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  • It was my Mum''s birthday on Saturday. Happy birthday Mum. She's 21 again which is weird as it now makes me 14 years older than her.

    Story time: Once upon a time there lived a man called Adem. He lived with his family, the Jashari's in a quite village called Prekaz lying in Drenica, a region in the heart of Kosovo. Adem was the son of Shaban whom had five sons and three daughters, Hava, Rifat, Hamza, Zyla, Zoja, Adem, Qamile and Halime. Adem, the youngest of Shaban's sons was born on the 28th November 1955. He grew up to marry Adile and they had five children together, Lulzim, Fitim, Shqipe, Kushtrim and Marigona. They lived together in their large and beautiful family Kulla (town house). Adem was a quite and patriotic man. He also happened to be the leader of the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army).

    One cold morning on the 30th December 1991 he and his two brothers, Rifat and Hamza were at home when a large group of Serb Police and Military arrived to lay siege to the family. Many people from surrounding villages came to help them and after the family shot several Police they left and did not return for a further seven years.

    Meanwhile over those seven years Police entered surrounding villages where they were met with many men whom had learnt the lesson from Adem and thus defended their families and villages. Unfortunately many fell while doing this. The news spread and more people came. The KLA had become the resistance to oppression and regime.

    On January 22nd as dawn broke specialised Police units surrounded his house. As the Sun broke over the village the Police attacked with mortar and automatic weapon fire. Several of the family members returned fire and after a fire fight the Police retreated, but had wounded two of the family, Selvete and Iliriana. After the failure of the attack Police sentenced Adem to 20 years in prison, however they had to capture him first.

    On the 28th February huge police forces amassed and under tank and helicopter support entered two local villages, Likoshan and Qirez. They had killed several villagers along with the men of the Ahmetaj family. Adem and his fighters entered the villages despite the tanks and helicopters and helped the residents.

    By the 5th March great parts of Drencia where besieged. The various Serb forces were heading for one meeting place, Adem's house. Of the 30 members of his family 22 where home that morning.

    At around 6AM the first shots were herd. Tanks and Artillery opened up on Adem's house. Adile was shot while carrying ammunition to Adem, but the rest remained unhurt until night fall when the fighting died down.

    For three days Adem and his family fought. On the fourth day a shell hit the back wall of the house and killed thirteen of his family. Only Besarta survived to hear Adem singing and fighting. He finally fell at the front door of his house.

    And the consequences of this battle? The Jashari's families death had shocked the international community into action. The KLA was becoming stronger as many people took up arms to fight. In an abstract way you could say that Adem had sacrificed his family in order to save his country.

    The 28th of November is celebrated here since 1955 when the Kosovo flag was lifted for independence. The Serbs took that and a man who was born of the same day took the first steps to return that independences to Kosovo. A real dude.