Romani Studies

Ashkali and Egyptians in Kosovo: New ethnic identifications as a result of exclusion during nationalist violence from 1990 till 2010

Romani Studies (2013), 23, (1), 29–60.

Abstract

Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians are three separate recognised ethnicities in Kosovo. The Albanian majority, though, regards all three groups as ‘Gypsies’. Ashkali and Egyptians refer to a Muslim, Albanian speaking though non-Albanian population and distance themselves from the Roma. Both groups construct two different origin narratives: Egypt and Persia respectively. The cultural distinction between the two communities, though, is vague even among members of the groups and elites of Ashkali and Egyptian, who regard the other ethnicity as part of their own. Through critical interpretation of newspaper articles, ego documents and interviews, the article analyses the reasons for identification with one group or another. I argue here that the choice of the ethnonym depends not on cultural differences but rather on exclusion from the majority, regional loyalties, and preference of local or transnational ethnonyms and different strategies for survival in post-war Kosovo.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Abrams, Lynn. 2010. Oral history theory. London: Routledge. Oral history theory Google Scholar

Anderson, Benedict. 1983. Imagined communities. London: Verso. Imagined communities Google Scholar

Balcer, Adam. 2007. The development of identities among the population of Gypsy origin in Kosovo: Ashkali, Egyptians and Roma. Nationalities Affairs (Sprawy Narodowościowe) 31: 247-62. The development of identities among the population of Gypsy origin in Kosovo: Ashkali, Egyptians and Roma Nationalities Affairs (Sprawy Narodowościowe) 31 247 62 Google Scholar

Barth, Fredrik. 1969. Introduction. In: Barth, Fredrik, ed. Ethnic groups and boundaries. Bergen: Universitetsforlaget. 9-38. Ethnic groups and boundaries 9 38 Google Scholar

Bielefeld, Ulrich. 2001. Ethnizität und Gewalt, Kollektive Leidenschaft und die Existenzialisierung von Ethnizität und Gewalt. In: Höpken, Wolfgang, Riekenberg, Michael, ed. Politische und ethnische Gewalt in Südosteuropa und Lateinamerika. Köln: Böhlau. 1-18. Politische und ethnische Gewalt in Südosteuropa und Lateinamerika 1 18 Google Scholar

Boretzky, Norbert. 2002. Romani. In: Okuka, Miloš, ed. Lexikon der Sprachen des europäischen Ostens. vol. 10 of Enzyklopädie des europäischen Ostens. Klagenfurt: Wieser Verlag. 927-939. Lexikon der Sprachen des europäischen Ostens. vol. 10 of Enzyklopädie des europäischen Ostens 927 939 Google Scholar

Brubaker, Rogers, and Cooper, Frederick. 2000. Beyond ‘Identity’. Theory and Society 29 (1): 1-47. Beyond ‘Identity’ Theory and Society 29 1 47 Google Scholar

Brubaker, Rogers. 2004. Ethnicity without groups. Harvard: University Press. Ethnicity without groups Google Scholar

Clark, Howard. 2000. Civil Resistance in Kosovo. London: Pluto Press. Civil Resistance in Kosovo Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Clifford, James. 1983. On Ethnographic Authority. Representations 2: 118-46. On Ethnographic Authority Representations 2 118 46 Google Scholar

Courthiade, Marcel. 2003. Eléments de réflexion sur les BALKANO-EGYPTIENS ou Albano-Egyptiens, Yougo-Egyptiens, Egypto-Albanais, Ashkalis, Jevgs, Evgjits, Rlìe, Arlìura etc. http://balkans.courriers.info/IMG/_article_PDF/article_4493.pdf Google Scholar

Crowe, David M. 2000. Muslim Roma in the Balkans. Nationalities Papers 28 (1): 93-128. Muslim Roma in the Balkans Nationalities Papers 28 93 128 Google Scholar

Đjuric, Rajko. 1987. Seobe Roma. Krugovipakla I venacsreće. Beograd: Izdavačko-grafiskizavod. Seobe Roma. Krugovipakla I venacsreće Google Scholar

Duijzings, Ger. 2000. Religion and the politics of identity in Kosovo. London: Hurst & Company. Religion and the politics of identity in Kosovo Google Scholar

