Sabri Ben-Achour (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

Sabri Ben-Achour (Forum of Srebrenica NGOs, Bosnia): Sabri was born in France to parents from Tunisia and New Zealand. He has lived in Tunisia, grew up in the United States, and holds British citizenship. In 2002, Sabri graduated with distinction from the University of Virginia. He lived in France and Jordan, studying French and Arabic. Sabri has also worked as a political intern with the Human Rights Campaign, the Arab American Institute, and the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom. At the time of his fellowship, Sabri was pursuing his Master's student at Georgetown University where he was studying foreign policy and international development.

A Few Hours From Sarajevo

04 Jun

Right now I’m in Zurich International Airport awaiting a series of connecting flights that will basically take me through every capital in Western Europe. Once I arrive in Srebrenica, I quite frankly am not sure what to expect. “Terrified” is too strong of a word, but “uncertain” really doesn’t capture what I am feeling. My job description is to help put on a conference marking the 10th anniversary of the 1995 srebrenica massacre where up to 10,000 Bosnian muslims lost their lives. I`ll be helping as well with donor networking and hopefully get a glimpse of how efforts at refugee repatriation are conducted. The number one thought on my mind is the hope that I can be of some help to Drina and the other organizations putting these events on.

To prepare, I began by having a friend of mine who works at the Kosovo desk at the State Department give me a crash course over drinks in Balkan history, and have begun reading several books for the plane: “Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation”, “Endgame” (the story of the Srebrenica massacre), and “To End a War” (an account of the Balkan wars by Richard Holbrooke). There are also reports by AP’s Peter Lippman to continue looking at.

I will be staying with Zulfo, who runs the organization Drina, for the duration of my stay. The deal is that I help him with English in return. It was a very generous offer, and I hope to be able to repay Drina in kind.

For now, it’s off to Vienna!

Posted By Sabri Ben-Achour (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

Posted Jun 4th, 2005

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