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28 September 2013

"It is always a pleasure to meet with students. You are tomorrow's leaders. I hope that your experience in Kosova while on this important summer educational program has been a great one. I thank you for visiting our country and I also thank Professor Bislimi for doing such a great job on a volunteer basis with this summer program."
Dr. Jakup Krasniqi
Speaker of the Parliament of Kosova
"I welcome you to Kosova and to my own home. When Professor Bislimi told me he had a group of foreign students staying in Gjilan for the Balkans Peace Program, I immediately asked him if I could have the honour of hosting you for dinner at my own place one evening. So, I am glad you could make it. I am sure your experience in our country will be an unforgettable one. You are in great hands..."
Mr. Behgjet Pacolli
Former President of Kosova
First Deputy Prime Minister of Kosova
"There is no better way to understand a people than by becoming part of their daily lives. The Balkans Peace Program offers you the opportunity to become part of our daily, family lives in Kosova. I am very glad you chose to participate in this program, and I have looked forward to this meeting with you. So, I welcome you to Kosova and the Government of Kosova."
Mr. Nehat Mustafa
Deputy Minister of Education, Science, and Technology
Government of Kosova

"The Balkans Peace Program gave me the opportunity to experience the culture and history of Kosovo first-hand. Living there for 3 weeks with a host family who spoke only Albanian for the most part, and being immersed into their culture was a very rewarding and positive experience."
Cpt Rodrick Kelly
Royal Military College of Canada, BPP 2013 Participant

"I have never been more accepted or loved in a new community in my entire life, than I was in Gjilan. I canít thank Faton and the Bislimi foundation enough for the opportunity they gave me. I miss Kosovo and my Kosovars every day that Iím back home. This trip made me realize how much more can go on in a country than I even dared to think about initially.  It forever opened my eyes to the good nature of people, while making me realize that even with the best intentions things can still get horribly wrong. My love for Kosovo is unwavering, and I hope the country and its people all of the best."
Evan Klein
University of Alberta, BPP 2013 Participant

"The Balkans Peace Program gave students like myself a chance to be immersed directly into the Kosovar life fourteen years after the war had taken place. We were able to see how students around our own ages lived in a post war society, and hear from the locals how the war affected them, at the time and currently, and what the government was doing to help. At the same time we did get to have in depth meetings with members of the Kosovo government to hear how they have arranged budgets and created programs in order to help rebuild their country's economy."
Anneka Sutton
Sir Wilfrid Laurier University, BPP 2013 Participant

"The three weeks I spent in Kosovo amounted to an incredible experience that I will never forget. I was placed with an amazing homestay family who took great care of me and I will consider Festa a friend for life. While I could never completely understand what it is like to live in a post-conflict society, the stories and information from my hosts as well as the information learned throughout Professor Bislimiís course helped me to gain a better understanding of the war in Kosovo and the society that it is now. For a country with such a grim past, I was amazed at the history, resilience, and unfalteringly optimism that its people carry with them every day."
Danielle Gregoire
University of Alberta, BPP 2013 Participant

"My time in Kosovo on the Balkans Peace Program was an eye-opener for the struggles that people have to make on daily basis to move on with their daily lives. Coming from Europe and going to Europe's newest country, this was an important lesson for me. I enjoyed every minute there and I plan to return as soon as I get a chance again."
Milan Zavada
Charles University (Prague, Czech Republic), BPP 2013 Participant

Some Pictures:
Mind you that between the program staff and participating students, thousands of pictures have been taken. In what follows, we will only be able to present of few of these pics...

Class time at the Gjilani College

Class time at the Gjilani College

Lunch time...

After the meeting with Dr Krasniqi, Speaker of the Parliament of Kosova

Dinner with Former President of Kosovo, now Deputy Prime Minister Behgjet Pacolli at his own residence

After the meeting with Nehat Mustafa, Deputy Minister of Education

After the meeting with Dr Hajdin Abazi, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports

At the Rugova Gorge

Students capture the view of Prizren from its medieval hilltop castle

Touring Kosova's nature...

Inside the Gadime Cave

View of Shkoder, Albania from its castle

Time to enjoy the Albanian seashores...

Let's cheer for the local team...

Students visit the Kosovo War exhibit at the Kosovo National Museum

Certificates of Completion are handed out...



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