The Albanian View:Interview With a Native

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In August of 1996, Suela Kapollari, 16, left her hometown of Tirana, Albania to study at a high school in Cody, Wyoming. Leaving behind her parents, a younger brother and her friends, Suela came to America with the expectation of a nine month span to broaden her horizons and expand her already fluent English. But now with her homeland in turmoil, the United States present the possibility of becoming a home for Suela.(6)

1. What was your first feeling when you heard of the problems in Albania?
I got really worried about my family and my cousins and my best friends. I was really worried about my country because I don't want anyone to die.
2. What do you think of the violence?
I think that violence is really cruel. I really hate it and think that it's really bad that these things happen in a small country like Albania.
3. Do you agree with the revolts?
I do like it and I don't. I like it because I think the people should stand up for themselves but I don't because I don't think people should shoot others.
4. Did your parents invest in the pyramid scheme?
No, my parents didn't but a lot of their friends did and they lost everything, even their houses.
5. Where are your parents now?
They are in Tirana, but not in the center. They live in a kind of motel and live with all their cousins, friends...everybody.
6. Are you scared for your parents and friends?
I am scared to death, I don't want anything bad to happen to them because I love them with all my heart. I am worried about everyone in Albania because I am Albanian and I know that they are really special, wonderful, and caring.
7. What do you think is the future for Albania?
Albania is going to get in a civil war after the elections. I really don't want this to happen but when you hear everything that is going on, that's where your mind goes and that's what you say. People are going to die and I don't want that to happen because not only of my parents but all the Albanians.
8. Do you miss Albania?
I do miss Albania a whole bunch because there is where my friends and parents are, so there is where my dreams came true. I want to go back just to give everyone a hug and I swear I will come back.
9. What are the differences between Albania and the U.S.?
Well, every kind of food in Albania is saltier, so everything that I eat here I put salt on, something my host parents think is weird. People are nice most of the time(in the U.S.)but sometimes you meet these kind of people that would like to hurt you. In Albania everybody is nice to me because I'm Albanian and nobody makes fun of the way I talk. For fun I usually go to the lake or the sea with my friends, sometimes we go to the discos. But I don't do any of those things here. Except riding a bike.
10.Do you want to go back?
I don't know. I do and I don't. I do because I want to see my parents, cousins, and friends. But I don't want to because I have a wonderful family here and some really good friends. I guess I'm just a wimp for being really scared to go back. But my heart really wants to.
11.Do you think the U.S. should help Albania?
I think that the United States should help Albania because the Albanian people today need more help than ever. I know that the U.S. might not care but there are kids dying out there.
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