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Ahmet Osmani Becir Osmani
Ahmet and Becir Osmani

Ahmet and Becir Osmani live in Zajas, a village near Kicevo almost exclusively inhabited by ethnic Albanians. Given anti-Albanian policies after World War II and lacking employment prospects, many men here migrated abroad. Ahmet Osmani, the head of the family, left 40 years ago to work in Germany and sent money back home to support his family.

"Live was simple and poor in those days after the second world war, which I experienced myself. Then we had the choice to leave. The whole village migrated to Germany… We were afraid to be in a foreign country, we did not speak the language, the Germans took us by the arms and showed us: this is a shovel, an axe, a pushcart."

After returning to Zajas, he now runs the small family farm with three of his sons. His other sons send money from abroad. Becir Osmani is one of his three sons that remained in the village:

"Some want to work here, but they do not know what to do. They can work on construction sites, but the work is very limited. Most of the villagers went to Germany.

If we had left abroad as well, I believe that our children would not have returned. We live from husbandry, my father and two of my brothers, Agim and Bekim. This is a family tradition, none of us received proper education, I only finished secondary school."

May 2008
ESI

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