Mary Elise Fox

Stories from Mary Elise Fox

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

             Throughout the wars in the Balkans, there was a lot of movement. Refugees were brought out of their city and into different countries. Families moved out of the chaos of the war and into safe places. Teens and young men left their country to avoid being demanded in the military. Although many people moved from their houses to safer land, not everyone returned. The population is dwindling in the Balkans, and not only from the war, but also from the aftermath of the war. Today, many young professionals seek their jobs elsewhere. They believe that bigger and better jobs are out there for them. Many people have also seemed to lose hope, and believe their country is not progressing fast enough. People are frustrated with their country and have either moved or are thinking of moving because of this frustration. There seems to be a general loss of hope in the country, and with loss of hope comes no real reason to stay in the former Yugoslavia.

            When the war first began, there were many young people who left their countries because they were thinking about their careers. Over 500,000 young professionals left Serbia during the war in order to escape from being in the army (1).  They did not want to have to serve in the war, but rather wanted to finish their own studies, or continue with their career. These young professionals fled to Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa if they were trying to seek a permanent home. They also stayed in Europe, and moved to other European countries. Many young professionals fled to Germany if they were looking for a temporary job (3). In 1994, Brian Casey was the current Canadian consul in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. At this time, he said that he received between one to two hundred applications for emigration every day, and had granted around 6,000 permanent visas that year (3). This was the amount of people who were just trying to leave to get to Canada. This happened in many other countries as well. Casey stated in the New York Times, “We’re getting applications from well-educated, highly qualified people” (3). Countries naturally have problems with keeping citizens, but usually this problem is with less educated people who try and make a better life for themselves elsewhere. There becomes a problem when the college educated citizens look elsewhere to find a job. It creates a huge problem with the economy of that country. There are less professionals to do the jobs that should be done by an highly educated person. What happens to a country that cannot keep the doctors, lawyers, bankers, and the businessmen? It throws off the balance. During the war, people began to realize that their lives would be safer and they have better opportunities in other countries so they left and never came back.