Brikena Muharremi is originally from Kosovo. She arrived in Britain at the age of 16 on a student visa in 1995 to study A-levels. She is one of the lucky Albanians who left Kosovo as the tensions were rising between Albanians and the Serb regime, which then led to the war in 1998. Life in Kosovo under Slobodan Milosevic was one of fear and persecution. Brikena along with thousands of other Kosovar Albanian students had to study in people’s private homes because the secondary schools and the university were closed. One student had to stand outside to watch for the police. If Albanian teachers were found to be teaching they would be beaten up by the police. Going out in town meant walking past large parked tanks with armed soldiers mounted on top. That is until it became too dangerous to go out unless one really had to.
Brikena is the first Albanian woman to qualify as a barrister in the UK. She is also a published literary writer and started to write at a very young age. She published her first poem at the age of 9, won the Best Young Poetess award in Kosovo at the age of 15 and published her first poetry book at the age of 17. Her work has been published in anthologies, newspapers and magazines, in English and Albanian, in Europe and America.
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