Edita Tahiri

Pristina | Date: May 4, 2018 | Duration: 153 minutes

Mother was always busy, she had two jobs. Before noon she worked at the textile factory, she got that job after my father was imprisoned, and since my father did not betray his friends, all of them were free and so they made efforts to find a job for my mother. And my mother had to become a tailor, she took a course and became a tailor. So, in the first half of the day, she had an eight-hour shift, and then she worked at home. So, she was busy making sure we survived. But what I appreciated her for, is her commitment to our education. Too much, so, that when we had to study, she would never interrupt us because of house chores. […]

I remember how she always sang songs of exile (smiles). Well, that was my mother. Also, mother was known as one of the strongest women of Prizren, because… I don’t know if you are aware of this, but in that time the Serbo-Slavic regime not only would imprison Albanian patriots, but had a tendency to abuse their spouses. So, I remember her saying, ‘Whenever I go to prison I have a pair of scissors in my bag.’ As a tailor, they were her working tools {pretends to hold a pair of scissors in her hands}. ‘I have my scissors in my bag in case someone attempts something.’ And this behavior of hers showed great strength of character, moral strength, and that turned her into a Prizren icon. So, whenever the most powerful women of Prizren are talked about, my mother is among them.

Aurela Kadriu (interviewer), Donjetë Berisha (Camera)

Edita Tahiri was born in 1956 in Prizren. Ms. Tahiri was one of the founders and key leaders of the Democratic League of Kosovo between 1991 and 1999. During this period, she served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo. After the Kosovo War in 1999, she was the Deputy Prime Minister for foreign policy and national security and Chief Negotiator of Kosovo-Serbia dialogue (2011–2014). Later, she was appointed as the Minister for Dialogue and Chief Negotiator of the Government of Kosovo (2014-2017). Ms. Tahiri was educated at the University of Prishtina, Essex University (UK) and Harvard University (USA), and received a doctoral degree in Conflict Resolution from Johns Hopkins University (USA). Currently, Ms. Tahiri teaches Political Science at the University of Prishtina and continues to be active in public life in Kosovo.