Adem Grabovci: We continuously took part, we mobilized, people voluntarily responded with excavators and other equipment, but also with physical [labor], for the leveling and adjusting of the terrain. Once, when we went, it was everyone from the original nucleus, and almost all of us were former prisoners. And by fate, by coincidence, we had been convicted by the presidents of the same prosecution body or we had the same prosecutor, Ukë Muqa, who was from the same village. And there he comes, I am not certain whether it was Salih or someone else, he tells us, “Ukë Muqa is asking to meet you, if you allow it.” And we responded, we said, “Personally we didn’t have anything with Ukë Muqa.” And then, we made it clear and we make it clear even today: our commitment is for the good of the country’s liberation. Therefore if he was able to understand his mistakes and wants to rank on our side, on the side of the people, he can freely come and give his contribution. And so he came, naturally feeling guilty, which was normal. And we accepted and talked to him, but we continued our work.
At the same time we met a few days in a row, we talked and we shared our responsibilities, each one role. For us, the most adequate person for leading the gathering was Jashar Salihi. And Jashar Salihi, together with Hava, were the leaders. The rest of us, we dealt with our organizational work, it was a huge crowd, there were a lot of policemen, mobilized, they made maximal attempts to hinder the attendance, which was natural. But it was impossible to prevent that, because people were flowing from all corners and found alternate paths. And they arrived there. And there, the majestic happened, when the hand of reconciliation was stretched, when people emerged directly from the crowd even voluntarily, those we weren’t able to visit, to ask for the hand of reconciliation, and they came voluntarily to stretch the hand of reconciliation. And they indeed gave power to that gathering, hence empowering our Movement for Reconciliation.
After that gathering, there were waves of arrests. Myrvete Dreshaj and I were forced, we were assigned with the task to go to the Macedonian part. There was a gathering, apart from rallies already being held in Tetova, Kërçova, and various locations, in the municipality of Gostivar, we were invited by Reconciliation Councils. And we wanted to slightly avoid the territory of Kosovo because we were a target by then. And we went to Çegran in Gostivar, whereas a majestic gathering was held, and a large number of reconciliations took place. And at the last moment, they attempted to arrest us. However, we spotted them thanks to our friends who operated within the Reconciliation Councils. And at the last moment, they pulled us out and disguised us. And so we escaped this arrest. Also the Reconciliation Councils operated in many western states, all the way to America, where they gave a great contribution.
While organizing the reconciliation rallies, after a while, we were threatened with arrests, to stop us. But what is very important to stress [here] is that there was no discontinuation of our activity, and while some started to withdraw, professor Anton and professor Zekeria never left us. At the gathering in Verrat e Llukës, with professor Zekeria, considering we were attacked by an armored vehicle, the police, a large number, and they attempted to break the crowd with the tank, I remember when we came out together with a few boys, it was Xhemajl Fetahu, and we bumped into a tank. But professor Zekeria Cana joined us and never left. And the whole front part of the tank, the armored vehicle, stopped on our bodies. And we were determined not to withdraw without them driving over our bodies. And professor Zekeria reacted in the harshest possible manner and very rightfully so. We then appealed to the masses to calm down, hence we have avoided a catastrophe that could have turned into and end up in multiple deaths.
Professor Anton and professor Zekeria have the greatest merits for the mass mobilization of the Movement for Blood Feuds Reconciliation. They were people who simply, if I can say so, were blended with us until the end. They were ready to share every sacrifice with us. In the majority of cases, professor Anton addressed us with words too, because we had another rule: we didn’t allow any of us to undertake the responsibility that, “We have done it!” And at a certain point when professor Anton listened to us during the announcements in front of the media, that it is the youth and we weren’t identified by name, he asks us, says, “Why,” he said, “don’t…” we said, “Professor, this is a student movement, a youth movement. And we don’t want to incite anybody’s feelings, and make anybody feel less worthy than the other. All of us are worthy. Our purpose is only success. Therefore if we get identified now and brag about [the fact] that we are the ones who started this initiative, then it will cause discontent, and it will be very difficult to have all that support and climate we already have.”
