In June 2010 I traveled to Kosovo for a story that was not to be. Relieved of subject and itinerary, I used my remaining time to wander and listen to whom ever was willing to speak with me about their day and their hopes for a nation struggling for full sovereignty.
After my trip, I learned of the United Nations' high court opinion ruling. On July 22nd, 2010, three weeks after my visit, the International Court of Justice ruled that Kosovo's 2008 unilateral declaration of independence and secession from Serbia, did not, in fact, violate international law. Positive news indeed.
As Kosovars celebrated the important validation I thought of what a young film maker named Lulzim Hoti had told me three weeks earlier. "In spite of our problems," he said, "this is the best I can remember it." Having just spent the previous ten days hearing of all manner of political, social, and economic challenges facing the tiny Balkan state, it took me some time to realize what his statement said of his life in the decade leading up to the war. But to hear his positive outlook represented for me the kind of resilience and optimism that will go a long way to seeing the populace through the early, turbulent years of nationhood.