Imrana Kapetanović, Amer Kapetanović
When it was decided that two of us would visit Albania to contribute the project, we were so happy that we wished to pack our things and leave immediately. Albania is a country with a very good climate and, at the end of September very pleasant, especially at the coast.
Once in Albania the people we met were very friendly, so we felt very much at home. The amount of optimism the Albanian people shared with us is very rare to see and feel in any Balkan country. As a country Albania is developing fast and, in several years, everything will for sure look different, but the people will be the same.
During our trip we visited several cities, but especially loved those on the Ionian Sea coast. We visited the area for the first time and were speechless when we entered the city of Berat. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, very reminiscent of a Bosnian city of Pocitelj. Many hours we spent there exploring its narrow streets. Overall, our Albanian experience was unique and memorable, and we have been inspired to go back and explore it all over again.
We envy Albanians and their sense of national identity that makes any differences of ethnic or religious background amongst its citizens seems almost totally irrelevant: If only we had that in Bosnia and Herzegovina!
Albania may still have long way to go in its development, but the progress curve seems to us to be the steepest among all other countries involved in the project. However, at the same time we wonder whether all the things we recognize as being „progressive“ are in fact only being pursued for the sake of joining the EU. Will accepting the laws, rules and models of life outlined by the EU be the best way for Albania to achieve true and lasting progress? At this point, more people in Albania and the Balkans seem to be talking about adhering to the rules of the EU rather than thinking about how they may enrich it with their different cultures, opinions and viewpoints. Joining the EU comes with the price. We still don't know what the price tag is, but hopefully it will prove to be a good investment for all of our countries.