Teuta Bekteshi

Kumanovo | Date: February 25, 2023 | Duration: 193 minutes

You cannot imagine how crowded it was, how much enthusiasm, you cannot… there were elderly, you had, there were women […] When Hydajet Hyseni got up, in that part of the city’s promenade that Pristina has today, next to the Zahir Pajaziti memorial […] When they got up, we were very close and one of our friends from the group got up there, Remzije Limani, she also got on the tree. […] While the demands Hydajet made were articulated, you know, dressed, masked and everything. But the problem was very serious, because it was so crowded that it was like this {puts her hands together} one after the other. And then they started throwing teargas. Then the crowd of people, because it got to that part at first, they were the first who started to have serious problems. You didn’t have a chance to go back, but the crowd pushed. Here, it got to me, it knocked me down. I fell down, because the crows pushed me. You had nowhere to hold on to, because the person behind you ran away. I fell to the ground on asphalt, so, my brother fell on top of me. Teuta was on the ground because we were there together and I was smothered. Teuta said, ‘A really big person fell on top of me,’ she said, ‘I couldn’t even breathe underneath.’ And my brother was on top there and when we stood up after the crowd dispersed, when we stood up, there were already chants, the demands came to light. […] We were running, some that way, some this way. On our way back up there, I mean the main streets from the canteen, where the main street is now, the street, shoes, sneakers, stuff all over the ground as the people ran away.

Anita Susuri (Interviewer), Renea Begolli (Camera)

Teuta Bekteshi was born in 1957 in the village of Llopat, Kumanovo, North Macedonia. In 1990, she graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Pristina. From 1997, she works as a general practitioner in her private practice “Doctor Teuta” in Kumanovo. In 1983 and 1985, she was imprisoned due to her political activity. Ms. Bekteshi is the head of the Albanian Women’s League in the Kumanovo branch. She has two children and lives with her family in Kumanovo.