A delegation from Decan, Kosovo visited Mason City this week as part of a tour of Iowa. Decan Mayor Bashkim Ramosaj, speaking through an interpreter, says they all feel very welcome and he looks forward to cementing relations as the two communities are considering establishing a sister city relationship.
“Great people, great hospitality,” Ramosaj says. “You can share the history of your city with people here, they listen. We also talked about the cooperation we’re going to have in the future, the partnership, but we think that this partnership is going to go well.” Ramosaj was asked what he sees as the benefits of having a sister city.
“We come from a city that does not have a great past. We come from a city that was in a war,” he says. “We have our ambitions and we’re going with secure, small steps to achieve what we’re trying to do. Our interest is to bring the good works here, to bring them to our city, what we saw, the good things here, to bring them to our city.” Ramosaj and his delegation toured the area, including a stop at Mason City High School.
“We’ve seen a lot of good things,” he says. “First of all, this school that we are at right now, it’s very perfect for the students. We also saw the renovations that happened at the hotel. That’s a good thing to help with tourism in this city. We also saw the infrastructure and the construction here, and a lot of other great things that happened here.” Ramosaj says he hopes a Mason City delegation can make the journey to Decan in the near future.
“I’m amazed by the city, by the people of this city, their hospitality, by the mayor of the city,” he says. “We hope that they come and visit us in Kosovo.” Among the other stops made by the delegation included the Multi-Purpose Arena, Music Man Square, Curries, Kraft, Masonite, and North Iowa Area Community College.
(By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)