Fortuna and Hana
Fortuna and Hana, aged 13 and 17, could have been teenagers in the
U.S.: going to school; concerned about clothes, rock bands, boys,
and their future; and spending hours in internet cafés. Their
house was the nicest we had seen in Pristinait, too, could
have been in an upper middle class neighborhood in the U.S. Their
father was a former diplomat, but now works at the Institute for
the Protection of Cultural Monuments. Their mother is a medical
But what makes Fortuna and Hana different from suburban
U.S. kids is that they lived in Pristina throughout the war and
bear deep emotional scars.
Fortuna told us about returning to their apartment
shortly after the war began. When we came back here, I cannot
describe that day, it was so awful. It was like you were in the
darkness and someone shut your door, and no light, nothing. It was
a terrible feeling. We knew they were bombing somewhere. At one
moment I looked in my parents eyes. I cannot describe because
I am young, I survived the war. That feeling I cannot describe.
We are alive. I was young and I wanted to live. I didnt want
Hana recounted the day that the war ended on June
14, 1999. I went to have a bath. I told my mother to heat
water. I started washing myself. I heard helicopters. I went out
with wet hair. Apache helicopters came here. It was so good. They
came with trucks. We saw children give flowers, soldiers hugging
children. Children of three years screaming. It was so crowded.
We were all hiding before. Now everybody was outside. We knew from
news that the war has ended.
Then Fortuna said, The Serbs shot at four guys.
We ran and see young bodies lying in the road. I see KFOR soldiers
running away. One family, four dead bodies. You cannot imagine.
Mother keeps sons for three months. Serbs kill them.