I’m sitting here in Washington, thinking of my hectic schedule ahead of me: tomorrow back to New York, the day after on my way to Zambia and a week later I’ll be headed to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Such is the life of an AP Peace Fellow! I went to the Bosnian Embassy this morning and was welcomed into the temporary dilemma they were having: no phone, no internet and no fax services at a time when the Bosnian President was in town. Nevertheless, the visa had been previously printed, was pasted on my passport and stamped within five minutes – the process was the quickest, most unusual, yet efficient embassy experience I have ever had. I can only hope my 12 weeks in Bosnia is just as smooth and unique.
BOSFAM, aka the Bosnian Family, is the Advocacy Project’s partner organization in Bosnia with whom I will be working with. It caters to women who were greatly affected by the Srebrenica Massacre that took place in 1995. Through the weaving of traditional Bosnian carpets these women create awareness, engage people in discussions of the massacre and generate income for their livelihoods. One of my main projects will be the Memorial Quilt which is made by these very women and honors those who were killed during the massacre. Several groups and individuals, including those from the Bosnian diaspora, sponsor panels of the quilt. This enables the display of their work and thus becomes indicative of their hardships. The finances are used to engage other younger weavers in the advocacy efforts and also work as a method of income generation. Although the later is not the sole mission of the project, I hope it will be an issue that we give significant attention to as well.
I am extremely excited for the opportunities I will have this summer. An open mind, a camera in my hand and the expectation to see beautiful sceneries is how I plan on starting my long journey…starting tomorrow…
Posted By Shweta Dewan
Posted May 20th, 2008