Gazi, Hazime, Arita, Tuana and Nuard (KUNSTASYLphoto JGern)
Gazi, Hazime, Arita, Tuana and Nuard. The procedure for granting the family the right of asylum took almost two years. September 11, 2016 they went back to Kosovo.

In a few years Gazi and Hazime will tell their son that he was born in Berlin. Nuard's life began in room 206 in the home of asylum seekers in Berlin-Spandau.

     The village of Shtime is located between the hills in South-Eastern Kosovo. The light of the late afternoon brightens the village . Shtime is a 30 minutes bus drive away from Prishtina. Rruga Bllacaliva, the street where the Latifi family lives, is off Main Street.
"Sherije?" the man who lives in number 16 shakes his head. "Would you like a coffee?" He speaks German with a Swiss accent. The address is correct, however the front garden where we stand and the house are his. He earned the money to build the house in Switzerland, where he moved in the 1990 because of the war. Soon he will retire. Then he will go back to Kosovo. His nephew is fluent in German too with hardly any accent. The young man takes me to Sherije, Gazi's mother. He used to live in Bissingen, Bavaria. It has been a month since he came back: application for asylum turned down.
Soon everyone in Shtime will speak German.


View at Shtime with the house of family Latifi (caveng_KUNSTASYL)
View at Shtime with the house of family Latifi
Rruga Bllacaliva(caveng_KUNSTASYL)
Future is behind the hills.
No16 (caveng_KUNSTASYL)
The patio of number 16: a small terrasse for summer, wood for the winter

     Hazime dances.
She is taller than most guests. Her hair-do Nefertiti-style makes her dominate the audience. She is gliding across the floor to greet her in-laws as the traditional wedding dance has it. There is a camera shake. Sherije, Gazi's mother, shows us the video of the wedding of Gazi and Hazime on her cellphone. We are sitting on massive beige armchairs. They felt like it could be guessed when, back in Berlin, Gazi had shown pictures of his home. Sherije has made
some coffee. She served red lemonade.

     " … Application for asylum turned down as manifestly unfounded" - Hazime's beautiful face has been scarred by two years of having to wait and being tolerated./TO STAY/ – All of her thoughts revolve around the hurdle that this word poses.

Gazi is demoralized. All his attempts to find a legal job have failed due to legislation. Lack of understanding and helplessness drive him crazy. Looking crumpled due to sleep and worry, he is standing in the door of room 206, dressed in his undershirt, reckless like Jean Paul Belmondo. The hallway is viewless. Only 6-year-old Arita is looking ahead. She is scribbling down arithmetic problems only to solve them the next minute, having everyone around her revise her work. Arita starts school this year - she will not be able to take her seat at the Spandau primary school though.

     Same street name, same house number. Different scenario. The second house with number 16 on the Bllacaliva street has less character than the N°16 we saw before. However, the inside is beautiful, modern. A showerhead that big was never seen before. Mentor, the family's second son has paid for the interior design. He too earned what was needed in Germany. The daughter Lulija lives in Stuttgart for seven years now - married, one child. Only the 15-year-old still lives with her parents. Yet. Krenare is too young to remember what it was like to be evacuated to Portugal during the Kosovo war together with her mother and siblings. Father and grandfather stayed behind. Shtime was under fire. After four months they came back. They were told that the war was over.
There are no sights in the city, only memorials. Gazi's father drives the taxi to the tombs of the dead of the massacre in Ra
čak and to the woods, which at that time were the front line. Heavy marble plates cover the wounds of war. Until this very day those wounds never healed.

The parents get along in Shtime. Sherije's sewing machines are somewhat hidden between clothes in a boutique on main street, a few minutes from her house. She sews traditional costums, the clothes people wear when celebrating the hard-won identity at festivals. „Jo negociatat pavarësinë“ - "Do not negotiate independence" someone wrote on a wall.

In Shtime they know that Gazi, Hazime, Arita, Tuana and Nuard will be back in a week. Again, the house will be cramped and two beds will not be enough for eight people.

Thoughts will continue not to overcome the obstacle: TO LEAVE
Future is behind the hills.

Appendix: This was written after visiting the family in Shtime September 2, 2016. September 11, 2016 Gazi, Hazime, Arita, Tuana and Noard returned to Kosovo.

Krenare and her mother Sherije (caveng_KUNSTASYL)
The 15-years -old Krenare is still in education. With her other children Sherije is communicating by internet and webcam.
Krenare (caveng_KUNSTASYL)
After the familiy's return, Krenare will be sharing her bedroom again with Arita and Tuana.
Sherije (caveng_KUNSTASYL)
Family Latifi (KUNSTASYL photo Fam_Latifi)
The parents Latifi with Gazi and his sister Luljia. At tjat time kKosovo was still a part of Yugoslavia.
Gazi with one of his cousins(KUNSTASYL photo Fam_Latifi)
Gazi - looking intriguingly similar to the young Jean Paul Belmondo
Gazi in July in Berlin (KUNSTASYL photo Joachim Gern)
Feeling tired after two years ongoing Asylum procedure
Hazime (KUNSTASYL photo Joachim Gern)
Hazime - waiting and suffering took its toll.
Hazime before leaving Kosovo
Hazime before leaving Kosovo two years ago.
Sherije with Arita and Tuana (KUNSTASYL photo Fam_Latifi)
Sherije with ther grandchildren Arita and Tuana on her lap, before they left for Berlin in 2014.
Sherije at work (caveng_KUNSTASYL)
Sherije at work
Sherije (caveng_KUNSTASYL)
She is an expert in the creation of the traditionel clothes of Kosovo.
Arita (KUNSTASYL photo Fam_Latifi)
Arity playing with her identy
At the memorial for the victims of  Račak (caveng_KUNSTASYL)
Togehter with the parents of Gazi at the memorial for the victims of Račak.
Sherije beside the grave of her uncle(caveng_KUNSTASYL)
Sherijes uncle lost his life in the restance against Serbia.
The forest is no more recreation aerea but war memory (caveng_KUNSTASYL)
The forest is no more recreation aerea but war memory.
In remenrance of Arita and Tuana (caveng_KUNSTASYL)
The hand made tradtional clothes created by Sherije are travelling to Berlin while the girls are on the way back to Kosovo.