And professor Anton spoke to us about the role of the individual. We said, “We have you.” He said, “I am aged. This place needs new faces, new personalities.” We said, “They will emerge in time professor.” Professor Anton not only once, but he is one of the few that always, together with Zekeria, Anton, there are few other too, but mostly professor Anton, in every meeting, in every speech of his, emphasized and explicitly stated that, “I feel very happy for being among the youth, that the initiative is initiated by the young students of Peja, by the political prisoners,” he correctly pointed out, “and we are all supporters.” And this then had an effect, calmed down our souls, but also gave us strength, not only to us, but to the entire student body and citizens of Kosovo.
With these expressions, with this sincerity by professor Anton, we achieved to turn our Movement into a genuine nationwide people’s movement. But we had numerous evidence even from the gathering in Rugova, in Peja, where we held a massive gathering, a massive reconciliation of blood feuds, where our roads were blocked by the police from all sides, and professor Zekeria Cana collected us with his vehicle, he drove himself and we left together. And he didn’t pay attention to the police, nor any danger, and we went together to the venue of the event, where the gathering was being held.
But we have various memories of professor Anton. As per usual, he knew folklore quite well. He had extraordinary anecdotes. But we were slightly reserved, we in the Peja group. He was very open to the Reconciliation Council of Gjakova. And on one occasion, friends from Gjakova told… we organized an evening to hang out, after the gathering held in Smolica I think, somewhere in the vicinity of Gjakova, which was again, quite a massive gathering. And Shefqet Vokshi, Miradije Muriqi, Sylejman Loka, many others there, Ilir Bytyçi, and many other activists said, “Come over tonight and you will see how well we get along with professor Anton. Because you only know one aspect of professor Anton.” So that evening when we got there, and professor Anton didn’t notice us, he felt very free and started with jokes, and at some point, you know, we weren’t used to hear professor Anton talk like that, when we came out and we were laughing, he said, “Obobo, so you are here?” And indeed over there it was a much intimate atmosphere with professor Anton.
In the majority of cases [while] on the road towards more remote villages together with the professor, when there was a case, we were accompanied by professor Anton and visited the same family a few times. There are families which we visited up to 72 times to ask for the hand of reconciliation, until they were persuaded and stretched the hand of reconciliation. But professor Anton did not feel tired, ever. Many times while on the road, in order to save time, we, usually it was the custom that we request the food from the family that asked for reconciliation. And then we took the food in the car and we continued further. And eventually even professor Anton completely agreed with our rules, he accepted them. And he used to say, “I am accepting [them] with great pleasure because I feel young just like you.” Therefore, besides being a professor, and a very good educator, he was a friend, a man who knew how to accommodate all age groups.
Besides his authority, professor Anton had an influence on Zekeria Cana and many others, on the representatives and the international media who were there in large numbers to follow our activities. Because by now this had become a very interesting Movement, a massive one. And it was of interest to everyone to find out what was really happening. But now we had the greatest scholar in the country, professor Anton. We also had a historian with us, professor Zekerija Cana. We had Muhamet Pirraku, Mujë Rugova, Agim Vinca, many other professors who truly helped us with important information that was made public to the world. And thus, I know that the Reconciliation Movement reflected upon many segments of the population.
Also what is quite important is that with the passing of time, we then started, when the Reconciliation Movement started to have a mass mobilization already, because initially it was very necessary to have the most credible people, such as Xhemajl, Skender Çeku, many others, we then started to think about the new organization. Because during the time of the Movement for Reconciliation of Blood Feuds, we faced obstacles during the day, but in the evening hours we moved freely. Even though for some time a curfew was announced, we still moved, and [we] didn’t come across the police anywhere. And we used to say that the night is ours, while the police had the day. And we preferred to move from one place to another even at nighttime. But there comes a need to upgrade to a higher level of organization even in the discussions with the Movement, as at the end of the day the Albanian People’s Movement stood behind us and all of us were part of the People’s Movement.
Erëmirë Krasniqi: Which were the years of reconciliation afterwards?
