The youngest country in Europe is miracle born out of imperial ashes and the rumble of former Yugoslavia. Its story is as unparalleled as it is painful. Over the course of two millennia, Kosovo was swallowed by the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires before transitioning into the Kingdom and later the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
The small nation still awaiting its international birth certificate is a collection of paradoxes. Overwhelmingly Albanian in its ethnicity, the roots of its culture and language reach into the depths of an elusive ancient Illyrian tribe. For much of the 20th century, the Kosovan people were held by the tight grip of Serbia until 1999. When the rest of the Eastern Bloc was transitioning towards democracy and the free market, Kosovo was only beginning its fight for freedom.