President Pacolli receives the honorary title of Doctor Honoris Causa in the European University of Tirana

The President of the Republic of Kosovo Mr. Behgjet Pacolli received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa at a solemn ceremony staged at the European University of Tirana. The ceremony was also attended by the President of the Republic of Albania Bamir Topi, former presidents Alfred Moisiu and Rexhep Meidani, ministers with the governments of Albania and Kosovo, professors, students and many guests.

Below you may read the contents of the speech held by President Pacolli following the receipt of the prestigious price:
Honourable President Dobi,
Honourable members of the Academic Senate of the European University of Tirana,
Honourable President Topi, my friend and my brother,
Dear presidents Moisiu and Meidani,
Honourable Minister of Education,
Dear students,
Other friends,
I really want you to trust me that I am very touched and excited to receive this honorary academic title from your University.

I have learned a lot about the European University of Tirana. I have learned that it was created with the initiative of a group of young students from the West and that it soon developed into an important centre of thought and academic and political and social debate in our Albania.

Therefore, I appreciate the honour that are doing to me in particular, because it is the first of its kind for me; because it comes from my country that I love very much and because you have decided to honour me for my humanitarian activity in every field.
And I want to say something in these cheering moments.
I am a son of Marec, one of the largest villages of Kosovo. Marec was the place where I was born and the horizon that surrounded me. I have gotten used to wide horizons ever since my childhood.

Left or right, southward or northward, I lifted my gaze far away and I couldn’t see the end of the distance that my eyes could catch. This is how I have always seen the world and when I grew up, though I was not in Marec, it was there where the centre of my world remained.

I departed from Kosovo to find the end of the horizon. It was in Kosovo that I left the beginning and found the end of the horizon. People say that a man wanders around the world searching for what he needs and finally returns to find his home. The is the gravity force of the homeland.

In my early life, when I began to understand the world, I was lucky to have a spiritual leader – my grandfather Osman.

He taught me how to become the best student; to be generous and to look forward to friends’ visits, to love animals and the people above all. According to his prophecy, one day I would travel with an airplane and meet many statesmen. I have travelled with an airplane. I have met and will still meet statesmen. My life as a young man resembled the spreading of a line of water prompted by a stone thrown in the middle of a lake. It assumes the shape of circular twirls that become increasingly wider.
The first circle of my life journey involved my elementary education in Marec, the Normal High School and Gymnasium in Pristina, where I learned first and sound concepts of knowledge, when I learned French and a smattering of Latin that remain active even nowadays. From the social inequalities of the time I received strong incentives that helped me make my way through the world.
The second circle of my life journey involved university studies in Hamburg and master studies in Zurich. I used to work and study a lot. I remember clearly the researches for the final theses by the end of those studies. These theses consisted in creative approaches and farsightedness beyond an ordinary work only for the sake of completing a study.

As I was dealing with the market and its magic, I focused on the importance of the origin of goods to the price and I pictured globalisation. Many times though. In 1976.
While I was trying to understand customer preferences during a market research, I laid an emphasis on the importance of the country where a survey is carried out and on its findings.

I became a proponent of global and free market and went through it, from the East to the West, in the third circle of my life journey – in business.

In this part of my journey I produced and tasted the fruits of my creativity. I devised a solution for textile production, unique to the entire world, in which information technology played a central role. For the first time in a big country, I introduced the three dimensional technology of presenting architectonic projects and I ended the third circle with my involvement in construction. I found myself in this ancient human craft because this is how I could contribute more to the generations at all time. I knew what the trade was, but I chose construction.
The forth circle of my life journey involved charity. I learned lessons of human generosity from humanists like Mother Theresa. I visited her immediately as soon as the world started to speak about her, back in 1979. I tried to alleviate human suffering, to free hostages in unfair wars and to provide relief to my fellow citizens in need.
The fifth circle of my journey involved incessant lobbying around the world to lead to the declaration of independence of my country and its recognition by various states.
The last circle of my journey involved politics, where I offered reconciliation, development ideas and peace. Now I am President of Kosovo. I have vowed to serve my country earnestly.

I will help accomplish the will of heroes of independence;

I will promote ideals of my glorious predecessor, Kosovo’s founding father, Ibrahim Rugova.
I am glad that you, honourable friends of the academic community of my country, have learned that in my life I have, as Roosevelt would put it, done all I could, with what I’ve had; wherever I was.

So, like the twirling circles, I have travelled around the world. The circles were created from a throw of a stone in the water and had a common centre: the stone’s point of impact!

I want to be like a stone in this phase of my life.

Where does the a stone weigh more? In its own country!
And something else in the very end.

While a town like Lezhë, known for the Scanderbeg’s Trusteeship, for the coexistence between three different religions, honoured me with the title of Honorary Citizen, I have decided to use a Latin expression: “nemo propheta in patria sua”: No one is a prophet in his homeland!

It is an expression of emotion and appreciation that I feel for a precious prize that I was conferred upon by a town of Albania, not of Kosovo.

Somebody had criticised for proclaiming myself a prophet.

Today you, a distinguished University of my country, of your country, are honouring me with the title of Doctor Honoris Causa, the first in the history of your new university and the first for me.
I would like to correct the Latin expression.
I am not a prophet, nor do I want to be. I am an earthly man.
As an earthly man, I worship my homeland.
My homeland is in Kosovo, but here as well.