A cup of coffee triggers positive discussion across ethnic lines

Speeches Shim

Thursday, November 10, 2022
People were happy to join coffee festival and chat with former neighbors
USAID Conflict Transformation and Reconciliation Activity

Coffee drinking is more than an energy boost in Kosovo. It is an intrinsic part of Kosovo’s social fabric, and one that brings people together across all communities. In the early fall of 2022, USAID Reconciliation and Conflict Transformation activity used this shared cultural value to spark engagement across ethnic lines in Mitrovica with the first Annual Coffee Festival. 

Over 1,500 citizens of all group ages joined. The music and coffee brought positive energy, enthusiasm and excitement that lasted until the very end of the day.  Parents, young adults and children enjoyed arts, crafts and games prepared by “Bonevet,” a local non-governmental organization, while enjoying the music of multiethnic bands, such as Mitrovica Rock School and Jimmy Mustafa band. The event sparked enormous interest among many citizens. It also provided the space for businesses to network and connect beyond their typical geographical area of work. 

One of main challenges to Kosovo’s multiethnic nationhood centers around the mistrust between majority ethnic Albanian-Kosovans and minority ethnic Serb-Kosovans in Kosovo, rooted in part in the unresolved conflict and unhelpful rhetoric between the countries of Serbia and Kosovo, unaddressed issues from the past, and a de facto geographic separation between these two communities in parts of Kosovo. 

USAID continues to facilitate reconciliation through initiatives that bring people together. In the case of Mitrovica, a town known in the past as the place of rock, music, artistic movements, and a vibrant community of different ethnicities, the coffee festival provided the opportunity to bring Mitrovica back to its cultural roots and for all ethnicities to socialize and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Last updated: November 25, 2022

Share This Page