6 Mar

On Tuesday, a special guest will talk to us about her experiences with Bosnian refugees during the war that affected Zlata

Choose one of the following videos and answer the questions that follow.

You can find the videos at:

My computer>>Media files>>Students>>M1 English Tasks>>EngAM1 Zlatas Refugee Stories>>

Shyrete, Kosovo

Shyrete Sulimani, 39, is ethnic Albanian from Kosovo. In 1999, when war erupted in her native Yugoslavia, she was forced to flee to neighboring Macedonia for fear of reprisals from security services. She left home in the middle of the night with her daughters, aged three years and 14 months, respectively, carrying only a bag of diapers, water, a little milk and bread. “In war time, you just want to be alive.” The next day she arrived at a huge camp established by UNHCR in Macedonia. There she found shelter and was reunited with her husband who had fled their home earlier to avoid compulsory conscription. The family was resettled to Canada, where Shyrete has since started a cleaning company and her husband a landscaping firm. Two years after arriving there, she gave birth to her third child.

Kizito, Somalia

Osman Mwale Macheremu, whose nickname is ‘Kizito’, was born in Somalia and raised by Italian missionaries there. Ethnically he is Bantu, his ancestors having been trafficked to Somalia from Tanzania by Arab slavers. In the early 1990s, after civil war broke out in Somalia, he arranged for his wife and daughters to travel to Tanzania to find safety there. He could not join them because he needed to care for his aged parents, who were too old to make the journey. Nine years later, after his parents passed away, Kizito finally set out on his own to join his family, overcoming dangers along the way while traveling through insecure parts of Somalia and Kenya. His wife was waiting for him once he arrived. “She told me I should not have worried,” he recalls. His daughters had been able to find schooling. “This made me so happy.” Kizito recently obtained full Tanzanian citizenship under a naturalization program that was facilitated by UNHCR and that has provided citizenship for just under 3000 Somali Bantus of Tanzanian descent now living in Tanzania. “To be considered a slave (in Somalia), led me to stop loving that place,” he said. To learn more about refugees, please visit

Rahim, Afghanistan

Abdul Rahim, 24, was born in Pakistan after his family fled the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. His family lived in Azakhel refugee camp in Pakistan’s north-west, until their home was destroyed in the devastating floods of summer 2010. Abdul Rahim almost drowned and lost everything he owned. Luckily, he managed to salvage his refugee card, which allowed him to claim UNHCR assistance in the form of tents and relief supplies. For now, Pakistan remains his adopted home but he and his family hope to return to a peaceful Afghanistan one day.

Consider these questions:

  1. What was the situation that forced the storyteller to leave?
  2. Where did the storyteller go?
  3. What were some of the challenges the storyteller had to overcome?
  4. What was life like once they had fled?

This afternoon we will listen to a special visitor who worked in a refugee centre in Holland that accepted refugees from the Bosnian conflict. Think about what you learnt from the stories above. What questions could you ask our guest to learn more about the experiences of refugees?


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