George Georgiou

Studenica, KOSOVO

Rame Zeqiraj (73) and his wife Gjyle (63)
He was asked to describe his memories of the 1999 war, when the whole population of the ethnic Albanian village of Studenica were forced to flee the fighting.
"At the beginning of the war we had 30 people living in our house, alongside family we had 13 refugees who had to leave their village and four UCK (KLA) solders. One of my daughters fought in the KLA when the Serbs had a big offensive in Verla (the next village). On the 30th April 1999 the whole village and the neighbouring villages left for the mountains.
After the war it wasn't easy to live in all the destruction but it was much better than before the war, now we have our freedom. We have hope that the blood that was spilled will give us our independence but we also have a fear. We haven't had freedom for two or three centuries and experience makes us suspicious that some of the big powers will somehow prevent it from happening.
We can live together with the Serbs if they can accept the new reality of an independent Kosovo. It won't be easy, to accept an aggressor who killed your brothers but if that is the price of independence we will manage."

Object Name
George Georgiou
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