Bridge that connects

Bridge that connects

How do young people see the main Mitrovica bridge? Like a bridge of division or a bridge of connection? The answer to this question is given by Dženita, Marija, and Amar. This text is a continuation of the RCT activities, training the youth on reporting on multiethnic relations. Read below.

In everyday life we ​​meet different people and characters. Everyone has their freedom and is driven by what they want. Such is Mitrovica. A handful of young people, communities, many traditions, future plans … Unfortunately, Mitrovica is often in the focus of the media, but not because of those good and beautiful things. However, this city is different from what is visible in the media.

“Mitrovica is a multiethnic place, it is characterized by the connection of different communities that share the same space,” says Dženita.

“It is characteristic that our youth is divided into two groups. One that is part of different communities and groups, regardless of their ethnicity, and a group that, unfortunately, reacts and thinks based on the stories of others, sometimes so-called grandmother’s stories” – adds Amar.

“I am personally moved by freedom. I believe that it moves the world for the better,” says Marija.

Young people often meet their peers from other communities through civil society activities. One such event was the CBM training where they worked together on texts in different groups.

They have more similarities than differences. They see more challenges in the past than in the future.

They count the parts of the city of Mitrovica – the Bosnian neighborhood, the Three Solitaires, the Miners Hill, and there is the inevitable bridge. They talk openly about what they see as important to themselves and their community.

“We meet at various seminars, events … We speak two official languages ​​(Serbian and Albanian). In my opinion, that should be respected,” says Marija.

“Togetherness prevents quarrels, conflicts, and war, improves the economic situation and brings peace,” says Dženita, adding:

“For me, the bridge of our city is a way to establish the unification of young and prosperous people who want development and cooperation in an equal way, without distinction, regardless of ethnicity.”

“Young people should be more engaged in various sports or cultural activities. I see the bridge as an integral part of the city and I expect that the bridge will be an example for others as a success of our city,” Amar said.

“From the above examples of my colleagues, I do not see the bridge as an obstacle, but cooperation between communities. The institution where I study is an example of cooperation between two communities that are trying to establish good interpersonal relations,” says Marija.

This is just a part of what young people wanted to say. What is hidden in their conversations is what is sometimes not so visible on the surface – openness and readiness to talk, sharing opinions, listen to the other side. In essence, their conversations point to something else – they understand each other much more and better than it seems through the media image, which often does not reflect the real situation on the ground. True cooperation stands out mostly among ordinary people.

This article is a result of the training organized by Reconciliation & Conflict Transformation Activity, implemented by CBM and partners New Social Initiative – Nova društvena inicijativa & Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Kosovo (YIHR KS) and supported by the American people through USAID Kosovo.

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