Being a European does not mean being part of the same continent. You can feel European even if you live on the Asian or Australian continent. Being European means to be united not only on days of festivity, but also the days where the lives of individuals are threatened. We support each other unconditionally. We accept the differences between each other, which creates a new stream of hope – to be social with each other.
I think that being European means sharing common values. Most important are those of democracy and freedom of speech. These two things, which we often take for granted, are the foundations of a common European identity. Freedom of movement within the EU is a specific right reinforcing that identity. Those fundamental values need to be protected against those who want to deconstruct them.
The first reason to feel European is the fact that in the place where I live, people are united in different causes and raise their voice against injustices. The case of protesting against the import of chemical weapons showed that Albanian citizens know how to work together, especially when their life is threatened. Dozens of young people from every city protested against the decision to dismantle the chemical weapons in Albania. The young protesters gathered in front of the Prime minister’s building and the government bringing chemical weapons to Albania. The Student Council organized civil protests, with the support of the civil society, against the dismantling of the chemical weapons once they have been imported from Syria into Albania. The youth think that those chemical weapons were dangerous. They wanted to raise awareness among the public that these weapons were dangerous for Albania and that the government should not accept them.
The civil society and the Student Council started gathering signatures for a referendum regarding this issue. A similar protest was held in every city. The civil society representatives and different organizations gathered in the city centre to express their opposition to the destruction of chemical weapons in Albania. Everyone thought about what would happen next with the little kids, with those who are eager to be happy in this space, in this Europe.
Another reason, that is no less important, is that differences between individuals do not exist. One day I was rushing to get to a job interview. Walking through the streets of my town, I see two individuals from different races working together. They were sharing their problems because they needed a solution – the solutions were coming from each other. Each other’s thoughts were respected.
I was searching for a job because I am a student who needs to work, so I applied to a company. In my interview I met some ladies who manage different departments and after a while I met an iron woman who lead this powerful company. The only thing that exists is a good and peaceful relationship.
Albanians live in different communities, but what is noticed is that close friendship and religious tolerance are those values that characterize Albania. The official community of the Muslim is invited by the Catholic community on their special days and vice versa. Because we are a mosaic that we cannot do without each other. Each piece gives meaning to the rest of the mosaic because the differences between us do not divide us, but merge us and give the meaning of the multi-coloured mosaic.
I am not saying that Europe is perfect. There is still room for improvement, but progress is being made to make the differences remain purely biological and not social. Differences can always send us by looking at each other with anger. Europe is every one of us. Europe is the symbolism of being together against every challenge. Despite our differences, Europe stays the home that we all share. Europe is my home too.
This article was written by one of our volunteers Ajorda.
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