Education is a very strong instrument towards every process, throughout the storytelling component we strived to use this to remind people once again of the importance of shared values, reconciliation, and cooperation. #RCT Activity for the last podcast episode for this year had the pleasure to host Flamur Abazaj, lecturer and researcher. Pointing out the educational part of the reconciliation process and the importance of implying the interethnic element in the process of teaching.
Flamur, is a lecturer at the International Business College Mitrovica, part of the Public Administration and Welfare program, he is as well researcher as part of his Ph.D. that is currently finishing at the University of Ljubljana, and has a background of work in various multi-ethnic projects/activities within and outside Kosovo.
He started the conversation by sharing his story, he was born in Germany and then moved back to Kosovo with his family, and later on, he had the opportunity to spend the last year of high school in the United States of America. When he went there, he found out that he is going to be a roommate with a Serb who came from Belgrade to finish the same program. As he keeps sharing that at first, he was a bit skeptical about how it will go, but it turned out on an extraordinary experience for him and his friend from Serbia, as he states “I have been very open about the experience and I had an extremely good experience with him, and we still keep in touch even though it has been 11 years from then, but since then I have been encouraged by this kind of rhetoric within my life, to meet people from different background and learn from them”.
When it comes to the obstacles that stop people from the reconciliation process, as Flamur says there are many people that have never communicated with people from other communities, whereas om the other side many people who even for once that have communicated with people from different communities have positive thoughts on that and are willing to continue that. He stated also the importance of finding the right approach to stimulate communication, cooperation, and reconciliation between different ethnic groups in Kosovo.
We ended the conversation with Flamur with his message “World is a very big place but at the same time very small, so meet as many new people as you can, be open as much as you can, and learn from people, even from the people that you will not get well along, just be open-minded and keep going”.
This was the sixth and the last episode of the podcast recording as part of the Storytelling component part of the Reconciliation and Conflict Transformation Activity, other podcasts will be on the way with inspiring and positive stories on reconciliation and the trust-building process in Kosovo.
This event was a part of the Reconciliation & Conflict Transformation Activity, implemented by Community Building Mitrovica and partners from New Social Initiative and Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Kosovo, and supported by the American people through USAID Kosovo.