Migration

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KOSOVO 2.0

Editor-in-chief Besa Luci Photography Editor Atdhe Mulla Deputy Photography Editor Majlinda Hoxha Design Van Lennep, Amsterdam Clleanc / Bubrrecat, Prishtina Senior Managing Editor Michael S. McKenna Copy Editor Wesley Schwengels Senior Editors Tu-Linh Doan Ben Timberlake Staff Writer Cristina Mari Online Managing Editor Jack Davies

Contributors Raquel Avila Rubin Beqo Tringa Berisha Seb Bytyci Mia David Christopher DeWolf John Dolan Dardane Arifaj Blumi Artrit Bytyci Enri Canaj Djurdja Djukic Jodi Hilton Valerie Hopkins Mimoza Kqiku Mikra Krasniqi Fortesa Latifi Hana Marku Leonard Nikaci Edona Peci Enver Robelli Bradley Secker Besa Shahini Eaamon Sheehy

Translators Qerim Ondozi Murlan Jasiqi Hyjnor Jasiqi

Print and Distribution GTV Drukwerk Project Management bv

Sales Manager Sokol Loshi

Kosovo 2.0 magazine is available in English, Albanian and Serbian.

Photographers Verdi Avila Enri Canaj Christopher DeWolf Jodi Hilton Valerie Hopkins Mariangela Mihai Armend Nimani Eni Nurkollari Eamonn Sheehy Bradley Stecker Kushtrim Ternava

Cover Majlinda Hoxha

Financial Manager Hana Ahmeti Publisher Kosovo Glocal Webmaster Sprigs The Board Chairman Joan de Boer Members Anna Di Lellio Aliriza Arenliu

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Online: www.kosovotwopointzero.com E-mail: magazine@ kosovotwopointzero.com Letters to the editor: letters@kosovotwopointzero.com Subscribe to Kosovo 2.0 E-mail us at subscriptions@kosovotwopointzero.com or visit www.kosovotwopointzero.com/en/magazine. Financial support The content does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the donors.

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR TEXT BY BESA LUCI

DURING THE KOSOVO WAR OF 1999, as one among hundreds of thousands of Albanians, I, too, became a refugee. For the four months of the NATO bombing, I settled in Bulgaria with my oldest sister, who was finishing her university studies at the American University in Bulgaria. Despite the difficulty of leaving home, one of my most indelible memories of the time remains a student’s commencement speech. She stated that AUBG students, comprised predominantly of youth from the Balkans, had lost their sense of “home.” They had somehow lost their pasts, because they were no longer the ones who were writing it; there was a general feeling of loss, as their definitions of what was and wasn’t “home” had changed. They would no longer be accepted in the countries they once knew as home, because their identities had been compromised. In the West, they would never fit in — they were still too “different.” Their accents would be valuable commodities. They would be the native scholars from that liminal space that showed where Europe ended, or perhaps began. Or at least they would hope so. To me, it was refreshing to adopt the idea of a fragmented self and identity. Being marginal, fitting nowhere and everywhere at the same time was somehow empowering, but also alienating. As we prepared the Migration issue, I found that these sentiments of alienation and empowerment ran through the various stories in the magazine, as well. What we encountered was that, while migration is universal and embodies and evokes experiences and memories for individuals and people everywhere, it is just as often divisive, as the meanings we ascribe to it are innately political. So as we examine the political, economic and social implications of the various forms of migration, we look at how clashes between ideological discourses and political systems produce repercussions that all too often threaten human rights and freedoms, but also tend to produce ambiguity over what constitutes “rightful migration.” They also determine boundaries of rights. Because, whether speaking to the contentious politics of migration policies, exploring causes and motives to the different forms of migration, or unfolding the personal reflections on identity, the struggles that emanate from migration are ultimately of an intimate, personal nature. And our understanding and experiences can equally influence and shape the type of stories we come to find, listen, tell or even live. That is why we were determined from the onset that personal and human-driven struggles and experiences would be at the core of this issue. A great selection of stories in this issue speaks to how we come to define and understand a sense of self, place and home, within such constellations, as well as challenge them. Being from Kosovo offers us great insight into how migration plays out, unfolds and gets packed and unpacked over and over again. During the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, Kosovars experienced large waves of migration. During the socialist Yugoslavia era, Kosovar Albanians migrated as “workers temporarily employed abroad;”

