Prishtina, December 27, 2013 – FOL Movement at a party organized for the end of the year, awarded for the fifth time the Citizens’ Award. This year, the award went to Xhabir Hamiti and Visar Arifaj.
Petrit Zogaj, the Executive Director of FOL said that “FOL Movement is closing this year, just like other four previous years, with an event, which is trying to support, protect and thank individuals who, although had encountered difficulties in performing their daily work, did not stop at any moment to inform the public, to open debates on certain issues and to protect their right causes. Mr. Hamiti and Mr. Arifaj, are an example of devoted citizens who do not compromise with principles, being willing to face the risks that may come. “
Meanwhile, Halil Matoshi , a board member of FOL Movement said that in the context of the great debate in our society and beyond, regarding the secularity of state and the right of faith, Xhabir Hamiti being a scholar of Islam, with his approach against its politicization, and against the open tendencies to use religion for political power and domination of society, thus supporting a conciliatory discourse between these two rights . “Although under various threats and constraints within Kosovo Islamic Community (KIC), Mr. Hamiti did not become part of conformity to mold the cultural and spiritual misinterpretation of this society and this country, struggling with the power of the word for the right of religion, respectively the religious diversity on one hand and to respect the Constitution and laws of the modern state, separated from religion. Thus, Mr. Hamiti testified that Islamic faith can be adjusted to the conditions of a new democracy, as this one in Kosovo, without flapping these two rights, and therefore this should be as a classic example of a courageous thinker who with no price disagreed with changing the multi religious character of Kosovo society, while maintaining intact the multi religious tolerance and ecumenism, as a prominent value among Albanians throughout history courses, “said Matoshi.
Xhabir Hamiti said that our future, and the progress of our country, will also depend on the orientation and our right religious approach. “Everybody, but first of all religious leaders should think with their heads in the way and native approach of interpreting religion, which means a way of bringing together believers and not by threat in its name”, said Hamiti. According to him, those who take the lead, and divide our citizens by using religious sentiments for personal, foreign or any ideology interests, causing damage and separations, they do not do any good to religion nor our citizens or our future.
Matoshi said that Visar Arifaj was justly awarded with Citizens’ Award, because of the assistance he gave to expose the corrupt politics and creating a new political era in Kosovo, which resulted with unexpected results on local elections nationwide. “His example as it is unique; it should also be a model of courage and creativity to all who try to influence the public discourse for the good of the country, creating innovative approaches to the public that are both popular and progressive. Visar and Strong Party’s formula brought down a wall for us. This award is an appreciation for that” said Matoshi.
In meantime, Visar Arifaj, said: “Courage is a very interesting matter. Since we started with the idea of the Party, about two years ago, we did not think we needed guts for such an idea. Only when the elections came, we realized that we needed courage for something like Strong Party. We actually thought this is a very natural expression about the political and social circumstances we live in. The good thing is a lot of people have been working on the creation and organization of the Strong Party, starting with candidates themselves, regular vice-presidents and vice-presidents in the shade, so that the party became a reality. I, as a typical chairman and a politician, simply take the merits “.
Winners of this award in the past four years were: Mr. Rufki Suma, independent candidate who won the election for mayor of Hani i Elezit, Mrs. Ajnishahe Shala-Halimi, an activist for human rights, Mr. Ejup Bajrami, citizen of Prishtina and defender of this city, Adem Meta, a journalist from Skenderaj.