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Center for Balkan Development
2 CLOCK TOWER PLACE #510
MAYNARD, MA 07154
Tel: 978-461-0909
Fax: 978-461-2552
info@friendsofbosnia.org
www.friendsofbosnia.org

CBD Briefs
Vol. 11, No. 1, December, 2005
<back to table of contents>

Tenth Anniversary of Srebrenica Massacre
Brings Triibutes, Solidarity

On the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre hundreds of thousands of people around the world, including world leaders, gathered to remember, mourn and stand in solidarity with survivors and their families. Srebrenica itself hosted the largest commemoration with 50,000 people from Bosnia, Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere in attendance. As part of the ceremony, 610 newly identified remains of massacre victims were buried with honor, bringing the total of buried victims to 2,000.

CBD lists international commemoration events
As the 10th anniversary of the massacre approached, commemoration events were planned throughout the world. Recognizing the need for one central source of information for the growing number of events, the Center for Balkan Development devoted a section of its website (www.balkandevelopment.org) to listing the scheduled events. By July 11, 2005, the day of the anniversary, the website included dozens of memorials in Bosnia, England, France, Holland, Australia, Serbia, New York, Cambridge, Washington, Chicago, St. Louis, and Seattle. (St. Louis has more survivors from Srebrenica than any other city in the US.)

New England commemoration
featured music, reflections of survivors

More than 300 people attended the New England Commemoration for Srebrenica, which was held on July 11 in the new American Repertory Theatre at Zero Arrow Street in Cambridge. The event included music, a commemoration, viewing of a documentary and a discussion with survivors of Srebrenica and the Bosnian War.

Renowned cellist Cynthia Forbes set the tone for the evening with a remarkable performance of the moving Sonata for Cello Solo, No. 1, which was composed by Sarajevo-born composer Vuk Kulenovic. Mr. Kulenovic, a Sarajevo native who organized one of the first public demonstrations in Belgrade against the Milosevic regime and was then forced to flee his country, has composed several solo and chamber works for Ms. Forbes, including Byzantine Variations, Threnody and Concerto Grosso for Cello. Ms. Forbes, who studied cello under George Neikrug and Benjamin Zander, performs as a soloist with the New England String Ensemble and the Boston Virtuosi.

Keynote speaker Merzudin Ibric survived the Srebrenica Massacre as a young boy and, after resettling in the U.S. with his family, became a 2005 Massachusetts state high school indoor track champion. Merzudin was born in Vlasenica, in eastern Bosnia in 1986. His family fled to the relative safety of Srebrenica in 1992. During the July 1995 massacre, Merzudin�s father, Jusic, fled into the forest with 15,000 other Muslims. Jusic was fortunate to survive and arrived safely in Tuzla a week later. The family emigrated to the United States in 1998 to seek medical care for Merzudin�s sister, who suffered injuries during the war. A 2005 graduate of Revere High School, Merzudin not only became a Massachusetts and New England track champion, he has also been awarded a full scholarship for a year of study at Phillips Andover Academy.

Other speakers included Jasmina Cesic, author of River Runs Salt, Runs Sweet: A Memoir of Visegrad, Bosnia (see review, page 8). Cesic was born in Visegrad and fled to Sarajevo in 1992 at the start of the Bosnian War. She was critically injured, and her husband killed, in a mortar attack at a bus stop in Sarajevo. She came to the United States in 1993 for medical treatment as one of the first war refugees. Now remarried, Ms. Cesic lives in Revere, Massachusetts with her husband and daughter.

Susannah Sirkin, Deputy Director of Physicians for Human Rights, moderated the program. PHR has organized health and human rights investigations in many countries, including recent documentation of genocide and systematic rape in Darfur, Sudan. Glenn Ruga, Executive Director of the Center for Balkan Development, was also a program participant. The program also included the viewing of �Crime and Punishment,� a documentary by Norwegian filmmaker Maria F. Warsinski. �Crime and Punishment� presents a searing visual indictment of Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic, orchestrators of the destruction of Srebrenica.

 

Medical School Exhibition
Remembers Srebrenica

A photographic exhibition entitled �Srebrenica � Remembrance for the Future� was shown November 7 � 23 at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. Produced by the Heinrich B�ll Foundation, the exhibit presented more than 30 photographs depicting the city of Srebrenica, life in a refugee camp, identification of victims, and portraits of survivors.

The exhibit was organized by the UMass Medical School chapter of Physicians for Human Rights with guidance from Mary Ellen Keough, CBD Board member.