18 June 2012
Sister Anastasija and Sister Isidora pray in the Gorioc Monastery’s dining room, which is located outside Kosovo’s northwestern town of Istok. (photo: Laura Boushnak)
In the current issue of ONE, journalist Joost Van Egmond writes about spending some time with a group of Serbian Orthodox nuns pursuing their calling at the Gorioc Monastery in Kosovo, in spite of cultural tensions:
“It doesn’t matter much to me. I just want to live here,” says Sister Anastasija, standing outside the Gorioc Monastery, which is located outside Kosovo’s northwestern town of Istok. The 25-year-old Orthodox nun points through the barbed-wire fence enclosing the property to a vista of the snow-covered valley below. “It’s hard,” she says, glancing at the fence. “But beauty is where the suffering is.”
The new recruit entered the monastery in August 2010. She refers to the area as Metohija Valley, its Serbian name, still unaware that locals, most of whom are Albanian Kosovars, consider the term a provocative reminder of past Serbian oppression. They prefer to call it by its Albanian name, the Dukagjin Valley. This seemingly minor discrepancy epitomizes the tightrope the young nun walks in her new life in Kosovo.
With four other women, she is striving to do something not only radical, but almost impossible: to live a life of prayer and peace in a wounded corner of world that has been torn apart by conflict and ethnic strife.
For more, read Praying Behind Barbed Wire. We were able to catch up with Joost Van Egmond to talk more about his assignment in Kosovo. Check it out in the video below:
Tags: Sisters Albania Serbia Kosovo
Leave a comment