A peacemaker but no saint

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Often, there’s a temptation to bestow sainthood or even hero status upon a do-gooder.

To be true to his profile of an Albanian blood-feud mediator, reporter Jeffery White couldn’t go there.

“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.”

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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.”

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