#Imagine Romania, through the lens of Alois

Alois

“Sometimes a dreamer, sometimes a realist, but more often than not, an idealist, I could easily blend into the crowd, but when it comes to showing who I am, facts speak louder than words. I like knowing everything that moves in the world, debating and sometimes cooking. A good book from time to time calms me down while a good game of chess pumps my mind up. That’s me, Alois

Located somewhere between the mighty Danube river to the South, the quiet Prut river to the East, the giant Ukraine to the North and near the Hungarian Panonic Plain to the West, Romania is a country of contrasts.

It is said that home is where the heart is, and for me, Romania is deeply engraved in my heart with all its peculiarities, beauties, desires and future. Born through the union of the great Roman Empire and the realm of the Dacians, Romania has Latin blood, Slavonic dishes, Turkic words and Western aspirations. Centuries of survival between three of the world’s greatest Empires: The Russian Empire, The Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire, each seeking to take over its blessed plains and sky-piercing mountains, have taught Romania words such as resilience, ambition, courage, faith and hope.

Romania is not your typical country, but a country which rests at the border between Western modernity and Eastern traditionalism, which makes Romanians an exotic blend of past and future.

In the five decades spanning from the end of the Second World War all the way through to the year when the Berlin Wall fell, Romania has been subjected to the dark and heavy coat of communism which covered every dream for sustainable development, leaving post-1989 a country that had lost its compass. Desperately looking towards the West, but with the chains of the past still clinging on to her, Romania began a long and treacherous road towards development.

But the country is still far away from reaching its full potential, and the hopes and dreams of Romanians to have a “country like abroad”, like a famous Romanian band says, are helping bit by bit to put together the building blocks of the future.

I imagine a Romania with a new heart: hopeful and optimist rather than cynical and fatalist. I see Romanians finally content with their country’s economy and its leadership, proud of its historical legacy, traditions and culture. The image where in Romania everything is done righteously, selflessly and consciously is an image of prosperity and development. I imagine a Romania deeply connected from East to West and North to South through an intricate network of highways, railways and air paths, a Romania which is energetically independent, a Romania which is a stronger regional actor and a more committed Euro-Atlantic partner, a Romania which advocates for the respect of human rights and is involved in international efforts to advance the human rights agenda, a country which takes praise in the diversity of its minorities and promotes her millenary cultural and historic legacy. I imagine a Romania taking better care of its citizens and ensuring the best conditions for their development, a Romania that respects itself.

I hope that these desires and endeavours will not be forgotten in the realm of dreams, but will become reality sooner rather than later.

***

Alois and I are members of  Bradford Model United Nations Society. Look out for him in the future as a leader.

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