Monday, May 10, 1999 Published at 23:44 GMT 00:44 UK
'Scotland is beautiful' - Kosovo refugee
Safe in Glasgow - but still traumatised
Kosovo refugees have been describing their happiness at their escape to safety in the UK, far away from the war-torn Balkans.
"Scotland is beautiful," said one grateful father of five.
More than 300 refugees are settling into temporary accommodation in Glasgow, Renfrew and North Berwick.
They are all extremely tired but relieved.
One of the new arrivals, Fadil Mustafa, 37, said he was most impressed with the locals' response to their new guests.
He said: "If I compare it to the situation in Kosovo the situation in the camp was great but if I compare it to our welcome in Scotland, well this is not great, this is beautiful."
Mr Mustafa said he could hardly believe he and his family were safe.
He had been a factory administrator until - three weeks ago - Serb police came and ordered him and his family to leave their village of Pleshine, near Ferzaj, in Kosovo.
"They came into the house and they asked us for money and they said if we didn't give them money they would take our lives.
"It is very chaotic, wherever you go there is police and military, there is nothing else except that."
The family are now housed in a high-rise block of flats in Glasgow's Springburn area where they have been given fresh laundry, clothes, food and toys for the children, Arta, six, Albana, five, Halide, four, Artan, two and Blerta, four months.
The family and all the other Kosovo refugees have been given leave to stay for up to a year. They will be allowed to look for work, claim benefits and the children can go to school.
Nine of the 300 refugees are believed to have relatives in the UK. One Kosovo Albanian student based in London told of his delight at discovering his family had escaped to safety.
Faton Gashi received a telephone call from his sister Fegjrije on Sunday night to say she had arrived in Glasgow with their father and three other sisters.
Faton travelled to the city and was reunited with his family at the flats where they are being housed.
Mr Gashi, 22, who studies in Harrow, north-west London, said: "When I heard last night I thought, 'I can't believe it.' I wasn't sure until I came here and saw them today. Now I know it's true and I'm very happy. I don't want anything else. I have got all I want."
He said he did not know the whereabouts of his two other sisters, one of whom has five children.