The Future Is a Distant Shore - Desperation in a Quiet Land
Maycock, Kendall, The World and I
Sefedin Llolluni is a 35-year-old Albanian from Kosovo. He fought with the Kosovo Liberation Army before fleeing to Switzerland to protect his family. He is always plagued by guilt, believing that he should have continued fighting rather than seeking refuge. Because his anxiety has manifested itself in panic attacks and nightmares, he was referred to the Ethnological Psychological Center (EPC) in March 1998.
In May 2000, when Swiss authorities said the Kosovars had to return to their homeland, the Llollunis were ordered to return, too. Ignoring the letters and taking advantage of the lack of pressure placed on families, they stayed in Switzerland.
The EPC made small steps to assimilate the family. After three years in the country, Sefedin's wife, Zepe, did not yet speak German. Center workers tried to convince her to learn, but she went only as far as visiting a course. It became apparent that her husband's fears and strong need to protect his family greatly influenced how they adapted to life in Switzerland. For instance, Sefedin would not allow Zepe to leave the center alone. Further, the strength of his familial role meant that center workers could not make decisions regarding Zepe's language classes or the four children's school enrollment. He had to be included in, and agree to, all suggestions.
As Sefedin continued to suffer from severe anxiety, his stubborn and erratic behavior strongly influenced all members of his family. The center had to help Zepe and the children, ranging in age from nine to fifteen, cope with the effects of his problems.
In July, the revised deadline for repatriation arrived. …