A reflection and a projection: The fight must go on!

PI’s former regular columnist reminisces about his biweekly contributions in the past as the magazine goes online.

What started off as a one-off article on Prishtina Insight in July 2009, soon turned to be a fortnightly op-ed where I shared my insights on Kosovo for almost five years while living in the sun-starved island of Great Britain. I must confess that the dose of irony and sarcasm in those articles was intertwined with the dullness of British weather. But, the dose of anger and the acerbic tone were a direct reflection of the somewhat ghastly image of Kosovo’s politics.

In many ways, my column (Outside-In) on Prishtina Insight became an integral part of my routine, reflecting the amazement and shock at how my newly independent country was taking its steps towards true statehood. Writing every two weeks did prove challenging at times, especially when the desire to write was being diminished by the burden of my PhD. However, the readership kept me going and I remain grateful to them.

A new week, a new story. With the rate of drama production exceeding the nation’s ability to digest all the mess, one was never short of topics to tackle. I covered a myriad of topics ranging from the memorable ICJ victory against Serbia, the belief that EULEX would be any different to UNMIK, the resignation of Fatmir Sejdiu as president, the industrial scale fraud elections of 2010, to name a few. There were also more philosophical and existential questions such as what did Kosovo do to deserve a PM like Hashim Thaci? I suppose a more pressing issue right now is: How bad is this Karma that he might end up being our President now?

I wrote my last piece for Prishtina Insight on February 2014 stabbing at the then University Rector, Ibrahim Gashi, who in any normal country would have been kept well away from any educational institution. Two years on, I am reflecting on what has really changed with our country. The progress is small, yet evident as much as cynics would have you believe otherwise, but the stagnation or the regress is much more visible and tangible.

Owing to an inept and largely corrupt leadership vulnerable to international blackmail, Kosovo continues to struggle with its identity, its international recognition, bullying from Serbia and deep fractioning of its society. We must continue to vociferously remind any Kosovar leadership that power is duty, not a luxury and we must continue to seek accountability.

Independent media, freedom of expression and above all the ability to speak up are paramount to preserving the detritus of democracy in Kosovo and to fighting the ever growing contamination of media by politics. Prishtina Insight with its ability to penetrate the international community within Kosovo, the embassies and the key international players represents an uncompromising tool to paint the real image of Kosovo with all its imperfections.

Being part of Prishtina Insight has been a delight. I remain thankful to my past editors Lawrence Marzouk and Nate Tabak for their unwavering support and erudition in journalism. Prishtina Insight grew as a result of their diligence in this way transforming opinion-making and investigative journalism in Kosovo.

Moving to an online platform is yet another stage of growth for Prishtina Insight and I wish my dear friend Lura Limani every success as the new editor-in-chief. I have no doubt that she will continue influencing democracy and liberal values within this rhombus-shaped country called Kosovo.

I promise to check back in with the odd column every now and then!

Good luck Prishtina Insight!


17 February 2016 - 13:14

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