French Government Honors Kosovo’s Lulzim Tafa, Advocate for Kosovo-Israel Relations

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The French Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak, has officially approved the decree conferring the esteemed title of “Officer of Arts and Letters” upon the celebrated poet from Kosovo, Tafa. This distinction, the highest accolade in the realm of arts and literature bestowed by the French government, marks a historic moment as the most prestigious recognition ever granted by France to an artist or writer from Kosovo. The award underscores France’s tradition of honoring outstanding figures, both French and international, for their noteworthy contributions to the arts and literature.

Ambassador of France to Kosovo Olivier Guérot presented the decoration to Tafa on behalf of French President Emmanuel Macron.

Tafa, a globally acclaimed poet from Kosovo, has achieved widespread recognition with his works translated into approximately thirty languages. Renowned by literary critics worldwide, he is hailed as a leading postmodernist poet in Europe. His literary footprint extends to France, where readers are familiar with his impactful body of work.

In February 2023, to commemorate the 15th independence anniversary of the Republic of Kosovo, Tafa organized a major event in Jerusalem, together with Kosovo’s diplomatic staff. On this occasion Kosovo’s chief of mission in Jerusalem, Ines Demiri underscored the contributions of Tafa towards strengthening the bilateral cooperation between Kosovo and Israel.

The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in February 2021; a major cornerstone in Kosovo’s foreign policy and Tafa has been instrumental in building a stronger alliance with the State of Israel.

In Tafa’s verses, European audiences have been enthralled with his multifaceted metaphors and robust devotion towards condemning all kinds of bigotry, antisemitism and has strongly defended the State of Israel on many international platforms, institutions, and multilateral platforms.

Beyond his literary prowess, Tafa has recently gained prominence for his commitment to promoting peace through literary art. His notable poem, “Speak with Russian Poets,” garnered attention even before the outbreak of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine (February 24, 2022). Tafa’s efforts to communicate with Russian artists and writers through heartfelt letters, urging them to influence Moscow’s leadership and policies to avert conflict, have not gone unnoticed.

In recognition of his anti-war initiatives conveyed through poetry and prose, Tafa has been honored by various cultural and educational institutions in Ukraine and other countries of Europe. Furthermore, the Patriarch of Ukraine, Patriarch Filaret, bestowed upon him the esteemed “Order of Saint Yuri the Victorious” as a testament of his dedication to global peace.

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He was born on 2nd February 1970 in Lipjan near Prishtina, the capital city of the Republic of Kosova. He completed his primary and secondary education in his birthplace, in Lipjan… Read More