Rona Nishliu is a student, musician and radio presenter who lives in Pristina. Her first successes came when she entered the Albanian Idol talent contest and then sang with the band Flakareshat. Now she is recording her first solo album. She was born in 1986.
I was born in Mitrovica and lived there for the first 13 years of my life. We lived in the northern part of town. Mitrovica was totally different then. Now, it is like an apartment except that you can't go into one of the rooms. It was a nice town. When I went to school, we Albanians went in the afternoon and Serbs went in the morning. We did not have any contacts with them and we could not use the gym or the laboratories. They were locked, so we did sport outside.
We did have Serbian neighbours. People we said "hello" or "good afternoon" to, but I did not have any Serbian friends. Both my parents used to work for the Trepca mining complex but both were kicked out in 1989. After that my father ran a shop and my mother was at home.
When the bombing started in 1999, on April 4, men with military uniform came into our home and threatened us and told us we had to leave. They beat my father in front of us; me, my mother, my brother, my aunt and grandmother. They said: "You can't stay. You've got to go!" My grandmother said: "Where should we go?" They said: "Go to your country, go to Albania." My grandmother said: "Kosova is our country. I was born here and have lived 65 years here."
My grandfather had a holiday house near Ulcinj in Montenegro. We stayed there until the end of August. Then my father and aunt tried to go back. But our home was burned and the north was under Serbian control.