Adem Grabovci: Yes, the year of reconciliation, we declared it so, it was our decision, “The year ‘90 will be the year of reconciliation.” And by the end of the ‘90s, we foresaw other actions. We had to carry on with mass mobilization and additional actions to maintain and unify it, to connect our people, to create new bridges of friendship, cooperation, introduction. We found another form of solidarity, because we know that in the ‘90s the institutions were all shut down. And we applied a method, a new action as it was called, “One family helps another family.” The purpose was to create bridges of cooperation, bridges of acquaintance, new friendships, that would serve us, and did serve us much later. Let’s say a family from Peja was obliged to help a family from Shala of Bajgora, somewhere in the vicinity of Mitrovica. Or another family from Mitrovica helps a family in Peja. And like this, all the municipalities of Peja and the settlements were connected to one another. And bridges of cooperation were created, and we achieved to successfully awaken and mobilize the masses, that unity.
Then, the second action, which was very well thought out: the identification of a few persons who were ready for further actions, for the last action. Because it was obvious that there is no other alternative without an armed battle. And we considered the organization of watchmen in the villages. We thought back then to have a recruiting mechanism, conditionally said, that will then become units, or armed groups. And one of the guys directly assigned with this task, was the national martyr Xhemajl Fetahi, [who] had the support of Skender Çeku.
There were Isa Balaj and few other guys from the municipality of Peja. And they were assigned the task of recruiting and establishing groups for a joint coordination. We held few meetings in… usually we had a village which was very safe, Radac of Peja. We usually used the mejtep, as the place is called that is used by everyone, so the hoxha provided us with that opportunity. But also the oda belonging to the Bajraktari family, the Gjuraj, and some other families, the Elezaj, who hosted us and we held a few meetings there, where we also had some special talks with more specific groups, where we talked about the manner of organizing the watchmen, whose initial task was to identify movements within the villages.
But with the passing of time, normally this was the greatest danger then, as viewed by Serbia. It had to be operated under great secrecy. And after a while, the majority of these young men posed a threat, like Xhemajl Fetahi, and then the persecution against us started from that point on. Xhemajl was forced to go into exile. Then Hava had to escape too. It was the end of the ‘90s, the beginning of ‘91, where a vast number of us were forced to escape. I was also forced to exile in the west. The purpose was that even over there… we held a few meetings initially, with professor Anton, Zekeria, Murat Bejta, Mujë Rugova, in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France. But some of us were unable to return to Kosovo, hence we were forced to seek asylum there. I sought asylum in Switzerland, and others.
Erëmirë Krasniqi: How long did you stay in Switzerland?
Adem Grabovci: I stayed in Switzerland for seven years, or eight, if you count them as calendar years. But my stay in Switzerland was sporadic, because there were continuous movements en route Switzerland-Kosovo. But different from earlier, when I visited there, I came with different documents, foreign documents. Simply, I visited secretly. I was accomplishing duties that were assigned to me by the organization, by the People’s Movement in Switzerland. And I returned back to the west, where we had the influenced to give a contribution internally, whenever needed, for the organizing of ranks in the Movement, and also preparing for what was ahead of us.
Because there were also special sectors that operated as part of the Movement. The movement made continuous attempts and anticipated that one day should inevitably… the last means will be an armed struggle. Therefore, this was thought through constantly in this direction. The ammunition was continuously brought to Kosovo. One of the people who performed this task with great commitment was Skender Çeku.
The Movement for Blood Feud Reconciliation started in extraordinary circumstances, with the protests. In order to keep the mobilization spirit alive, we found a tool, we thought it, as fair, as humane as possible, also patriotic. If we view it from the human standpoint, there is nothing more humane, more patriotic, than saving people’s lives. So, reconciling blood feuds, stopping the fratricide. Patriotic, there is nothing more patriotic, from the patriotic point of view, than saving people’s lives and mobilizing them, preparing them for the challenges ahead, for the armed struggle. This was our motto: to stretch the hand of reconciliation, the final goal not being to combat this phenomena, but our final goal being the preparation for an armed struggle.
Secondly, the primary motto, we took a decision that the year 1990, respectively the end of ‘89, November-December when we started, and the end of 1990, be the year of blood feuds reconciliation. This Council would not operate once this mandate is over. It started, fortunately in my oda in Peja, in the suburbs. Participants, or initiators were Ibrahim Dreshaj, Have Shala, Lulëzim Etemaj, Myrvete Dreshaj. Guests at my place were also Flamur Gashi, Serbeze Vokshi. It was Bajram Kurti who provided us with extraordinary help, his vehicles, cars, and his brother’s, were at our disposal. Even his brother, a policeman, helped us much in every aspect. Then Lulja, my niece, was a participant, a very devoted activist, who mainly worked with Lulëzim, Myrvete, Ibrahim, and others.
