Marjan Dema

Pristina | Date: January 31, 2017 | Duration: 84 minutes

The families knew me and of course it was hard for me when I heard that there were cases in which  they forgave the blood of their son without knowing who killed him […] They forgave the unknown assassin and they used this, ‘Since Marjan forgave three blood feuds, I have no words to turn you down.’

So, this is something that at the same time made me feel good, but at the same time made me feel bad, because he forgave. For them it was the most difficult case, because for a person every problem of theirs is the biggest one. However, the comparison of forgiving one blood with the heavy weight of forgiving the blood of my three brothers, had an impact.

At any rate, people were the heroes, I call them heroes because they uttered that word, they performed that action [of forgiveness]. What is fortunate is that from all those reconciliations no one took revenge afterwards. So, the reconciliations were, the reconciliations were pure, they were not reconciliations in which blood was paid or someone was paid.


Erëmirë Krasniqi (Interviewer) Donjeta Berisha (Camera)

Marjan Dema was born on May 27, 1957, in Stupë, municipality of Klina. He holds a Ph.D. in Math from the University of Pristina, and lectured both in Kosovo and abroad. From 2009 to 2012, he was member of the Executive Council of the University of Pristina. In 2016, Dema was elected the Rector of Hasan Prishtina University.


Marjan Dema

Part One

Marjan Dema: My name is Marjan Dema, I am the Rector of the University of Pristina, Hasan Prishtina. I was born on May 27, 1957 in the village of Stupa, municipality of Klina, in a relatively big family. A family that had a history that was as glorious as tragic and painful, because very early, I don’t know the time, but Serbs, various Serbian çeta,1 killed my grandfather, not only did they kill my grandfather, but he was working in the fields and they killed the oxes he was working with as well. Then our customs were such that influenced my paternal uncle and my father to be educated in a spirit of opposition to them, against the regime of the Serbian-Croatian-Slovenian Monarchy.

Then my paternal uncle was involved in the liberation movements and in the year, actually during the Second World War, he avenged the murder of his father, then he was, he was engaged in those movements, in those, in those organizations that existed during the occupation. And of course, he was imprisoned after ‘45, he was imprisoned, sentenced. However, in prison he connected with and joined the Çeta e Nupërlleshit, which was a Çeta that back then had 150 soldiers. The path to his involvement in the Çeta e Nupërlleshit was pretty long, the criteria to join were also very strict, but he joined it thanks to the history of the family.

First he stayed in the Rugova mountains, then in a neighboring family, yet not so neighboring because I come from the village of Lugu i Drinit, Drini i Bardhë2 separated our family from that family, at that time they kept him hidden in the room of a bride for around two weeks. Then a son-in-law kept him in a stable, during the night under his own roof, while during the day he stayed in one, how to say, under a haystack, covered by hay. He joined it and of course he fought until 1948, when he became a hero on the battlefield. So, this influenced the fact that our family was a tortured and persecuted family. And we were raised in that kind of spirit that all the conversations within our family were against the system, because we really paid a high price. Then that caused a misunderstanding between my family and another family, which resulted in two murders, two murders. So, I want to say that I was raised in a family that was under the hostile eye of that ruling power.

My childhood in a big family was of course the same as all the other families, a difficult childhood with financial problems. But an incident that can never be forgotten made it even worse, I don’t remember it when I fell, I don’t know whether I was playing or running, I don’t remember because it happened, twice, three times, but I hurt my left leg. So, that hurt a little, I was not able to run, to play with my friends because I walked with a limp. Children, but sometimes even adults, maybe because of lack of knowledge and a little because of culture, called me çopë,3 tapall4 and such things that are very rough for a child.

But again, childhood got even more difficult when my father died when I was 19, I remained with my mother, of course in a big family, I was the child, if I am not mistaken, the sixth brother, the tenth child, I did not receive enough care. But however, I had a natural intelligence. So, when I started elementary school, I remember when my father told me that my first teacher asked an amanet5 from my father, the amanet was very simple, “To send Marian to school.” At that time we were a family from the village with a lot of land, with a lot of cattle and that cost a little, I was on the edge of going to school and not going to school, being a relatively big family the order was like that only one person from the family was supposed to go to school. My older brother was already in school, but I went to school thanks to the insistence of my other brother. That is to say, I was very close to not even going to school.

After finishing elementary school with all Fives,6 I enrolled in the gymnasium7 Luigj Gurakuqi in Klina, the Mathematical gymnasium was just opened at the time, my older brother had heard about that gymnasium and told me. Then I was interested and it was the first time that I went to Pristina, because I, my mother was from Albania, and I didn’t have the chance to experience the feeling of maternal uncles or going out as the others did go to their maternal uncles on holidays, and that was the first time that I went out of Klina. I think I was in Peja once, if I am not mistaken, someone was needed to guard the car because we went there to sell, I don’t know, watermelon, peppers and such things, apples.

As a family we were in a relatively good economical situation, and I enrolled in the Mathematical gymnasium, when I enrolled there, that was the gymnasium that gathered the best pupils from all around Kosovo. And of course, I was the best of my elementary school as well as Klina, but when I came here, the competition was very strong, I barely passed the first semester, but I finished the second one with all Fives. So I was the most special case that made a very big progress. After finishing the mathematical gymnasium, which was a very good one, we had the best staff from the [Department of] Mathematics within the University of Pristina, troubles happened.

That summer I thought about where to register, in August of that summer, my first neighbor killed two of my brothers, one of them 26 years old and the other 43, both of them orphans, my mother was alive, sorrow, sadness, and now my family got poor, my older brother was a university student. I was supposed to enroll in the university, one of us had to quit, then my brother said, “Marjan, you should continue because you are good and I will quit.” This was that, how to say, the thing that touched me mostly in my life, and I continued at that time. When the murder happened, I was the unlucky one to be the first person to go and see my older brother dead, the younger brother attempted to leave, I kept calling him and trying to find him, then when I walked ten-fifteen meters, of course he attempted to escape, but the bullets stopped him. And I came of course, that year was very difficult, because I was at home when I heard those shots.

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Can you tell us…

Marjan Dema: Those shots…

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Can you tell us about the circumstances of this case?

Marjan Dema: Yes, the circumstances were, they are connected, they are connected to the history of my family, because we moving ahead very quickly, I was about to enroll in the university, my brother was at the university, I also had two, the son of my brother and the son of my paternal uncle were in the Mathematical gymnasium as well.

