Una Hajdari

2018 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow

Una is a freelance print and TV journalist from Prishtina, Kosovo who covers politics, minorities, nationalism, inter-ethnic tensions, right-wing groups and hate speech in the Western Balkans. She began her journalism career in post-conflict Kosovo, focusing on the lingering tensions between the Serbian and Albanian communities in her country. Most of her reporting over the years has been for English-language print outlets, both those based in Kosovo and in the region as well as international ones. She was Managing Editor of Kosovo 2.0, a trilingual outlet based in Prishtina, a correspondent for Balkan Insight and a contributor for AFP. In 2014 she was part of a journalism exchange program for Eastern European journalists based in Berlin, where she worked for Die Tageszeitung and Berliner Morgenpost. Since then she has expanded her coverage to German-language outlets, including ARTE, Der Tagesspiegel, TagesWoche, among others. While her main focus is on print journalism, she has worked as a TV reporter for N1, the regional CNN affiliate in the Balkans and as a contributor for Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF), the Swiss national broadcaster. She has won awards for her investigative journalism, particularly on the issue of the education of minority groups (Association of Kosovo Journalists, 2014) and on war criminals who have maintained a hold on power in post-war Kosovo (Medienpreis Aargau/Solothurn, Switzerland with colleague Fiona Endres, 2018). She and a team of journalists were recipients of the Reporters in the Field journalism grant in 2017, issued by N-ost and the Robert Bosch Foundation. The research focused on investigating the way right-wing groups influenced the political scene and the wider population in the Western Balkan region. This has become a long-term focus of hers, particularly having in mind the wider European and global trends. Una was drawn to applying for the fellowship after coming across Elizabeth Neuffer's articles detailing the breakup of Yugoslavia and conflict in Bosnia and Kosovo. "I've lived in both of those countries and have covered all the former Yugoslav republics over the years, and the fact that the phenomena Elizabeth Neuffer described in the early 90s - the prejudices, the social anxiety over the dominance of one ethnic group over another as well as the nationalism - are still very much present nowadays, is troubling." "I hope to be able to use my time as the Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow to highlight the issues that affect the everyday lives of people in the Balkans and in Eastern Europe. Oftentimes, outlets focus on the "big geopolitical narratives"; West vs East, the US vs Russia and neglect the stories that don't necessarily fit into this polarized perspective." "These countries also struggle with the need for health reform, education reform, a sluggish legal system, unemployment and low wages. My experience has shown that there is a way to tell the "big stories" and include the plight of ordinary people, it's just that that requires more time and a better understanding of the region."

Highlights

Reporting

| Una Hajdari

Poroshenko Builds Support Among Ukrainians Abroad in Visit to U.S.

People laying flowers and candles in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, where protesters died in a popular uprising five years ago.CreditCreditEvgeniy Maloletka/Associated Press BOUND BROOK, N.J. — While residents of Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, laid flowers…

| Una Hajdari

E.U. Parliament Chief Asked to Step Down Over Divisive Remarks

Polarizing remarks by the president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, have led to calls for his resignation.CreditCreditYannis Kolesidis/EPA, via Shutterstock Lawmakers from Slovenia and Croatia have called for the resignation of the president of…

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How a Name Change Opened the Door to NATO for Macedonia

The Macedonian foreign minister, Nikola Dimitrov, left, with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of NATO after a signing ceremony in Brussels on Wednesday.CreditCreditStephanie Lecocq/EPA, via Shutterstock The days of the Republic of Macedonia are numbered. On…

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Serbian Journalists Are Under Attack. Does the International Community Care?

Supported by the U.S. and EU, praised at Davos: President Aleksandar Vucic is on a roll. No one seems to want to contemplate the appalling assaults on press freedoms. Thousands protest in Belgrade on December…

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There’s One Country in Europe Where Putin Is a Rock Star

The Russian president’s visit to Serbia was a lovefest—but beyond the odes to Orthodox brotherhood, the two authoritarian leaders are using one another to advance a geopolitical agenda. By: Una Hajdari and Michael Colborne Supporters…

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Populism: a case-by-case study

MIT Starr Forum panel discusses extreme forms of populism that have endangered basic civil liberties and spawned intolerant rhetoric. In a recent Starr Forum, Sana Aiyar, an associate professor of history at MIT, explored ways…

My first editorial in The Boston Globe!

For the past couple of months, the work I’ve done at the Boston Globe has been focused on op-eds and contributing to discussions about upcoming editorials. Last week, I finally got the chance to write…

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The auto industry wants a ‘brake’ on the tariffs

Friedberg/Adobe Stock Of all the things people imagine being imported from China — toys, electronics, or Make America Great Again caps — no one would think that some of the world’s best car brakes are…

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The hidden costs on a furniture store

Bob Saquet prides himself in selling “fine American made” furniture. The Facebook page of the Middleborough-based Eggers Furniture says they are the “oldest retail furniture store” in the United States. Even though his stock is…

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As Europe revisits wartorn times, Trump lays a minefield

SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGESFrench President Emmanuel Macron and President Trump prior to a meeting in Paris Saturday. World War I is considered to be the first European war to see major US involvement. That’s why it’s…

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The price paid by journalists who break the cycle of repression

LESLEY BECKER/GLOBE STAFFADOBE There is a special circle of hell reserved for journalists who “shame” their countries in the foreign press. While authoritarian leaders are not surprised — albeit very irritated — by the international…

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Why Ethnic Nationalism Still Rules Bosnia, and Why It Could Get Worse

Sectarianism was baked into the 1995 Dayton Agreement—but now, with the rise of nationalism across Europe, there are fewer brakes on it from the EU. By Una Hajdari and Michael Colborne From Donald Trump to Hungary’s Viktor Orbán…

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An assault on American intelligence

General Michael Hayden took questions from the audience and from Joel Brenner (right), who was a former senior counsel at the NSA and head of U.S. counterintelligence under the director of National Intelligence. Brenner is…

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Renaming Macedonia in the Age of Nationalism

Not as easy as it sounds. “How would you feel if your neighbor told you your nation was an artificial construct?” Macedonian foreign minister Nikola Dimitrov asked in a speech to the European Parliament in…