Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Rush Home to Join Anti-Serb Guerrillas

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Rush Home to Join Anti-Serb Guerrillas

Article excerpt

Toma N. has a tattoo on his chest the size of a cereal box. It's a double-headed eagle, the symbol of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). "Seven years ago," Toma says, jabbing his chest proudly. "Didn't feel a thing."

His friends laugh. "You had it done last year!" one of them yells. Toma stands up to face the jeering crowd - all of them ethnic Albanians, all of them on their way to Kosovo from this southern Italian port town. "I had this done seven years ago," roars Toma, who quit his job in Germany two weeks ago to join the KLA. "I had it done with a needle, not a machine like you!"

The waiting room for the ferry to Durres, Albania, is filled with roughly 400 Albanians who left Kosovo to look for jobs elsewhere. They're now going back, hoping to cross the border from Albania on foot and fight against the Yugoslav Army of President Slobodan Milosevic. "I will kill at least 10 Serbs before I go back to Germany," says Toma. "I said to my boss, 'It's my home, it's my land. You keep this job for me maybe two, three months. I'll be back.' " Ismet, also from Kosovo, says he struck a similar deal with his employers in a factory near Lucerne, Switzerland. "I have three months' leave," he says, tapping his watch. "Not much time." Next to him, a flamboyant Albanian with long hair and a fedora hat with a KLA symbol on it leans over with a sarcastic grin. "The world has no time for human rights," he says. "You think you will get your job back? They won't even know your face. They will say Ismet? Ismet who?" Where's my family? Ismet checks his watch again, then takes off his military cap, which he bought in a shop in Switzerland when NATO started its bombing campaign almost three weeks ago. He left a Swiss girlfriend behind and a job that earned him "enough money" to support his mother and father in Kosovo. He is not sure where they are now. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.