Are you sure you want to know who I am?
I'm Dardani, Dardan Sh... This "sh" should only be deciphered as -
S H K R E L I.
Born 15 days before the New Year 1970. If I tell you that I was born in a hospital, don't think that I was sick, and if I add that I was born in Kosovo, don't think that I was born in a prison, even though Kosovo is known to have been a huge prison, which we proved with our youth wandering around the world. But I'd rather not dramatize it. Otherwise, I also belong to the last century: I was born there without being asked to, and I entered this century without asking anyone. In this century, most of us entered without tickets!... So are we illegal?!
Can you guess what kind of student someone could when didn't have Aristotle as a teacher like Alexander the Great but was taught by an Elmaze, a Seniha, an Ali, a Ramush and similar types of the Albanian late Middle Age?!... Of course, such a person, instead of Alexander the Great, cannot achieve more than Dardan the Little, which is actually not so bad after all...
Therefore, I’m sure that you did not even expect that I should also conquer the world like Alexander. The truth is, I was able to do something similar, but in the very beginning I made one mistake: I did not go to the East (towards the Punjab of India like Alexander) BUT I went to the West (like Pyrrhus), so my victory became a "Pyrrhic victory" (look through the dictionary of philosophy if you don't know what does that mean; you can find it in those food stands who sell chestnuts on the edges of the streets, if they don't have half-baked libraries).
...But, this "but" is very important: a big “thanks” goes to bars like “Beg”, “Dandee” and “Canabis”, otherwise I wouldn't have even found the faculty to enroll in. And the faculty, the architecture one, had an impressive small canteen visited by many people interested in our beautiful student girls, which also obliged me to be a bit regular in lectures, as well as the fact that not far from the faculty was the small qebapa restaurant of Vaxhid and Veton, who have huge merits for vitamin supply for us students, so that for the sake of qebapas, we can hang around the faculty more often.
In 1991, I went for "two or three months" to Europe with a guitar and “some dreams” in my bag. In meantime, there were 120 months (which makes ten calendar years and 100 life years!). Now I live in the "Albanian lands" of Switzerland, in Lucerne (always at the foot of the Albanian Alps of Switzerland), and maybe one day I will return to Zanzibar or Tanzania. (Did I say -Tungusia, did I hear me right?)
The truth is, I don't like to write about the biography, since everyone has it. I have no homeland because we have it in common. I cannot have the homeland: because WE have it, right? I believe that we will also have our country, if the rats don't eat it in the meantime. It is in God's will if our homeland coincides with the state and that our birthplaces do not remain outside, because due to the political coldness they do shrink and there is nothing left. I’m not going to write about graves: those properties are not declared, although they are not immovable either!!!
In my life there was also: love and hate, art and protest, poetry and worry, grief and many dreams; there was also some rewards, some beautiful medals, some priceless applause. I wrote poems, stories, I used humor whenever I was afraid of sadness, I composed when I had nothing else to do, and I sang whenever I couldn’t sleep or had no courage.
But I have also scribbled this half of my life, sometimes for the pleasure of others and sometimes for my anger, because... that's what I wanted! I couldn’t do any better, worse I didn't dare, so be it! Me too, just like the others. Just like the whole world...
Also a little recap of everything I said (or didn't say):
I am Dardan, Dardan Shkreli, son of Ymer Shkreli of the Rugova SHKRELis. There is no need to highlight "Rugova by Peja", because there is no other Rugova anywhere in the world besides this one, my Rugova, Shkreli's Rugova and not only, who are not obliged to be Shkrel in order to have such Rugova. I won't write a single word about Rugova, except - God protect it from us!
About my Shkrelis...
...the Shkreli brothers are the sons of Ujkan Smajli of Shkrel, as Ujkan Smajli of Shkrel was, with his 100 years, the son of Smajl Dema (as well) of Shkrel and so on, until "Ka të zi" or “Black Ox” - which means something like “and so on until the end”. They mainly lived in Rugova rocks, at the end of the world or "tek bën dreqi vo" (“where the devil lays eggs” :-P) as they say, and only after the Second War they went down to the fields bellow, they came out to “wash some eyes”: they took their concerns out in the public. The first ones challenged themselves in literature, then some were drawn to music and other arts, even sports couldn’t escape without a Shkreli medal, as well.
Adem Shkreli, the eldest brother, loudly knocked on the doors of Albanian papers with a surname alienated by the Kelmends, but Azem was the one who kicked those wooden doors, and left the mire of prejudices. Then a kind of family inertia was created and that included Ymer and others, in the meantime. Hysi found himself on Radio and Television of Pristina, Dardan in music, Ali, Afrim and Valon in sports...
By the end of the day, it can be said that the Shkrelis did as much as they knew and could, and they did it with a strong conviction that they are doing what they should, which should be the first truth, if indeed the Shkrelis represents any drop of water in this deep Albanian sea of ours.
...Yes, there are also some other Shkrelis, not much smaller Shkrels, like Joni, Lorika, Trojan and Arti, and as it is well known that in Rugova even big people are born small, then you can’t not really be sure: they may become some "hundëlesh" (hmm, “Wool noses”? - don’t worry, it’s kind of being a hero), as they say. Don’t be surprised, I’m warning you…