My dear friends,
I hope that this letter finds you all well. I thought that I might take a quick moment to update you on my status down here in Sudan.
I have been doing my best to obtain media interviews, both nationally and internationally while we are awaiting our plane repairs. In fact, some of you have probably seen my latest interview, where I was able to do an interview via internet. Other than that, things with our mission have not been going anywhere at all.
In fact, I feel a moral responsibility and professional obligation to continue to keep you all updated regularly. I do my best to do so in a timely manner, though at some moments it has been harder to do so than others. My belief is that I owe you honest and correct information, rather than to remain superficial and always share just the good times with all of you.
My greatest desire has always been for our mission to be as productive as possible. And when I say ‘our’, that is exactly what I mean my friends. I, James Berisha, am only one man. Two and a half years ago, I committed to serve my country and all of our citizens in the best way that I knew how, which was to share my professional skills as a pilot in order to further the progress of our country. I truly believe in my heart that Flying for Kosovo doesn’t just belong to me, but to all of the Albanian people.
During my travels, I have done my very best to ensure that I knock on the doors of every media outlet that I could find. Whether print, radio or television station, whether turned away once or three times, I have done my best to get several interviews in each country that I visited. When I was denied, I tried again (and sometimes again after that). When I landed in each country, I made sure that every Ministry of Foreign Affairs was aware of my visit. I continued to fight for our purpose and have done what I can in order to break down the bureaucratic red-tape that exists between us and our goals.
There were many times that I worked long hours without any food in my stomach because I was more concerned with making sure that we had fuel for the plane and that our airport fees were taken care of first. I would do it all again in a heartbeat my friends, because it is during those times that I remember why I am doing this, why I am working so hard. It is because of the simple fact that I am not working for just myself, but all of my people.
I feel accountable to every Albanian across our globe. More importantly, I feel accountable to all of our family, friends and neighbors whose lives were sacrificed in the war. When I speak to media outlets, I do so with the purpose of making sure every household in the world knows the name of our new country and knows about our people. When I speak with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, I do so in order to ensure that every single government in this world knows that we exist and that we want to become part of the larger global family. All of this I do, I do in honor of my father and the many others, whose voice can no longer be heard.
As citizens of the world, we deserve the most elementary right to a life of peace, liberty, freedom and justice. All human beings on this planet should have this right. Not one of us are better than another my friends and I want the world to know that we citizens of Kosovo, we EXIST! I want our voice to be heard and I want our country to prosper and our youth to have the option of becoming whatever they can dream of becoming. I want them to be able to accomplish that dream within our borders and not have to go to another country in order to achieve peace and prosperity.
My vision for our country is as large as my heart and there is absolutely no way that I could have accomplished so much, were it not for the moral, spiritual and financial support of all you my friends. Together, we have lobbied over 95 countries together. Again, if I were just one man on a mission, I would have never have been able to come so far. It is because there is a greater power in the energy of ‘we’. I am a pilot and this is how I chose to honor my country. You are my friends, supporters and proud Albanians all across the globe. Together, have moved mountains with our power.
And when I say mountains, I mean that there have been many, many barriers throughout our journey. At times, there have been too many to burden you with. But I can assure that one day, these truths will come out and you will start to see the whole picture. Many of those struggles were personal, but many were systematic. In fact, in nearly every country, I have been to, I have been met with the generosity of the common human spirit. Once I am able to communicate with people one on one, I have found that we all believe in the same human values: the basic right to to safety, a roof over our head, to provide for our family, but most importantly to exist and be free.
One of the major barriers has been in the area of global politics, but I will save that for another day, as that could be an entire book. Instead, let me share with you a few honest words from a very wise woman from Nigeria. She said to me “followship is equal to leadership”, which means that we must all be responsible for our existence. Just as our leaders have a moral and social obligation to lead the citizens of their country, so too must we, as citizens, carry that same responsibility towards ensuring our country’s future. If we have social problems, we must all take responsibility. If we have success in our country, we must all share in that as well. The leaders of a country and its citizens share equal responsibility for the outcome of their society.
We must not be passive in our efforts towards a brighter future. Just as our friends, family and neighbors fought for our basic right to exist, so too must we offer up what each of us has been blessed with. Many of us have gone on to become successful outside of Kosova, let us all spread that success back to our country. If we have a chosen profession, let us use it towards a better outcome for our country, just as I have. If we have a special skill, let us share it with our fellow countrymen so that we all can prosper. If we have been financially successful, let us use it towards gaining a brighter future for our dear country Kosova.
Now is not the time for us to be passive my friends. Instead, we must take our obligation towards our country very seriously. In order for a brighter future, we must labor long and hard in order to bear fruit for our youth. Kosova is starting anew and change is happening, we must take advantage of the momentum that we, together, have built around the world.
As I wait here in Sudan, I must share with you all that it will not be possible for me to continue on with our mission unless I have more funding. I want to thank each and everyone of you for all of the moral, spiritual and financial support that you have given men and I recognize that however you have given, you have given what you could and given from your heart. I also want to thank those of you who have already committed additional funding for the repair of our engine so that we can finish up this portion of the mission.
Folks, we have two countries left in Africa. We can already see that change is happening. Every single person who has heard the local media has heard about our country now. Every Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office that has agreed to meet with me now knows accurate details of our newborn country. I have personally tried have as many one to one conversations as possible.
I believe in my heart that we have gained equal if not more progress than our governmental system in this regard. As you all know, it is sometimes very hard for bureacracies to get along and get to know one another, but one on one, human to human contact is priceless when you are trying to tear town walls and move mountains. For it is only by truly looking into the eyes of another person do you really get to learn more about who they are. It is only through honest, straight-forward dialogue like this that we can make real progress.
