No Home To Return To

Tiny rooms with two beds and closet, lit with white neon lights on army base near city of Tuzla are now home for 92 people who lost everything in record-breaking floods that hit Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Armina, a 17-month-old, will never remember the home her family so lovingly built. Her childhood could be defined by…

Rebuilding Cultural Bridges Takes Time in Divided Mostar

Rather than testifying to the city’s love of the stage, Mostar’s two theaters serve as one of many examples of the city’s deep ethnic divisions. Although still advertised as a place where East meets West, Mostar has largely lost its cosmopolitan aura, as nearly all aspects of life in this southwest Bosnian city succumb to…

The Last Mountain Village in Bosnia

Set high on a remote mountainside, inaccessible for most of the year, the villagers of Lukomir, continue to live life much as their forebears did for centuries before them. Some places are like time machines. They take you back to long forgotten times when everything was much simpler, but harder. They erase the city noise…

Turkish Students Take Refugee in Sarajevo

Banned from wearing headscarves on campus at their own country’s universities, Turkish women are finding sanctuary in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Zehra has an unusual reason for coming to study in Bosnia. It is not the academic reputation of Sarajevo’s political science faculty that attracted her, so much as its relaxed attitude to Islamic dress. “I…

How Soon Will Change Come for Women in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Violence; in all its guises is not an uncommon experience for women in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I have witnessed it many times during various trips when I worked as a journalist or just traveled around.  There are women who suffer violence. “Oh, she is so going to get beaten now!”  the older woman tells me…

School – New Favorite Place for Roma Brothers

With only one third of Roma children enrolled in primary schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the journey of three Roma brothers to get an education and strive for a better life is as challenging as it gets.  Brothers Samanto (11), Haris (9) and Bruno (7) are like many school children in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Early…

Disabled Veterans Feel Forgotten in Bosnia

New law on war invalids promises little change for thousands of ex-fighters who eke out a pitiful existence on minute pensions. Halil Buric proudly shows off black-and-white photographs of himself waving excitedly from the top of Mont Blanc, which he says he climbed six times. One reason why he is so proud of these shots…

Bosnia Sex Traffickers Corner New Markets

As the number of foreign women being trafficked in Bosnia declines, pimps are luring local women into the trade. Bosnian NGOs dealing with the sex trade say they have detected a rise in the number of local girls falling into the trap of human trafficking and prostitution. They say poor coordination at government level and…

Bosnian Film Challenges Old Stereotypes About Gays

“Go West” stirs angry debate with its unprecedented depiction of a gay love affair in wartime Bosnia. Sasha looks no different than any other Bosnian youth in his twenties. He is tall and well dressed. But in the last five months alone, he has been beaten up four times. His crime? He is a homosexual….