Gjylshen Doko Berisha

Gjilan | Date: October 15, 2020 | Duration: 196 minutes

Mrs. Lemane was my mother’s first cousin, the daughter of her maternal uncle. She completed the High Pedagogical School in Tirana and I think I inherited from her the desire to study Albanian Language and Literature. The way she taught us from fifth to the eighth grade was very unique. She would take the record player and play us poetry from well-known [national] poets, such as Naim [Frashëri], Andon Zako Çajupi, and others. So, we listened to recitals and music. She was like that, very good-hearted but also very harsh and that intimidated us. 

She was my aunt. When she came by our house to pay us a visit, I would hide in the other room. My mother would take me out by force. I would say to her, ‘No, because she…  she’s my teacher, I can’t show my face.’ So when my mother took me by force in the room, she would praise me in front of her. But what happened recently, quite recently, because she passed away four-five years ago, I went to her and asked her, ‘Aunt Leman, I always liked them, where did you get the poetry recordings?’ Today, no teacher would take the effort to do that. She said, ‘I recorded them myself. It was my voice.’ She had a very ringing voice, very melodic, but as a child I never thought it was hers, I thought it was just a recording.

Anita Susuri (interviewer), Renea Begolli (Camera)

Gjylshen Doko Berisha was born in 1957 in Ohrid, North Macedonia. She completed the Faculty of Philology, Department of Albanian Language and Literature in Skopje in 1979. In the same year, she moved to Gjilan and started teaching Albanian Language and Literature. From 1996 to 2001, she was the principal of the Zenel Hajdini High School in Gjilan. Also, Berisha has been a member of the Women’s Forum of the Democratic League of Kosovo since its founding. From 2000 to 2010, she was the vice president of the Women’s Forum and a member of the parliament of Kosovo. Today, she is head of the Gjilan Municipal Museum.