Kosovar Delegation, 2000
How has Seeds of Peace had an impact on you?
Seeds of Peace has had a significant impact on the way that I lead my life, understand others and listen to different views. Through Seeds of Peace I was able to meet with people from different conflict areas as well as the conflict at home in Kosovo. I feel empowered having had the chance to learn, present my views and be listened to. While in some parts of the world, peace is far from our reach, our personal relationships provide an excellent foundation.
How have you impacted your community?
Having such a meaningful reconciliation experience with Seeds of Peace impacted my plans for educational and professional attainment. It is at Seeds of Peace that I decided I wanted to be among those who make change happen.
I went on to study International Studies at Graceland University and returned to Kosovo to serve in the government. It was a true privilege to be serving in the Kosovo institutions when we declared independence from Serbia. At the time, I worked as Chief of Cabinet to the Deputy Prime Minister, who also served as Minister for Local Government. The government was engaged in a major decentralization project to accommodate the needs and concerns of Kosovo’s ethnic communities in an Albanian majority state.
In a society in post-communism and post-war transition, ethnic reconciliation—while welcome—proved difficult and lengthy. Having gone through Seeds of Peace co-existence sessions and having built personal relationships, I believed reconciliation was possible.
Three years later, in 2010, I wrote my thesis on political and institutional integration of Serbs in Kosovo. I went to Serbian localities and spoke to the community members about integration. The life lived at the Seeds of Peace Camp had come to Kosovo. While reconciliation was not complete, most people showed signs of respect for other communities.
As an Ambassador of Kosovo, I proudly represent one of the newest countries in the world. I worked to build and keep relationships with representatives of countries in Latin America. I engaged in negotiations with other countries to gain recognition of Kosovo’s independence and sign treaties and in this way contributed to the strengthening of Kosovo’s international standing. Working as a regional diplomat meant I had to work with different countries, peoples, and cultures on a daily basis. My unique job required a high level of mindfulness of other views all while representing and defending my country’s interests.
Having been part of Seeds of Peace at early age, I believe I was uniquely positioned to succeed and build ties of friendship and cooperation that last forever.
• MA in Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 2010
• BA, Graceland University, 2006
• Ambassador of Kosovo to Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Guyana
“In a society in post-communism and post-war transition, ethnic reconciliation—while welcome—proved difficult and lengthy. Having gone through Seeds of Peace and having built personal relationships, I believed reconciliation was possible ... I went to Serbian localities and spoke to the community members about integration. The life lived at the Seeds of Peace Camp had come to Kosovo.”