But it was my brother as well, deceased now, who gave us an enormous support also morally. Because he was experienced in the tradition of the oda, he knew it relatively well. And for a moment he addressed us, says, “Walk bravely, because with your goal, you will be successful.” And at a certain point he said, “You also need funds, money. For the time being I don’t have much, but I have the family fund.” At the time it was one thousand and five hundred Deutch Marks that he made available to us. And those were almost the only ones, besides the aid also by the compatriots from Sweden, such as Nasim Haradinaj who sent an amount to us. And other expenses were mainly on voluntary basis. And this year was the year of reconciliation. The end of 1990 was the end of this action. The decision came because, “We will not allow the stretching of the hand of reconciliation in places where there will be a homicide. Because if we continue as a mechanism, we will then turn into destroyers of fraternity. So, we ended it. Since people will think that there is now a mechanism, a Reconciliation Council, and we can kill each other, and they will reconcile us. No!”
But we found other forms, as I said, such as “One family helps another family.” Then it was Reshat Nurboja, who had an idea that we all supported, and Jahja Lluka. And solidarity with the displaced persons that emerged later, at a national level there were volunteers who donated land for those who wanted to return, either from Turkey or other states. And that was a solidarity that had a positive impact. During this period, we also had the most advanced organization at the military level, which was called, “Village watchmen,” but unfortunately this idea was then hijacked from others after the nucleus the competent people in it, were jeopardised, and hence it was distorted.
Also, during the action for reconciliation of blood feuds we had a very important action, the mobilization to declare Kosovo’s Independence, so on July 2, in coordination with President Rugova at the time, and in coordination with deputies of the Kosovo Parliament back then, we were coordinating with Muhamet Bici, I remember when we went to talk with Et’hem Çeku, with Adem Mikullovci, with few deputies and then we talked to Ibrahim Rugova. We requested a number of signatures, which was sort of a referendum. And we used our organization mechanisms spread everywhere in the territory, not only at the municipal level, not only in rural areas, but also in the neighborhoods. And in record time we collected over eight hundred thousand signatures to be delivered to the deputies in the Parliament. That was a referendum, an opportunity created for the deputies, to speak on behalf of the people’s will, because everyone was in favor of the declaration of independence. And this really happened.
We elaborated our idea in front of our dear president Ibrahim Rugova, and this happened in his house. Because initially we met with Ibrahim Rugova almost every two or three days a week, during the reconciliation of blood feuds. And the Reconciliation Councils influenced the establishment and the mass mobilization of the Kosovo Democratic League (LDK), because all these Councils that we had for the reconciliation of blood feuds in municipalities, in villages, in neighborhoods, turned into an organized structure of the Kosovo Democratic League (LDK). And everyone without exception gave his contribution and strengthened it. Because the Democratic League at the time, we were a common front. And we used it in a marvelous way, I believe. And this was the reason why we met regularly with president Rugova.
Then there were few activists who were given concrete tasks. They had been elected mayors in the valley of Dukagjini, but also at the state level, like Shaban Mani who was a distinguished activist in the reconciliation of blood feuds, and a man active in the Illegality too. It was Ramë Berisha who operated in Istog, a distinguished activist, very brave, also at the time of the Illegality, because I had direct contact with him, but he didn’t spare himself in the reconciliation of blood feuds either. There was Nezir Gashi, Mustafë Ademi the doctor, Riza Krasniqi, and many, many, many others who truly had an impact. And our meetings with the president of the Democratic League at the time, Ibrahim Rugova, initially we met in the headquarter of the Democratic League. But with the passing of time, we were suggested to meet in special places, whereas in few cases we met at his place too, in his apartment that used to be in Lakrishte.
