Then, when I was 14, communism fell. I found out that communist leaders had lied to us. I distrusted political dogmas, and I became fascinated with what freedom meant. For some of my friends, freedom meant traveling illegally to Italy to become migrants and refugees.
Many people fled Albania in 1991, and they called themselves refugees.
For me, freedom meant reading books and watching movies that were not banned anymore. I could travel abroad now, and discuss my ideas freely.
During my first year in college abroad, the state collapsed in Albania. Riots tore my home town apart. A gangster almost shot me when I went to visit my family during the summer.
A gang in my hometown, Vlora.
I was studying economics and computer science at the time. Since I wanted to know why people rebel and how can we promote peace, I started to take more political science classes. A year later, the war in Kosovo was too close to home, and I accompanied Kosovo refugees when they returned home.