in Albanian Language and Literature at the University of Pristina and worked for Rilindja until he founded his own publishing house Buzuku in 1990, where he still works. Zeneli has published many poetry books  and novels, among which are Gryka e Drinit [The Drini Canyon], Odiseu i Bjeshkëve të Nemuna [The Odyssey of the Cursed Mountains], Nëna lutet për ne [Mother Prays For Us], Luleshkronjat and Vetmia e Mermertë [The Rigid Loneliness].