Bloomberg news site has published a short interview with Perparim Rama from Kosovo, now a successful award winning architect but once an asylum seeker who fled with his family from the persecution in Kosovo to the United Kingdom in search for a normal life. Perparim has an architecture studio which counts about 80 employees and as he says “we make products for world celebrities”. But how has his life changed from being an asylum seeker in 1992 and what is his approach towards the nowadays asylum seekers and refugees crisis in Europe?
Here what he says in the interview:
The early 90’ in former Yugoslavia, specifically in Kosovo was a very difficult time. When I came here in UK I was in debt, I owned 3000 Deutsche marks. And then being in this country that allowed me to get educated and to work, I was able to build my company, a company that now employs more than 80 people in UK and globally. We have won competitions, we have won awards, and we do products for celebrities here in UK and abroad.
There is a huge lesson to be taken by the government, by the people and we should know and understand that people who are leaving their homes nowadays are being prosecuted and killed and massacred. They are people with vision that want to be better for their families; they have crossed the seas to arrive in our borders here and we need to add humanity first and foremost to take care of them. These challenges and difficult times push people to think beyond and they become entrepreneurs and they don’t work only for themselves but also create new jobs for others. By default, I think migrant people on the move are positive people with a lot of energy to do more for themselves and others.
In 1998, the Serbian government declared war to Kosovo by killing, persecuting and imprisoning thousands of Albanian ethnic people. Albania sheltered millions of Kosovars during the war and thousands of Albanians fought against the Serbian military, by joining the UCK formation (Kosovo Liberation Army). Thousands of others fled to European countries and UK as war asylum seekers. Nowadays, 17 years after the war destroyed everything in Kosovo, former Kosovar refugees and asylum seekers have built their lives and their successful careers in several European countries, UK and USA. Some of them are the well-known singer Rita Ora and the award winning architect Perparim Rama (owner of 4M Group) which often have expressed their tough experiences of being refugees with nothing in their pocket and then transforming into superstars! Kosovo population estimated to have more than 1.8 million inhabitants in 2015, with a major ethnic of Albanians (92%) and minor ethnics of Serbs (4%) and others (4%).