Duijzings, Ger. 2002. Die Erschaffung von Ägyptern in Kosovo und Makedonien. In: Brunnbauer, Ulf, ed. Umstrittene Identitäten: Ethnizität und Nationalität in Südosteuropa. Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang Verlagsgruppe. 123-48. Umstrittene Identitäten: Ethnizität und Nationalität in Südosteuropa 123 48 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Elwert, Georg. 1989. Nationalismus und Ethnizität. Über die Bildung von Wir-Gruppen. Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 41: 440-64. Nationalismus und Ethnizität. Über die Bildung von Wir-Gruppen Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 41 440 64 Google Scholar

Elwert, Georg. 1995. Boundaries, cohesion and switching: On we-groups in ethnic, national and religious forms. Bulletin de l'APAD (10): 2-15. Boundaries, cohesion and switching: On we-groups in ethnic, national and religious forms Bulletin de l'APAD 2 15 Google Scholar

Friedman, Eben. 2008. Roma auf demWestbalkan. In: Brunnbauer, Ulf, and Voß, Christian, ed. Inklusion und Exklusion auf dem Westbalkan. München: Sagner. Inklusion und Exklusion auf dem Westbalkan Google Scholar

Friedman, Victor A. 1996. Observing the Observers: Language, ethnicity, and power in the 1994 Macedonian census and beyond. Toward comprehensive peace in Southeastern Europe: Conflict prevention in the South Balkans, ed. by Barnett Rubin. New York: Council on Foreign Relations/Twentieth Century Fund. 81-105. Observing the Observers: Language, ethnicity, and power in the 1994 Macedonian census and beyond. Toward comprehensive peace in Southeastern Europe: Conflict prevention in the South Balkans 81 105 Google Scholar

Ginio, Eyal. 2004. Neither muslims nor zimmis. The Gypsies (Roma) in the Ottoman State. In: Romani Studies 5, vol. 14, No. 2: 117-44. Neither muslims nor zimmis. The Gypsies (Roma) in the Ottoman State Romani Studies 5 14 117 44 Google Scholar

Grellmann, Heinrich Moritz Gottlieb: Historischer Versuch über die Zigeuner betreffend die Lebensart und Verfassung Sitten und Schicksale dieses Volks seit seiner Erscheinung in Europa, und dessen Ursprung. 2nd edition. Göttingen: Dieterich. Historischer Versuch über die Zigeuner betreffend die Lebensart und Verfassung Sitten und Schicksale dieses Volks seit seiner Erscheinung in Europa, und dessen Ursprung Google Scholar

Grele, Ronald. 1985. Envelopes of Sound. The art of oral history. Chicago: Precedent Publ. Envelopes of Sound. The art of oral history Google Scholar

Herzig, Arno. 1996. Die Fremden im frühmodernen Staat. In: Giere, Jacqueline, ed. Die gesellschaftliche Konstruktion des Zigeuners. Frankfurt a.M: Campus. 29-45. Die gesellschaftliche Konstruktion des Zigeuners 29 45 Google Scholar

Höpken, Wolfgang. 2001. Gewalt auf dem Balkan. Erklärungsversuche zwischen ‘Struktur’ und ‘Kultur’. In: Höpken, Wolfgang, Riekenberg, Michael, ed. Politische und ethnische Gewalt in Südosteuropa und Lateinamerika. Köln: Böhlau. 53-96. Politische und ethnische Gewalt in Südosteuropa und Lateinamerika 53 96 Google Scholar

Jakir, Aleksandar. 2011. The economy trigger. The status of ‘nationality’ in a ‘selfmanaged’ economy during the 1960s and 1970s in socialist Yugoslavia. In: Calic, Marie-Janine, and Neutatz, Dietmar, and Obertreis, Julia, ed. The crisis of socialist modernity. The soviet union and Yugoslavia in the 1070s. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 134-55. The crisis of socialist modernity. The soviet union and Yugoslavia in the 1070s 134 55 Google Scholar

Judah, Tim. 2008. Kosovo: What everybody needs to know. Oxford: University Press. Kosovo: What everybody needs to know Google Scholar

Laedrich, Stephane. 2006: The current situation of Rroma. o.O: Rroma Foundation. The current situation of Rroma Google Scholar

Lichnofsky, Claudia. 2009. Roma, Ashkali, Ägypter im Kosovo: ein Forschungsbericht. Forschungsplattform Südosteuropa: 1-26. http://fpsoe.de/fileadmin/PDFs_Beitraege/FPSOE_Lichnofsky_Forschungsbericht_Roma.pdf Google Scholar