The most important meeting for me was when we went with an idea for the declaration of independence. We elaborated it, it was Hava Shala, Et’hem Çeku, Ibrahim, if I am not mistaken Myrvete was there too, five of us, and we elaborated it as an idea, we thought it through. We thought that deputies of that time, being elected by the people conditionally, referring to the signatures, in a sort of referendum, declare the independence. We were aware that the masses, the police, the regime wouldn’t normally be passive. The police would have intervened, but we were ready. Hence, the People’s Movement being the illegal organization of the time, would come to help, and the people, and mostly students, to protect the deputies. And we had foreseen that the army will come to help the police afterwards. And at some point mister Rugova asked us, he said, “What will happen then?” “But there will be killings of course, there will be arrests. Who knows what fate will bring, but this is the price of freedom.” And for a moment he froze and started to think.
However, we know the flow of things. With this I want to say that the Movement for Reconciliation of Blood Feuds wasn’t simply a Movement for reconciliation, but it was a Movement, a general mobilization, that had a generic and multi-folded effect. Once the reconciliation action was over, we were forced to go into exile. After going into exile, I concluded and clearly determined, “I will not stay in the western world.” Because, even while in prison, I was offered to escape by the police itself, to become a fugitive, but I saw staying in Kosovo as necessary and immediate. But after leaving, I always had the dream to return to Kosovo, just like everyone else.
It wasn’t my intention to get organized, to lead an organized life abroad, but at a certain point, considering those circumstances, the Movement abroad in general, particularly in Switzerland, it was very scattered. It was the beginning of the birth of pluralism, the establishment of the Democratic League and other parties, whereas the voice of the Movement was under attack as an extreme, ideological force, and other, which was bizarre if we refer to accusations of nationalism, irredentism, etcetera, anti-communism, that is where the Movement took off, what used to be [labeled] as nationalist, irredentist, etc., anti-communist, was now called Marxist-Leninist, and so forth.
However, it was the only an organization, powerful, oriented towards a goal, that anticipated the combination and use of all means to reach the goal. In the Movement’s program, besides the political factor which was never disputed, a great importance was given to a special military unit. And it was continuously stated and envisaged that without the combination of these segments we cannot achieve freedom, as time really told.
After staying in Switzerland for some time, one of my prison mates, Bardhyl Mahmuti, came to visit, paid me a visit on behalf of the Movement, the diaspora branch, and requested that I become active in the Movement again. The reasons were sufficient, he also mentioned talks with Afrim Zhitia, Fadil Vata, and so forth. And I agreed to get involved. In the upcoming days, in a meeting in ‘91, I was elected chair of the People’s Movement branch in Switzerland and member of the chairmanship of the Movement in the diaspora. And so I started my activity and I reckon that, thanks to the understanding of the chairmanship of the time, with Ali Ahmeti as a vice-chair, Agush Buja as a secretary, Bardhyl Mahmuti, and many others. Then it was Jashar Salihi, with whom we successfully managed to resume activities of the People’s Movement, starting from Switzerland, something that reflected across the diaspora.
Another crucial fact was that both Jashar and I were also names that contributed to the Reconciliation Movement. Identified as originators and leaders of the Reconciliation Movement, we had authority and support from a wider audience and they had faith in us. And we started with the mass mobilization of the Movement. As time passes by, I was assigned with the task of establishing a fund for the care of prisoners’ families, which was simply a camouflage for the war fund. But later, I was assigned with the task, by the Movement again, the section of, there were two important sections: the political section, for the maintenance of the communication inside the country, with Kosovo, and the special section, as we used to call it at the time, or the military one. And the scope of the section I was in, the operators, it apparently obliged me, it required that I often come illegally to Kosovo.
Even during that time I had meetings with president Rugova and many other personalities, whom I met during the reconciliation of blood feuds. And the tasks that were assigned to me without hesitation by the organization, I accepted them without hesitation, despite dangers, because entering illegally in those circumstances while the Serbian regime was still [ruling] Kosovo, was, is a full responsibility and understandably dangerous. But I carried them with me and I past them successfully. Many times, before the war started, initially, I mean, I exiled to Switzerland sometimes by the end of 1990, beginning of ‘91. Initially I escaped on my own, later I was joined by my spouse. And I returned to Kosovo for the first time illegally for an assignment, with documents that were brought to me by Skender Çeku. He used to run a bus line in Switzerland, Zurich-Pristina, in cooperation with my uncle’s son, Xhafer. And they transported both literature from abroad which was dispatched from Zurich, Switzerland, as well as ammunition. And they were arrested a few times, both Xhafer, Gëzim Avdimetaj, and went through inhumane tortures. Still, they overcame those.
