The President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, addressed today the opening of the International Inclusive Drama Festival “Games without Masks”. The following is the integral text of the address.

“Dear Jana, dear Marija,

Thank you for the wonderful introduction. I am not your father, I am your friend.

Dear friends, thank you for being together today in the Macedonian National Theater, without masks.

I am really amazed at the love, the optimism and the positive energy that radiates today both on stage and in the audience.

Moreover, my hands you mentioned are the same as yours: open for shaking and socializing; hands ready to serve all people in the world. Without your outstretched hands, my hands would be lonely. I want to tell you that although one’s hands are smaller, one’s are larger, though different – they all are hands. No matter what differences we have, we are all alike and equal. It is the International Inclusive Drama Festival “Games without Masks” that demonstrates and confirms it. Through this festival and in our everyday life in general, I urge you to build a spirit of solidarity, respect and acceptance of diversity.

Dear All,

When we speak of a society, we must not forget that it must not only be a slogan, but there must be a place for everyone. The inclusion of persons with disabilities is an indicator of the development of the country, a mirror of the consciousness and conscience of a society and all its citizens. Let us not only dwell on desires and dreams, let us make our lives an endless theater play, filled with understanding, helping one another, and with unconditional love.

Once again, I thank you for the honor to be the patron of this wonderful Festival. I wish you unforgettable moments filled with socializing, togetherness and enjoyment in the magic of Thalia.”

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