At 45, I am a senior citizen in Kosovo.
Kosovo, which declared independence as a sovereign nation in 2008, is also Europe’s youngest country. Median age: 26.
You can see it everywhere in the capital city of Pristina. Teens crowd the city sidewalks on their way to school. A common sight: young mothers with four or five young children in tow. The death of thousands of adults in the Kosovo War during the 1990s also accounts for the lower median age.
Youth brings a spirit of optimism today in Kosovo. You could feel it yesterday during a yearbook signing session at the American University in Kosovo. The soon-to-be graduates toasted each other with champagne and talked about their future plans. Today, American University in Kosovo, founded in 2003, will be graduating 134 students with a bachelor of science degree and 17 students with a master of science degree. Dr. Ferid Murad, a Nobel Prize laureate in medicine, will be presented with degree of Doctor of Letters, and former U.S. presidential candidate Howard Dean will be offering the commencement address.
American University in Kosovo President Christopher Hall said the new graduates will make a huge difference as Kosovo continues to rebuild as an independent nation.
“We have done our best to prepare them well for their careers, and I sincerely hope that they will join their peers in contributing in building a new country,” says Hall. “It’s an exciting time to be in Kosovo.”
Look for more coverage of the American University in Kosovo graduation ceremonies later this week as well as more observations from Kosovo.