The political alibi


Article in original

Kosova does not belong to the Serbs


Arben Çokaj

THE MOST well known Albanian writer abroad, Ismail Kadare, a few months ago said: “someone shall find a formula to separate Albanians from the Serbs. It is not so easy to forget the blood that has flowed on the Balkans. Serbs are clever enough to understand, that nothing good will come by a coexistence with the Albanians”.

Another writer also said something alike, in the beginning of January. This time it was the Serb writer, Ivan Ivanji, who lives now in Austria, because of his non-approvals with Milosevic’ policy. He has been a former secretary of the writer’s league in Yugoslavia, and personal translator for Tito. “For Serbs, Kosova is lost” he said, “and people must not live in ‘middle-age’ fantasies. There is no Serb, who likes to live in Kosova, and 90 % of Albanian population cannot be held down by police troops or state forces.”

AS SOON, as Belgrade understands this, it will be much better for all. Fortunately it’s becoming very evident, that the Serbs today have begun to think different. It is for sure the bad economical situation right now in Serbia, the desperate results after a long and tiresome war in Bosnia and especially the hard pressure from Western Countries to the government of Serbia, which gradually has made a lot of Serbs to change their minds.

The young generation in Serbia thinks for sure for a better life, and the students in Belgrade have finally seen throughout the lies of the politicians. Lies about Kosova, as their historical and cultural cradle. The proofs about this are just a battle against the Ottomans in Kosova-plain in 1389, and some old orthodox churches in that area. It is true, that the battle against the Ottomans was led by then Serbian tsar Lazar, but the historians tells us, that other nations, like Albanians, Bulgarians, Croats and more, took part into that war.

Furthermore, one can say, the Balkans lost the war, but the Serbs celebrate this occasion. Isn’t it controversial, that the Serbs celebrate a lost battle?…

The explanation can be found behind an alibi. The alibi has for centuries been spread out throughout the world and has given the worst effect mainly to the Serbs themselves. A lot of Serbs really believe, that Kosova is their oldest land, they have! If this is true, then why they left it to the Albanians?!

The grotesque in this is, that the alibi has been transformed to a myth, because of a Serbian strong propaganda. On one hand, the myth was learned in primary schools, where a plenty of writers wrote the most romantically poetries; and on the other hand, the Serbs has always used state terror against the Albanians in Kosova.

THE SERBIAN historians can of course create the story, that Albanian Muslims supported by Ottomans, emigrated to Serbia at around 16th to 17th century.
But is this the truth? Does it mean, that the Albanians had some favours by the Turkish occupation? As far as I know, the Turks has been as bad against the Albanians, as they may have been against the Serbs, and the real truth is, that there has never been a majority of Serbs in Kosova.

The origin of those churches, which are today used as monopoly to show Serbia’s ‘cradle’, has not been good explained. The Albanians were Christians before the Slavs came into Balkans, and they continue to remain Christian long time after the 15th century’s Turkish occupation. About 30-35 % of the Albanians are still Christians today.

There are at least two political parties in Kosova, which are led by Albanian Christians and support Rugova for independence. It is more likely, that those churches, which are mentioned with great remarks by Serbs, has in fact been built by Albanians. Some of these churches have afterwards been transformed, some of them have gotten Cyrillic writings, but this doesn’t change the case.

PEOPLE in the Balkans think differently in comparison to people in Western countries. But the majority of them have the same wishes: democracy, freedom of speech, law and rule, peace and development.

People in Kosova live, as they say, in the largest prison of the world, and their mentality has gradually been influenced/changed. There has been a lot of Albanians, who has managed to get out of Kosova, but the vast majority of them are still there. They will be there.

What is the reason that keeps this people back? It is a very simple answer: their home. It’s not so easy to leave the place that has given meaning to you. Serbs go deep in the history and pull other nations to do the same. Albanians have proved to beat the Serbs with their own weapons, too: with historical explanations.

The situation right now speaks for itself. 90 % of the people in Kosova are Albanians and they want back what it has been taken from them by force.
Yugoslavia has become the former Yugoslavia, and its republics have gotten their own rule. Why is it so strange to allow the Albanians having the same rights? For a lost battle in 1389, or for some orthodox churches, which are not used for any purpose by now?

It has been said, that many Serbs have been leaving Kosova because of fear for a coming war. Now there are only police and military forces against an unarmed people. How long it will stay like this, we’ll find it out by the time goes on. But something is very clear: The Albanians cannot stay and look the pregnant women, children and old people being shot dead by the Serbian police and military troops.

Arben Çokaj is a former leader of students from Albania, where he has been a co-organizer of demonstrations against the communism in 1990. Today he teaches Informatics at the Centre of Informatics, at the Labour Secretariat of Copenhagen’s Commune.

Published atPolitiken – Danish newspaper, on 18.06.1998

The article in: Albanian | Danish


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