Life in Kosovo: May Highlights

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The highlight of Life in Kosovo this month was the episode which featured exclusive interviews with Madeleine Albright, the former US Secretary of State; the three members of the Kosovo Negotiating Team, namely Fatmir Sejdiu, president of Kosovo, Agim Ceku, prime minister, Hashim Thaçi, leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo; and Haki Abazi from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

The interviews were conducted at the conference “Creation of a strategy for the first 120 days of Kosovo” held at Rockefeller Estate in Pocantico, from April 12-14.

During the interview with Albright, the former US official talked about Kosovo’s troubled past and the future challenges that its leaders and people will face during the state- and nation-building process.

“Governing is very different [to] fighting to govern,” said Albright. “It requires compromise, and understanding about what the population needs; it requires transparency and accountability and a lot of hard work, steady hard work.”

In his interview, Sejdiu said, “Our priority is to work on the constitution of Kosovo. The main emphasis here lies on writing laws.”

Ceku made clear that after independence, the only important thing is to counter possible threats from Serbia.

“The second priority is the constitution of Kosovo, as well as the whole legislation that derives from the Ahtisaari package,” said the prime minister.

Thaci insisted that Kosovo’s prioroty was the “economy, offering new employment opportunities…We shouldn’t wait for miracles. We have to  work hard and to take on huge responsibilities.

“We have to work together, to have a clear vision of what kind of state we want Kosovo to become”.

Abazi explained that in order to attract foreign investors, Kosovo has to cast itself in difference light – as part of a regional market.

This episode of Life in Kosovo was broadcast on May 4, on RTK, Kosovo’s public television.

Another episode of Life in Kosovo featured an additional exclusive interview with Mehmet Gjevori, conducted shortly before the death of the well-known author of works on education and linguistics.

Gjevori, one of Kosovo’s most prominent authors and educationalists, talks in the interview about his decision to leave Albania, his home country, and come to Kosovo to open Albanian schools at a time when illiteracy amongst the Kosovo Albanian population was as high as 90 per cent.

The episode was broadcast on May 11 on RTK.

Life in Kosovo this month also debated the alarming increase in violence among high school students.

The following were invited to take part in the debate: Zijadin Gashi, Regional Education Inspector; Rrustem Buzhala from the Directorate for Education for the municipality of Pristina; Isa Xhemajli from the Kosovo Police Service; Jahë Sahiti, Director of the School of Economics in Pristina; Shaip Hasani, Sociology Professor; and Fisnik Osmani, President of Pristina’s High Schools Student Council.

The episode will be broadcast on May 18.