with the rise of nationalist rhetoric and the oppressive regime of the time, many sought political asylum or family reunions with those already living abroad; and the third wave ultimately included hundreds and thousands of refugees fleeing the 1999 war (see our cover story, “A second home” by Enver Robelli, page 27). On one hand, we document accounts of these waves of migration through the personal chronicles of some of our Kosovar Albanian writers, and explore how their stories produce affects of home and identity (see “The Next Generation” by Hana Marku, page 20, and “The Walls That Can’t Be Torn Down” by Artrit Bytyci, page 40). On the other hand, our recent experience also compels us to identify similar movements and struggles for rights that continue to prevail elsewhere, as well as the persistence of regimes wishing to eliminate people based on particular group belonging (see our collection of stories speaking to Syrian refugees in Bulgaria and Turkey, and asylum seekers in Serbia, starting at page 48). As we were preparing this issue, we found ourselves coming back to discussions of rights, freedoms and opportunities within our own state and society. This is primarily because, six years into independence, it has become clear that freedoms and rights are not guaranteed. So while once Kosovo faced waves of migration predominantly due to infringements on the safety of the national group, the struggles it faces today are both of a different and similar nature. Kosovo’s youth is seeking a way out. The political and economic system fails to offer and guarantee them their social and economic security, and public debate is suffocated by moral and political majorities of self-proclaimed power. That is why we found it important to include a section examining and critiquing the quality of Kosovo’s higher education, which not only is producing a generation that sees itself lacking as prospects, but also feels unequipped to take part in Kosovo’s development. These young people are largely perceived as a threat to the “European family” that Kosovo aspires to join (see “Too Poor To Travel Freely,” page 16). And while we do not argue that visas should be awarded blindly, we do advocate for the need to recognize and acknowledge that the process is as political as any other. Kosovo has been turned into a ghetto, and freedom of movement has been structured in a manner that keeps some people in (often against their will) and others out. The case of Leonarda Dibrani is a case in point (see “The Mistaken Homeland,” page 22). So this issue on migration ties together discussions of political liberties, economic opportunity, human rights and questions of identity. While we tend to think of migration as an exception to a human condition characterized by rootedness and home, the permanence of human movement appears as a much more convincing universal. In the end, perhaps, it is not transience that requires controlling, but rather the often forceful means of migration and expulsion that compel it.

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KOSOVO 2.0


CONTENT KOSOVOTWOPOINTZERO MAGAZINE MIGRATION — #7 SPRING/SUMMER 2014

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LOST AT SEA

HEART AWAY FROM HOME

No Hollywood ending for many migrants. By Jack Davies

Kosovars make new lives in Switzerland, but can't forget homeland. By Enver Robelli

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NO EASY WAY OUT

WALLS, BORDERS AND FENCES

Kosovars face multitude of challenges just to get across the border. By Besa Shahini

Physically or mentally, shutting others out is nothing new to our species. By Artrit Bytyci

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THE MISTAKEN HOMELAND

DIFFERENT KIND OF HELL

French political quagmire leaves girl suffering in Kosovo. By Michael McKenna

After escaping war, some Syrians are finding Europe far from welcoming. By Jodi Hilton

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CONTENT KOSOVOTWOPOINTZERO MAGAZINE MIGRATION — #7 SPRING/SUMMER 2014

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IMAGES OF IMMIGRATION

HEALING A NATION

Stopover in Greek port cities becomes long wait for refugees. By Enri Canaj

Hava Shala strove to end blood feuds in order to gain Kosovo's independence. By Hana Marku

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THE URBAN VILLAGE SQUEEZE

KOSOVO'S LEARNING CURVE

Shenzhen’s migrant neighborhoods are vibrant — and endangered. By Christopher DeWolf

Youth may be Kosovo's strongest asset, but impediments at every level of education cloud the promise of a brighter future.

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

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A CITY SEPARATED

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PAPERS, PLEASE

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SAFER GROUND

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YOU TELL US: LIFE IN THE DIASPORA

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A DANGEROUS PATH

Human movement is driven by many factors that touch us all. By Besa Luci Passports go back a long way, and are still far from perfect. By Fortesa Latifi Our readers speak out on life as a Kosovar abroad. By Kosovo 2.0

Blocked-off bridge is a symbol of Mitrovica's dysfunction. By Djurdja Djukic Refugees find promise in Serbia, even if they don't stay. By Valerie Hopkins In Middle East, LGBT refugees face many hurdles on road to safety, acceptance. By Bradley Secker

