Halil Kajtazi

Pristina | Date: May 21, 2016 | Duration: 94 minutes

Eh, I remember a case. When I began to write down the stories in my oda [men’s chamber], an imam from Pedalishte, he was known as Mulla Qamil of Gjakova, he was an imam [at the time] of Ramadan. These guys asked him, ‘Mulla Qamil, is it a sin to give to this boy, he wants the folk tales, songs, and these…’ ‘No, no…’ He said. He would speak as if through the nose. ‘No, no, it’s not a sin. Give them to the schooled people, they need it’. They felt a bit liberated when the imam said that.

Abit Hoxha (Interviewer), Anna Di Lellio (Interviewer), Noar Sahiti (Camera)

Halil Kajtazi (1935-2018) was born in the village of Vitak, Skenderaj. In his early youth, he became a teacher for many villages of Drenica. Kajtazi is one of the most passionate collectors of Drenica’s folklore and that of other regions. His most monumental work Drenica’s Folk Prose uses the spoken language of the Drenica region, and it is one of the best of its kind. Kajtazi was a novelist, essayist and storyteller. He left behind many published books and manuscripts.