Dear international community,
I hope you had a fine day. In fact, I am pretty sure you did. I myself, did not.
You see, today, in the city named Skopje, from where I come from, in front of the building in which I grew up, there are currently 400 policemen surrounding it. Peaceful protesters were arrested during the night, with the noble cause of saving one of the last remaining parks in Skopje, as the city is clogged with dust, dangerous particles and environment that sparks health problems.
This is not the first time. I’ve been woken up one night, some time ago, with the sound of the chainsaws. It was 4 a.m.. I cried as the old and big trees fell as the angry citizens were clashing with the police. Many, many of policemen, for just 30 citizens. Yes, we are not Gezi. But we are not the Turkish. Macedonia has not still recovered from the communist mentality. We had no resources for that. The governments after exploited that to the highest extent, killing all hope for citizen initiatives.
You see, international community, our parks are cut at 4 a.m.. People fall asleep and wake up in the ruins of what once was their favorite place. They feel sorry, they shrug, but anyway, they pack their things and set off to work, anyway, because they know that later in the day, something worse is coming. Forgetfulness and blindness are the only ways to survive this schizophrenic environment.
We are not Syria. Our children are not dying on the street, gassed to death. But my country is dying in another way. For the first time after going out of Yugoslavia, my people got a country, to build, to grow, to develop, to evolve. As the years passed, those dreams of democracy, prosperity and future of any kind are less and less, as we are going rapidly down on all measured markers. This has a huge toll on young people. We try to keep our heads up from the gutter, but it’s quick sand under our feet.
So what about us? What about all the young, ambitious people, all of that potential (and believe me there is), what about all of those future leaders and people that can change the world to be a better place if only they’re everyday life would not be tied to this fallen dreams? What is there to hope, what kind of future can these people imagine in front of them? As the current government is totally uncooperative, not letting any alternative thinking to take place, or any alternative action or movement to grow except their nationalistic, right-wing ideologies, how do we strive to build something anew here and become better people?
And yet, I hear today, I read in the western Internet portals, laws about “restrictions of movement of the citizens” coming from countries including Western Balkans are being voted. And I understand that very well. I understand where you come from, what backs your ideas, what is you point. And as much as I don’t like it, I agree. But I am writing this, you have to note – with enforcing the visas, you are sentencing a death note to all the potential here, that will be washed away together with the ruins of the fallen trees. And of course, I don’t mean emigration. The liberty of movement is very important so that young people like me can travel, visit, see, and come home to make the place they live in a better one. To at least, see that where they live, something is wrong. You are doing this tyrants that rule us a favor with these laws, and having the enormous capacity to help us, you’re denying it.
So send us your experts, let them come see how we live, talk to the bright here, but talk also to the hungry ones. And than, think again about restricting our mobility.
I wish you a great rest of the day, and I hope we speak soon,