I mean, we were a very progressive family, I don’t have any reason, but I believe that it was the hand of the ruling power to interrupt a road that was, how to say, used by every generation of ours. Then, our neighbor interrupted that road and that is where the problem started, the issue of that road that was concluded with the murder of my two brothers. They were eating watermelon behind the fence, it was August, our land is productive, it’s green and it wasn’t two meters and they took the life of my brothers. I mean, the road was the reason, but I think that there was a big hand because the road that had always existed for generations was removed from the cadastre. But however, that happened, I continued school, that year was very difficult because always…

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Were you threatened as well?

Marjan Dema: Sorry?

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Were you threatened as well as the rest of the family or what…

Marjan Dema: Yes, I will tell it now, that was, we were a big family and they were a smaller family, but the problem was that we differed on the intellectual level. We had just started moving out of the family that we were with, with the old education, we made a jump. But, then I continued education, I came to the University of Pristina, to the [Department] of Mathematics, I represented Kosovo in competitions while still a high school student, as well as during university. Then I started working as a professor, since now we were also having economic problems, that was the reason and that road was the source, but there was also another land that later on connected to it, we had bought that land and we had taken loans, we had material obligations. I began to work as a high school student, as a university student, as soon as I finished the second year of the gymnasium Sami Frashëri, but I was lucky because they didn’t interrupt me, I mean I was allowed to continue my studies, at the same time I was working and I finished this Faculty in a record term. I had the highest average in the whole University of Pristina, because it was the tenth anniversary of the University of Pristina.

Then 1983 comes, I study a specialization, before then I got married, I had my daughter Valbona who was seven days old [when] I went to Lithuania to prepare my Ph.D dissertation and reached good results in a very short time. My professor Vitenska Bajla gave me a [mathematical] problem and said, “This problem is unsolved in the world, I don’t know how to solve it, but there must be a solution.” I solved it very quickly. But then other problems started in ‘84 when I was drafted even though I had my leg, I had a disability, and this was a big challenge because I had troubles standing. But they unjustly took me to military service and kept me there for six months. During that time I had very tough tragedies, my brother…

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Can we return to the first murder, in what year did it happen? And I am interested in knowing what were the measures you took, in the sense that did you sue them, did you take legal measures against your neighbor?

Marjan Demi: Yes, of course I did…

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Did you use legal mechanisms?

Marjan Dema: Yes, of course, back then the ruling power, we are talking about ‘76, the murderer first was sentenced with the capital punishment, then they decreased it to 20 years, and of course he served the sentence. And let me return to where I left it, I went to the military service, it was fall when my 21 years old brother, the youngest brother who was working in the fields, I don’t know, hurt his hand with the hot water of the tractor, then that turned into blood poison and he got sepsis. But my mother somehow saw it, she could feel it that her youngest son Anton was close to his death, and somehow I can call it an unintentional suicide, she died from a heart attack one month before my brother’s death. So I came, I was in the military service, I was sad when I came for a visit because I wasn’t able to go to my mother’s funeral, and I knew my brother was in a very bad condition, I went to visit him. We were very sad because he had lost weight due to the fact that his illness was at a very bad stage, it was obvious that there was no chance for him to survive.

Then in… my 21 years old brother died on January 1, 1985. But yet, the tragedies didn’t seem to come to an end, the son of the murderer who murdered two of my brothers murdered my second brother, professor Pashk, the one who had to quit [school]. And I always thought that he took my bullets which I would take if I had quit, I would have that fate. He was on the way to the train station, he arrived in Klina, where he was employed as a biology professor in the gymnasium Luigj Gurakuqi and the neighbor went from behind and murdered him. Luck was that when he died he rolled, because he could have fallen between the rails and the train wouldn’t have left anything of him to bury, but that was luck in the tragedy. That is when they started…

Erëmirë Krasniqi: What were the motives of this family…

Marjan Dema: Sorry?

Erëmirë Krasniqi: What were the motives of this family this time?

Marjan Dema: We don’t know, that remains an enigma to me and to everyone else still to this day. If you take revenge, if you prepare an ambush, because the institution of the blood feud was here, it was an old institution and you knew well that if you owed something to someone, you had to stay put and not go after the professor [Marjan’s brother] whom the students were waiting for. But there was no purpose for his pupils to wait for him because he didn’t manage to go to his pupils, neither was there purpose for us to wait for him because we didn’t manage to see him, because the murderer only wanted to take his life, maybe because he was afraid that my brother would take revenge, or I don’t know. I cannot answer, but there was no reason, the greatest reason was that my family and I were not into taking revenge, and maybe that is what still bothers me mostly, but at the same time makes me very proud that I didn’t allow revenge, even though they murdered my brother and then they threatened me as well.

And my request was, I told my brothers that, “I only have one request, that if they murder me, I don’t want my body to be buried without forgiving my blood. What you do with the other bloods…” because three other brothers were already murdered. But what I can know is that they simply didn’t know what they were doing, maybe that was the way they chose to survive or I don’t know, that is something they can tell, I cannot answer. But I know that three people were murdered, leaving three pairs of orphans, three widows, not to talk about how many tears, the sadness, the sorrow, the mourning.

I mean, in fact we lived, but had no life, because every anniversary, for as long as my mother was alive, she cried over my brother’s clothes. Then you know when you have… but then another worse tragedy, my sister-in-law was pregnant and she had a boy, we were all happy, we thought our brother was reborn, but he didn’t have luck, he died one month later. So, in less than one year there were three, four, four tragedies which simply… even though I received the results from Lithuania, I had no time, I didn’t even think about sitting and writing them down in order to finish the dissertation, otherwise I could get my Ph.D. at a very young age, 26-27 years old, but again I slowed down and I got my Ph.D. I defended my Ph.D. dissertation, in ‘87.

I had very difficult crises, especially the murder of my brother the professor, who was the one who quit [school] when one of us had to do so, I had my crisis that maybe I even decided to take revenge, I got out of my own skin. I remember one moment very well, my professor Halil Turku noticed, and invited me to his office and said, he tried to approach me in all possible ways… as it seems he noticed me because you can notice a person [in pain], and he told me in these words, “Marjan, if we could bring your brothers back, I would come and we would take revenge together.” You know, that was the moment that opened my eyes, that my brothers couldn’t be brought back, no matter what I do. Then I continued with the stand that I had before, that we should find a way for the murders to stop. But thinking about reconciliations was unimaginable at that time.

