Isuf Beqiri

Bajgora | Date: May 21, 2021 | Duration: 78 minutes

We were talking and decided that we will not come out alive, until they resign. And we stayed there for eight days and nights. Some were getting ill, they forced them to go out and seek help, some elderly, who were tired and would not go out. They would go out to take a pill and come back to the mine. […] whoever got ill, you know we had a medical center there. They would get very weak and still come back, some stayed at the medical center. Let’s make this clear, the Reconciliation of Blood Feuds Campaign started there inside the mine. A man came up and said, ‘I forgive the blood of the Trepça miners.’ People were in feuds, you know someone killed someone’s family member, and they forgave it. There were women, sorry, a woman came and gave away her jewelry. A man came to the entrance of the mine and tied his cow as a gift for the miners. It was, people gave away whatever they could, we had support, we had support from all over Kosovo, from Albanians, I mean. From the students, the students barricaded themselves in the university departments, there were students who ran a hunger strike in support of the miners, they too did not eat.

Anita Susuri (Interviewer), Korab Krasniqi (Interviewer), Besarta Breznica (Camera)

Isuf Beqiri was born in 1959 in Bajgora, Municipality of Mitrovica. He was an apprentice at Trepça for four years and completed vocational high school in 1978, the same year he was hired as a mine technician. He was fired because of the political crisis of the ‘90s, and ran a private business to make ends meet. With the end of the Kosovo war, Mr. Beqiri returned to work at Trepça, where he continues to work  as a technician. Currently, he lives with his family in the village of Bajgora.