The Alija Izetbegović Foundation Successfully Organized the Summer School for Youth from Diaspora and Region 2023 

As a part of the “Cooperation with Diaspora” project, the Alija Izetbegović Foundation organized the first Summer School for Youth from Diaspora and the regional countries, in the period between 17th and 24th July, 2023. The participants, ranging from 17 to 23 years old, came from Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo.

The project was implemented under the auspices of the the Grand Mufti (Reis) Dr Husein Kavazovic, and with the support of the company “BH Telecom”.

The main goals of the Summer School were gaining knowledge about the history and culture of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and life and intellectual legacy of Alija Izetbegović, while the additional goals were the strengthening of the youth’s identity, their networking and future cooperation aimed at the progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Summer School program was diverse and included many educational activities, visits, social events and trips to other cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

During the first day of the Summer School 2023, the participants entered their accommodation at the modern Student Center of the Islamic Community in Sarajevo, and afterwards visited the Alija Izetbegović Foundation, where they talked with Mrs. Sabina Berberović, one of the founders of the Foundation and a daughter of late Alija Izetbegović, and found out more about the mission and work of the Foundation. Following the visit, they enjoyed a walk with a guide through the center and old part of the City of Sarajevo, and had an opportunity to see numerous historic, cultural and religious monuments which represent the wealth of our city.

On the second day of the Summer School 2023, the participants had an opportunity to listen to the excellent lectures: the first one about the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Admir Lisica, Mr. Sci, and the second about the Bosnian language by the Professor Leila Hamzagić-Kovačević. An interesting discussion developed during both lectures to which the participants of the Summer School wholeheartedly contributed. 

Following the lectures, they visited the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina with a curator, and got acquainted with their permanent and new exhibitions. After a very active day, the participants had enough time to have a lunch and relax at the Sarajevo City Center. 

The third day of the Summer School 2023 was reserved for a whole-day trip, during which the participants enjoyed the historical and natural beauty of the towns of Jajce and Travnik in the Central Bosnia. On they return, they visited the Martyrs’ Monument in Ahmići. 

In the course of the forth day of the Summer School, the participants watched a presentation about the life and work of President Alija Izetbegović, and visited the Alija Izetbegović Museum with a curator, as well as the War Heroes Museum which is part of the Public Institution “Memorial Fund of the Sarajevo Canton”. 

After they visited the grave of the President Izetbegović and said a prayer, the participants walked down the Kovači street to “Morića han” to stop by the Young Muslims Association where they were welcomed by their president, Mr. Edhem Bakšić.  

Following the tour of the beautiful Sarajevo City Hall “Vijećnica”, there was just enough time for them to have a lunch at a famous traditional Bosnian restaurant and to enjoy the summer mood on the streets of Sarajevo. 

Adventures and relaxation by the Neretva and Buna rivers in the beautiful Herzegovina were reserved for the fifth day of the Alija Izetbegović Foundation’s Summer School 2023. 

During the whole-day trip, the participants had a cup of the Bosnian coffee and took a walk through the town of Konjic, visited the dervish house “tekke” in Blagaj, and had lunch by the cold Buna river, afterwards heading to Mostar for sightseeing in the old part of the town, while some of the participants also enjoyed a boat ride on the Neretva river. 

After visiting the Tunnel of Hope in Sarajevo, the sixth and the last seventh day of the Summer School 2023 organized by the Foundation, the participants spent in the east part of the Bosnia and Herzegovina, and for one night stayed at the “Potočari Han” in Srebrenica.  

On Saturday, a gathering was organized at the Han with the Srebrenica mothers, school workers and the youth of Srebrenica, and this was an opportunity for the participants to learn the sad life story of Nedžad Avdić, who survived the execution by the Serb forces in Pilica during the war. On Sunday, the participants took a tour of the Srebrenica Memoral Center with a curator and learned more about the Genocide that the Bosniaks endured. 

During their stay in the Eastern Bosnia, they visited the Kušlat Mosque on a hill, Divič, and Guber springs, and witnessed the historic and natural beauty and wealth of this area.  

Upon their return to Sarajevo, a final gathering was held during which impressions about the Summer School and previous several days were exchanged, suggestions were taken for the future summer schools and goodbyes were said, officially finalizing this year’s Summer School in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

The Alija Izetbegović Foundation expresses happiness and gratitude that this project was successfully organized and implemented and that the young participants had a chance to see and learn a lot, and particularly to forge friendships among themselves, especially having in mind that they had come from different countries.

We believe in importance and value of this project and look forward to our new Summer School in 2024!