Historical recognition 2001
This website, dedicated to cultural tourism in Macedonia, was given its name “Come to Macedonia and Your Heart Will Remain Here” in the spring of 1999. While it existed this site had its own description written in 2001, which we will try to pass as credible:
Two years ago , when we wrote our application to the Open Competition of EU Phare Cultural Development Program, we wanted this title to be a simple and poetical expression of the feeling that the visitors capture here, in Macedonia. Macedonia, our wonderful and serene country, with millennium-long tradition and with an immeasurable cultural treasures (both material and spiritual) that you find at every step of your way, that have persisted through all the predicaments imposed by nature or the human kind. Treasure that is a part of our souls, of our collective memory, of our perception of ourselves.
The cultural treasure that we proudly wanted to present to the world, to invite the tourists to come and share that treasure with us – to visit the monuments, but also the feel the scent, the taste, the music and the silence of the country Macedonia. At 14 February 2000 our team took the first photographs and wrote the first lines of text. Fifteen months of hard work and excitement with its results followed.
But, at the moment when we publish this site (June 1, 2001), the title “Come to Macedonia and Your Heart Will Remain Here” sounds very different. Cynical. Even sinister. It is clear that this year the Macedonian hospitality will not welcome the guests that it longed for. Macedonia is a hot topic for the world, but regarding something very different from the subject of this web-site. Tragically, many young people gave their hearts (their lives) for Macedonia, and their families and the entire state is left in mourning.
We have been thinking whether we should change the title, but finally we decided to keep it, in hope that we will soon live in peace again and that Macedonia will not be at front pages any more, but that it will move to the rear pages where beautiful and noble topics are elaborated. That the wounds that cannot and should not be forgotten will heal. That the word “Macedonia” will not remind of blood and terrorism, of a fictitious denial of rights behind which completely different agenda is hiding. That the word “Macedonia” will bring images of the sun, of light, wine, lakes, rivers, mountains, icons, frescoes, of churches and mosques that exist together, of people who pray at either churches or mosques, but who live their lives together, as friends. That the word “Macedonia” will awaken memories of the wonderful time spent in our country, and the desire to return to the country of beauty and treasure that has enchanted hearts of the people. We hope that this title “Come to Macedonia and Your Heart Will Remain Here” will soon sound as pure as it sounded in the year 1999.
We dedicate the website “Come to Macedonia and Your Heart Will Remain Here” to all the people that, in the first year of the third millennium, gave their lives for Macedonia, who were killed in the ridiculous attacks of the forces bereft of reason. Also, we dedicate it to all people who do not surrender to this absurdity, but who still make all their noble efforts for the benefit of peace, friendship, democracy, love, humanity, culture. To all Macedonian children and all Macedonian parents of all religions and nationalities, who fight to preserve Macedonia, who fight with their guns or with their creations. To Macedonia, the country where the words respect and tolerance were more than shallow phrases. The country that has managed, as stale and prosaic as it may sound, to remain the oasis of peace on the turbulent Balkans.
Macedonia must survive, because the world has much to learn from it. This website is dedicated to all the people who know Macedonia and who devote their hearts to it.
Read the Macedonian version of this article here.