A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to go to the beautiful country of Kosovo, and participate in KIMUN 2017.
It was an unforgettable and a unique experience. An experience that taught me a lot– starting with the history of Kosovo, to the latent beauty in a simple life with humble people.
The people in Kosovo are incredibly humble, nice and sweet. They offered their help at anywhere and anytime. There is diversity there and it is inspiring how much they’re connected to their history.
Moreover, the conference was interestingly different: its system was different, delegates were a part of 2-3 committees throughout the whole conference, we got to debate and vote in the parliament itself.
In conclusion, I am very blessed to have had the chance to go to Kosovo, meet the incredible people there and participate in such an interesting conference. I will for sure give it another visit in the near future.
The first week of December, I and 10 other high school students were honored to have the opportunity to travel abroad to Kosovo for a Model United Nation conference, “KIMUN”.
Our group included students from three religions: 5 Muslims, 1 Christian and 5 Jews. Not only in religion was the group different, but also in opinion and ideas. But with all those differences we found a lot more similarities between us, and because of those differences and similarities we become such a big family that care for each other and love one another, and I proudly call them my family.
We were traveling as part of an organization that gave us this amazing chance called “Debate for Peace”, that has as one of its main aims to try to achieve peace between Arab and Jewish students, and in my opinion we have definitely reached that goal in this trip.
I’ve learned so much in my time in Kosovo, about the country and its history; the history of the nationality of the Kosovo people.
The People there fought strongly to defend their country through the years so that Kosovo can have its independence, which it finally achieved in 2008. That’s why it’s still called a “New Born”.
Fortunately, we went to beautiful and wonderful places in Kosovo that are filled with history and stories and met with some incredible people that told us about more amazing historical events that happened in Kosovo. I would love to visit more places there and see more sites that mean so much to the citizens.
The people of Kosovo welcomed us so warmly from the start of our journey till the end; with open arms and huge smiles, they are very kind and so amazing that you can’t help but care for them and call them your friends.
This Model UN conference was very effective for me in so many ways. One of them is to have the confidence to stand up straight in front a group that includes students who are younger than me and also older, to give my speech with raised voice showing no hesitation.
I honestly can’t wait to go back to Kosovo, to see those wonderful, amazing, great people again and also to see more of what Kosovo has to offer. This trip was the most memorable experience in my life.
KIMUN 2017 was an unforgettable experience, not only because it was my first conference abroad, but because it was also my first time in Kosovo, a place rich of culture, friendly people and much more.
Before the trip, I had mixed feelings about it. It wasn’t my first time abroad without my parents, but it was my first time abroad with people whom I’ve never met before, total strangers. I wasn’t nervous, but I was a little bit concerned about what’s going to be there and how I’m going to adapt. But as soon as I arrived, I realized that everything is going to be just fine. The people who were complete strangers became a second large family.
In Kosovo we did a little of everything: some tourism, some MUNing, some shopping, and the most important: we made new friends. I personally enjoyed each and every bit of this trip thoroughly. We visited many historical and cultural places, especially on the day in which we visited Prizren. We firstly visited one of the mosques of the city. Secondly, we visited the church of mother Teresa who is considered an important national figure for Kosovars and Albanians. We then headed to meet with the head of the Jewish community in Prizren, and crowned the day with a visit to a Sufi mosque.
I made a lot of ‘international friends’ in Kosovo, from Kosovo and from other countries as well. These friends are super special, everyone of them has his own interesting story. and I hope I’ll meet them again very soon.
This trip ended with a bittersweet feeling. I was happy that I was part of it, and sad that it’s done. It is an experience of a life time.
My advice: Do not hesitate to take part in events like this. Pack your bags, and head straight to the plane, just don’t forget your passport.
Let’s begin from the end. I know that i’ll come back to Kosovo and I’ll continue being in touch with my friends from the delegation and my Albanian friends.
On 29.11 me and 10 students from all over the country: 5 muslim arabs, 5 jews ( including me) and 1 christian flew to Kosovo. Before the flight I didn’t know much about Kosovo or about the kids that flew with me, but now sitting in my house in Netanya four days after I came back I can say that I met some amazing kids and I discovered a unique country with a unique culture and some warm people.
When we arrived at the hotel, the best moment of the trip for me happened.
