Notes from James Berisha about the writing of his book “Escape from Kosovo”:
Writing escape from Kosovo was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to endure. For a very long time during the writing of the book, I hated the thought of it. Having to write about my father’s horrific and brutal death was not, by any means, an easy thing to do. There was lots of resentment, sorrow, and bitterness for the people who committed those crimes against my family. I cursed my own fate thinking why did this happen to me? Why at such a young age did my father have to be forcefully robbed from me by brutal, bloodthirsty cowards? How could my life change so dramatically in such a short period of time, that I no longer had a place to call home? My house was burnt to the ground, and all of those precious things that I had accumulated during my life were destroyed. Again, why did this have to happen to me?
As you can see, my self pity was eclipsed only by anger, and I did not want to sit down and write this book since it would mean enduring the self conflict I would face while having to recall and be tormented by the ghosts of my painful memories. However, facing your fears is the only way to vanquish them and I did not want to be tortured any longer. Not only that, but as I tried to piece together my life, I looked around me and saw into the eyes of my beloved people–eyes full of sorrow and uncertainty for their future. While waiting at the border between Kosovo and Albania, I experienced the magnitude of the suffering of my people; only then were my eyes truly opened. The pain in my heart was shared by many. Me, my family, and hundreds of thousands of innocent people’s voices wanted to be heard. This book is not just a way of expressing my emotions, it is an account of the burden I shared with my people, and it is my way of giving a voice to those who are no longer able to speak.
An independent Kosovo was something that seemed like an impossible dream to me while writing this book, but now it has happened. Though I’m sure the book will serve its purposes, there is still much to be done. Kosovo was beaten and burnt to the ground in the past, but now it has arisen like a phoenix from the ashes and is prepared to show the world its strength and beauty. I have shared an experience so terrifying and so profound with my people that I now feel a strong connection with them, so strong that I feel I must dedicate my life to doing whatever I can to ensure they have a chance to pursue happiness. I will fly until the end of the Earth for you all because I am a pilot and that is what I do, but please use whatever ability you have to contribute to the strength of Kosovo and together we will show the world what great people we are.
There will be many people who won’t understand why I am doing all of this and why I am so dedicated to my country, but hopefully this book will help open their eyes. I believe that once anyone reads this book, they will understand what me and my people have been through, and why we are so passionate about our future. I invite you to read it if you have a chance, and I hope that it will remain a useful tool for keeping the voices of the past alive.
Though it is no longer in print, you may still purchase a copy of the book HERE