Ambassador Kosnett’s Remarks for the Reopening of the American Corner Pristina

Ambassador Kosnett’s Remarks for the Reopening of the American Corner Pristina, January 30, 2020,

Hi Everyone,

It’s my pleasure to be here today to rededicate the American Corner Pristina.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank Director Fazli Gajraku, the management of the National Library, our hard-working American Corner staff Durim, Fitore, and Grese, as well as the contractors for doing a great job transforming and modernizing our Corner.

We now have an American Corner that is a worthy symbol of the relationship between the United States and Kosovo.

The American Corner was already a valued resource for you, with over 65,000 visitors coming through its doors last year alone.  All that foot traffic since the American Corner opened in 2003 took its toll on the space.  Let’s just say the American Corner was starting to look a bit “well loved.”  It was time for a reboot.

As you will see once you step inside, the Corner not only looks nicer: it has expanded.  We have added a digital lounge for clubs, debates, and tech activities. The new, more flexible design of the main space allows us to host larger activities, and the makerspace is equipped for hands-on STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics] activities like building robots and learning how to work with the “Internet of things.”  If you don’t know what that means, please come to one of our workshops and find out.  Perhaps I will join you for one of the robot workshops.

The American Corner is a place for the citizens of Kosovo to learn about American values, traditions, and culture.  That has not changed with this remodeling. But the American Corner is also a place for us to work together in trainings, workshops, and other hands-on activities where you can learn new skills.

This $100,000 renovation is a joint investment with the National Library whose continued partnership we value.  We are also very grateful to the Ministry of Culture for supporting the renovation.  The makeover preserves the important cultural heritage of Andrija Mutnjakovic’s iconic library building while renewing the American Corner and making it a more valuable resource for all its users.

On behalf of the entire staff of the U.S. Embassy, I welcome you to our newly dedicated American Corner.  All of us at the Embassy look forward to seeing you at workshops, clubs, and talks, and we know you will spend many happy, productive hours here.