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Was there any other council, did they…

Marjan Dema: People came, the moment when I almost remained the leader of the household, then I gave them besa8 all the time, I didn’t leave them without the besa because I was aware that they didn’t know what they were doing. And I remember one moment when a group of pleq9 came to ask for besa and I said, “But what besa are you asking me for, when they threatened that they will kill me? What honor will be left to me if I give them the besa, that means that I am scared.” I remember they said, “These are actions that maybe… ” one of them was a priest and said this, “This was only done by Jesus,” and I gave them the besa. I was thinking about this, I remember once when I went to a plak in Deçan to tell him what was happening, I wanted to find a solution. I remember it well when the plak said, “Listen, I guarantee that God will help you and everything will end well.”

Then the Movement for Blood Feuds Reconciliation of Anton Çetta10 came, of course I was already prepared, of course I had authority within the family and we found the strength, even though I was convinced, I was pro reconciliation, but the act itself was very difficult. I have said it many times and I will say it again, to me, saying the word, “I forgive you the bloods of the three brothers,” was like swallowing the hill or I don’t know. Maybe it is difficult for you to understand, but for the one who experiences it, and is part of that process it is very, very difficult. But however, I am very happy that I managed to make such a gesture because many bloods were forgiven then, because we were a big family as I described earlier.

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Were your neighbors of the same religious confession?

Marjan Dema: Yes, of the same confession… they were our first neighbors, our ancestors had brought them there. But, things happen the way they do, I don’t know, of the same confession… we didn’t even have any fis11 relation or such. Then this helped me to find relief, I was dedicated to reconciliation, I was pretty engaged in other reconciliations as well, I went with the reconciliation teams.

Erëmirë Krasniqi: When was your first contact with Anton Çetta’s reconcilers, could you describe in a more detailed way how they approached you?

Marjan Dema: Look, two intellectuals came to talk to me first, then the clergy of the local church, the Zllakuqan church, I am talking about bishop Mark Sopi, they worked [together]. But what convinced me was not their result, I had that opinion before and maybe it is a result of the murders that I didn’t allow revenge, I was against revenge and still to this day, I don’t regret it, I didn’t want to lose more people because I considered that at that time they didn’t know what they were doing and if you took revenge, you would only take away the life of an innocent person and at the same time you would lose the life of your brother who will then have to go to prison for 15-20 years.

So, they collaborated with me but it was not a result of theIr activity. Because they didn’t have… they came to my family once and then once again after the reconciliation was done, while in other cases we had to go twice or three times, tens of times in order to prepare the case. This wasn’t our case, our problem was to convince our sisters-in-law, their families, my brothers, to convince them, I was very lucky that I had their respect and it was not a big problem because at that point I was almost like a leader of the family and I helped everyone, so that is where I gained credit from all of them and that helped me. I gained credit without knowing that one day I would face the need to ask them to help forgive the bloods, I mean, I didn’t know, I didn’t know that that day would come. Nobody knew, but I know that the old man from Deçan told me these words, “God will help you,” but he didn’t know either how things would develop, that those situations would come, that the nation would homogenize, that one would return from the abyss, and do an action that would help reconciliation and save many many lives.

I remember when we went to families for reconciliation, families that were coming from that area, they would welcome us with these words, “Since the family of Marjan Dema has forgiven three bloods, then there is no need for us to speak.” It was difficult for them as well, because they had lost their son, brother, but those were easier cases. Our case was the most difficult in the entire Kosovo, maybe there were cases when four murders had happened, but they didn’t happen continuously and without a previous provocation that would cause them. One is able to commit even bigger crimes when under the influence of emotions , but these ones were planned. Then, we were a big family, it is not that, then our family, we… my paternal uncle fought against the ruling power, then we also had murders, I mean we were not, we were a family that didn’t know any fear in the sense of the back then families.

I mean, that was it, this is what made forgiving of our bloods even greater and it helped for many other bloods to be forgiven. Of course my life changed after the forgivingness of the bloods, a, I had kept a heavy rock that was a big weigh one that did not allowed me to be happy, to consider my wedding party a party, the success that I had, be it graduation at the faculty, the Master’s degree, the Ph.D., a success, nor could I feel nor experience any of them, they were just like a part of the day, one hour of that day. They didn’t have any other meaning. I had no idea that I would become a [Professor] Assistant, or a Professor, they came very naturally because I had nobody in the family that could pave my path or tell me where to go, of course this happened in a very natural way. I told you in the beginning that my teacher’s amanet to my father was to send me to school, then I only learned and I came to the Mathematical [Department] Gymnasium. Of course I learned there as well, I had the opportunity to become a doctor at the age of 29, which given so many tragedies, is a very young age.

1 The South Slavic četa is a loan word from Ottoman Turkish and it is derived from çat, çet, to hit, strike, steal. Comparably, see çatmak or its reciprocal form çatışmak, to provoke a conflict. It commonly means band of irregular fighters.

2 The White Drin is a river in Kosovo and northern Albania. The Kosovo section of the White Drin flows entirely in the semi-karst part of Kosovo, in an arc-shaped 122 kilometer long course. The river originates in the southern slopes of the Zhleb mountain, north of the town of Peja.

3 Çopë, derogatory, this term was used to bully people with walking problems.

4 See: çopë.

5 Amanet is literally the last will, but in the Albanian oral tradition it has a sacred value.

6 Grade A on an A-F scale (Five-0).

7 A European type of secondary school with emphasis on academic learning, different from vocational schools because it prepares students for university.

8 In Albanian customary law, besa is the word of honor, faith, trust, protection, truce, etc. It is a key instrument for regulating individual and collective behavior at times of conflict, and is connected to the sacredness of hospitality, or the unconditioned extension of protection to guests.

9 pleq, elderly, traditionally the mediators in a blood feud reconciliation.

10 Anton Çetta (1920-1995), folklore scholar, and leader of the Reconciliation of Blood Feuds Movement.

11 Fis is the Albanian exogamous kinship group that like the Latin gens includes individuals who share an ancestor. Fis can be defined as a patrilineal descent group and an exogamous unit whose members used to own some property in common. Membership in a fis is based on a common mythical male ancestor.

