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Book Review: The Book of my Lives

Book Review: The Book of my Lives

When Serb forces attacked Sarajevo in 1992, the young Bosnian writer Aleksandar Hemon was visiting Chicago. He searched for familiar faces in television reports about the siege of his native city, wracked by worry and guilt for not being there. Yet on the day he was supposed to fly home, Hemon did not go back. […]

When Immigrants Were Welcome

When Immigrants Were Welcome

Since anyone can remember, residents of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital Sarajevo have been feeding the pigeons that swarmed the city’s central market Bascarsija. It didn’t matter to the hungry birds whose hands – Muslim, Croat, Serb, Roma or Jewish – dispensed the corn and bread in this multi-ethnic city. What mattered were the crumbs, and […]

Worst drought in decades hits Central Europe

From wildfires in Bosnia and crop shortages in Moldova and Serbia, to the decreased water levels of the Danube in Bulgaria, the Balkan and Eastern European region is experiencing the effects of record heat and drought. Following a record winter, the summer’s heat has wreaked havoc on potato and corn crops, especially in Serbia and […]

A Bosnian Pyramid, Or Just a Very Big Hill?

In 2005, historian and businessman Semir Osmanagi began an investigation of Visocica hill in the Visoko valley, a 30-minute drive north-west of Sarajevo. Then he wrote a book, claiming that the 220-metre-high hill was the remains of an ancient “Pyramid of the Sun”, one of several colossal stone structures in the vicinity, now overgrown with […]

Special Care in Sarajevo

In a Sarajevo classroom festooned with pictures and charts, nine-year-old Harry Lindsay is chortling softly as he mimics his teacher. She’s almost as delighted as he is. “Do this, Harry,” she says, stamping her feet on the carpet and clapping her hands. He copies with a flurry of actions and she gives him a sip […]

Let’s talk about the Balkans

The first political talk show to be broadcast simultaneously across Balkan countries since the break up of Yugoslavia went on air in April, with support from ERSTE Foundation, the charity wing of the Austrian bank. In the five episodes of Okruženje (Vicinities) broadcast in Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, and Serbia, guests from the different countries discussed […]

Book Review: Imagining the Balkans, by Maria Todorova

What’s in a Name? The recent funeral of Otto Habsburg surprised many with the intensity of public feeling for the monarchy, for ancient bonds reawakened. And with this, the long-quiet notions of ‘the Balkans’, as both a region and an idea, gained currency again, reminding us that it was not so long ago that Sarajevo […]

Bosnia: Free Travel at Risk

The European Commission is considering cancelling Bosnia and Herzegovina’s right to visa-free travel in the EU, Bosnian daily Dnevni Avaz claimed on Sept. 22. According to a leaked communiqué from  advisor Muaz Dedajlic at the Bosnian Mission in Brussels, the EU-Western Balkans Ministerial Forum on Justice and Home Affairs urged authorities in Sarajevo to address […]

Bosnia’s Star-crossed Lovers

Bosnia’s Star-crossed Lovers

For all the relaxed atmosphere, cool music and cheap beer, Club Abrasevic in Mostar, southwest Bosnia, is not just another youth hangout. As the main gathering place for children of mixed marriages in a city which is divided into Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) and Croat sectors, the club is as infamous as the headquarters of a […]

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