Why should you come to Kosovo and Albania to promote free software, open knowledge and open society?
Albania has been unfortunately historically cut off from the world, there has been very little contact with the “West” before 1992, since then they have been working on establishing better relationships with the rest of the world. History_of_Albania#Recent_history_.282001_to_present History_of_post-Communist_Albania. The reason why I mention this in the beginning is that it is very important to understand why there has been so little collaboration with the FLOSS world, it is, I believe, because there has been very little contact and interaction in the past. The exchange of ideas and free travel has been limited, and there is very little knowledge for example in America, where I come from, about Albania. I have been working the past two years on improving this situation and helping people there make positive and enriching connections with others, and that is also the reason why I am writing this letter. I would like to encourage you all to find our more about this Great place and people.
I personally think that it is important to make contact with these great people and to show them the benefits of FLOSS and open knowledge. My experience with the area has been very positive, the people are interested and enthusiastic. The young people of Kosovo who I have been working with intensively have benefited from our work and have reached out to make connections with many others.
The people of these regions cannot travel to Europe, most of them cannot get a visa to enter Europe, even if they are working on EU integration, they cannot visit the great free software events and even if they have a visa, the cost of travel is prohibitive. That is why we have to create events in the region, ideally there should be many events and also training possibilities for the people. If we cannot come to these events, we should make videos and also a document for translation that can be presented instead.
There has been some promotion of FLOSS in the region, but still many of the people are not aware about the issues. Many of the attempts to promote FLOSS have been active for only a short period, others have a limited scope and few international contacts. There are however some individuals who have done a great job, and many of them have been active for years. We should contact them and work with them, and that is what we have been trying to do.