And my first time of illegal travelling was with Skender Çeku, and we passed through without any problem. We arrived, I finished those tasks that I was assigned to do. So I collected the contacts of people who were part of the reconciliation and some others more special ones who were ready to contribute to the People’s Movement of Kosovo. We normally discussed the next steps, and I returned. The second time I came through Albania, it was the end of ‘91 I think again, whereas from Albania… in Albania I met with Sami Kurteshi, the former Ombudsperson, a prison mate, and he had prepared his brother’s passport for me. With his passport we entered Macedonia. But what was interesting is that, when we arrived at the border of Dibra, because Sami was familiar with that region, there was Kastriot Rexha, a guy from Dibra, a former prisoner, and he was waiting for us.
When we arrived, the border was being expanded, and there were workers around. Sami said, “We are going to the customs, with a passport directly to the police.” I said, “Fine Sami, you go, but I am heading that way, I am becoming an engineer,” as there were workers around. So now I started to play the role of a worker, as if I am monitoring the works, and slowly following the reaction of the police and I noticed that they are not noticing me. But when Sami went among them, fearing what is going to happen to me, he was stopped at the police station and they held him for a long time, verifying him, discussing. But it was my opportunity now, and I went and passed on foot through the border carefree. And once we passed through, I started to tease Sami, but he also teased me of course, “With whom am I? You are theirs, right?” (laughs) “Yes,” I said, “ it is our state.”
And together with Sami we continued to the family of Kastriot Haxhi-Rexha. From there we went to Kumanova, we passed to Presheva, Bujanovc, I think. We took the bus to Pristina. And we got into a bus, during that journey, the same journey, I was sitting next to a policeman. Sami sat on the other side, pretending to read the paper. I borrowed one [newspaper] from the policeman too, and started a conversation with him, a Serb. And we continued the road. But the police came in while on the road, the only one who didn’t get searched was me, because I was with the policeman.
Whereas when I entered [Kosovo] for the third time, I was with Ramadan Avdiu, he took me with him. I came from Switzerland with a friend from Switzerland, Shadan Avdiu, on his car, via Tetova. In Tetova Ramadan was waiting for us, he had fixed the documents, we passed the border with foreign documents. And at the checkpoint there was no way out, the police stopped us and of course I handed them the passport, and we gave in to fate. But there was a problem with Ramadan as they pulled him out of the car, they searched him, all those check-ups they used to do, still even this time around I escaped without any problem, and we arrived in Kosovo. Then I continued to Peja and other centres as required.
And later on we continued with our life, and activities in Switzerland. We came back from this visit that was called, an inspection of the situation on the ground, together with Ramadan and others, we concluded that it is necessary to have a joint meeting between the Movement in the country and the Movement out of the country. And as our meeting point we set Kërçova, the village of Kollare, where a meeting was held, with representatives of the Movement out of the country, in the oda, in the house of a friend from Kërçova, I forgot his name. That is where met, the representatives came, or the delegates, if we can call them so, of the Movement in Kosovo and in other countries, the regions under the rule of Yugoslavia at the time, and we from the countries abroad. And that is where we elected a joint body, and a long and comprehensive debate was held. And it was sort of the first meeting where we took a decision for elections and the organization of the Movement all across, Kosovo, and in the diaspora.
Erëmirë Krasniqi: Which year?
Adem Grabovci: The years ‘92-’93, if I remember well, if I’m not mistaken. We can verify those dates.
However, that is where the decision to make a shift to a military organization was taken. I can freely say that that is where the idea for the organization of the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) originated, which also gives it a structural character. And after this, we held a meeting in Switzerland where the first actions of the armed struggle started to take place. And it is where the first [press] release was issued, where a decision was taken that all armed groups get organized single-handedly, and that it should be the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Erëmirë Krasniqi: Why do you say armed groups?
