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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The spoil of war

Arta Kelmendi was 15 when The Lutheran met her in Radusa, a refugee camp in Macedonia (June 1999). Her family had been driven from their home in Pristina by Serbian troops and paramilitary.

Kelmendi drew scenes of suffering and hope at the camp. She returned to Pristina in October. In an e-mail she wrote: "Everything has changed. Now I have nothing. ... I'm going to school, but even the school is destroyed. ... The teachers work months without getting paid. ... Even my parents [both doctors] get a very, very small sum.

"I used to look at my parents thinking that they finished school and got what they wanted. ... I dream about that, and I will never arrive because of the bad conditions here. All the dreams of one child melted in a second ... just because of a stupid war."

Kelmendi is looking for opportunities to finish high school (she's in her third year) and go to college outside of Kosovo.


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