Articles on the Kosovo Conflict
Letter From Independent Kosova
By Erëblir Kadriu
February 17, 2008
Stateless no more! Welcome to the Republic of Kosova! I have a country now! I come for the country of Kosova! New Born! Kosova Thanks You!
These were the statements that most of us in Kosova today, more than ever, identify with. Something amazing happened today – our and our ancestry's dreams came true – from today and on we have our own, independent and sovereign country, Kosova. The preparations for the new country started many many days, weeks and months ago. A great deal of patience and commitment for a common goal – creating a country – was necessary and present at the same time.
Celebrations for Kosova's independence started several days before today. Flags (national ones) were present in every corner of the country, you could hear Albanian (patriotic) music from every house, store and bar in Prishtina and more (granted you could hear some Western music as well :), greetings for the independence were the first words that people – local or international, known or unknown, would say to you in the streets. Happiness, good time, celebrations, music, drinks, food, laughter, unity, and all other good things dominated every Albanian, in Kosova or anywhere in the world. It was a great feeling. We celebrated the last day of being stateless.
The big day, or as they called it, the "D-Day", finally came for Kosova as well. Sunday morning was not a typical morning – that weekend boredom that is usually present on Sundays was replaced with euphoria, excitement and anticipation for 3:00 PM when the Parliament of Kosova would meet and adopt the Declaration of Independence, flag and symbols of the newest, greatest country in the world - Kosova . Celebrations continued!!! I was in my own country (few minutes until officially is a country), with my own friends and family, listening to my own music, drinking and eating my own, authentic drinks and food….what more do I want??? Nothing!!! I had everything. It was like one of those times where you say this is too good to be true. But, no…this was true! Our dreams and our ancestors' dreams came true where at 3:50 PM on February 17, 2008 Kosova was declared a severing and independent country!!!! Urime, congratulations, gëzuar, cheers…..we are now a country. The world changed – it's not the same anymore, like it or not. Yes, this is a time for patriotism, yes, this is a time for nationalism because at this time you can loudly and proudly say I come from the Republic of Kosova, an official country and you or anyone else can not do anything about it!!!
Listening to the Declaration of the Independence was a very emotional moment. It was one of those times filled with mixed feelings – happy that this day has finally come, yet sad about the pain and sufferings that we experienced all these years. However, we all pledged that past will stay in the past – we will remember all the sufferings, struggles and lives lost so we can enjoy this day and we will look ahead and continue to work even harder now for Kosova, our own country.
Celebrations continued all night long all over Kosova. The main boulevard in Prishtina, Mother Teresa Boulevard was where everything happened. Thousands of people gathered from all parts of the world, putting aside their differences and celebrating this historical moment. There was a concert going on with famous Albanian singers – different type of music. One street down, you had a huge metal sign "New Born" and people were writing their names and thoughts and leaving a mark in the history. We are in the middle of an event that will mark history and be remembered forever. Streets were filled with people who were signing, laughing, drinking and enjoying the independence.
After several hours of partying and celebrations, the moment for fireworks came. It was estimated that 6 tons of fireworks were brought to Prishtina to celebrate this moment. You had huge, loud and bright fireworks from four parts of the city. The night became day, the cold February weather became a hot August weather. Hugs, kisses, laughter followed almost every firework that was lit. And so like this the celebrations continued on and on.
There were few moments when you stopped for a bit and thought what next? What will the first independent day look like? If there anyone or anything that can take this away from us? On whose side will the history and the superpowers be this time? However, at these moments a sense of optimism overwhelms you and the future on the horizons looks brighter. Yes, we are small, yes, we have internal challenges and issues to be resolved, but also yes…WE ARE AN OFFICIAL COUNTRY now. That means a lot!
Along with greetings and encouragements, objections, political ones, were present. I guess, there will always be objections by certain individuals who represent nations. The road to independence has not been an easy one and I know that the road after the independence will not be an easy one as well. It is a beginning of something new, something great that will require great work and commitment from every single of us. And I know all of us are more than ready to give that!
Up to now, several international countries have officially recognized Kosova as country and have already begin working in establishing diplomatic relations. We have the support of our long-lasting friends such as US, UK, Germany, Italy, France and so on and so on. The list of those who will embrace us is already long and will be even longer (http://www.kosovothanksyou.com/). Now we are part of the sovereign countries family.
Allow me to end this with a note of gratitude to all of you, your families and your countries. This was a joint work. I will never forget those who helped my country and me witness this day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. With great pleasure I send you a warm invitation to all of you to visit my country, the country of Kosova, the Republic of Kosova. Kosova is now a country, it is not longer a province, it is no longer an occupied territory, it is no longer a protectorate and everyone knows that.
All the best to you and your loved ones,