Vol. 10, No. 1, December,
from Executive Director
A decade ago FOB was just beginning as a local initiative
to address an international crisis — genocide in Bosnia.
Ten years later, Friends of Bosnia is committed to working
with our partners in Bosnia and other countries of the former
Yugoslavia to directly assist in their struggle for lasting
peace and to continue to educate the American public about
ongoing developments in the region.
As we celebrate our tenth anniversary, we invite you to join
us and renew your commitment to work for peace and stability
in the former Yugoslavia.
Although the wars ended years ago, the struggle remains for
the people of the Balkans to rebuild their homes and economies
and to reconcile their differences enough so that they can
create safe and secure borders and establish trade and cultural
exchanges — which the citizens so desperately want and
Our most ambitious project to date — The New Initiative
— has been recognized with financial support from the
World Bank (see cover article). Much of this newsletter highlights
the direct impact we are having with local NGOs under the
guidance of Chris Bragdon, our director of Bosnia projects.
Through our work with committed citizens in Tuzla, FOB is
strengthening local capital by turning a culture of dependency
into a culture of self-reliance and respect.
In April FOB will be celebrating our 10th anniversary with
a weekend of events held at Boston College. We will host an
awards reception to honor individuals who have done outstanding
work toward creating peace and stability in the former Yugoslavia,
as well as a conference exploring the multifaceted issues
of war, peace, reconstruction, international law, and culture
of both the war and postwar periods. Details of these events
will be available in early 2004. We especially hope that those
committed activists, scholars, journalists, aid workers, and
government officials who worked so selflessly during the war
will join us for this event to reunite and to show their commitment
to progress in the region.
Finally, I am both a bit sad and very proud to announce that
we are changing our name to The Center for Balkan Development.
Friends of Bosnia was an appropriate name when we first started
the organization, but now that we are more involved in development
work, and we work in areas other than Bosnia, our name should
reflect this new focus. The name Friends of Bosnia will still
be retained for certain projects, but the organization’s
name will become The Center for Balkan Development, effective