The Govori family in Lincoln, Nebraska

The Govori family in Lincoln, Nebraska

The Lincoln Journal Star, Nebraska’s major daily newspaper, have run a special Christmas article with photos about an Albanian family who were forced to leave Kosovo during the 1999 war, and were brought to Lincoln from a Macedonian refugee camp.

Forteen year ago they were marched at gunpoint through the streets of their own city, Prishtina. They were loaded into train cars and hauled, with other Albanians, out of Kosovo. Like animals.

Lincoln welcomed them. It had read about the Serbian brutality and genocide and ethnic cleansing of Albanians in the late 1990s. Men rounded up and slaughtered, buried and burned in mass graves. Families driven from their homes.

Families like this one, Lincoln’s first Kosovar refugees, now stepping between two worlds. The old one in Pristina they had known so well for so long until, suddenly, they didn’t anymore. This new one, 5,500 miles away.

They didn’t know what to make of the celebration that met them at the airport. They didn’t know how their lives would unfold here. That they would learn the language, go to college, find careers, raise families, start over.

You can read the whole article here: