Country Focus: Kosovo
Beyond the Mountains of the Damned: The War Inside Kosovo
By Matthew McAllester
Published by New York University Press, 2002.
About the author: McAllester, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, is currently the European editor of Newsweek. He has penned two other books: Bittersweet: Lessons from My Mother’s Kitchen, and Blinded by the Sunlight: Emerging from the Prison of Saddam’s Iraq.
There is a feeling of true elation in the the transformed town. It’s not just that the war is over and they are home. For the first time in their lives, the Albanians of Pec don’t have to live with the Serbs. By August, there’s not a single Serb living in Pec. Although there are still thousands of Serbs left in Kosovo, Pec is not a place for them any more. There was too much killing in this town during the war for forgiveness, people say. Too much burning and stealing by too many Serbs. A Serb here would only be an opportunity for revenge and there would be hundreds lining up to seize the opportunity. Even a kindly old couple I met in mid-June are gone. They risked their lives to provide their Albanian neighbor with shelter during the war. The last time I saw them—just a couple of days after I met them—they were hiding in a locked pharmacy opposite the Italian base. A KLA man had called through their door that they had better be gone soon or they would be dead. In August, they are long gone.