Part Two

Marjan Dema: Those were the historic circumstances, the historic moment, that difficult… it wasn’t too much… not to say that in the beginning, until they broke the ice, the activity was, the engagement of the youth and intelligence, but however, the historic momentum brought the circumstances… I think that no matter the engagement, the youth has a role… the youth itself as the most beautiful part of the nation, the intelligentsia helped, the religious clerics, the media of that time, they were all unique, everything breathed, thought and talked about reconciliation. And those circumstances, that moment, that momentum can hardly be repeated. But as far as the question goes… the answer to your question, after the blood feuds reconciliation, which was organized in the church of the village of Zllakuqan, where the participation was very high, then the reconciliation teams invited me to participate. I served more as a symbol, maybe I helped more when I didn’t speak at all and they only mentioned my case… I am talking about when we went outside the Dukagjin Plain because there in the village of Lugu i Drinit, in those areas where they knew… the families knew me and of course it was difficult for me when I heard cases when they had to forgive the blood of their son without knowing who had murdered him, they didn’t know, they forgave, they forgave it to the unknown perpetrator, and this was used, “When Marjan had forgiven three bloods, I have no guts to turn you back.”

I mean, this was something that made me feel both at the same time, good and bad, because they forgave. To them, theirs was the most difficult case, because every problem is the biggest one to the person [whom it belongs to]. But however, one forgiveness, compared to the heavy weight of forgiving the bloods of three brothers, that had its influence. So, I didn’t stop participating. Then I tried to give my contribution all the time, we went even later, the first time was at Rudina Xhunga’s TV Show where I experienced, I simply told what happened and my idea was that I could be the same person who could be murdered, I could also be a perpetrator, but I had chosen the best way for my family as well as the family of the perpetrator, which was forgiving three bloods, saving three lives, but not only three lives, because thanks to that many others were forgiven, it had its influence, many many other lives were saved.

I consider that in life I had many results, many successes, but what makes me feel mostly successful, if I make a ranking, is the forgiveness of bloods. Because fighting against feelings was difficult, fighting against the institution of revenge, which had its very deep roots in our nation, was difficult. It is difficult hearing children cry, a mother, the whole family cry when a life is taken away not by a normal death nor an accident, but exactly by the hand of the first neighbor. There are some moments, this is a very difficult path to talk about, not to talk about experiencing it or being in it, I was a living part of all of this, all of this process.

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Were you at Verrat e Llukës?

Marjan Dema: Yes, I was. I was…

Erëmirë Krasniqi: How was it there, could you give us details?

Marjan Dema: Look, that was the first time in my life that I saw such a big mass of people, a mass that was surrounded by police forces, a mass where nobody was afraid, a mass that continued the ceremony, we all had the will, the enthusiasm that we would eliminate revenge, brotherhood-killing among Albanian nation. Maybe nobody thought about death there, maybe we were all in a condition, not to say, abnormal condition. When one doesn’t think about death but only about who will forgive the blood. People came out of the mass, all of a sudden, unprepared cases which in fact gave a message. That was when the back then ruling power started being afraid that this nation couldn’t be stopped.

And I am deeply convinced that the blood feuds reconciliation does not have the place it deserved, because that was the first time when the nation was homogenized, the first time when they addressed, the first time when the nation breathed with one soul, mind and idea, not only for blood to be forgiven… blood feuds reconciliation, as I said before, was the momentum brought by the situation, maybe that was all inspired and powered by the fact that we all loved freedom, we were all exhausted, deeply irritated by the classic occupation, the tortures that the ruling power used against Albanians at that time, with imprisonment, the murder of youngsters who went to the military service, then the violent displacements, persecutions and so on. I mean, those were difficult moments that in a way had awaken our feelings to feel happier in that gathering.

Maybe if… if I was asked by someone, “Were you ever, did you ever have any happier moment in your life?” I would say, “No.” Because we were all, if I dare translate it this way, drunk from… from the pleasure that our nation was bringing the killing of brothers to its end, our nation doesn’t want to shed blood for unimportant things, just as I lost three brothers. That was simply, I don’t know, I don’t know how to explain it, but we managed to do that, we managed to be together, the hoxha,1 the priest, the sheh,2 and I don’t know who else, the old and the young, the villager and the intellectual, we were all together, we all had one wish, one aim, for no blood in Kosovo to remain unreconciled. And of course the results were the highest and maybe it is difficult for such a result to be repeated.

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Do you remember, do you remember how many bloods were reconciled?

Marjan Dema: Quite a lot of time has passed, 25 years, I know that there were bloods and misunderstandings, around 1200 cases but not only 12000 families, But if you count the fact that they had a fis and of course when one side or the other was harmed, you could not have good relations with the fis of the other side. So, when that is multiplied, families at that time had approximately ten members, if you add the fis as well, then you have more than one quarter, maybe even more than 25 percent of the population in blood feuds.

And imagine if that reconciliation didn’t t happen and war found us in that feud, how would we be able to know who killed whom? Taking into consideration the Serbian propaganda that Albanians are killing each-other because of blood feuds. I mean, that was something that even if it were planned with a strategic planning, I am deeply convinced that it happened spontaneously because the youth, we didn’t know it at that time, it was more because of the peaceful opinions, the nation was not prepared for the war to come. So, I think that the Movement for Blood Feuds Reconciliation3 is one of our nation’s masterpieces that made liberation possible, that made it easier to shut up the propaganda, the mouth of our occupiers, also closed every case that could happen, let’s say with the background of blood feuds and other things.

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Were there cases when someone didn’t, didn’t forgive the blood in your presence, that was stubborn?

Marjan Dema: We, we had such cases as well. We had cases that usually weren’t, they weren’t difficult, but people were difficult. I understand them, I never judged them because it was difficult, it was difficult to make a leap from a situation and it didn’t… we are talking about a change within a night, people were unprepared, there was no preparation. At that time, you know, everything was controlled, and our nation goes to the institution of reconciliation from a well developed institution of revenge. Now, within all of that, that number was negligible, but people who couldn’t overcome this trans… this transformation from a totally different situation, I understand them, because it was not easy for us, neither was it easy for them…

But what makes all of us who were part of it, I mean the protagonists, proud, because I said that the heroes of that time were the ones who forgave their son, mothers forgave their sons, fathers forgave their sons or sons forgave their father, or the son forgave his grandfather or his sister, there were such cases as well, those were fewer. Because they swallowed that rock and said the word that the blood of a brother, a paternal uncle, a son, a father, a very close family member, was forgiven. But, but, a power came out that made it easier for us to say those words, a moment came that was created by the youth, it was created by the intelligentsia, religious clerics, the media. How can it happen that, for example, we all converge to the same point [to solve] a negative phenomenon nowadays? It is very difficult, back then we had that strength, it was a very rare moment, which I believe hardly happened ever before and can hardly happen in the future.

