Nexhmi Zeqiri

Pristina | Date: March 29, 2022 | Duration: 59 minutes

I was a witness, I was the main doctor. I worked there in Stari Trg and the day the strike began I was working in the first shift. Around 8:00, we received the information, because the ambulance was close to the mine, they said, ‘The miners have started a strike.’ My father was still alive, my mother and other family members. They were living in Mitrovica. And they said, ‘The miners’ strike has begun. The miners are dissatisfied. From today on they started a strike and they promised they won’t go out until their demands are met.’ It began around 8:00. I got the news that it was happening around 8:00. […] A sort of hunger strike, they expressed dissatisfaction through demands. Kosovo was alarmed, Yugoslavia was alarmed, as well as Serbia and the European and international community, [they heard] that a big miners’ strike began in Stari Trg. We as doctors joined them, since we were also there on duty to help the miners with whatever they needed. They were tired at first, exhausted. One night, two nights [passed by], their health began to worsen. We sent some [of them] to Mitrovica hospital, but they didn’t want to go to Mitrovica. They wanted to stay there, the ones who were sicker. […] Nobody wanted to go to Mitrovica because there were some Albanian doctors, some Serbian doctors who were against the miners’ strike and against… and they used to mistreat them.

Anita Susuri (interviewer), Renea Begolli (Camera)

Nexhmi Zeqiri was born in 1958 in Podujeva. He studied Medicine in Belgrade and Kragujevac. In 1993, he finished his PhD at the University of Tirana. As a Trepça scholarship holder, he started working as an occupational doctor in the Trepça mine in 1985. During the 1990s, he worked in the Mother Teresa humanitarian ambulance, as well as in a private pharmacy. Mr. Zeqiri still works as a cardiologist and has his own private practice in Pristina.