My surname is insignificant, inaudible, insignificant, lost somewhere between the importance of identity and the insignificance of my personal existence. I have never listened to it, nor have I ever practiced writing my surname.
Who cares about the name my mother or surname loved, the only thing my father could give me?
Kids like me are shadows in educational institutions, in the health system we may be a problem. On all other papers we are only part of a figure, of a statistic, of a whole integer called a vulnerable category. And here there is an eternal and just as long-lasting struggle for our inclusion, for our inclusion in society.
And we are so present, before your eyes, under your feet, in your hands.
I've never belonged to anyone. I haven't had a family like the families on the big billboards in Skopje, the ones where everyone is happy at a shared holiday table. From birth I belong on the street. To my soul, it belongs to me. No one through her passed me by holding me by hand, telling me to look left, then right. No one explained to me the meaning of the dashboard colors.
I learned on my own.
That red light is for fighting, and green for withdrawal.
All quarters are mine. All the corners in which I hide from thugs, all the bridges under which I keep your alms in my pockets, all the intersections on which I play you, hitting the tarabob with the last force, hunger and cold.
But we Roma are crying in laughter.
Our grief is not like yours.
Our sadness is strong, fighting, musical. Our sadness is art.
Our sadness is only ours.
I have many friends. Most of them are dogs with whom I share day and bread, night and street. They never leave me. Sometimes we run away from the rain together, sometimes we eat junk in the park.
Your love is two-fold. Your love has double standards. You don't love, you lie. You claim you love children, support children's embassies and children's rights associations, and trample on Roma children standing in the way of the bus. You don't sit next to us, you don't touch the metal brackets that touch our hands. Cry over the story of the girl with the matchboxes, and ignore the Roma girls whose frozen handbags pull you to the coat. You get to see the fat guys in the square wearing a Santa Claus costume, who caress your kid and shoot my friends.
I would apologize for any errors that are more alien and systemic than mine.
We children are wrong, aren't we?
But I feel your indulgence for us is tight.
How many times have you been kicked out of the bus for not having a ticket?
Why not also exclude children who drive with their own mother, who also doesn't pay for the ride?
How many times have I been beaten when I secretly wanted to get into your bar, sell palm trees or wet scarves and warm up briefly in mid-December?
Do you even beat kids when they try to sell you something for little coins at organized happening?
And why do children in the world fall asleep at ten o'clock, and I wake you up until two in the middle of the night, to suppress hunger that doesn't allow me to fall asleep?
Sometimes I want to know what you expect from us.
Do you want us to be invisible?
Do you want to behave properly and properly?
Did you give us a chance?
Have you not learned what safety means, what warmth means, what attention means, and what kindness?
Apart from living with the fear of your view that belittles and scares, I couldn't learn much.
My name is Idriz.
My soul is Roma. I give her a smile.
On these bones I wear seals of foreign soles.
Jacket is not mine.
In my eyes I carry cunning, scolded and reproached. You call it street, I call it survival.
In my breasts I carry a heart that feels just like yours, just like every other gem that will ask you for the rest of the scorpion or ten denars tomorrow.
My name is Idriz,
my surname is irrelevant.
Dedicated to the child who was beaten by three adult men in downtown Skopje.
Dedicated to the kid who was beaten in the bus twenty-two by an old woman.
Dedicated to all children whose rights do not exist in order to be violated