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Do you remember which are the arguments that were used in the oda4 when you went to reconcile [feuds]?

Marjan Dema: In the beginning, methods were used according to the cases, all the methods were used when cases were difficult, but mainly a big part of them were built on the basis of that momentum that was created, while many kinds of methods were used in other cases.

Erëmirë Krasniqi: What was said about feuds as a tradition?

Marjan Dema: Usually when we were with professor Anton he had some proverbs, he found difficult cases, glorious cases when people forgave, which were not so many because forgiving was not part of our tradition. But he found those cases. Then, it was very important that the youth or the intelligentsia didn’t have to deal much with the environment where they were, because when they were in that environment, it was difficult to help the rreth,5 because the rreth was either part of the fis, or they were involved in one way or another. But when the youth, the intelligentsia and the religious clerics went, they had the credits to ask for the forgiving of blood. And usually, I am saying this about most cases, at least the cases where I was, they were not difficult. We had such cases, for example, where they didn’t want to collaborate with us, they didn’t even allow us to express what we wanted to. There were cases where there were 70 of us who went, when we went the first time we were warmly welcomed, the second time they didn’t wait for us or they left an old man to wait for us and so on, and so on….

There were various cases, but what was most important was our commitment, determination, because we understood them. We understood that in front of us was a person who was raised and inspired, who matured with the opinion that they should avenge blood for blood. That was a, a tradition that had its roots very deep and it was difficult to change it. But however the result was the highest and all the possible methods of fis, family, and all the ways in order to come to the inspiration, in order to come to the point of creating the environment, I actually said that the environment was already created in the nation, but to create that environment in the family where we had to take out that, that word. I understand them, because it is not easy to take out that word or let everyone imagine it for a moment that someone kills their brother, son or father and is it easier to take out the word, I forgive the blood of my brother father, son, grandfather or whoever? It is a very difficult act, it is very difficult to take that word out, very difficult.

But, however people were heroes, I call the ones who took out that word heroes, who did that act, it is a good luck that there was no revenge after those reconciliations. I mean, the reconciliations were, they were pure reconciliations, those were not reconciliations where bloods were paid or bought, or somebody was paid. People travelled with their own cars or by foot, we covered the expenses, that was the only activity where we all covered the expenses individually because we didn’t communicate with the perpetrator, we usually communicated with the ones who were supposed to forgive, the ones who forgave had sadness, pain they had very difficult moments. You know, those bloods were forgiven with tears, and the other side accepted them with tears as well. I mean, it was, it was an atmosphere where maybe the ones who had to forgive felt as bad as the ones who had to accept the forgiving. Because it is not easy to have in front of you one person whom you have looked at as your enemy, someone who murdered your relative to whom you have to extend your hand, or the perpetrator or his family, he felt bad because it was not easy for them to see the harmed side who besides losing their relative, have tears in their eyes, and with tears in their eyes and in their hearts take out that word that is difficult to be taken out.

Erëmirë Krasniqi: How was your life after reconciliations, after the whole movement?

Marjan Dema: The quality of my life changed after the forgiving of the bloods, those years come, the end of the ‘90s, the war begins. My family and I were very unlucky during the war, we were lucky because none of us was killed, we didn’t die, but the case was that I changed ten houses, because the paramilitary, police and military forces came and chased us. So, it was it was, it was a very difficult month, with four children, until they even burned my car in the village of Banulla. Then I somehow managed to go to the border, there I had two very big dangers which I don’t forgive to myself, but I did them in that moment, I went to the border and I was in the same car with the son of my brother, he stopped and wanted to pass, they didn’t allow us to pass and I didn’t want to wait in order to pass, I didn’t want to leave my place, I didn’t want. I took the car, and I know that the children cried, I don’t know how I took that decision. I left at 7:00PM from the border with Tetovo, I arrived in Pristina at around 9:00PM, I saw tanks on the road, I saw death with my own eyes but I thankfully survived, then…

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Were you living in Pristina at that time or how?

Marjan Dema: My house… I lived in a neighborhood where there were Serbs, a bomb exploded and my windows broke, my windows broke and my house was damaged, it was unusable. Then I went to Pristina to a, I didn’t know him well, he was a far fis, I mean the brother of the wife of my sister’s son, then they chased us from there, I went to the village of Banulla then to Gadime, then I returned to Banulla again. Then it was the time we were reaching an agreement, I returned to Pristina, then I changed houses here in Pristina as well. And then I met Anton Çetta’s wife, and she asked me, “If you decide to leave Kosovo, please,” she said, “Take me with you because I have two daughters and I am afraid they will be mistreated [raped] by the military and police forces.” And I gave my word to her that if I decided…And now, having all these, let’s say salty experiences during the war, my children started not feeling good, you know, my youngest son was four years old, from the shootings, for one moment I almost got burned in the house in Banulla, this is very interesting as well.

It was the Easter Saturday, we were at the family of a haxhi,6 they had, I don’t know, we were surprised by what the had cooked in order to celebrate Easter. It was the son of my brother and I at that family when the police forces came and besieged the village. “They are looking for the refugees.” “Alright,” the son of my brother and I went to the second floor in order for them not to find us, I don’t know who came, shouted and called us, others were leaving because the house had started burning. I mean, it was a matter of seconds if we remained in that house, then we left… from Banulla to Gadime, we went there on foot, a very long road. Then, there I went to a family who had five children, two rooms, they gave me one room, a poor family, they didn’t even have a bathroom, but they were very welcoming, big hearted, they gave us one room. Now, the family that remained [the aforementioned], they lost the family… I mean they lost their house, but we cared, because we created a friendship and they found me another house.

Then I returned again to… but it was the, the very important moment, now when we returned to see the house they were there, they had started to cook lunch, the sweets, the meat, they even had found raki,7 even though that was the house of a haxhi, I keep that family in my heart. But we didn’t manage to celebrate because… but we managed to survive, they didn’t want to kill us, because when they shot, I had, they weren’t more than ten meters from me, if they wanted they could, but they didn’t….It seems like their interest wasn’t to kill us, but to make us go away, but no, they took… (coughs) there, that is where my car was burned and I remained without a car.

