Prishtina, 11 September 2015 – World-renowned Kosovo-born British singer Rita Ora, in an article for the French diplomatic magazine “La Lettre Diplomatique” has expressed her strong support for Kosovo’s membership in the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO).Below, we bring you the full article by Rita Ora written for the French diplomatic magazine “La Lettre Diplomatique”.
I am a typical London girl. I’m a pop star. I am a refugee. Actually, I am a baby refugee. As a kid I grew up in one room flat that I shared with my parents and older sister. Out of the window I could see Brompton Cemetery. It was scary. I don’t know what was more scary – the graveyard or being a refugee…
My parents flew Kosovo in search for a safer life. The very fact of being an uprooted person, carrying the ‘refugee’ tag, has marked me profoundly. Refugees rarely have a voice.
Fortunately, I do have one – literally and metaphorically speaking. The voice raised me to fame. I am equally privileged and motivated to use my voice on behalf of refugees. Although peace and security are what we aim for, – preconditions for a normal life, – not everyone enjoys these legitimate rights; they are not granted, they must be safeguarded. International organisations have a great role to play in that regard.
There is also another facet of the story. Successful people and those who look at them tend to believe that they are special, that they are self-made. This is true, to a large extent. Nevertheless, we must not forget the power of opportunities landed to us. Even the best of us, in a war-torn country, would be standing barefoot next to a border line, too busy trying to survive.
Therefore, I embrace the efforts done by my native country’s authorities in engaging Kosovo in all multilateral forums – UNESCO including, in order to ensure that Kosovo people, Kosovo youth, get access to more opportunities. Their rights will be better protected as well.
I have experienced at first hand that being a refugee carries a lot of prejudice and can cause isolation. Nations are like humans, the more isolated a country is, the more its citizens risk to suffer from low self esteem. The isolation makes you angry; it can turn nations into violence. I am delighted that Kosovo, my country of origin, has chosen the path of cooperation. This will enable its citizens to be more determined to move forward, to be eager to progress and succeed. I always loved the music, I was determined to succeed, but I’m grateful to all of those who gave me a hand, who supported me. They helped me to write my story.
It is instrumental for Kosovo to be supported in its way toward integration. It implies the international community’s ability to acknowledge the effort, support it and meet half the way. By doing so, international community itself shows a vision of the world. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation should be part of those efforts. Together we can define the 21st century.