Fotografi personal i ish-presidentit amerikan Barack Obama, Pete Souza, ka postuar një foto në rrjetin social Instagram ku kujton fillimet e karrierës së tij me luftën në Kosovë.
Souza ka postuar një foto ku shihen refugjatët nga Kosova duke u larguar nga vendi i tyre drejt kufirit maqedon në Bllacë.
“Refugjatët e Kosovës duke ikur nga vendi i tyre hasin në rezistencë nga policët maqedon në kufirin e Bllacës në vitin 1999”, shkruan ai.
Souza kujton kohën kur filloi karrierën në një gazetë të vogël në Kansas të SHBA-së. Një mik i tij, Mark Hinojosa, ishte aty.
Së bashku punuan duke u ngritur lart në pozitë deri sa Souza zuri postin e Redaktorit Ndihmës të editimit të fotografive në Chicago Tribune.
Ndërkohë, gjatë kësaj rruge, ai thotë se punoi edhe si fotograf zyrtar në Shtëpinë e Bardhë gjatë administratës së Ronald Reagan.
Vlen të përmendet se mbi 150 mijë shqiptarë të Kosovës shkuan si refugjatë në Maqedoni të Veriut nëpër kampet e refugjatëve. Shumica e tyre kaluan nëpër kufirin e Bllacës. Shqiptarët janë trajtuar mjaft keq gjatë kalimit të këtij kufiri nga forcat maqedonase.
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Kosovo refugees fleeing their country encounter resistance from Macedonian police at the Blace border in 1999. I’m at the age when you look back at the twists and turns–and people–that have affected your life. Mark Hinojosa was one of those people. I’ll go as far as saying that I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for Mark. At the start of my career, when I was working for small newspapers in Kansas, Mark was at the big newspaper, the Kansas City Star and over the next 20 years worked his way up to become the Assistant Managing Editor of Photography at the Chicago Tribune. Meanwhile, during that interval, I worked as official White House photographer during the Reagan administration, and then stayed in Washington to freelance. I had some successes at National Geographic but really had a very difficult time trying to make a living. Luckily, Mark reached out to me in 1997 about becoming the Washington-based photographer for the Chicago Tribune. His idea was to expand the job beyond just covering Washington politics but to also work on national and international stories with our correspondents around the nation and the world. Not everyone at the Tribune thought that someone who had been a White House photographer and a freelancer for National Geographic was the right fit for this job. Mark was pushing back on their resistance. I just found a note I emailed to him as he was trying to hire me. “I’m usually pretty humble and probably am not the best salesman for myself sometimes,” I wrote. “Nonetheless, this job really appeals to me and I want to give you as much ammunition as possible to make it happen…” And then I bragged on myself. Mark did hire me and I began the job in January 1998. For the Tribune, I traveled around the country and the world–Kosovo, Afghanistan, China, Turkey, Papua New Guinea and more. And in 2005, I began photographing for the Tribune a new U.S. Senator from Illinois. Mark passed away the other day in Missouri, where he was on the convergence faculty at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He affected many, many people in a positive way throughout his life. I feel fortunate that I was one of them.