Then I decided to go, I gave my word… let me return to the wife of professor Anton Çetta, now I had a car, I returned, I had a bad car because mine was burned, the window of that car was broken, on my way with my children I decided to go to Fushë Kosova, the train to Tetovo was still working… to Macedonia. And I passed, they didn’t stop me, I passed, I left my wife with four children at the ring in order for them to arrive. And I returned to take Gjyste with two of her daughters, I planned it that way that they would arrive by foot until I arrived, and my wife went to the Train Station by foot with four of my children. Then they stopped me, that is when they stopped me, they got me with my hands on the wall, I don’t know whether there were informations that there was a control there, but they only said, “Get in the car and don’t stop anywhere.” Because they noticed that I was there for the second time, and that is where I saw death with my own eyes but I took the risk because I wanted to help the family of professor Anton.

Then I went to Macedonia, I was a professor there, I taught in the University of Tetovo. I continued there, we were welcomed by a family, they found me a house, I lived in good conditions there, a house with a yard. A colleague, a professor gave me the house of his brother. Then there was a program to… an American program to take 20.000 refugees from Kosovo, and of course mine was among those families. I went to America, I settled there, I… I took a one year of unpaid break, I returned the next year.

Now when I returned here, some problems showed up again, there was a, a, a movement to fire some retired professors. I was teaching Mathematics together with a professor, with Fuat Rizvanolli, he remained without classes, my family was in America because I returned alone in the sense that, to later on take my family as well. And the management of that time was mad at me, they were really mad, “You ruined our plans,” I didn’t even know what plans I had ruined, they wanted to fire them and I said, “Listen, I only did it because I don’t want to let the professor down.” And now this is connected to 2001 when I returned, I took the one way tickets in order to never return to America again together with my family.

And the same group didn’t let me, they didn’t give me classes… I was sad, I was sad, what did I decide? Then I took one way tickets again, this time to never return to Kosovo. My children didn’t want to return, because they had returned, they had me their friends there, even though we had all the opportunities, but however they didn’t know the language, they didn’t manage to integrate in the environment where they were living. Then we returned, when I returned with the aim to never go back to Kosovo. Of course I integrated in the society there, there was a big Albanian community, I bought a business, I was economically stable, I started working and was also engaged in an American University.

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Where did you live?

Marjan Dema: I was in Michigan, in Michigan… then here in Prishtina there was the problem of the rector, the government didn’t accept the rector, there were elections, and a group of my friends, “Come, apply for the position of the rector.” I said, “Eh, rector, it has been four years since I am not in Kosovo,” it was 2004, I said, “No.” Then we talked, many Mathematics professors had died, “We need you…” “Ah,” I said, “I return as a professor but I want to be full professor,” I said, “Because I returned to be full professor,” “No, there is no problem.” And I returned, if somebody asks for the reason, I left my children, my wife, I returned to Kosovo. I thought that we were stable, I had the business, my children, my youngest son was 12 years, all the others were over 17 years old, because I have four children.

I returned, when I returned there were the obstacles of the back then government, I returned without a contract nor anything. I worked for one year, I promised that I would return, I worked for one year but luckily there were private universities, I was hired by those private universities and I started, I started having a good time without material problems, I fixed my house. Then, I stayed for one year, I stayed on my own, then I took my wife and my youngest son. My son stayed for one year, when we…when we returned because in the meantime I had taken the American citizenship. I was integrated there and we had founded, we founded an Association of Albanian-American Intellectuals in Michigan, which was an Association with a very good leadership, I was its leader, we conducted various activities, we provided education in Albanian and many other activities.

1 Local Muslim clergy, mullah, muezzin.

2 Sheh is the religious leader of a Sufi sect.

3 In 1991 a mass movement for the forgiveness of blood feuds (pajtimi i gjakut), was launched among the Albanian population of Kosovo. It was initiated by a group of students, former political prisoners, who approached folklore scholar Anton Çetta and others seniors figures in academia to lead the process. The movement reconciled thousands of cases, and it became a movement for national unity.

4 Men’s chamber in traditional Albanian society.

5 Rreth (circle) is the social circle, it includes not only the family but also the people with whom an individual is incontact. The opinion of the rreth is crucial in defining one’s reputation.

6 Local Muslim clergy, mullah, muezzin.

7 Raki is a very common alcoholic drink made from distillation of fermented fruit.

Part Three

Marjan Dema: […] the motive why I returned?

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Where did you find it?

Marjan Dema: I had a very bad luck, three murdered brothers. A very bad luck that I had to resign from the faculty, from the Faculty of Economics. But, however, it was something inside me which I still cannot explain. I bought my house, I paid my loans, I paid everything, I had my business, the business was very…I gave lectures in an American University. I mean, I had a life which I could only dream of. A life like a fairytale. And I returned without my children, without a job, I returned without… I had just repaired my house, I returned home. But I don’t know, I was fed up. I didn’t know how to cherish the goods I had in America. Each time I thought about the youth, about Kosovo. Sometimes I thought, “Alright, I stayed there in the most difficult times, now they will build Kosovo, they will develop it, they will do everything…” But I was very disappointed when I returned, because I stayed for one year only as an adjunct professor, I didn’t have a regular job.

The University got stable one year later, then I was accepted. I was accepted from the beginning. I was accepted with the same call that I had and later on I was named as the vice rector of the University of Pristina. I earned a very good income while working in private universities. The rector offered me to get engaged as the vice rector, I said, “I have returned from America in order to contribute,” and I got involved, I left the jobs I had and I contributed to the University of Pristina as a vice rector, first dealing with foreign affairs, then with finances, because finances were in a very difficult condition. The former-rector asked me to take over that part because the finances of the University of Pristina were not in a good condition. So I worked day and night. And then, that is where I got convinced that we are very envious and that is when the thought crossed my mind that in the time of war we struggled to liberate Kosovo from foreign violence, now we struggle to free it from some people who cannot manage their feelings, they cannot, they cannot get enough, that is where I noticed it.

Then I tasted politics a little as well. The Albanian Christian Democratic Party was in a coma. Many intellectuals asked me and I thought at that time, it was 2009, the middle of 2009, Kosovo needed internationalization, recognition. And I thought that the Albanian Christian Democratic Party would be a good source, because I thought about the good relations with the sister parties, which are very powerful in Europe. I took over that task, I won 76 to 80 percent of the votes in the Assembly, even though I was not a member of the party. But politics turned out to be totally different.

I was not lucky enough to make reforms in politics. The idea was to change the way the party functioned, because as a party it started to focus on the Christian element, which is not, how to say, the foundation of this party, it is not… there are Christian Democratic values, but that doesn’t have to do with religious parties. But I don’t know how that came, I didn’t manage to do it, because the spirit of the new election exploded right away. I took over my task around the end of May, and I resigned from the position of the President in the beginning of October…they started to…I didn’t manage, I didn’t manage to make any reforms, to bring a new spirit. I stabilized [the party] a little, but not. Then the elections began.