Adem Grabovci: Yes, there were units that operated as part of the Movement, but in the end the military sectors was seen as necessary, which operated as part of the Movement, which was in the country. We, as the political section, our role was to organize, to maintain contacts and connection with the political structures. While the special section, the military section, was led by Azem Syla, Xhavit Haliti, Ali Ahmeti. In the political section were Emrush Xhemajli, Gafurr Elshani, the three of us. And our duty was, we were to contact young men who asked to get organized, militaries, they belonged to the military section, they were skilled in that area, we directed them to this section. Whereas the political ones, they were directed to us. You know, some cooperation, we were a single body that operated as part of the Kosovo People’s Movement.
Later on we established, we saw it as necessary to establish a fund, what I mean is that an army without finances, without ammunition, cannot… and we saw it necessary to establish this fund in Vintertur, Switzerland. We assigned Jashar Salihi, Agush Buja, and myself, three of us, to establish this fund. And we then started with its mass mobilization in the whole diaspora. And this is how it all started, the fundraising, the ensuring of ammunition, and all necessary things for the units that were operating in the country.
Up to a certain moment, once the Liberation Army started to operate, up till those moments, I moved illegally in a sporadic way. In ‘97-98 I returned to Kosovo for longer. But after the battle in Prekaz, I returned definitively to join the Kosovo Liberation Army. I was a member of the General Headquarters. I was also elected, as a chief or chief executive of G1, the first directorate, it was one of the major directorates that took care of organization, structuring of the Kosovo Liberation Army, until the Rambouillet agreement.
At the Rambouillet agreement, a decision was taken, an agreement was signed. It preceded, it is a known fact, the NATO intervention, and the ending, or the liberation of our country. One of the decisions was to establish the Government of Kosovo, known as the Provisional Government. I was elected Minister of Finances in the Government of Kosovo, and then we proceeded for some months, it functioned as a government. Followed by the dissolution of the Provisional Government…
Erëmirë Krasniqi: Which years?
Adem Grabovci: The arrival of UNMIK [United Nations Interim Mission in Kosovo] in 2000, ‘99-2000, roughly in that period, yes in ‘99, after ‘99, the arrival of UNMIK and the establishment of the joint structures, local and international. Back then I was appointed by the Democratic Party of Kosovo as a co-manager of the Department of Trade and Industry, or sort of Minister of Trade and Industry. But back then it was referred to as departments, the [manner] of organization at the time of UNMIK.
After the expiration of their mandate we formed the Democratic Party, so in ‘99. I am one of, I was lucky to be, and as you noticed, let’s say I have contributed to the establishment of Kosovo Liberation Army, the constitution and organization of its fund, then I was one of… I also contributed to the formation of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, where I was initially elected as a secretary of finances, which had an organized structure, well-organized, with all the sections it should have. Thanks to the associates who accompanied me during the whole time to my fortune, I think I achieved to be successful to a certain extent. And now as a deputy, the chair of the [parliamentary] group for two terms in a row, I believe we will have a successful ending.
 Alb. expression of amazement/impression or surprise similar to wow in English.
 Mejtep, Maktab (Arabic transliterations include makteb, mekteb, mektep, meqteb, maqtab), also called a Kuttab or school, is an elementary schools. Though it was primarily used for teaching children how to read, write, grammar and Islamic studies such as Qira’at (Quranic recitation), other practical and theoretical subjects were also often taught.
 Ibrahim Rugova (1944-2006) – a writer and journalist, founder and leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo, and President of Kosovo during the war and after until his death.
 LDK (Lidhja Demokratike e Kosovës) – Democratic League of Kosovo. First political party of Kosovo, founded in 1989, when the autonomy of Kosovo was revoked, by a group of journalists and intellectuals. The LDK quickly became a party-state, gathering all Albanians, and remained the only party until 1999.
 In March 1998, in Prekaz, Serbian troops surrounded the compound of the Jashari family, whose men were among the founders of the Kosovo Liberation Army, and killed all of them, including the women and the children. This event energized the Albanian resistance and marked the beginning of the war.
 The Rambouillet Agreement was a proposed peace agreement between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and a delegation representing the Albanian majority population of Kosovo. It was drafted by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and named for Chateau Rambouillet, where it was initially proposed. The significance of the agreement lies in the fact that Yugoslavia refused to accept it, which NATO used as justification to start the Kosovo War.