“Kur ngre fjalën Antoni plak, lind pajtimi s’ka më gjak.”

Father Lush Gjergji – Interview extract

“Anton Çetta was our head; our youth was our heart; those who reached out to reconciliation and forgiveness were our hands, while we, who walked, who ran here and there, were the legs who helped the people. And people began to look at forgiveness as the condition for freedom. And people began to celebrate… This was a power, an inspiration, that could not be stopped. In the beginning, as I said, until people understood who we were, until people understood what we wanted, whom we must free… because people were buried alive… the majority of those who had their family members killed were buried alive. They lived for revenge. And I remember a case, for example, two sisters who had one brother – a brother of desire or hasret as people refer to it, and had sworn, ‘We will not marry until we draw blood for our brother!’ And time passed, and they were 40 years old. And believe me! They were devastated by the pain, suffering, and by this situation. And they did not have a girl’s or a woman’s feature. They did not have women’s or men’s features or characteristics. And, in Verrat e Llukës, one of them approached me, she called me, ‘Father Lush! Father Lush!’… There were more than 35 blood feuds that were forgiven spontaneously; 120 had agreed upon to reconcile. I said, ‘And what do you want to say?’ ‘Let us forgive,’ she said. I said, ‘But what will you say?’ ‘I will say: they killed my brother, but today I have discovered that you are all my brothers and sisters.’ I went and said to Anton {his voice trembling} and Zeqa [Zekeria Cana], I said, ‘You think that Father Lush is the greatest Cicero and orator of the Albanians or the world. I found an orator; she will say something that nobody has said yet.’ And she came, and tearing up, she said, ‘They killed my brother, but today I have discovered that you are all my brothers and sisters.’”

The full interview can be read at:



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