KOSOVO 2.0


CONTENT KOSOVOTWOPOINTZERO MAGAZINE MIGRATION — #7 SPRING/SUMMER 2014

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PIECES OF HOME

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NO LUCK FOR THESE IRISH

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MIGRATORY MEMORIES

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98 100

A world traveler finds Kosovo in the most unexpected places. By Dardane Arifaj Blumi Roma and Muslims met with derision in Ireland. By Eamonn Sheehy The migration of previous generations provides a link to the past. By Raquel Avila Tradition is alive and well for Albanians in Argentina. By Tringa Berisha

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A LESSON ON LEAVING

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DELIVERING RELIEF

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INTERPRETATION AND RELOCATION

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MIGRATING DOWNWARD

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FLEEING HOME? THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT

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THE NEXT GENERATION

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BY THE BOOKS

VOWS AND VISAS

BUILDING FOR TOMORROW After leaving as a child, this architect is helping the next generation in Kosovo. By Edona Peci

BLESSING AND CURSE Education, skills needed for Kosovo's youth to fulfill its promise. By Mikra Krasniqi

THE DROPOUTS' LESSON For some students, a diploma is just too far away. By Leonard Nikaci

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Students at university complain about lack of textbooks, but issues run deeper. By Mimoza Kqiku

YOU DO THE MATH

MOVING WORDS Albanian poet Gypsee Yo found her voice abroad. By Rubin Beqo

REQUIRED READING?

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WORDS OF THEIR FATHERS

Couple's marriage overcomes European bureaucracy. By Cristina Mari

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Educational impediments and a widespread student base cloud the future of Kosovo's best asset — its youth. By Kosovo 2.0 University students who study abroad are finding it easier to stay there. By Seb Bytyci Remittances from Kosovo's emigrants help, but the system is flawed. By Mikra Krasniqi Artists examine the deeper reasons why we move. By Mia David It's difficult to succeed in an alien place. By John Dolan Presenting the top five immigrationrelated smartphone applications. By Michael McKenna For children of the Albanian diaspora, there is no right or wrong way home. By Hana Marku We look at novels and essays that capture what it means to be a migrant. By Hana Marku

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THINGS THAT WE CARRY IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY, ONE CAN’T AVOID FINDING THE TRADE AGREEMENTS, MANUFACTURING ALLIANCES AND FISCAL IMBALANCES OF THE WORLD MIRRORED IN ONE’S OWN POSSESSIONS. EVERY TIME YOU WALK OUT THE DOOR, YOU ARE LIKELY CARRYING A SUITE OF PRODUCTS THAT REFLECTS THE INTRICATE SYSTEMS OF INTERNATIONAL CAPITALISM IN YOUR VERY POCKETS. P.19

P.21

ALB P.72

P.45

ZANA P.87

FLOKQI

P.126

MALSORE

WITH THIS IN MIND (AND WITH A NOD TO TIM O’BRIEN’S MORE NAKEDLY MARTIAL COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES, THE THINGS THEY CARRIED), WE CAUGHT UP WITH A BUNCH OF OUR READERS TO SEE WHAT THEIR POSSESSIONS SAID ABOUT THE FORCES OF GLOBAL TRADE. HERE’S WHAT WE FOUND. 8

DRITA

KOSOVO 2.0

KENDRIK


LIKE THE MOVIE 'TITANIC,' THE POOR ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE LEFT ADRIFT

MIGRATION: IT’S NO SEA CRUISE

The film “Titanic” is as much about migration as it is about love. Rose and Jack’s doomed romance provides a metaphor for the aspiration and angst that drive the world’s estimated 232 million international migrants. Plus, Jack and Rose, along with most of the ship’s other passengers, are migrants.

TEXT BY JACK DAVIES

Jack Davies is Online Managing Editor at Kosovo 2.0.

#1 THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE OCEAN

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— SPECIFICALLY, they are economic migrants. Jack, a prototypical player of America’s green card lottery, wins his passage to the land of opportunity in a game of poker. Rose is Syrian middle class, previously wellheeled but down on her luck. She embarks the Titanic in a reluctant, last-ditch effort to sustain her old-world standards overseas. In the same way members of the Syrian middle class will trade a kidney for salvation, Rose’s voyage is bankrolled by the sale of her body to a fiance so gruesome the prospect of marrying him prompts a suicide attempt.

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#2 SLUMMING IT OR FLEEING THE SLUMS?

— ANYONE WHO WALKED within 100 miles of a cinema in the mid-1990s knows that neither Rose’s nor Jack’s economic or romantic aspirations come to fruition. Rose’s romantic journey resembles a migration Kosovo knows all too well. Like an EULEX intern slumming it in Dragodan for three months before becoming a Brussels bureaucrat, Rose only ever sees Jack as a holiday. If she really meant for their affair to last beyond the voyage, she wouldn’t have turned her promise — “I’ll never let go, Jack” — into Hollywood’s most flagrant lie by casting him into the icy Atlantic mere minutes later.