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Which year?

Marjan Dema: The elections were not good for me because that was the time when votes were highly misused. I gained around 4000 thousand votes, and they kept decreasing them because there was no one to defend them, to save them (everybody laughs). But however…

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Was this in 2005 or 2007?

Marjan Dema: No, no it was 2010. Then, then I was in the coalition with the Democratic Party.1 That coalition was not accepted well, because the Albanian Christian Democratic party was more used to LDK,2 it was not accepted well. But the reason why I entered the coalition was because I knew the PDK would win and at that time I thought that the only way you could contribute was through being in power. You cannot do it in the shadow, and I think that power should be the goal of each party that is part of politics. And that was the reason why we had a coalition, if we win with the PDK they were supposed to give us one Ministry and two vice ministers, but I don’t know how it happened, they only offered us one vice minister. I didn’t accept it. That was, that was not an honest coalition and I was disappointed with my electorate as well as with the coalition (laughs) and I withdrew. I resigned and I think that the best thing I did in my life was resigning from the party, then I was engaged in the community and social life.

I was a member of the Rotary Club, where we, I was also the leader, we have, we still give a big contribution but I am very busy now… many projects in water installation, scholarships, we conducted many projects, it is an organization which is funded by the membership, but nobody is paid. However, the Rotarians have a great will and feeling to help the community, to help those who are not lucky to have the opportunities that we have. This happened until 2015. The University was in a very bad condition. I have the University in my heart, I am connected to this University as most of the Kosovo people. It is a small but holy building, it is big to me and to most of Kosovo people because everything was connected, influenced, fed by this University. The problems were very big.

The process of early general elections within the University started, and some colleagues from the Leading Council… The Leading Council didn’t exist yet at that time, I guess, but they were professors with prestige, knowing that I wasn’t interested to be a rector, they asked me to lead the early elections in UP. I hesitated because the situation in the University was really not good. But when I thought about it, I said, “Okay, let’s do something good for the University,” and I took over. I wasn’t interested at all in becoming a rector, usually when you are [it doesn’t happen], they named me the leader of the Central Elections Commission within UP, and I did it. I took all the written rules we had and read them We made the strategy, we did everything, we foresaw the process , I met the team in the Council, the Central Election Commision and I told them, “These are the rules, these are the norms, this is the schedule, the agenda. There will be not a slight move from the agenda, not a one millimeter move from the rules, we cannot even think about any misuse. Let’s offer something beautiful to this University that is suffering without any reason.”

And fortunately, I had a lot of luck, everything went well. I even said many times, “A miracle is happening.” The University was in a terrible situation, but on the other side an irreproachable process was done. We had some complains from the students after some coalitions were made because the coalition was very cohesive, but the complains were more because they wanted to change the coalition. But my determination is what helped us mostly there, because I didn’t allow them to open the ballot boxes, I called all the secretaries who were leaders of those election units, “Was there any manipulation?” “No, they all signed them, they all accepted them.” I didn’t allow it. That was the greatest thing, that we didn’t allow them to open those ballot boxes, but of course I defended the elections, I defended the results because… I didn’t defend individuals. They made a big deal out of that, but I defended the process. And they didn’t have, there were tens of cameras, in some cases, in some faculties where they were interested, in case… but people are always like, “This one shouldn’t have won.” That is not how it should be, the voter is autonomous, it is the person who decides. And of course we had the election of the rector in March 4. They failed. There were two candidates in the final, none of them won because the result was 4 to 4. And now the position of the rector needed to be opened again. I finished the proces. That is when I started having the feeling of taking the risk…

Erëmirë Krasniqi: To run?

Marjan Dema: To run and I had a very big fight with myself, I had reasons, I love the University, I want to help, I have the experience. But, it was, it was a difficult fire to take in your hands. And the moment I decided was very interesting. I met a professor on the Zahir Pajaziti square, he respects me but I value him too, Feriz Krasniqi, and I was still fighting with myself in order to decide. And I asked, “Professor, how are you?” And he complained that his wife was not well. But of course the first word, because I was in the media as well because of the elections, the first word, “What is happening in the University?” I said, “Professor, I don’t know bre,3 this Kosovo was born and raised by this University, the University has done a lot. Now instead of being the one that helps Kosovo develop, the University has become a burden.”

At the time the University was, it was attacked from every side, various articles on the first pages of every newspaper, not good for the University… and he told me these words, he said, “Marjan,” he said, “I remember one case when we were in a gathering,” he said, “And an old man came close to me and asked me, ‘Where do you work?’ I answered, ‘At the University,’ ‘Eh, my son,’ the old man had said, ‘When we prayed, until now we turned towards the kibla,4 now we turn towards the University.’” That is where I decided, because I had chills, I said, “I will go until the end, I will run [for rector].”

Now of course, I gained sympathy because I defended the University, I was among the first one who defended the University. I wasn’t involved anywhere, I had withdrawn, I worked in the Rotary, simply I was not, I had withdrawn because I didn’t want, I said, “For six years I was, I was a member of the Leading Council for three years, I gave my contribution for three years, how can I leave it to someone else now.” I didn’t even think about running for rector. I gained the sympathy, I was supported by the students as well as the Senate and the Leading Council, everybody supported me. Politics didn’t stop me. So I came, I started. Of course now it’s been almost ten months, I mean almost ten months with one… actually tomorrow, today it’s full ten months.

The University is getting stable, it is stable. We have put standards in place, because I am very interested in developing the University through standards, because Kosovo is small, everybody knows everybody. We put standards that allow or do not allow an individual, but not individual wishes, be it the rector’s, the dean’s or whoever’s. And we have done many reforms, to be honest, I am very happy that we have achieved a very great success, because the University was close to entering the black list because we were not able to lead the University, but fortunately a very constructive climate was created. We have debates but…

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Have you inherited big problems?

Marjan Dema: Sorry?

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Have you inherited big problems from the one who was before you?

