Hatmone Haradinaj Demiri

Pristina | Date: March 11, 2022 | Duration: 94 minutes

My [paternal] uncle made a cassette for me, he said, ‘Take this,’ he made a compilation of patriotic songs, ‘take this and play it at your dorm.’ So that was it, it wasn’t like he directly assigned me to do that, I took it, and on March 10 in the evening, barely anyone was asleep, we stayed outside all night and the weather was really nice, warm, and I placed the cassette deck on the window, dormitory number one, all those patriotic songs. […] There was a feeling that night, nobody slept until late, so it was all of us, there was a sort of, a sort of freedom before that turmoil happened the next day. So it was all of us, we were aware that something was happening, but we didn’t know exactly…

[…] We joined at the canteen and we took some onions with us, we also took some nails and put them in bottles, I don’t even know why we took them, what we could do, but however that’s what we took with us, [we took the] onions in case they threw tear gas at us. We didn’t even know who gave the idea, since it was our first time directly participating in a demonstration where there was tear gas, so that was the night when people joined, at certain moments.

[…] There were chants, ‘Kosovo Republic,’ ‘Trepça works, Belgrade prospers,’ ‘Republic, either through peace…’ We didn’t chant these at the beginning, at first we said, ‘We want better conditions,’ ‘We want food, we want…’ you know, they were a little softer, especially at the beginning of the protest in the canteen. But later on, gradually, as per usual, at first you start softer and then people start saying their own slogans, in a different way, until it reached the extreme.

Anita Susuri (interviewer), Renea Begolli (Camera)

Hatmone Haradinaj Demiri was born in 1960, in Gllogjan, Municipality of Deçan. She graduated in 1987 from the Albanian Language and Literature department at the Faculty of Philology. Ms. Haradinaj Demiri was arrested in March 1982 due to her political activity. During the ’90s, she was engaged with the Women’s Forum of the Democratic League of Kosovo. In 2000, she started working as a teacher of Albanian language and literature. Currently, she teaches at the Ahmet Gashi High School of Social Sciences in Prishtina.