Hidajete Shabani Dërmaku

Pristina | Date: October 17, 2022 | Duration: 189 minutes

Samiu [my husband] said, ‘Let Vlora go and stay in Kosovo for about a week.’ And then Vlora was getting ready. Mimoza, my youngest daughter was watching her, she wanted to go too. She said, ‘Kuku,’ and then I said, ‘Mimoza wants to go too,’ he said, ‘Perhaps you want to go too?’ I said, ‘Yes to be honest,’ I said, ‘Sadie told me to go see my mother and she would give me her passport,’ my sister-in-law’s sister, [the sister] of Muhamer’s wife. I said, ‘Lude said she would give me her passport if I wanted to go to Kosovo as well,’ and she went, Geneva is 150 kilometers away from Biel. She went to take Muhamer’s sister-in-law’s passport and we thought of coming to stay here for about a week.


When we got on the bus, they said, ‘No,’ they said, ‘go back with this bus,’ for two days. I said, ‘Okay.’ And we got up and came with someone else’s passport. And my mother didn’t know about it at all. So I went. When we went to the village, we arrived at 11 PM, I think it was a Friday, 11 PM. And I covered my head with a blanket so they wouldn’t recognize me (laughs). So the people wouldn’t recognize me, and I went home. […]


I stayed that night, and another night I think, and I went back on Monday. I stayed there on Saturday, Sunday and I think I went back on Monday, yes. That’s it. Living abroad is very difficult. […] I would think to myself ‘How?’ The days would seem so long, time went by slowly, like a century.

Anita Susuri (Interviewer), Renea Begolli (Camera), Urtesë Zeneli (Present)

Hidajete Shabani Dërmaku was born in 1953 in Përlepnica, municipality of Gjilan. She graduated in 1981 at the Department of Albanian Language and Literature in the University of Pristina. After graduating, she worked as a teacher in Selami Hallaqi school in Gjilan. In 1986 she moved to Geneva, where she currently lives with her family.