Rumena Ljubic: Solitude is my greatest enemy

Translation provided by KoSSev

Although 20,000 Serbs once lived in Pec/Peja, only one Serb – Rumena Ljubic – lives in the center of this town today. This 90-year-old former teacher and professor of Serbian language is stoically resisting adversity while living alone in her well-preserved family home in the city center, Radio Gorazdevac reported.

Rumena Ljubic has repeatedly faced problems and attempts to rob her family home. She says she has no problems with the locals she knew before.

„I was welcomed wherever I went. All traders know me as Aunt Ruska, but I have a problem in my street. They poured sand into my water pipes on two occasions, stole my firewood. I caught them while they were removing my cables downstairs in the garage,“ Rumena told Radio Gorazdevac.

The situation was the worst after I returned to Pec, she said, adding that trespassing was common and several attempts to burn her house down were made.

„There was a heater here. Take a look. The heater worked fine for many years. He took it apart and when I came home, its parts were scattered near the door,“ Ljubic said.
Professor Ljubic’s home had also often been the target of stoning.

„I’ve kept the receipts from the shop where I repaired the windows. They broke seventeen windows in total,“ she underlined.

Rumena Ljubic regularly pays all utility taxes and bills. Moreover, she launched initiatives and submitted requests that were approved by the Municipality of Pec.

„I regularly pay taxes, I pay my electricity bill regularly. I paid my phone bill until recently.

I couldn’t pay for the street. I wrote a request to the mayor to get the street paved. I wrote the request and a neighbor collected signatures and we got a lovely street,“ Rumena Ljubic told Radio Gorazdevac.

Rumena Ljubic is sometimes visited by an Orthodox priest who lives near her home, as well as Serbs from Gorazdevac. According to Ljubic, the hardest thing is solitude.

Radio Goraždevac

This reportage was supported by KoSSev, IOM and the British Embassy and it does not necessarily reflect the views of donors.

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