Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Kosovo's Muslims Celebrate Ramadan

Text by Linda Karadaku for Southeast European Times*   
20 August 2010 | Religious and political leaders in Kosovo emphasise tolerance and charity during Ramadan.

Observing Ramadan in Pristina, 40-year-old Florent Ismaili says Islam is a religion of harmony.

"The Qur'an says if you help one person you help humanity, and if you hurt one person you have hurt humanity. Muslims should be a good example for all of humanity, and that is why I am proud to be a Muslim and an Albanian," Ismaili told SETimes.

Islam "helps us be more mature, quieter, more loyal, and more devoted," he said. "This is the mission of Ramadan."

The holy month requires appropriate thoughts and behavior, he explained. People should act with sincerity and take care of their children, spouse, parents and friends. Even if provoked, one should avoid conflict and simply reply that he or she is observing Ramadan.

Although his children are only 4 and 6 years old, Ismaili said they already recognise its significance.

"They know they should be more understanding and listen to their parents. They are very careful before Iftar, when the whole family sits down and waits to be allowed to eat," he says.

He stressed that Islam teaches moral values -- such as responsibility, respect for family, work and dedication -- and promotes happiness.

Political and religious leaders in Kosovo have been sounding similar themes.

Kosovo's Mufti, Naim Ternava, stresses that a moral and loving life is the basis for happiness. "All of us are asked to create through our work the best possible conditions for a life with greater dignity for all those who live and love this country," he said in this year's Ramadan message.

Quoting the Q'uran, he urged followers to "co-operate with each other in charity and mercy, and not in sins and animosities"

Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, in a visit with Ternava and the Islamic Community, said religious tolerance in Kosovo could serve a model for the region.

Thaci also said he expects Kosovo's Islamic Community to make an important contribution to preparations for the UN General Assembly meeting in September, when Kosovo is likely to be on the agenda.

*This text is courtesy of the Southeast European Times (SET), a web site sponsored by the US Department of Defense in support of UN Resolution 1244, designed to provide an international audience with a portal to a broad range of information about Southeastern Europe. It highlights movement toward greater regional stability and steps governments take toward integration into European institutions. SET also focuses on developments that hinder both terrorist activity and support for terrorism in the region.

Read more about Kosovo on




Foreign Wines Outnumbered Bulgarian Ones on Vinaria 2014 Competition

11 March 2014 | National wine tastings, preceding Bulgaria’s biggest wine fair, Vinaria 2014, started today with a surprise: foreign wines exceeded in number Bulgarian ones first time in history of the competition. Full Story

Curiosity Chest

The Balkans: Natural Born Historians

The obsession with history is so commonplace on the Balkans that local people do not even notice it. For outsiders, however, it quickly becomes a part of the experience of being precisely in the Balkans and nowhere else. Raymond Detrez, a Belgian scholar of Bulgarian and Balkan Studies, describes this sometimes entertaining and other times annoying, and even dangerous, social phenomenon. Full Story

Useful Reads

In Sfakia: Passing Time in the Wilds of Crete (2008) | By Peter Trudgill

Crete has long been acknowledged as one of the most singular and unique parts of Greece. Its people keep a fierce hold on their traditions, customs and history. Practically a country of its own, this vast island looms over all others in Greece. Nevertheless, as In Sfakia author Peter Trudgill aptly notes in his preface, “some parts of Crete are more special than others, and Sfakia, on the remote south coast, is certainly one of those.” Full Story


Serbia Surprises with Choice of Little-Known Singer for Eurovision

12 March 2009 | A little-known Serbian singer and composer, Marko Kon, has surprised many by emerging as his country's representative at the 54th Eurovision in Moscow.
Full Story