Tuesday, May 21, 2024

ALBANIAN DECEMBER 1990

As I listen and read the clashes in the Albanian political scene of Tirana, I remember the first trip there, the drone of facing the reality and, necessarily, the beginning of the change that was being felt. Beyond the bunkers that could hurt the eye from Qafë Thana to the coast. The poplar road from Tirana to Durrës, on the side of which the farmers were engaged in seasonal work, Scanderbeg Square and a little to its side, in front of it, the monument of Enver Hoxha, the Fifteenth Floor, Dajti and the monument of Stalin and the bust of Lenin or other classics of Marxism. Sometime later the monuments were overturned. The Albanians, he told me on the microphone in Tirana, had decided to pronounce the most severe punishment: FOR FEAR! They loved Albania “like America, like Europe”!

Aothor: SELADIN XHEZAIRI

At the beginning of December 1990, together with my colleagues Violeta Oroshi, Sahit Kokolli and Fahri Pallaska, we made it to the border crossing of Qafë Thana, while night had fallen with all that roughness and the lack of light in the areas where identification documents were presented, as if it overturned me what I had heard over the years from Radio-Tirana and Radio-Kukësi, or even what I had read in “Zëri i Populli”…Scanderbeg Square when observed from the Fifteenth Floor gave the impression of a metropolis, but that part behind the hotel reflected the entire contrast of the Albanian reality.

But that December of 1990, Tirana was boiling!

The well-known actor Ndrek Luca in the tavern of the Dajti Hotel gave me an overview of living in the “fortress of socialism”: “Look at this shirt! With this I go to rehearsals, to the theater, and with this I go out like today to wait for the guests”!

I remember how today, Sahiti had made an appointment with a relative in Dajti, while Violeta had to meet a cousin. With the latter, accompanied by a colleague who took us to Qafë Thane in an official car, we passed by “Blloku”. She, as well as the Kosovars who came from Mamurras, did not hide their satisfaction because for the first time they had entered the environments they had usually dreamed of visiting: “How did I get out of the country” – they told us.

We crossed Albania: We prepared six documentaries for Yutel television, for which we were working. Protagonists were people who looked at their own work, but also lecturers, actors, writers and journalists, such as Edi Rama e Kastriot Çaushi, Gavrosh Levonja or even the great Dritëro Agolli, Ilinden Spase, Mehmet Elezi. We also interviewed the newly released clerics Hafiz Sabri Koçi and Dom Simon Jubani, both in Shkodër…

I remember Farudin Hoxha postponed the interview for a day because Ramiz Alia shot and spoke on the day we were supposed to conduct it.

We were welcomed by figures who seemed to be the core of pluralism, precisely the rise of the Democratic Party: Sali Berisha, Gramoz Pashko, Besnik Mustafaj, Azem Hajdari, as well as Mehmet Elezi and Qemal Sakajeva, Virgjil Kule…

Everyone was talking about the “Albania of the year zero”, about the Albania that we “Kosovars” thought was like that of Migjeni, but that it was felt that the fist was rising that finally made the difference: it destroyed the system to start a battle new from this distance is not that it did not bear fruit: In fact, when I compare the disintegration of the system in Albania and that in Yugoslavia, exactly what happened with the disintegration of the former Yugoslav federation, I say that in relation to the former Yugoslav republics , the step of the Albanians – it really is a kilometer, as they used to say back then!

Therefore, as I listen and read about the clashes in the Albanian political scene in Tirana, to this day I can’t forget the first trip there, the shyness of facing reality and, perhaps, the beginnings of the change that was being felt. Beyond the bunkers that could kill the eye from Qafë Thana to the coast. Poplar road from Tirana to Durrës, on the side of which farmers were engaged in seasonal work, Scanderbeg Square and a little to its side, in front of it, the Enver Hoxha memorial, The fifteenth floor, Dajti and Stalin’s memorial and Lenin’s bust or other classics of Marxism. Sometime later the monuments were overturned. The Albanians, he told me on the microphone in Tirana, had decided to pronounce the most severe punishment: FOR FEAR! They loved Albania “like America, like Europe”! Because of this, I say that the political class in Tirana, because it was somehow the protagonist of that December of 1990, must reflect against the dilemma of this December: “to be or n

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