A Village of War Widows

In southwest Kosovo there is a village known as Village of War Widows. In 1999 this village was populated with both Albanian and Serbian, but in March 1999 the Former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic’s military forces had descended on this rural village and separated the men from their families.What happened not only decimated the village’s male population but was one of the most violent incidents of the  Kosovo War. All the man of this village were and… Continue reading

Wake From Death and Return To Life

   起死回生   –   “Wake from death and return to life.” A 74 year old Japanese man spends his life making Sense of the Senseless world he inhabited as a child during WWII.   He researches, talks with family, with his older cousins and builds a narrative for himself, a Japanese American narrative, a minority perspective, different than the dominant culture’s story and much needed for all.    On February 19, 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized… Continue reading

The Complexity of Driving Home

Our names carved on the lunar landscape-Revisiting Home March 2016:  My ultramodern taxi, equipped with wifi and all other modern amenities, stops and the driver calmly tells me that this is the closest to the border that he can take me. I need to walk the rest of the distance to the checkpoint. He says he’s really sorry about that…   I take some deep breaths and encouraging myself  I grab the handle of the suitcase… Continue reading

Lina, US vet: Small Woman, Big Truck

Angelina is small women from a protected  Italian-American family in a small New York community  She joined the military for school benefits before 9/11 and thus, before the war in Afghanistan. Her first impression of warfare was seeing shots of the Gulf War on the six o’clock news, sitting with her mother and grandparents, seeing the explosions on their not so good TV and wondering if the people being bombed were still alive and if… Continue reading

The Shooting of Freedom in Kosova

Uran’s Story: For twenty years, the Albanian people living in Kosovo were treated like second-class citizens by the Serbian population. In an effort to force Albanians to leave Kosovo, there were tight restrictions on what the Albanian population could and could not do in their  country: their children weren’t allowed to attend formal schools, their sick weren’t allowed to seek medical care from hospitals, activities of their cultural organizations were restricted, and unemployment was high.… Continue reading

War: the high cost of toxic soil on health — particularly the vulnerable, children, the grandparents, and vulnerable adults

Hello, Andrea here.  I asked Patti Gora Mcraven to write this when the abstraction of war toxins and its impact on health was brought home in my knowing and loving people who were impacted by this:  especially a beautiful little Kosovar  girl, Klara, whose health has been fragile.  Why? We believe, with good reason, that the toxins of war that have poisoned soil in which food is grown is the ground out of which ill health… Continue reading

Camping with Chris…and 150 other people

I first met Chris when I was volunteering at a refugee center. He talked about being frustrated with the lack of post resettlement services provided or in this case, not provided. There was something very special about this young man who was probably under 25 and was teaching ESL. When I met him instead of exercising interests like most of the young people I knew his age, he was mentally working on a vision for the… Continue reading

David Mura on Relevance — Japanese Internment — WWII

Recently, the internment of Japanese Americans was cited as setting a precedent for a Muslim registry.*  Of course we cannot let this happen; of course we must protect our Muslim, Arab and Indian American brothers and sisters. We must make sure that what happened to my parents and grandparents and the Japanese American community never happens again. But what does a proposed Muslim registry say about our country? What does it say about our supposed… Continue reading

Nowhere To Go and Nothing We Can Do

We were looking from the balcony on the 15th floor at the Mediterranean spreading its waves on the wounded shore. Smiles coming at us through the windows from the high rise buildings near by. Children finally escaping their homes were checking to see if their neighbors are still alive… screaming in joy. Flocks of pigeons were flying across the sky wiping away the smoke and clearing the intense noise of the earlier bombing. Ceasefire was… Continue reading

The Holocaust Remembers Me

By Rabbi Ora Nitkan-Kaner     When I say I’m a grandchild of Holocaust survivors, this is what I imagine you hear: “I am claiming an important piece of Jewish history as my own.” “My grandparents experienced horrific pain and trauma, but they survived.” “I stand by the clarion call of ‘Never Again.’” When I say I’m a grandchild of Holocaust survivors, this is how it feels: I startle and jump at loud noises that… Continue reading