Lichnofsky, Claudia. 2011. Ashkali: Nur ein anderer Name für Ägypter? Tsiganologische Mitteilungen 8: 18-31. http://www.uni-leipzig.de/~ftf/blickpunkte/tm12.pdf (22 Feb. 2012). http://www.uni-leipzig.de/~ftf/blickpunkte/tm12.pdf Ashkali: Nur ein anderer Name für Ägypter? Tsiganologische Mitteilungen 8 18 31 Google Scholar

Lüdtke, Alf. 2001. Alltagsgeschichte, Mikro-Historie, historische Anthropologie. In: Goertz, Hans-Jürgen, ed. Geschichte. Ein Grundkurs. Hamburg: Rowohlt. Geschichte. Ein Grundkurs Google Scholar

Malcolm, Noel 1998. Kosovo: A short history. London: Papermac. Kosovo: A short history Google Scholar

Mappes-Niediek, Norbert. 2005. Die Ethnofalle: Der Balkan-Konflikt und was Europa daraus lernen kann. Berlin: Ch. Links. Die Ethnofalle: Der Balkan-Konflikt und was Europa daraus lernen kann Google Scholar

Marushiakova, Elena et al. 2001. Identity formation among minorities in the Balkans. The cases of Roms, Egyptians and Ashkali in Kosovo. Minority Studies Society Studii Romani: Sofia. Identity formation among minorities in the Balkans. The cases of Roms, Egyptians and Ashkali in Kosovo Google Scholar

Marushiakova, Elena, and Popov, Vesselin. 2001: New ethnic identities in the Balkans: The case of the Egyptians. Facta Universitatis 2 (8): 465-77. New ethnic identities in the Balkans: The case of the Egyptians Facta Universitatis 2 465 77 Google Scholar

Mattern, Rainer 2009. Kosovo: Zur Rückführung von Roma. Update der SFH-Länderanalyse. Bern: Schweizerische Flüchtlingshilfe. Kosovo: Zur Rückführung von Roma. Update der SFH-Länderanalyse Google Scholar

Messing, Gordon. 1981. Tsinganos and Yiftos: Some speculations on the Greek Gypsies. Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 7.155-67. Tsinganos and Yiftos: Some speculations on the Greek Gypsies Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 7 155 67 Google Scholar

Nedeljković, Saša 2005. Balkan Egyptians: The right to self-declaration and identity management. Jahrbücher für Geschichte und Kultur Südosteuropas 7: 101-13. Balkan Egyptians: The right to self-declaration and identity management Jahrbücher für Geschichte und Kultur Südosteuropas 7 101 13 Google Scholar

Petritsch, Wolfgang, and Kaser, Karl, and Pichler, Robert. 1999. Kosovo Kosova: Mythen, Daten Fakten. Klagenfurt: Wieser. Kosovo Kosova: Mythen, Daten Fakten Google Scholar

Petrović, Đurđica. 1975. Cigani u srednjovekovnom Dubrovniku. Zbornik filološkog fakulteta u Beogradu 8 (1). Cigani u srednjovekovnom Dubrovniku Zbornik filološkog fakulteta u Beogradu 8 Google Scholar

Pozhidaev, Dmitry, and Andzhelich, Ravza. 2005. Beating swords into plowshares: Reintegration of former combatants in Kosovo. Prishtina: Center for Political and Social Research. Beating swords into plowshares: Reintegration of former combatants in Kosovo Google Scholar

Rüdiger, Johann Christian Christoph. 1782. Von der Sprache und Herkunft der Zigeuner aus Indien. Reprint. Hamburg: Buske. Von der Sprache und Herkunft der Zigeuner aus Indien Google Scholar

Schmitt, Oliver Jens 2008. Kosovo: Kurze Geschichte einer zentralbalkanischen Landschaft. Wien: Böhlau. Kosovo: Kurze Geschichte einer zentralbalkanischen Landschaft Google Scholar

Shahbazi, A. Sh, Schippmann, K, Alram, M., Boyce, M., Toumanoff, C. 1986. Arsacids. In: Encyclopædia Iranica, II/5. 525-46. An updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/arsacids-index Google Scholar

