Shahadije Neziri Lohaj

Ferizaj | Date: June 9, 2023 | Duration: 84 minutes

I participated in the ‘81 demonstrations too. We were at home, and we heard that there was a demonstration. I was young, so I had just turned 15 or something like that. My mother told me, ‘Don’t go,’ she said, ‘because you shouldn’t go there, you are way too young.’ ‘Yes, yes.’ And my brother and I ran away and joined the demonstrations. […] At the railroad there was a crowd of people who gathered and we began there and joined, we started chanting various slogans, ‘Kosovo Republic.’ […] We started chanting, ‘Trepça is ours.’ […] There were different kinds of slogans and I was part of it together with my brother. And then, the teargas was thrown, the police began intervening, to hit people, to push the demonstrators and that’s when we dispersed. To tell you the truth the teargas was so terrible that it suffocated you. There were people who were more prepared, who were older and said, ‘Take onion and place it close to your nose for it to go away.’ So, they had thrown poison. We ran from there and we came back home.

Anita Susuri (Interviewer), Ana Morina (Camera)

Shahadije Neziri Lohaj was born in 1965 in Skopje, North Macedonia. She studied Albanian Language and Literature at the Faculty of Philology, at the University of Pristina. In 1983, she was sentenced to three years in prison due to her political engagement. Presently, she works as a teacher at the Gjon Serreçi Elementary School in Ferizaj. Mrs. Neziri Lohaj has three children and lives with her family in Ferizaj.