Lendrit Qeli: A Story of Perseverance

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This is the story of Lendrit Qeli, a young member of the Kosovo Egyptian community from Gjakovë/Ðakovica. The story is part of a series of OSCE Mission in Kosovo articles on the struggles and achievements of successful individuals belonging to the Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities in Kosovo. The OSCE Mission works with all communities in Kosovo to protect, promote and advance their rights.

Lendrit Qeli (29) sits opposite us in his office on the first floor of the municipal building in Rahovec/Orahovac, Western Kosovo, as we chat.

Lendrit works on issues related to the sustainable return and reintegration of returnees, repatriated persons, and displaced persons. As Head of the Municipal Office for Communities and Return, established in 2010, his job is to promote the rights and interests of different communities. All those trying to get back on their feet and start over. A job many would find difficult. But not Lendrit.

“I’m among the few who, despite encountering numerous obstacles, succeeded in finding employment in the municipal structures. Now my job is to be active and make a change. That’s why I’m here,” he says.

Lendrit is one of 15 civil servants from the Kosovo Egyptian community population of 11,600. The Law on Civil Service (2010) foresees that non-majority communities should hold a minimum of 10% of the government-level positions; while at municipal level, a number of positions should be proportional to the demographic composition in the given municipality.

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This project is supported by the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and is implemented by the New Social Initiative. Expressed opinions represent the authors’ views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, UNMIK or New Social Initiative.

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