Monthly Archives: August 2008

Fragments

In May I wrote about my trip to Banja Luka to see the restoration of the 16th century Ferhadija mosque.   My story about the project airs on PRI’s The World  today.   Here’s the link to the audio, slideshow and script.  Huge thanks to Andras Riedlmayer for planting the idea and helping with contacts.  You can see his own account here.  Let me know what you think.

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The Judge and the General

If you missed this much-awaited film on PBS you can see it online for the next 10 days or so.

The link is here.

The film is by Elizabeth Farnsworth (of the Newshour) and Patricio Lanfranco and it’s about the judge who went after Pinochet. .

ICC Troubles

The Guardian has a piece today which suggests a rift among human rights advocates over the performance of the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

Speaking Out

Paula Donovan and Stephen Lewis of AIDS-Free World continue to impress me with their unwavering focus on the issue of sexual violence in eastern Congo and elsewhere. They speak more often and more loudly and in more unashamed graphic detail than just about anyone else for the purpose of spurring the rest of us to action. Here is a link to a transcript of Donovan’s speech at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City: The betrayal of women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  

Here’s some info about my work on rape as as a weapon of war.

Darfur Five Years On

Richard Just has an excellent if devastating summary of the record on Darfur in The New Republic. Here’s the link:

The Truth Will Not Set You Free: Everything we know about Darfur, and everything we’re not doing about it.

France and Rwanda

Yet another investigation into France’s role in the Rwandan genocide.

Marco Werman gets Philip Gourevitch’s take on the report released today by the Rwandan government.

Sevdah North America

Got a lovely email from Mary Sherhart of Sevdah North America in response to my story about the Damir Imamovic Trio.  She has given me permission to quote from it here:

A huge thank you to Jeb Sharp for her wonderful story on Damir Imamovic and sevdah.  Not only did Jeb shine a light on a deserving artist and musical form, she also gave voice to Kristina Coric who is working with so many young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina to preserve the pre-war multicultural society.  

Sevdah takes on an even more important role within diaspora communities.  I sing sevdah in communities all over North America and can see how deeply it touches the refugees’ hearts and souls.  It takes them to a time before their lives were shattered.  It is also an important bridge into Bosnian culture for the children who were born and/or raised in North America.   Stories like Jeb’s and the work Damir is doing help affirm immigrants’ and refugees’ sense of themselves when they live so far away from their roots.  Bravo to Jeb and Damir!!!!

Sevdah is a source of healing and reconciliation since it was beloved by Bosnians, Serbs and Croats alike before the war politicized the music.  Sevdah can provide common ground in a field where that is very scarce and wounds of war are still open.  Here in Seattle we held a concert called Evening of Sevdah last November at which local artists from the various Balkan communities performed sevdah.  Artists included Bosnians, Serbs, Croatians, a Macedonian, Americans, Catholic, Jew, Moslem.  The audience, a standing room only crowd of over 600, were 100% supportive of each and every artist.  It gave such great hope!
Here in North America a group of Bosnians and I have started a non-profit organization called Sevdah North America:  
http://www.sevdahnorthamerica.org/
As president, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to Jeb, Damir, Kristina and all the people working to bring sanity back to one of the most beautiful places in the world, physically and culturally. 

  

Mary Sherhart
President
Sevdah North America
P.O. Box 99667
Seattle, WA  98139-0667