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— JACK’S DEATH ALSO REMINDS us of the adversity faced by migrants around the world. Since the start of the millennium, 23,000 North African migrants have found their graves on the Mediterranean seabed while trying to reach European shores. And just as the Titanic’s steerage passengers were kept below deck so as not to offend the first class, media attention to 14 years of drowned North African migrants will never match the frenzy afforded to the 32 left dead when the Costa Concordia cruise liner ran aground in 2012.

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THOSE WITH THE LEAST TO LOSE OFTEN LOSE THE MOST

KOSOVO 2.0


#4 AND WHEN THEY LOSE, THEY REALLY LOSE

— THE RATIONALE BEHIND holding 2,000 people in these conditions is as simple as it is ugly. It’s the same reason second officer Charles Lightoller in “Titanic” feels no compunction in warbling, “Get back, I say, or I’ll shoot you all like dogs,” at steerage passengers desperate to join first-class passengers on lifeboats. Wealthy people deserve nice things; poor people are unworthy. Australia, with its $67,035 per capita GDP, has no place for persecuted and impoverished refugees; Papua New Guinea’s $2,184 per capita GDP is far better suited to them.

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— THAT SAME YEAR, the Parliament of Australia voted to reinstate its controversial Pacific Solution. The policy is similar to the Third Reich’s Final Solution inasmuch as both titles are gross euphemisms used by governments to arbitrarily deny the rights and liberty of certain groups of people. The Pacific Solution involves retaining 2,000 asylum seekers in camps in remote Pacific islands in Papua New Guinea. According to an Amnesty International report, only one of the 2,000 has had an asylum claim processed since the reopening of the camps in 2012. The rest are left to suffer in shocking conditions. For example, Amnesty describes 112 people living in “one single windowless shed” and receiving less than 500ml of water per day where temperatures rarely fall below 23 degrees Celsius.

YOU WERE NEARLY THREE TIMES MORE LIKELY TO SURVIVE IF YOU WERE FILTHY RICH 11


#5 OF COURSE, IT’S NOT ALL BAD

— OF COURSE, migration is not always synonymous with misery. Not everyone died on the Titanic, but you were nearly three times more likely to survive if you were filthy rich. As one example, privately educated tennis pro Richard Norris Williams’ voyage on the Titanic was the final leg on a journey from his birthplace in Switzerland to a new life in America. He survived, went on to Harvard University, enjoyed a successful career in tennis and later became an investment banker.

AUSTRALIA, WITH ITS $67,035 PER CAPITA GDP, HAS NO PLACE FOR PERSECUTED AND IMPOVERISHED REFUGEES; PAPUA NEW GUINEA’S $2,184 PER CAPITA GDP IS FAR BETTER SUITED TO THEM. 12

KOSOVO 2.0


#6 FREE TO THOSE THAT CAN AFFORD IT, VERY EXPENSIVE TO THOSE THAT CAN'T

— ALL THIS SAID, the Titanic analogy falls short with regards to one demographic. Women and children may have been first aboard the lifeboats when the ship went down, but they are the most likely to migrate against their will and to suffer more while being trafficked. It is estimated that 98 percent of all persons trafficked into prostitution are women and girls.— K

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— WHILE 23,000 NORTH AFRICAN migrants have lost their lives trying to reach Europe, the super rich can now obtain EU citizenship by purchasing a Maltese passport for a cool 1.15 million euros. Similarly, Amnesty International claims that the Australian government is spending 1 billion Australian dollars to keep 2,000 asylum seekers in camps, while it granted a quarter of a million working holiday visas to citizens belonging to a privileged list of 21 countries.

#7 WOMEN AND CHILDREN LAST

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HOW THE PASSPORT CAME TO PASS TRAVEL DOCUMENTS AND FREEDOM ARE INTERTWINED, AND BOTH ARE STILL A STRUGGLE IN KOSOVO TEXT BY FORTESA LATIFI

