Sunday, 8 November 2015

726 Words for #NoKosovoUnesco

This blog post contains exactly 726 words.  This is certainly not an incidental word count and it’s much more than a word limit I’ve imposed on myself.  It contains 726 words because ‘726’ is the combined sum of 263 Serbian Orthodox churches, monasteries & church properties, 174 religious facilities, 33 cultural & historical monuments and 256 Serbian cemeteries desecrated or completely destroyed in Kosovo since 1999.

Albanians specialise in coming in like the "wrecking ball" Miley Cyrus sings about.

This is an attempt to explain to non-Serbian friends and followers what the #NoKosovoUnesco campaign is about.  What all my tweets and retweets have been in aid of.  This is, at its core, a custody battle between Serbia and the self-proclaimed “independent” state of Kosovo, over Serbian cultural heritage sites in the region.  It’s a custody battle based on safety and well-being rather than mere possession.  An attempt to protect innocent children from a negligent step-parent who wants sole custody of them, but tends to have a nasty habit of setting them on fire, knocking them over and generally scribbling messages of hate on them at any opportunity.   A step-parent who will certainly do them harm if they are awarded custody.  Serbian heritage sites are already registered with UNESCO as a part of Serbia.  They’re happy with the parent they have and anything more than visitation rights for Kosovo would be a gross misjudgement.  Like sending your children on a camping trip with Ivan Milat and Lindy Chamberlain or cheering for the Albanians rather than Liam Neeson when watching the film ‘Taken.’
Kosovo: keen to help shorten UNESCO's site list. 

Currently, Kosovo’s under the UN Interim Administration and isn’t subject to international law, which is why it can’t become a member of UNESCO.  The Kosovo parliament says it plans to adopt a law on cultural heritage which will deny private ownership rights to the Orthodox Church over monasteries and churches, with the explanation that these are all “property of the republic of Kosovo.”  Unless UNESCO has changed its over-arching policy from one of preservation to one of desecration, this seems like an outcome worth fighting.  One of the best points on the issue was raised by Father Sava Janjic, Archdeacon of the Serbian Orthodox Monastery Decani in Kosovo who said “Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries in Kosovo are living places of worship and not only cultural heritage sites.”  The danger of Kosovo UNESCO membership is that it will turn living sites into relics and then relics into ruins.  Given their plans for these heritage sites, if Kosovo’s government wants to be a part of any abbreviated organisation, perhaps they’d be more suited to ISIS than UNESCO.

Kids have this great habit of telling it as it is.

We’re a part of a generation where superhero films are more popular than ever, yet more people than ever are unwilling to commit to the causes these films tend to represent; justice, moral servitude and just generally doing what’s right.  Perhaps it’s because we enjoy these films for a different reason.  Not simply because they represent people fighting for these ideals and suggest that good ultimately must always prevail over evil, but because they play into most people’s belief that while we know what needs to be done, there are other people who will do it for us.

The Avengers didn't prevent this.  It's up to us to be their superheroes.

I suppose my message is this – it doesn’t make you a better person for being passive.  It doesn’t make the world a better place if you sit on the fence.  What’s the point of having followers if you don’t have a message and what’s the use of having a platform if you’re unwilling to take a stand?  Martin Luther King Jr. once remarked that “to ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.”  People often seem to enjoy relying on the belief that there is always a “grey” area in order to avoid having to make a decision when presented with a “black & white” ultimatum.  I hear so many people complaining about how things should be and yet they’re often the same ones unwilling to accept part of the responsibility for bringing about the change they desire.  People that expect governments to implement new policies and leaders to improve lifestyle, yet people who aren’t prepared to sign a petition.

So how about this; with the ease that you click ‘like’ on that Instagram post or click ‘open’ on the YouTube video you were tagged in on Facebook, do something useful and click on this link, and leave your signature on something worthwhile?

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