It has and continues to be the greatest privilege of my life to be able to work with you all and on behalf of our country. Despite all of the struggles and the many near-death experiences, I will never regret one second of these past two and a half years. I am not the same person that I was when I began and Kosova has changed (though ever so slightly) during this time as well.
It is time for us all to stand up for our country and take our responsibilities seriously. Whether you support our efforts by helping Flying for Kosovo to succeed in our common purpose, or whether you are able to help our country in some other way. It is time for us to stand tall and stand proud as the proud people of Kosova. Our voices need to be heard and we need to express our respect to those that have come before us.
Now is the time for the people of our country to shine. Without each and every one of us actively engaged, our history will unfold ever so slowly. But if we all take a more active role in the changes that are required, then we might all still be alive to see our dreams come true.
I stand before you humbly. I have been the proudest man on earth for the past two and a half years to be able to share with people the facts about our country. Each time I look into their eyes, I can see that they understand our basic human desire to be recognized as a part of the whole, global family. With all of my heart, I wish to continue our mission.
But now is the time for me also to be brutally honest with you. Throughout this mission I have been relying on the strength of each and every one of you. When I was hungry, your spirit fed me, when I was overwhelmed with the barriers that I faced, your words of hope inspired me to keep going and when I was broke and didn’t know how I would pay for a the last drop of fuel to continue our journey, you offered your financial assistance. We have, my friends, done together what each of us could not do alone.
It is been the greatest honor of my life to be able to serve you all in this capacity and I carry each one of you in my heart whenever I step foot into a new country. But my friends, without enough money to pay for an engine for our baby plane, I’m sorry to tell you that I will not be able to to continue on, lobbying on a very personal, very human face-to-face basis.
Of course, I would like nothing better than to continue to continue our mission together, but I also have the obligation to honest and share our financial condition with you. Again, I can never repay you all for what you may have already sacrificed for our mission, but please know in your heart of hearts that we have indeed already moved mountains together.
If we can, let us continue on our path of sharing our country with the rest of the world. Let US be the ones to move our history forward. Together. As a team. As the citizens of Kosova. As the proud, united Albanians that we are.
With the deepest respect and gratitude,
Të dashur miq,
Kam dëshirë që këta rreshta që po i shkruaj tani ju gjejnë mirë të gjithëve.
Përderisa ende gjendem në Sudan, duke u ballafaquar me vështirësi të shumta, e ndjej si përgjegjësi dhe obligim moral t’i përshkruaj të gjitha ngjarjet, përjetimet, të mirat, të këqijat, gjërat e volitshme por edhe ato të pa volitshme. Përkrahjet tuaja morale, financiare dhe shpirtërore janë ato që më kanë dhënë vullnet dhe forcë të loboj për vendin tonë në gati gjysmën e botës, duke kaluar nëpër vështirësi e vuajtje, me të holla e pa të holla, me ushqim dhe pa ushqim, duke kaluar nëpër rreziqe të ndryshme, procedura të ndryshme të burokracisë së shumë shteteve si dhe shumë e shumë përjetime të tjera të cilat më duhet një kohë e gjatë ti përshkruaj.
Unë James Berisha, jam vetëm një individ që kam vendosur ti shërbej vendit tim.
Misioni Flying For Kosovo apo Fluturimi për Kosovën nuk më takon vetëm mua por i takon të gjithë popullit shqiptar. Me plot siguri ju garantoj që unë kam bërë tërë atë që është e mundur dhe e pamundur në këto vende ku kam lobuar, me të vetmin qëllim, që shteti ynë të njihet dhe respektohet nga bota.
Si qytetarë të kësaj bote, ne kemi të drejtë në gjerat elementare dhe duhet të jetojmë në paqe e liri, dhe të kemi të drejtën e të shprehurit dhe vendosjes së lirë. Në të gjitha vendet ku kam lobuar e kam dërguar këtë mesazh, dhe gjithkund kam hasur në njerëz të cilët janë plotësisht pro qëndrimeve të popullit tonë. Por të dashurit e mi, shpeshherë politika dhe interesat e larta i dirigjojnë gjërat, dhe popujt nuk kanë shumë forcë ti ndryshojnë këto rrjedha.
Për mua ka qenë një kënaqësi e madhe të ju shërbej juve të gjithëve dhe të ju dhuroj dy vite e gjysmë të jetës sime si një dhuratë. E kam ndjerë si obligim ta bëjë këtë duke i pasur parasysh ata që dhanë jetën dhe më të dashurit e tyre për Kosovën. Sot, po ju bëj thirrje të gjithëve që të angazhohemi secili me mundësitë dhe kapacitetet tona, dhe le t’i japim botës një shembull të mirë.Një zonjë në Nigeri më tha një gjë që nuk do ta harroj kurrë: “Followship is equal to Leadership” që do të thotë që Përkrahësit (Mbështetësit) janë të barabartë më Udhëheqësit dhe në këtë mënyrë të gjithë ne jemi kemi përgjegjësi njësoj si ata që na udhëheqin dhe nëse shoqëria jonë dhe shteti ynë ka probleme, le të mos harrojmë që edhe ne jemi përgjegjës. Le të mos jemi pasivë, por le ta marrim seriozisht vendin ku jetojmë dhe të ardhmen e tij.
Ishte dhe vazhdon të jetë një privilegj i madh të jem në shërbimin tuaj dhe ju falënderoj përzemërsisht për respektin që keni treguar ndaj misionit, stafit të misionit dhe ndaj meje personalisht. Në fund po ju them që ky mision ende nuk ka përfunduar dhe që ende ka nevojë për juve të gjithëve. Më ndihmoni ta dërgoj deri në fund këtë nismë.