—THE WORD “PASSPORT” COMES FROM a combination of the French words “passer” (“to pass”) and “port” — which in this context connotes a seaport. Taken together, it would be natural to assume that the first passports were used to grant entry through the maritime ports of foreign countries. In practice, however, the concept vastly predates the era of French seafaring. The first mention of a passport-type document actually occurred in the Bible, when the Persian king Artaxerxes sent Nehemiah (the royal cupbearer) to Judah to rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem, furnishing his envoy with papers requesting that the rulers of the regions between Persia and Judah would allow Nehemiah safe passage. What seems to be a historical footnote is actually the first time in human history that the concept of being under one leader’s protection while in the territory of another is explicitly mentioned. This idea surfaced again in 15th-century Britain when King Henry V signed “safe conduct” documents for Britons traveling abroad. In the early 20th century, passports became a standard document in Britain, but since photographic technology had not yet caught up with the idea, each passport instead included a physical description of its bearer. Passports were not mandatory for international travel until World War I, when the League of Nations held a series of meetings concerning international travel. The outcome of these assemblies regulated the use of passports among all people seeking to cross international borders. Over the years that followed, the passport became a staple of the modern world. In contemporary discourse, citizenship and passports are intertwined — to have one is to have the other. Historically, though, citizenship was a far more restrictive concept than it is today. In

ancient Greece, where the idea first arose, citizenship was only accorded to property owners, and represented their status in the social hierarchy. In this model, to be a citizen was to be free, or to be something other than a slave (neither slaves nor women were allowed to be recognized as citizens). Although the modern definition of citizenship focuses more on the privileges gained by being a citizen of a country, its ancient counterpart was based on the duties and responsibilities of citizens toward the community. The ancient Greeks considered their personal destinies and the destiny of their community to be closely intertwined, and were thus inclined to participate in their communities. In Athens, that singular Greek region whose social and political structures continue to inform contemporary models, that involvement included the right to speak and vote in the political assembly. In Europe, citizenship disappeared from the history books during the feudal era but surfaced again during the Renaissance. In this instance — arguably the precursor of our current situation — citizenship was recognized as representing both one’s membership in a specific society as well as certain obligations and duties. How does one become a citizen? In many countries, if you are born within their borders, you are considered a citizen automatically. In other countries — including most European nations — citizenship is based on the principle of jus sanguinis, or “right of blood”; essentially, If both of your parents are citizens of a country, then you may have the right to be a citizen of that country as well. Marrying a citizen often hastens the process of becoming a citizen of a country. Naturalization is another path to citizenship, albeit one that includes passing a test or demonstrating knowledge of the country’s language and culture.

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When we were under the umbrella of the former Republic of Yugoslavia, we carried red passports that were highly esteemed because they were one of the few passports in the world that allowed citizens to travel freely between the East and the West during the Cold War.

Although there are many different ways to gain citizenIn contemporary ship, it is widely accepted that one of the most important discourse, benefits to citizenship is the citizenship and modern passport. This is passports are where the relationship between the concept of citizenintertwined — ship and the all-powerful to have one is to passport gets interesting. Bearers of South Korean passhave the other. ports, for example, are not alHistorically, lowed to travel to Afghanithough, citizenship stan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen because the South Kowas a far more rean government has banned travel to those countries for restrictive concept safety reasons. If you have a than it is today. Pakistani passport, you can travel anywhere in the world — except Israel. On the other hand, if you have an Israeli passport, you’re not allowed to travel to many Muslim and African countries: Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen don’t even allow people who have Israeli stamps in their passport to enter their countries. What happens if a country that is not universally recognized as an independent country issues your passport? What if you try to travel to a country that has not recognized your country’s independence? Will they let you in? These are the very questions facing many Kosovar citizens on

a daily basis and, in the six years since Kosovo declared independence, the answers have started to arrive. If you are traveling to the U.S. or Germany, or even Afghanistan, you’re in luck. These nations and 105 others recognize Kosovo’s independence as a country and will allow you to enter with your Kosovar passport. Bosnia, Greece, Romania, Slovakia, Suriname and Israel have decided that, while they do not recognize Kosovo’s independence, they will still accept the Kosovar passport as a travel document. The topic of the passport has been a matter of confusion in Kosovo for many years. When we were under the umbrella of the former Republic of Yugoslavia, we carried red passports that were highly esteemed because they were one of the few passports in the world that allowed citizens to travel freely between the East and the West during the Cold War. After the former Yugoslavia crumbled and the Kosovo War of 1999 swept the country, the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo gave Kosovar citizens passports issued by the U.N. Once Kosovo declared independence in 2008, Kosovar passports were issued with gold letters proudly proclaiming against a blue background “Republika E Kosoves.” The end of the war was not the end of our battle as a country. The declaration of independence was not a declaration of complete freedom. Our passport does not allow us to pass through every border in the world — but we are progressing. We are progressing. — K

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Fortesa Latifi is a fourth-year psychology student at the University of Arizona. She spends most of her time flying between New York, Kosovo and Qatar.


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