Fitim Selimi was working as a teaching assistant at Prishtina when he received his USAID scholarship in 2014. Fast-forward two years later. After graduating from Willamette University with a Master’s Degree in business administration, Selimi returned to the high school as business manager and human resource manager.
Some corners of Kosovo’s major cities could easily be mistaken for Milan or Paris, with flashy designer shops and boutiques lining the streets. But unlike Milan and Paris—which attract designers from all over the world—Kosovo’s designers are all home-grown and draw from a rich 200-year history in textiles.
When Liza Gashi was accepted into a leadership program in the United States, her work in co-founding a local Kosovo NGO and its diaspora program were important factors in the award of her scholarship. Having graduated from Arizona State University with a Master’s in public administration, Gashi is now back in Kosovo, leading the diaspora effort and helping young Kosovars to apply for international baccalaureate programs around the world.
When life threw him a challenge, Sheqer Ukaj rose to the occasion, despite facing a lack of technology, lack of financial support, and high lending rates. His path to success started, somewhat symbolically, with a wooden door he made himself. Combining the family’s three-generation tradition of wood processing with his background in engineering, in the mid 1980s, he opened a furniture production company in Kosovo named Ukaj.
Due to its tumultuous history, the country’s rugged mountains and breathtaking vistas have largely been a secret kept by the traders and shepherds that have called them home for centuries—until recently. A group of local tour operators is now working to broadcast that secret, promoting Europe’s youngest country as its newest adventure travel destination
Last updated: February 23, 2017