At 11:59 PM, all the delegation were in the lobby with me and we counted the seconds till my birthday. And at 00:00 all of the delegation sang happy birthday to me in three different languages: english, hebrew, and arabic,. It was really unique and in that moment I understood that this was a unique trip and that these kids are my friends.
My birthday. We went in the morning to the UN mission to Kosovo they explained to us about their work and their project. I really liked that meeting because my dream job is to work in the UN.
After this we went to a big shopping center where we bought present for our families, and afterwards we met some of our Albania friends. In the beginning i was scared because they were older than us by 5 years. But they sang to me happy birthday in Albanian!
The first day of the conference we met our Albanian and Turkish friends from the american school in Kosovo.
We spoke about sports and hobbies in our countries and had fun
We went to Prizren one of the most beautiful cities i ever saw.
But before we arrived there we stopped in the house of the Albanian/Kosovo national hero (Adem Jashari) his story was really sad. Afterwards we went to Prizren where we visited a unique road. This road included a sufi mosque a Sunni mosque, an Albanian church and a serbian orthodox church and a jewish center which is still being built. We met the head of the jewish community, and I translated for him from french to English, and we also met the head of the Catholic church and the head of a Sufi community
Meeting those people that live in peace was really inspirational and unique
The first day of the mun. It was really fun and challenging it was fun representing the country that i got and i really had fun with they other kids.
The last day. It was a full and hard day
In the morning we did check out i was really sad because i understood that it’s my last day in this amazing country.
We went to Kosovo parliament for the last session of the mun. At the end of the conference, after all the pictures, we all signed each other on the signs of the state. We arranged to meet in the evening with the friends from the American school and went to speak with the representative from the American Embassy. The representative explained to us about her life as a diplomat and explained to us her difficulties in work.
Then we went to a restaurant and talked to different people
And then we went to meet with the only family from Kosovo who has been recognized so far by Yad Vashem as חסידי אומות עולם . They explained to us about Besa, something that I personally think should be explained to every Israeli wherever he is. After the conversation we went out for two hours with our friends from the American school. We took photos . They came with us to the hotel and told us all to see each other in the hope that we would meet again.
Then we went to the airport and realized that it’s the end of the trip . I’ll come home with all my experiences and all my new friends.
I knew that I would return to Israel and tell everyone about the most enjoyable trip.
The MUN conference in Kosovo was an experience that changed my life. I met incredible people that I now consider family. In previous conferences I was active during the debate but failed to make personal connections with the people around me. This conference was different. Even though I had only met the group I traveled with two days before the conference I already trusted them and loved them. They made this conference an amazing experience through which I made many connections I hope to keep. Those people, so different from me that I would never have imagined they could be my friends, became people I trust with my life.
Some of them don’t share my religion. Some don’t share my ethnicity. Others don’t share my opinions. And I had a great time arguing with all of them. I argued about politics and about human rights. I argued about capitalism and about the army. I was challenged. I was forced to think differently and creatively. It was an exercise for the mind, and I came out of it with some new perspectives, but also more confident than ever in some of my own.
The trip to Kosovo also introduced me to an amazing country with great sights and incredible stories. I learned about the national hero of Kosovo, and about a Jewish doctor and an Albanian man who saved each other’s lives during World War II. I saw churches, mosques and a Jewish community center standing one next to the other. I had snow fights on old bridges and passed an abandoned church on my way to the university of Pristina. I nearly froze to death and five different people offered me five different kinds of help. I shopped for clothes and walked around the biggest mall I have ever seen.
All those things and many more made this an unforgettable experience. I was very happy to come back home, to my family and my friends, but I carry this trip with me, and talk to the friends I made there all the time.
It took me a few days to process everything I experienced during my time in Kosovo as a part of the “Debate for Peace” MUN delegation.
Such a wonderful country with a great and interesting history and culture and even greater people.
The Kosovars who accompanied us during our stay there couldn’t have been more welcoming, the kindness and hospitality that was shown to us is definitely a thing that I will never forget!
Another thing that I found admirable is the freedom of religion in Kosovo, whether if it is the people who were so interested in my Jewish identity and Israeli ethnicity or whether is this one street that we saw which included a church, a mosque and a synagogue.
In terms of our delegation, I was lucky to meet such inspirational teenagers with such a diversity of ethnicity, religion and political stands.
We argued, we debated but mostly we loved each other, and that is the ideal of the relationships between different groups in our land, we do not have to agree but we have to respect and cooperate in order to see a brighter future!