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Zijadin Qira, the silent hero of the national issue in Macedonia and Kosovo
Written by Nga Spartak Braho 3 Qershor 2023
Almost 20 years ago and precisely on October 5, 2002, in New Jersey in the United States of America, the prominent citizen and activist of the Albanian community in America, the former political prisoner in Yugoslavia, Zijadin Qira, died. He represented the national ideals in the best way and dedicated his whole life to efforts for the liberation of Kosovo and other Albanian countries, for the creation of a large, free and independent Albanian state. Who was Zijadin Qira, described by English academic historian James Petifer as an early infiltrator to the Yugoslav army. According to the English researcher of the history of the liberation war in Kosovo, academician James Petifer, he was sent by the Tirana regime for informational purposes as an infiltrator and for the organization of military cells. He was born on November 27, 1932 in the village of Veleshte in Struga. where he also spent his childhood. In 1944, as a smart and lively nature, you joined the Albanian partisan brigades, which fought against fascism, in the war years of the former Yugoslavia. After the end of the war, he enrolled in the Skenderbej military school in Tirana. Even in 1948, he was sent on a special assignment in Yugoslavia. He continued at the Yugoslav Military Academy in Kragujevac. Even though he was young, feeling the injustices that were being done to the Albanian people, he committed himself to fight for the freedom and rights of the Albanian people of Yugoslavia. His illegal activity caught the attention of UKB and in November 1949, he was arrested. After 13 months in prison, he was released due to lack of evidence. Before much time has passed, he is arrested again, pursued as a CIA informant and sentenced to three years in prison, subjecting him to human torture. After leaving prison in 1956, together with a group, he created the Albanian Democratic Nationalist Party, where the main points of its program were the unification of the Albanian lands, the creation of ethnic Albania, and the fight against Serbian Macedonian nationalism. The political organization directed by him takes several actions, such as distributing tracts, writing slogans and placing Albanian flags in the cities of Skopje, Tetovo, Gjakove, Prizren, Peje, etc. On May 31, 1956, the UDB arrests him again as a dangerous irredentist element and he is again sentenced to 15 years, which he did in the famous prison of Idrizova. Even in prison, he continued his activity by writing and publishing articles and books against the Yugoslav chauvinist regime, and for this activity described as "hostile propaganda" in 1992, he was sentenced to 8 years. He was released from prison in 1966, but since he was being followed step by step and was threatened with the risk of a new arrest, he was forced to leave Yugoslavia. He fled illegally to Italy and then was drawn to the USA, where he lived and worked until the end of his life, carrying out a dense patriotic activity in the Albanian community there. In 1977, he published in New York memoirs and a diary from the time of imprisonment entitled "Cell Number 31". In this book, the author faithfully describes his suffering and that of other Albanian prisoners in the infamous prison of Idrizovo, displaying his ideals and aspiration for freedom, liberation and national unity against the anti-Albanian Yugoslav chauvinist regime. With facts and living witnesses, he describes his suffering and that of other fellow prisoners, describes the violence and torture and continuous repression of the UDB and the oppressive Yugoslav chauvinist regime. The book had wide echoes in the mergate and patriotic circles in America, revealing the falsity of the wild chauvinist regime in Yugoslavia against the Albanian people. After the year 1991, at the beginning of the democratic processes, in the eastern countries, Zijadini republished his book "Cell 31" in English and in the Albanian press in Kosovo and Macedonia, aiming for the Albanian national issue to advance further. Along with some other activities, they founded the "League of Prizren" organization, similar to the activity and goals of the former League of Prizren. This patriotic organization strongly supported the Kosovo Liberation Army and its war, morally and materially. After the Liberation of Kosovo in 1999, at the head of a large delegation, he made a visit to the liberated Kosovo, visiting a number of cities such as Prekaz and Recak, Prizren, Peja, Gjakov, Mitrovica, etc. After returning to the USA, Zijadini and his friend Gani Perollin published in the Albanian newspaper Illyria a long report entitled "Kosova, longing and tears" where they evoked the visits to Prekaz, Drenice, the tower of Jashareve, and the tomb of the legendary commander Azem Jashari , Shaban Polluzha, Tahir Mehes and other fighters who fell for the liberation of Kosovo. In the same year, he published his second book entitled "Wolves in Coats", echoing all the crimes and massacres that had been committed in Albanian lands against Albanians before and during the Second World War. "Wolves in furs" that the author of the book talks about were spiritual ethers in the Belgrade artrap of Slobodan Milosevic and his followers. The author in this book points out that he was one of those who had understood very early the goals of the Yugoslav chauvinist to eliminate and practice genocide against the Albanian people. He was listed as an early dissident, one of the people with the longest tenure as a political prisoner in the Albanian lands in Macedonia. Zijadin Qira was a man who for most everything time gave him the right for the dramatic history of the former Albanian political prisoners. His figure, which I personally had the chance to learn in those years from his nephew Mendih Qira, also an eager participant in the UCK, as well as being familiar with the book of the English historian and academic James Petifer botta translated into Albania, will remain the example of the nationalist patriot and eternal soldier of the national cause. He was and remains the glory of the city of Struga and beyond, an Albanian hero in Macedonia and Kosovo. It is up to the local state authorities in Struga, Macedonia and Kosovo, not to be shy in evoking this figure by elevating in the main squares with monuments and street names for the Hero Zijadin Qira. Zijadin Qira was a silent but also open hero of the national issue. He makes you among all Albanians here and across the border. not to be shy to evoke this figure by raising in the main squares with monuments and street names for the Hero Zijadin Qira. Zijadin Qira was a silent but also open hero of the national issue. He makes you among all Albanians here and across the border. not to be shy to evoke this figure by raising in the main squares with monuments and street names for the Hero Zijadin Qira. Zijadin Qira was a silent but also open hero of the national issue. He makes you among all Albanians here and across the border.