Students Express Their Opinions about the Kosovo Crisis

by Haris Silic

(The photo below was taken in the author's home town in Bosnia. Kosovo is experiencing similar destruction.) photo of

"If you save one life it is like you have saved entire humankind." Every single religion has this citation written down. Humans are just one of a kind in this universe and it would take less than a day to destroy it.

The Balkans has been a powder keg since the Ottoman Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire. WW1 started in the Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Hercegovina, when a Serbian organization killed Archduke Ferninand. That started an avalanche of horror, and destruction. Then in 1990 when Yugoslavia fell apart, Serbia wanted to take part of Bosnia and part of Croatia and call it Great Serbia. Now some ten years later, after hundreds of thousands have died that dream has been crushed.

Nevertheless, there is one small problem inside Serbia that was not solved since the creation of Yugoslavia in 1940s. That problem is called Kosovo. It is a small province in the south Serbia with special autonomy. Ninety percent of the people living in Kosovo are ethnic Albanians and they speak the same language. The problem in Kosovo was that Kosovars never had the right to study their language in the Kosovo universities, and they could not promote their old culture just because they were under the control of a very racist government. In the past year, the situation has become intense and has escalated into an international conflict.

NATO together with the United States decided to solve the problem. NATO started attacking the army resources and some civilian's houses were hit as well. Serbs realized that they could not do anything to NATO but they could take revenge over Kosovars. They started to expel everyone from Kosovo with a goal to make it clear of them. They separated men from women and children and they sent them to only God knows where. Hundreds of thousands are now in camps in Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro. They live in inhuman conditions. Camps in Macedonia are very mysterious. A camp in Blace was cleared of people overnight without any explanations. Macedonians treat Kosovars in those camps very badly and they do not let NATO come in there. We still do not have an explanation about it.

It is hard to understand how a world power such as the U.S. cannot stop all this. It is obvious that they are trying but people are dying over there and they do not need just the U.S. Army's help but help from all of us. Milosevic, the President of Serbia, is the modern version of Hitler. The world waited for Hitler to stop killing Jews. If we keep waiting now every single Kosovar will become a refugee and it will stay that way until Milosevic dies and the entire system crashes. How can someone say that Kosovo is no business of the U.S. It is just over the sea and it easily can come here. I mean WAR.

Haris Silic came to the United States as a refugee from Bosnia where he lived through some of the horrors of war in that part of the world. If you have questions or comments, you can send them to

Copyright © 1999, Silver International, Montgomery Blair H.S., Silver Spring, MD USA (This page was created by BG.)