Europe's newest nation-state, Kosovo, celebrates its tenth anniversary of independence today. The tiny, partially recognized country has enjoyed substantial gains and struggles over the past decade, with more challenges ahead. Kosovo's politics remain uncertain as the assassination of Oliver Ivanovic and possible war crimes investigations into members of government attest. The economy, while generally stable, remains weak: investment levels are low and youth, who make up the majority of the country's population, are unemployed at shockingly high levels. And though Kosovo has succeeded in guranteering the country's domestic security, nationalist extremism remains a threat, as do the growing number of ISIS recruits.
On this day, though, concerns about the future have been set aside in the capital, Pristina, where celebrations consumed the city. The streets were packed with parades, traditional and modern dance performances, youth activies and entertainment. Fesitivities will conclude later tonight with a concert by the UK-based pop star Rita Ora, who originally hails from Kosovo. Senior editor Michael Busch is in Prisitina, and offers a snapshot of the day below.
Michael Busch is Senior Editor at Warscapes Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelkbusch.