Republic of Kosovo President Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu’s speech at the opening of “Pristina 2009” 11th International Book Fair

Republic of Kosovo’s President Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu held a speech today, at the opening of the 11th “Pristina 2009” International Book Fair. Below you may read the entire contents of President Sejdiu’s speech:

Honourable Mr. Nazmi Rrahmani, Head of Kosovo Publishers’ Association,

Dear Kosovo poets and prose writers,

Friends to the art of literature and knowledge,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It was a special pleasure for me to receive the invitation extended to me by the Head of Republic of Kosovo Publishers’ Association, the writer Nazmi Rrahmani, to be here with You today, on this festive day dedicated to books, in Pristina, in the main centre of the independent Republic of Kosovo.

It has been said so many times that the book is the most powerful weapon that a nation may possess; that the book is the light in our lives and that a nation that lives without books, lives in blindness. There are certainly many other proverbs and sentences that we might quote here in front of you today, in this solemn opening of the 11th “Pristina 2009” International Book Fair, but you may find endless proverbs, beautiful verses and works written with a special taste and style in the book stands of publishers participating today in this marked event dedicated to books and our culture in general.

I received with no hesitation the invitation to take part in the solemn opening of this fair, remembering many renowned figures of our national culture that have passed through these doors. However, I would like to mention two of them, perhaps the most distinguished in our creative and intellectual world: Ibrahim Rugova and Ismail Kadare, who were lucky to have had the chance to open this fair before and whom we were lucky to have as our compatriots.

On this occasion, I want to express my appreciation for all our authors and my highest consideration for you publishers, because, despite many precarious circumstances in which you have often operated, you have always managed to serve us new and attractive titles not only of literature, but of other fields of art and knowledge as well.

Fully convinced, I want to highlight that the organisers of this traditional fair in Pristina can take pride of the work that they have done over these eleven years. The fact that they have managed to serve us names like Rugova and Kadare on this festive day dedicated to books suffices to regard their mission as a success.

Congratulating you on the great work that you have done so far and which you will certainly keep up earnestly in the future, I thank you for having made Pristina a capital of books, a capital of brightest minds of the art of literature and of national and universal knowledge.

Congratulations and good luck!