Prizren old town community has always been an example of good interethnic relations between local Albanians, Serbs, Turks, Roma nd Gorani people.  Interviews conducted by Belgrade based Humanitarian Law Center (FHP) recreate some memories on cosmopolitan spirit of Prizren in period before ethnically motivated violence in 1999 and 2004. A Serb S.R. from Prizren downtown recalled these memories in the interview given to FHP interviewer  on 28th April 2004:

We could move about freely more or less freely. (…) We were on very good terms with our neighbours, Sala, an Albanian family, with brothers Thaqi, Enver and Asaf. Their father Halil was a good man. Ruzhdi, who owns the household appliances shop, likewise. We wouldn’t exchange them for half of Serbia. Although there were some minor provocations (…) we were determined to stay here, in our home, in the centre of Prizren near the Church of the Holy Virgin of Ljeviška where there were few Serb families.

The Albanians interviewed by the HLC are convinced that no local Albanians had a hand in the March violence against the Serbs and the rioters were people brought from elsewhere by the organisers of the demonstrations. An Albanian G.I. reiterated this in the interview to FHP on 19. May 2004. 

The thugs were organised and knew exactly which houses were Serb and which of them should be demolished and torched. There were also those who came in trucks to plunder. I did not recognise any one of them. They were not from Prizren (…) I have never seen those people before (…) We have always been on good terms with the Serbs. They respected us and we respected them. They spoke our language, respected our customs. At the time of Ramadan the Serbs refrained from smoking in front of the fasting Albanians, Bosniacs or Turks.

Ethnic Violence in Kosovo. Beograd: Fond za humanitarno pravo, 2004.

Image courtesy of aleksandarmiletic | MALI VELIKI LJUDI

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