Sofsky, Wolfgang. 2005. Traktat über die Gewalt. Frankfurt a.M.: Fischer-Taschenbuch. Traktat über die Gewalt Google Scholar

Ströhle, Isabel. 2010a. Veterans’ politics and policies towards the veterans of the Kosovo Liberation Army. Comparativ 20 (5): 87-103. Veterans’ politics and policies towards the veterans of the Kosovo Liberation Army Comparativ 20 87 103 Google Scholar

Ströhle, Isabel. 2010b. The politics of reintegration and war commemoration. The case of the Kosovo Liberation Army. Südosteuropa 58 (4): 478-519. The politics of reintegration and war commemoration. The case of the Kosovo Liberation Army Südosteuropa 58 478 519 Google Scholar

Trubeta, Sevasti. 2005. Balkan Egyptians and Gypsy/Roma Discourse. Nationalities Papers 33: 71-95. Balkan Egyptians and Gypsy/Roma Discourse Nationalities Papers 33 71 95 Google Scholar

Tscherenkov, Lev, and Laedrich, Stéphane. 2004. The Rroma: otherwise known as Gypsies, Gitanos, Gyphtoi, Tsiganes, Tigani, Çingene, Zigeuner, Bohémiens, Travellers, Fahrende. Basel: Schwabe. The Rroma: otherwise known as Gypsies, Gitanos, Gyphtoi, Tsiganes, Tigani, Çingene, Zigeuner, Bohémiens, Travellers, Fahrende Google Scholar

von Holtey, Nicolaus. 1999. Zwei Reisen zur Erkundung der Lage der Ashkali und Roma im Kosovo. http://www.hilfe-hd.de/kosovo/koreisen.htm#Zweite%20Reise%20zur%20Erkundung%20der%20Lage%20der%20Roma%20und%20Ashkalia%20im%20Kosova Google Scholar

Uerlings, Herbert, Patrut, Iulia-Karin. 2008. ‘Zigeuner’, Europa und Nation. Einleitung. In: Uerlings, Herbert, Patrut, Iulia-Karin, ed. ‘Zigeuner’ und Nation. Repräsentation-Inklusion-Exklusion. Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang Verlag. 9-63. ‘Zigeuner’ und Nation. Repräsentation-Inklusion-Exklusion 9 63 Google Scholar

Vukanović, Tihomir. 1983. Romi (Cigani) u Jugoslaviji. Vranje: Nova Jugoslavija. Romi (Cigani) u Jugoslaviji Google Scholar

Vukanović, Tihomir. 1966. Preševo. In: Vranjski glasnik, no. 2: 1-55. Preševo Vranjski glasnik 1 55 Google Scholar

Witzel, Andreas 2000. Das problemzentrierte Interview. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung 1(1): 1-9. Das problemzentrierte Interview Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung 1 1 9 Google Scholar

Zülch, Tilman. 1999. Bis der letzte "Zigeuner" vertrieben ist: Massenvertreibung der Roma und Aschkali aus dem Kosovo. Göttingen: Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker. Bis der letzte "Zigeuner" vertrieben ist: Massenvertreibung der Roma und Aschkali aus dem Kosovo Google Scholar

Interviewees (Oral Ego-documents) Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Qerimi, Berat (Ashkali), male, c.sixty, Munich, 16 July 2011. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Written ego-documents of Ashkali and Egyptians Google Scholar

Abazi, Qerim. Për gazeten "express" - Prishtinë. Singen. http://www.egjiptianet.de/Shkresa%20e%20Qerim%20Abazit%20derguar%20Shkelzen%20Maliqit.htm Google Scholar

Balkanproject. 2003. Kosovo Roma Oral History Project. Mitrovica. http://www.projectbalkan.org/roma/north.shtml Google Scholar

Berisha, Ali. n.d. Disa Shënime biografike. In: Toplica, Abedin Dino. Etnogjeneza Ashkali. http://www.ashkali.net/book.html Google Scholar

Egjiptianet. n.d. Përçaj e sundo A-Hashkalit me përardhje nga Persia, nga Ashkalloni, apo nga Italia. http://www.egjiptianet.de/ekiaba.htm Google Scholar

Glas Egipćana. 2009. Magazin nacionalne manjine egipćana No. 1, May. Google Scholar

IRDK. 2001. Lista e kandidatëve. http://www.egjiptianet.de/lista.htm Google Scholar

