well hell... political and personal

I didn't know Amir well, but I can sort of picture his face. He never did learn much English. I think he was one of those guys who skipped class (even though it's mandatory attendance for the first few months here) and when he did show up, he took too many smoking breaks.

But that was okay because he left the area a couple of years ago. Somehow he got permission to return to Bosnia.

Apparently he couldn't fit back in that world either. Last week he shot himself. The person who told me that also said that Amir's brother committed suicide a couple of years ago. She said that the two of them were the only members of their immediate family who'd survived the war. And that Amir still felt guilty that he couldn't save his his wife, his kids, his sister, his mother, his father. . **

Would Amir and is brother have been okay if the war hadn't utterly destroyed their lives? I don't know. Heck, maybe they came from a long line of depressives and their suicides would have been inevitable. Amir had some other health problems, like diabetes.

See? I shouldn't automatically blame the conflict. After all, that war ended more than ten years ago. ****

However, hearing about Amir and his brother reminds me of my unshakable belief that anyone who ever thought of war as a solution for anything (Lieberman and Bush are the first ones who pop into my mind. Iran, anyone?) should go live with some refugees for a while. Heck, they should be forced to change places with 'em.

** I think his family was discovered in the burial site they found a couple of years ago and he went back to identify the bones and never returned to the US.

****It occurs to me that he is the fourth, fifth or sixth (I'm not sure about a couple) suicide among the refugees I've had as students. A statistically-minded person might think there's a connection to having me as a teacher.


  1. They should be obliged to send their own children to war.
    I keep waiting for the Bush brats to sign up.
    No such luck. And yes, in this case I do believe they should suffer for the sins of their father. (aren't I awful?)


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