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For week ended May 23, 1999 Posted 4 Jun 1999

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LDS Ward helps Refugees (Weary Kosovar family ends long journey to new home)

Summarized by Rosemary Pollock

LDS Ward helps Refugees (Weary Kosovar family ends long journey to new home)
Deseret News 23May99 C8
By Alan Edwards: Deseret News staff writer

Three tired refugees from Kosovo arrived in Salt Lake City Saturday evening at 8:42 p.m. after leaving Fort Dix, New Jersey at 6 a.m. (4 a.m. Utah time) culminating a seven-week ordeal that forced them from their home in Pristina, Kosovo by Servian troops. They are part of hundreds of Kosovar refugees to be resettled by the Catholic Cummunity Services in Utah.

Sahit Fazliu, 50, and his two daughters, Shqipe, l6, and Shyhrete, l2 have been seperated from his wife and sons whose age range from l4 to 23. "We don't know anything about them," Fazliu said through interpreter and return Mormon missionary Gary Jensen. Jensen served his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Albania. "We're very tired," Fazliu said with weary eyes.

When forced from their home, the family was separated and they are unsure if Fazliu's wife and four sons are alive or dead. Fazliu and his daughters were taken by train to Macedonia where they lived in deplorable conditions with 45,000 to 50,000 refugees. "They were bad conditions," Fazliu said. "It was a catastrophe."

Food and shelter is being provided as well as a fully furnished apartment that is near a number of Albanian and Bosnian immigrants. Lina Smith, a Catholic Community Services refugee resettlement coordinator said, "I want them, when they walk into the apartment, to say, 'I'm home." A local LDS ward helped to furnish the apartment.

A mentor, Suela Ymeri Kaufman, has been assigned to the Fazliu family to help make the necessary adjustments. "This was actually out of love." "(Resettlement) took a long time for me personally. It was hard."

Looking for this wife and sons are the first priority for the family. Speaking of Serb President, Slobodan Milosevic, Fazliu said, "He is the biggest criminal in the Balkans."

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