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20 November 2014
Some Feature Activities
  • Mayor of Gjilan, Mr. Haziri gives keynote address at BPP 2014 closing ceremony and does the Ice Bucket Challenge in support of ALS together with Mr. Faton Bislimi of the TBG Foundation (21 August 2014).
  • Mr. Ibrahim Makolli, Minister of Diaspora, welcomes the BPP 2014 class to his Ministry where topics of migration, re-settlement, and other social issues are discussed (August 18, 2014).
  • Mr. Hajdin Abazi, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports, welcomes the BPP 2014 class to his Ministry and discussed with them a broad range of issues his department deals with, especially those associated with Kosovo's inability to yet participate in international sports events (August 18, 2014).
  • On behalf of the Minister of Economic Development, Mr. Fadil Ismajli, his key advisor, Mr. Salvador Elmazi welcomes BPP 2014 participants to his Ministry and addresses them on the issues of economic development that Kosovo faces.
  • Mr. Fabris from the US Embassy in Prishtina addresses the BPP 2014 class. He focuses on the role of international organizations and especially that of the US in helping Kosovo move forward economically (August 14, 2014).
  • Deputy EU Special Representative to Kosovo, Mr Gnocchi addresses BPP 2014 class focusing on the role of the EU in the state-building and democratization process of Kosovo (August 12, 2014).
  • Mayor of Novo Berda, Mr. Ivanovic, welcomes BPP 2014 participants to the Municipality of Novo Berda, a majority-Serb municipality. He addresses the participants and takes them on a tour of the local government offices (August 8, 2014).

What Has Been Said...

"What professor Bislimi has done for Gjilan and Kosova is what most in the diplomatic corps can hardly ever accomplish. Through you - students coming from many countries around the world to our city and country - the program that professor Bislimi has founded, gives the world the true message and picture of who we are and what we stand for. We thank you for participating in this program and we hope you will be able to take this experience with you to your friends, family, and country."
Mr. Lutfi Haziri
Mayor of Gjilan
"I am very happy to be able to welcome you today to the Municipality of Novo Brdo. I am thankful to professor Bislimi for having chosen our municipality as your first official visit outside Gjilan. The program is a brilliant idea in the context of exchanging experiences between young people and students. Over the course of our discussion today, I hope to be able to clarify for many of you the relationship that exists between us (the Serbs) and the Albanians here. We both stand for peace and prosperity..."
Mr. Svetislav Ivanovic
Mayor of Novo Berda
"This program, in my view, is a wonderful opportunity to learn about Kosova and more important to learn about the challenges of post-conflict development. I am confident that your experience in this program will serve you in your future educational and professional endeavours..."
Mr. Ibrahim Makolli
Minister of Diaspora
Government of Kosova

"You walk into this programme with the eyes of an arbiter. Ready to judge and evaluate. You think you understand, that you are prepared but although you may have heard the stories, your ears never truly had the ability to listen. You can't learn understanding in a history book. The story of the Balkans is one of individual struggle and a shared humanity - you can't capture that in writing, you can only live it. You stop evaluating and begin experiencing and you fall in love. You fall in love with the over-the-top weddings and the coffee strong enough to fuel a small car, with the people and their optimism and their unwavering strength. You are also challenged, floored, and broken but among those pieces you learn not only the potential and the pitfalls of this fledgling state, but about yourself and the kind of person you want to become. You walk into this journey a judge, but you leave familja."
Ciara Gallagher
University College Dublin, Ireland, BPP 2014 Participant

"The Balkans Peace Program is one of the best experience in my life. I learned so much in only one month and the way to learn was really different from what I am used to. We learned concretely : we experienced the State building process and the peace keeping by discussing with the locals, different civil servants (mayors, ministers, advisers, etc.) and international actors (ambassador, OSCE). In addition, I met such intelligent people from all over the world. We shared our point of view about security, democracy, education, health in developing countries, making this month one of the most intellectual stimulation moment of my life."
Justine Creteur
Lille University, France, BPP 2014 Participant

"I took part in the Balkans Peace Program in Kosovo in the summer of 2014, and it was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The people in the program from Faton Bislimi down to the volunteers and the host families, were nothing but accommodating. Literally all day every day, you were positive there was an incredible group of people looking out for you. The program itself was extremely informative, the lectures put on by Mr. Bislimi were filled with incredible knowledge, experience, and passion. Every moment in the classroom was filled with fun and laughs, yet some of the most important knowledge and experiences were taught outside of the classroom. The way the locals acted to each other and us international students spoke volumes of their true character, and I know that Kosovo is on my short list of places to return. I have nothing but good things to say about the program and the Bislimi Foundation, and would highly recommend the experience to all my fellow peers. I made international friendships that will last a lifetime, with people all over the world, established friendships that have flourished now that I have returned home, and have learnt an amazing amount of information on the politic, social, and daily lives of the people of the Balkans. I truly believe that this was, and is, a worthwhile experience, and the people that ran the program and helped out, were amazing and more than helpful and hospitable. Thanks again, you guys are amazing."
Brett Karperien
University of Alberta, Canada, BPP 2014 Participant

"The Balkan Peace Program was for me a unique opportunity as not many student in Poltical Science have the chance to actually experience the reality of a Post-Conflict society. It was also the occasion to travel around some of the most beautiful places of the Balkans and to meet amazing people from all around the world sharing my passion for politics and international relations."
Nicolas Pavlovic
Lille University, France, BPP 2014 Participant

"The Balkans Peace Program is a wonderful opportunity to see life in a post-conflict society and how a still healing country is growing every day.  The magic of the program however comes from the homestay families and the amazing stories they tell about their experience in the war not long ago, giving insight to the rich and amazing history of Kosovo."
Daniel Emirkhanian
Soka University of America (California), BPP 2014 Participant

"The program, in short, was an eye-opening experience. The Balkan Peace Program gave, in my opinion, a chance to see the real effects of the area's history and the on-the-ground challenges of rebuilding a state; something you cannot gain simply through an academic course. By living with local residents, it allowed me to understand the culture, and the grief and anger many still feel, which showed how far the reconciliation process has come, and how far it still needs to go. All in all, it was amazing opportunity, in a beautiful country, where it allowed me to learn more than I ever could from a book or a class."
Carly Manning
University of Alberta, Canada, BPP 2014 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...

A moment from daily lectures with lead instructor, Faton Bislimi

Cheers to another successful and fun day...

A visit at the Adem Jashari Memorial Complex

Lunch time, during one of the out-of-town tours...

With Mr. Fabris (middle, front row) of the US Embassy after his address to the BPP 2014 class

With Mr. Gnocchi (4th from the left, front row), Deputy EU Special Rep to Kosovo, after his address to the BPP 2014 class

At an official meeting with Mr. Abazi, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports.

At an official meeting with Mr. Elmazi at the Ministry of Economic Development

With Mr Makolli, Minister for Diaspora, at the Government of Kosovo Press Room

At a meeting with Mr. Ivanovic (sitting, center), Mayor of Novo Berda

At the Castle of Ulqin in Montenegro

Ulqin Beach, Montenegro

Castle of Shkoder, Albania

Castle of Kruja, at the National Museum of Skenderbeg, Albania

At the Mother Teresa Museum and Birth House in Skopje, Macedonia

Picnic in Bukovik, near Gjilan, Kosovo

Mayor of Gjilan, Lutfi Haziri, and Faton Bislimi address the graduates of BPP 2014 during the closing ceremony

Mayor Haziri and Faton Bislimi do the Ice Bucket Challenge in support of ALS after the BPP 2014 closing ceremony.



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