Just keep that history in mind when you try to make sense of some man’s weird abruptness in personal relations, or a weird penchant for bragging and “looking dangerous”.
MITROVICA, Kosovo — “This is a piece of heaven on earth,” the monk said.
Just to make a well known reference, I’ve always noticed that the characters from Godfather, although Sicilian, had a mentality strikingly similar to Albanians’, so one could say that in Albania you might run across a Sonny, a Michael or a Fredo.Many of the cars don’t have license plates or have plates issued by Serbia, which are considered illegal by the government in Pristina. Given all the division, it was interesting to note — and perhaps a hopeful sign — that the shooting of the local politician, Oliver Ivanovic, did not lead to immediate finger pointing across the river to the ethnic Albanian community. Ivanovic’s fight against the criminal networks within the ethnic Serbian community led to his killing.“The sense of fear among people is incredible,” Mr.Ivanovic said not long before his murder.“I want to make it very clear: these people are not afraid of Albanians, but Serbs, local strongman and criminals,” he said.“When you are here, you feel it.”Dressed in a long black robe and stroking a long black beard, the monk’s words would seem a simple phrase, a holy man talking about a holy place. His home, the Banjska Monastery, is set high above a village just outside of Mitrovica in Kosovo — a divided city in a divided country that still bears the scars and nurses the slights of wars dating back more than 600 years.Built between 13 by the Serbian king Stefan Milutin, the monastery was his burial site until the Battle of Kosovo in 1389.