Jakup Qeshmexhiu

Pristina | Date: January 12, 2019 | Duration: 74 minutes

I remember Pristina very well because I used to work at the Çarshi [Bazaar], that even Çarshi of Sarajevo or Skopje’s Bit Bazaar was not as great as our Çarshi. But, unfortunately, at the time, the occupier ruled and they were making us take it down bit by bit and lose the aesthetics of our city, and they achieved their goal. But mostly our people achieved that goal. I’ve worked in this craft since I was 14 years old.

I finished the former 28 Nëntori High School, at the high school of economics. These streets were paved with cobblestone, paved with cobblestone you know what it means, they were paved with stones. Our street was all muddy, and then it was paved with stones. Then from being stone-paved it started, no, it was paved with stones again, and then it was paved with concrete. Now, it is concrete, but it seems like it’s still paved with stones, the same.

The city was… now, it’s a fact that it’s been built, but back then it used to look way, way, way much more beautiful than now. But, to be honest, even the people were better then rather than now, there was no hatred for one another.

Aurela Kadriu (interviewer), Donjetë Berisha (Camera), Besarta Breznica (Camera)

Jakup Qeshmexhiu was born in 1950 in Pristina. In 1964, at the age of 14, he became a tailor and remained in the craft for ten years. Mr. Qeshmexhiu completed the High Vocational School of Economics, and later, he moved between jobs at Kosovo Lottery and Dodona Theater. Upon the expulsion of Albanians from the public institutions in the 1990s, he returned to his old craft as a tailor and opened a store that produces bags, where he still works. Today, Mr. Qeshmexhiu lives in Pristina with his family.