Matica Askalija. n.d. Gjuha - Udhërrëfyesja Më e Mirë Gjenetike. http://ashkali.net/gjuha.html Google Scholar

Partia Ashkalive për Integrim. 2011. Histori. 2011 http://paiks.webs.com/histori.htm Google Scholar

Toplica, Abedin Dino. n.d. Për të ashtuqujturit Egjiptian. Romët mashtruan mbarë Evropën. http://www.ashkali.org/egjiptian.html Google Scholar

Zemon, Rubin 2001. Balkanski Egipćani. Istina o Egipćanima sa Kosova i Metohije. Beograd: self-published. Balkanski Egipćani. Istina o Egipćanima sa Kosova i Metohije Google Scholar

Articles from newspapers Google Scholar

BBC News. 1999. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/273830.stm Google Scholar

Bulatović, Ljiljana. 1998. Dao sam sinu faraonovo ime. Ilustrovana politika (2033), 3 Jan. 1998. Dao sam sinu faraonovo ime Ilustrovana politika Google Scholar

Lazović, Bojan, and Nikolić-Pisarev, Aleksandar. 1990. Politički meningitis. Svet (209): 56-7. 16 Apr. 1990. Politički meningitis Svet 56 7 Google Scholar

Ljubisavljević, Milorad. 1990. Nismo ptice selice. Svet: 34-5. 22 Aug. 1990. Nismo ptice selice Svet 34 5 Google Scholar

Rexhepi, Sara. 2006. Dorëzohet Sabiti. Express. http://www.egjiptianet.de/Sabiti%20dorzohet.htm Google Scholar

Sadiku, Agron. 2012. Roma und Ashkali in Mitrovica. http://de.indymedia.org/2004/12/102224.shtml Google Scholar

Simons, Marlise. 2008. Former Leader in Kosovo Acquitted of War Crimes. New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/04/world/europe/04kosovo.html?ref=ramushharadinaj (4 Apr. 2008, accessed 23 Feb. 2012). http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/04/world/europe/04kosovo.html?ref=ramushharadinaj Former Leader in Kosovo Acquitted of War Crimes New York Times Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Zulfaj, Jeton, and Mulliqi, Brikena, and Shala, Mentor, and Tahiri, Petrit. 2008. Political Parties in Kosovo: Profile and Ideology. Prishtina: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. 15 Apr. 2008. Political Parties in Kosovo: Profile and Ideology Google Scholar

Other sources Google Scholar

Amnesty International. April 2003. Serbia and Montenegro, Kosovo: Minority communities: fundamental rights denied. http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/EUR70/011/2003/en/268416bf-d702-11dd-b0cc-1f0860013475/eur700112003en.pdf Google Scholar

Balkan Insight. 2010. Key Political Parties in Kosovo. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/who-is-who-political-parties-in-kosovo Google Scholar

Cahn, Claude, and Perić, Tatjana. 1999. Roma and the Kosovo Conflict. ERRC-European Roma Rights Center. http://www.errc.org/article/roma-and-the-kosovo-conflict/798 (15 July 1999, accessed 22 Aug. 2012). http://www.errc.org/article/roma-and-the-kosovo-conflict/798 Roma and the Kosovo Conflict Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

ECMI-European Center for Minority Issues. 2010. EthnoPoliticalMap. http://www.ecmi-map.com/map/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=3&Itemid=2&xml:lang=en Google Scholar

European Roma Rights Center. 2011. Roma from Kosovo victimized in the Serb-Albanian ethnic conflict. 7 July 2004. Auf: http://www.errc.org/cikk.php?cikk=1570 Google Scholar

Prefektura e Beratit. 2010. Berati Enciklopedia. Tirana: Shtëpia Botuese Jonalda. Berati Enciklopedia Google Scholar

Republic of Kosovo Assembly. 2001. First Legislation Period (17 Nov. 2001-23 Nov. 2004) http://www.kuvendikosoves.org/?cid=2,158&legid=1 Google Scholar

Republic of Kosovo Assembly. 2007. Third Legislation Period (13 Dec. 2007-3 Nov. 2010) http://www.kuvendikosoves.org/?cid=2,158&legid=3 Google Scholar

Republic of Kosovo Assembly. 2010. List of the Deputies of the Kosovo Assembly. http://www.kuvendikosoves.org/?cid=2,102 Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Lichnofsky, Claudia