Marjan Dema: Yes we had, there was a blockade, no communication existed for three years. The University didn’t deal with academic issues, simply there were protests at the University all the time, not pleasant affairs all the time, and things that… I tried to take people who represent all the faculties in my staff, I mean if there were… I created the criteria, if I am from the Faculty of Electronics, the vice rector cannot be from the same faculty, if there were people from the Faculty of Law in the Leading Council, then the vice rector cannot be from the same faculty. I represented gender as well, two women, four men. Then I tried to [deal] with the language issue, I didn’t want my vice rectors or the rector to go somewhere or welcome the delegations with translators, I mean they all speak English. I tried to also represent the regional side, the village as well as the city, so we are three with three, three of us are from village… I have, I took everything into consideration because I wanted this management and this University to be for everyone.

And the religious element, I am Catholic, I use it everywhere, that it is an University where 97 percent of the staff and students are Muslim and that [my faith] was respected. So, an appropriate environment for reforms to happen was created, to send the University forward and our vision is for the University of Pristina to become a University not only for the region but even beyond. I know that this road is a difficult one, it is not easy but somehow I have the faith that we will make it happen and I don’t doubt it at all, because we have a vision where we want to go, we know what we need, we know how to arrive there. Of course it is not easy because the professors are engaged in many things, many activities.

But however, I think that in the environment that we have created everything breathes and thinks for the better of the University. It is an environment which if somebody asked me ten months ago, I could not imagine, but we have reached it. Because the University of Pristina doesn’t have, I mean the management doesn’t have the individuals on their agenda, we only have one agenda and that is the University and the students within it. And I have been very satisfied until now, but of course I am also aware that it is not going to be easy. It is a long road because people always have interests. From a situation, I don’t want to say it, of academic anarchy to a situation of discipline, to an academic situation, a situation where everything is covered by rules, norms, standards.

It is not easy but we have made it together, first with my team, then with the deans who are doing their jobs, they are very committed to changes, for reforms, to move forward, and overall they were well accepted by the students. But of course now we have many things to do in this road, the advancement of the quality of teaching, the advancement of students services, the advancement of the connection to the market. We have signed an agreement with many private and public companies where we send our students to do their practices, we have unblocked that, the international collaboration was blocked as well, [we unblocked it] with many projects, most of the projects went to the University of Northern Mitrovica, we have signed many agreements with many European Universities, American, especially from Turkey.

I mean, we have opened, we have many fronts on which we are working and that is most important, because [we achieved that] even though we inherited problems, which were of course created by a blockage because the Senate didn’t function, neither did the Leading Council, the rectorate didn’t communicate with the faculties. We did all that work and what I like is that we are a University of solutions and we haven’t had any problem until now, we addressed all the processes, or they were done or are being done, but of course as I said before, we have a long road ahead. I believe in what we are going to see at the end of this road. Of course, not everything can be done, but we will finish one step. What is mostly important is that we are convinced as well, public opinion is convinced that the University of Pristina can be changed, it is changing. And I think that Kosovo can hardly change without changing the University of Pristina, because everything started from this University and what is happening is that the University has changed, the University began to change, and I believe that society in general will start to change, now that the University of Pristina has started to change, and I believe that the society in general will start to change because we have a really healthy, beautiful youth, a youth that is thirsty for knowledge.

We have relatively good conditions at the University, that is why what we need to offer to this youth is quality education, a better future and a better career, a place where they will think how to develop and advance, to love… because unfortunately we are aware that most of our youth have only one aim, to leave Kosovo. The idea of the University of Pristina is to make Kosovo sweeter, the place of opportunities, the place that offers the realization of all hopes, wishes, dreams but of course through work. All of this, all of this can happen if we are committed to work, to individuals, because an individual can change the mass and the general [public] can be changed if we begin with ourselves first, and not the way it has been until now, to change the other, to change the government, to change the state. We are the state, the government, the University, the nation, that is why we have to change individually in order to change the general [public].

Erëmirë Krasniqi: I think that we can stop it here, but would you like to add something that you left unsaid?

Marjan Dema: Yes, but I don’t know, I don’t know if there is anything left, because we talked a lot and I don’t know whether… I have anything, I don’t know… I tried to cover everything, of course there must be a moment that escaped me because these are not easy to tell, but I am saying again… I couldn’t tell them like this before, maybe time had done its thing, the repair work. So, I am very happy that I managed to say them. A big part of them, I don’t know maybe I forgot something but it doesn’t matter anymore, because I had surgery in my leg 47 years later. Now I can run, my life quality has improved, I feel better, I am happier, I can run, nobody says, “How are you, qopë?” “How are you, topall?” I mean, I have changed in that respect as well. There is no aim that cannot be reached with commitment, enthusiasm and patience. It is only a matter of time, maybe sometimes results come unexpected, but they are, they are not accidental, nothing is accidental in this world, everything is a result of engagement, of beforehand engagement and of course…

I said it before that I never thought that I would become the rector of the University of Pristina, I even withdrew, I stayed aside. People tried to see what was the contribution that this man had given during these years. I didn’t give [a contribution] because I was engaged in giving contribution to the community through social activities and I didn’t deal with this kind of issues. But of course, the will that I told you about that came from inside, [the will] to sacrifice. Because I consider this, my becoming the rector is a sacrifice, because I came at the moment when the University was at the lowest possible point, but we were lucky, the road is long but the processes has gone very well, a lot better than I could imagine or dream.

If somebody said to me ten months ago, “Could you have dreamed this?” I knew that we would achieve it, because I am still convinced, but I didn’t expect it in such a short time. I mean it was a surprise in one way, but when the environment and the momentum is created, when people feel good… my idea was and is to make everyone part of the process… because if… when for example we have standards which we pass, as with the platform for scientific work, we sent the platform from the departments to the faculties, then we came to the Collegium, to the Senate, in one way, the idea was for everyone to be part of that process. When people feel that they are part of the process they consider that as their product, as, as, as, how to say, a beauty of theirs. And we did this.

Erëmirë Krasniqi: Thank you very much!

Marjan Dema: You are welcome!

1 Partia Demokratike e Kosovës, Democratic Party of Kosovo.

2 Lidhja Demokratike e Kosovës – Democratic League of Kosovo. First political party of Kosovo, founded in 1989, when the autonomy of Kosovo was revoked, by a group of journalists and intellectuals. The LDK quickly became a party-state, gathering all Albanians, and remained the only party until 1999.

3 Colloquial: used to emphasize the sentence, it expresses strong emotion. More adds emphasis, like bre, similar to the English bro, brother.

4 Kibla, The Qibla, also transliterated as Qiblah, Qibleh, Kiblah, Kıble or Kibla, is the direction that a Muslim must face during the salah prayers.

Download PDF