TIMES letter to the editor: “Albanians and Serbs”

4 Dec

Occasionally something encouraging:

November 28, 2013

Albanians and Serbs

To the Editor:

Casting Light on Little-Known Story of Albania Rescuing Jews From Nazis” (news article, Nov. 19) was no surprise to me. I witnessed the humanity of Albanians toward minority groups when I worked in Kosovo from 2000 to 2002.

I explained to a group of Albanian teenagers participating in an education program that I had begun that we could not truly represent Kosovo unless we involved Serbs, Bosnians and other minority groups. There was silence until a young Albanian girl named Pranvera blurted out in Albanian with enthusiasm, “Why not!”

This was followed by the quiet but firm voice of Labinot, who had lost several male members of his family in the war with the Serbs. He said, “I will not block it.”

Shortly thereafter, five female Serbian teenagers joined our project. One eventually assumed a leadership role in the group. While the project was conducted in English, the Albanian teenagers did not hesitate to use their Serbian language skills to bring the Serbian girls up to speed quickly.

The project continues in Kosovo today. Many of the teenagers from my group completed college and now hold professional jobs.

STEPHANIE V. GREPO
New York, Nov. 19, 2013

 

The writer is director of capacity building at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University.

See previous Jadde post: BESA: A Code of Honor (November 20, 2013)

comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

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