Cast Biography

Florin
Florin Krasniqi

Florin Krasniqi was born in Vranoc, Kosovo. He was a teacher in Kosovo when he fled to the US, sneaking into the country from Mexico in the trunk of a white Cadillac on Christmas Eve, 1988. He is currently the owner of Triangle General Contractors, a roofing company in Brooklyn. In 1998-99, he raised $30 million among the Albanian community in the United States for the Kosovo Liberation Army and smuggled hundreds of high-powered American sniper rifles to Kosovo for guerrillas, which were distributed by his extended family clan in the region. He resides in Kensington, Brooklyn with his wife and three children and travels frequently to Kosovo, where he is building a multi-million dollar hydroelectric power plant.

Danusha
Danusha Krasniqi

Danusha Krasniqi immigrated to the United States from Poland shortly after Florin. She met Florin in 1990 when she was working as a waitress at a Brooklyn diner and hardly spoke any English. After their first date, Danusha promised she would call Florin, but was too shy to follow through. Instead, she hoped to run into him again by calling the cab company he worked for whenever she needed a ride somewhere. After several months of trying, a cab finally showed up with Florin behind the wheel. The two have been together ever since. They married in 1997 and have three children. Danusha studied hospitality and apart from being a fulltime mother and homemaker, she cooks for the extended Krasniqi clan.

Baby
Baby

The party in The Brooklyn Connection was planned to celebrate the birth of a first-born son, the most cherished member of an Albanian family.

Xhevdet
Xhevdet Krasniqi

Xhevdet Krasniqi is Florin’s first cousin. Xhevdet helped Adrian Krasniqi smuggle weapons into Kosovo by building a secret compartment underneath the flatbed of his dump truck, which he would load with wet sand. When he came upon Serb police checkpoints, he would say that he had taken the sand from the river to make cement.

Adrian
Adrian Krasniqi

Adrian Krasniqi was one of the founding members of the KLA. He was Florin’s second cousin, though Florin always thought of him as a younger brother. Adrian was an engineering student in Prishtina in 1996 when he lost faith in Kosovo’s pacifist government and joined a cell of the then-underground KLA. He headed up the rebels’ weapons-smuggling operation and was the first guerrilla to die in a KLA uniform.

Cousin
Egzonjeta Nivokazi

Egzonjeta Nivokazi is Florin Krasniqi’s niece. She was a toddler during the war in Kosovo and lived through the siege of Vranoc. For several months during the war, she and her family lived in a refugee camp in Kosovo. In 2000, her father (Florin’s brother-in-law) and her older sister, a diabetic, came to the United States. Two years later, she, her mother and her younger brother joined them. Today they all live in Brooklyn, not far from Florin.

Holbrooke
Richard Holbrooke

Richard Holbrooke, former Under Secretary of State for Europe and former US Ambassador to the United Nations, was a critical figure in the Clinton Administration. Known as one of the country’s top negotiators, Holbrooke brokered the Dayton Peace Accord that ended the Bosnian war. He was also called upon to negotiate a ceasefire between Serbs and Albanians during the war in Kosovo, and was tasked with informing Slobodan Milosevic that NATO would bomb Serbia.

Clark
Wesley Clark

General Wesley Clark, NATO’s former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, and former Democratic presidential candidate, planned and executed the alliance’s 78-day bombing campaign over Kosovo. It was the first major military action NATO undertook since the alliance was created a half century earlier. Although highly controversial, the action resulted in Milosevic capitulating and pulling his troops out of Kosovo.