Often, there’s a temptation to bestow sainthood or even hero status upon a do-gooder.
“This guy’s a character - a bodyguard by day and a peacemaker in his free time. Most Albanians spend their free time trying to make an extra buck. Agim Loci spends it bringing families together,” Jeff says. “That makes him different.”
But while Agim is on a mission, he’s not a missionary. “He’s more like the street-hardened gang counselors, or even the cops, who’ve see a lot of
violence. I’ve met both of those types doing stories in South Central Los Angeles. Agim’s like them,” says Jeff. “He doesn’t carry a Bible.”
This is the kind of story that may reframe a place for readers. Albania doesn’t generate a lot of news coverage, but when it does it’s often
negative. Most stories on Albania’s blood feuds tend to focus on the families or clans involved – not the peacemakers.
That’s why Jeff chose to write about Agim. He’s also a coordinator of like-minded volunteers. In a small nation of three million, Jeff was struck by the fact that there are dozens of blood-feud mediators. “I wanted to find out about these people who spend days, weeks, and years to bring these feuding families to peace and why.”