This I Believe

ALKIS - WORCESTER, Massachusetts
Entered on November 29, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: race, war

I believe human lives are too short to be filled with ethnic wars. Humans have been constantly fighting for national identity from the time history has been written to the current days. Some countries act as oppressors and others simply fight in order to defend against assimilation and preserve their own culture, flag, and language. Today, it is unnecessary for people to kill one another just because they have a different nationality.

It was June of 1998, and the media constantly broadcasted every aspect of the Serbian genocide against the people of Kosovo. Although a war had already started, I was only 9 and half years old, and my days were occupied with simple after school homework; I had no time to think about the war.

On a sunny afternoon, my grandmother opened the door to my apartment. An unknown woman was standing there with her two daughters. Their faces portrayed stories of terror, massacre, destruction, pain, and even death itself. Their house was burned, their father was killed, and now they had nothing left. Suddenly, my quiet temple was destroyed; I began to understand that a war was going on.

People were tortured because of who they were, houses and schools were burned, entire cities were ruined and families were tore apart. As the endless stories were piling up in my head, I took the courage to ask why: “why would all these solders come to your house and do all these things” my voice was blunt and frightened and yet sharp and demanding. “They never give us a specific reason of why they want to kill us” the mother spoke softly as tears rolled down her cheeks, “being from Kosovo is enough”.

As I sit in front of the computer today, almost a decade later, and try to find a topic for one of my English paper, I start thinking of the war in Iraq. Although this war is being fought far away from Kosovo and under very different circumstances, it is another war based on hatred alone. America is fighting a war against hate and people are being killed because they are Americans and because they are Iraqis. This is absurd not only to a 9 years old child, but also to a 20 years old college student.

I believe our lives would greatly improve if fewer wars took place. We should not fight each other but rather try to accept our differences and realize that we are all one community living on one enormous “country” called planet Earth. I believe in people laughing, jumping around and being silly. People should try and live more into that world of mine before that Kosovo family came in, because every little girl is a princess, regardless if she is from Kosovo or Serbia, Iraq or America.