'I learned to sleep while shaking'
By Dragana Zarevac, 04/01/99
Dragana Zarevac is a 40-year-old Serbian video artist living in Belgrade who is sharing her diary with friends and strangers via e-mail. Press coverage is restricted throughout Yugoslavia, but Zarevac was reached by telephone in Belgrade by Globe reporter Patti Hartigan. ''The communication is really keeping us alive,'' she said Tuesday. Her diary continues.
March 31. ''It is interesting to follow the flow of the information in Belgrade nowadays. Among the people I meet, there are no people who ever supported [Serb President Slobodan] Milosevic, but there is no one who thinks that what is going on in Yugoslavia brings any good to anyone, not even to Milosevic nor [President] Clinton...
''People who have satellite TVs and who watch CNN, Sky [News], etc., pass the information to others. For example: We are sitting on the bench in front of our building, and the kids are playing (schools are on early vacation). The pregnant lady from the first floor who is watching Sky News comes out to her terrace and tells us, `Get ready, the planes started from Aviano.' Half an hour later, we hear sirens.''
''These days the attacks last long, so we have just a couple of hours without the air danger ...
''Since we spend most of the time inside, we make lots of phone calls. (Hope our phone bills are going to be covered by war reparations!) So there are all kinds of predictions which are going mouth to mouth, but none of them are good. Most of the people think that this is not going to end soon and that the destruction is going to be enormous. We try to encourage each other by saying that this is only a beginning, and we are going to live much harder days ...
''I prefer to write only my personal opinions or those of my friends. During the last 10 years of war in ex-Yugoslavia, I have listened mostly to the lies and misinterpretations given by most of the media - and in all the countries where I have lived during the last 10 years. I only trust the personal experiences of people.
''Pretty fast, I learned to sleep while shaking and hearing detonations. When they start bombing government buildings, we'll shake pretty well. Hope there are not going to be mistakes.''
This story ran on page A31 of the Boston Globe on 04/01/99.
© Copyright 1999 Globe Newspaper Company.
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