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Together again after five years filled with anguish.

A KOSOVAR refugee was reunited with his father and three sisters in Scotland yesterday after five years apart.

Overjoyed Faton Gashi, 22, fled Kosovo for Britain in 1994.

His family were among more than 300 refugees airlifted to Prestwick Airport on Sunday.

Faton arrived in Glasgow yesterday afternoon to greet his father Hazir, 62, and sisters Fegjrij, 32, Minire, 26, and 24-year-old Qefsere.

He said: "Seeing them again is something I don't know how to describe. Fegjrij called me to say they'd arrived and I couldn't believe it. It seems like a dream but now I know it is true and I don't want anything else. I have my family."

But the reunion had a bittersweet edge - Faton still fears for the safety of his other two sisters believed to be in Kosovo.

Meanwhile, a family of refugees told of their happiness at escaping to safety in Scotland.

Fadil Mustafa, 37, and wife Ajshe, 33, arrived in Glasgow on Sunday with their five children and Fadil's sister Mejreme, 29.

Fadil, a factory administrator, said the family had left terror and chaos behind.

He said: "I left my parents, two brothers and a sister. There is no life over there. The only thing you can see is terror."

He said it was difficult to leave his four-bedroom house but he had no choice to give up "what I'd worked for all my life".

Fadil also told how the troubles had escalated when the West intervened with military force.

But the family, who spent five days in the Stenkovec camp on the Kosovo-Macedonia border, were delighted to be in Scotland.

They are now housed in the notorious Red Road high rise blocks in Glasgow's Springburn and have been given fresh clothes, food and toys for the children - Arta, six, Albana, five, Halide, four, Artan, two, and Blerta, four months.

Mum Ajshe wept and said: "I am very, very happy, I feel very, very welcome here."

Her husband agreed that the Scottish people had made them feel very welcome.

He went on: "There are no words that describe how happy I feel compared to the Stenkovec camp.

"We would like to thank the community but we don't know how to thank them.

"Compared to the situation in Kosovo, the situation in the camp was great.

"But compared to the camp, Scotland is better than great - it is beautiful."

Also in Glasgow, a refugee who fled the province last year, leaving behind his pregnant wife, was yesterday reunited with her and the baby daughter he had never seen.

Vllazin Hashani, 26, left to avoid being called up by the Serb army, which would have forced him to fight his own countrymen.

After the start of the NATO bombing, Vllazin heard nothing of wife Shpresa, 25, or his four-year-old child Gentrit.

Then, late on Sunday night, he received a phone call from a refugee council official to tell him his family were safe in Glasgow.

Shpresa, Gentrit and baby Gengini, three months, were among those to arrive at Prestwick.

Yesterday morning, Vllazin took the first available train from London to Glasgow.

As he trudged through the rain to the Red Road high-rise flats, he grinned and joked.

On the way, he said: "I still do not believe this is true. I must see them for myself."
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Author:Martin, Steve
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 11, 1999
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