On the Doorstep of the New Year: With each other, not side by side

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Near the end of each year, we summarize the impressions of the old and look with hope and optimism towards the new year. Accordingly, for the end of 2020, which we will surely remember for many things - we have spoken to civil activists, musicians, journalists about trust and messages for 2021. Ilda Krama, Mevlude Skuroshi, Marko Zakic, Tringa Sadiku and Ana Marija Ivkovic - answered two questions - what is their message about building trust between communities and what is their general message at the end of 2020?

Over time, all differences fade

"As a child of ethnically mixed marriage, in a divided city - Mitrovica, it was 'imposed‘ on me, from an early age, to adapt to a life on both sides of Mitrovica, learn two local languages, live, socialize and co-operate with communities of different nationalities, and religions. However, over time these differences fade, and it all comes down to 'good and bad people', plus a richer culture, and even more frequent compromises. Because of this line of separation, many have remained included in creating a better future and building trust that should be a key goal, even if it now seems abstract to many. One of my greatest wishes is that in general we all forgive each other; forgive the past; stop mourning and focus on a better tomorrow!" says Ilda Krama.

It reminds us that at the end of each year we all have the same, universal desire - health, happiness and that the year that comes is a much better year than the last one.

"The year 2020 will be the year of the 2020 world's most is one of those who will join the segregated records of historically important, unfortunately tragic events, but it has taught us that differences between people do not exist, that in the end we all end up doing the same, we all strive for the same things, that only together forces can we overcome everything that happens to us, and that life is short.                             Therefore, with this end-of-year message and the beginning of a new one, I want us to spread love as much as possible and take care of each other, enjoy what we have, with those we have, and keep the optimistic spirit to the end," she added.

We're nothing different

"We're surrounded by many different people in our community, if we would only hear them, learn from them, share our story to them, see the world through their perspective, then we would gain a strong trust naturally, because we would see that we're nothing different," explains Tringa Sadiku.

Her message at the end of the year?

"My message would be to speak up with your heart more this year, 2020 was tough and made us realize how strongly we need to have someone who's there for us."

With each other, not side by side

"Building trust between communities in Kosovo is a long process full of challenges. Trust is reflected in respect for basic human rights. The process of reconciliation depends largely on the political will of representatives of institutions. To make more progress, we must live with each other, not side by side,“ journalist Marko Zakic's message.

With a message of confidence, it reminds us that the year marked by the Corona virus pandemic was challenging and unusual.

"In addition to the suffering and loss of numerous lives due to contagion, citizens have also shown compassion for others. On the other hand, the pandemic has discovered many flaws in the institutions attitude towards citizens. I believe that 2021 will be the year when the world will be much better, too, a New Year's greeting card 'a lot of health and happiness' will be the sincerest yet,” he adds.

Be ready to accept and grow

"Trust building between communities is just building trust between people, or rather attempts of it. I think this is the very first step; we need to see beyond people's differences and social constructs, we need to understand that we are interacting/working with people and not their ethnicity or gender or whatever notion is required from our donors," said Mevlude Skuroshi – Coordinator of GAIA Kosovo's program in Mitrovica.

Secondly, we need to have faith in our work and be honest about it," she adds and explains:

"If we want to bring people together it has to come from a genuine motivation, and the financial benefit is not one of them. We all have to educate ourselves, read, be critical, cleanse ourselves from nationalistic narratives that are rooted deep in most of us, and be ready to accept and grow."

Truth, honesty, empathy - three key ingredients

"I believe that true building of trust takes place outside the videos of the public's eyes, in the daily relationships of ordinary people. True, honesty, empathy are three key ingredients,“ says Ana Marija Ivkovic, adding that her message for the end, of a difficult 2020, is regarding the trust:

"We have learned that good health is the most important and it has been shown that we can be empathic in the most difficult moments. It would be nice not to forget the empathy when this is all over, as well as the fact that true wealth - our family, friends and what we have in our hearts."

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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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