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Center for Balkan Development
Tel: 978-461-0909
Fax: 978-461-2552
[email protected]

FOB Briefs
Vol. 10, No. 1, December, 2003

Letter from Executive Director

Dear Friends:

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 need.

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 this April.

Best regards,

Glenn Ruga