Bosnian Community in Dallas/Fort Worth area has been deeply disturbed after it was notified that Mr. Michael Parenti will be a guest speaker at the Lone Star College in Kingwood, Texas.
As all Americans, we appreciate the freedom of speech, but are rightfully upset and horrified that Mr. Parenti, who openly denies genocide in Bosnia, will be allowed to speak on this subject as a self-proclaimed expert. It is unfortunate that he can "educate" others and deny that rapes, ethnic cleansing, and organized crimes against humanity took place in our beloved Bosnia. We, as American Bosnians, have suffered enough, and will not tolerate that people such as Mr. Parenti continue to damage our reputation and deny that such brutalities took place. They unfortunately did. It was proven in the Highest International Court for War Crimes in Hague. It still hurts and as the time goes on it will continue to be a wound that will bleed for those that were killed, tortured, raped, displaced and to those that to this day live with emotional scars that will most likely never heal. Our community will not stand silent as this is an insult to a rather bleeding and fresh injury. Many Bosnians have found their second home in Texas after we were ethnically cleansed from our homes in Bosnia; finding our peace here we learned to love Texas as our own second home. Knowing that Mr. Parenti decided to come to this state deeply affected us. The letter was sent to Dr. John J. Theis at the Lone Star College asking him to reconsider this decision to host Mr. Parenti as a guest speaker. The letter was distributed between many Bosnians that live in this area as well as Houston area and were urged to send the same letter to Dr. Theis asking the same.
Our cultural organization "Ljiljan" that strives to preserve our cultural heritage as well as our history has also been made aware of this incident. The same letter was published on its website and Facebook page. The organization urged all friends of Bosnia and Herzegovina to take part in this action asking Dr. Theis to stop spreading lies about our history by allowing the speaker to take the stage. We have yet to receive an answer from Dr. Theis on his decision, but are confident, as proud Texans, that he will change his mind after he learns the facts and not allow the event to take place.
Bosniak Association Lily
Dallas/Fort Worth TX
Here are contact people to protest what is being done and said...
here is the link to his web site - http://www.michaelparenti.org/events.html and if you wish you can send an e-mail John.J.Theis@lonestar.edu
Lone Star College, the president is Katherine Persson. Her email address is Katherine.Persson@lonestar.edu
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Thursday, January 10, 2013
The tragedy in Newton which saw 20 small innocent children and 6 heroes that tried to defend them massacred grabbed the attention of the nation, if only for a brief moment. Like all other massacres in America, we were too quick to grieve, lay teddy bears, and tell stories to console ourselves about the hero’s in this story and move on to the next crisis and condemn the memories to the past and move onto our daily routines.
I have a four year old son, Dejan. The thought of someone laying waste to 20 small innocent lives, riddling their little bodies with bullets and leaving them to suffer and die struck me particularly hard. I know the tragedy isn’t about me or my feelings about this terrible slaughter, it is about the families devastated by what happened and what we as Americans plan to do about such a tragedy, to attempt to prevent something like this from happening again in the future.
I have heard a lot about God, Religion and guns in relation to what happened. God is there to provide comfort for those who lost soo much, potentially everything they lived for, swept up in the madness that consumed this small town. God can provide the families comfort, perhaps. What he cannot do is find reason for the slaughter; God doesn’t kill children to prove messages about prayer in schools, gun control or mental illness. If you think that God did this because he wanted those kids in his kingdom you are more disturbed than the shooter himself. People don’t need to be comforted, they need to be outraged, outraged enough to demand change. Too quick to move on from this tragedy to the next and nothing is learned and nothing is proven and nothing will change. It makes the cycle of life and our time on earth pointless if we are not reflecting, developing as the human race and attempting to make the world a better place for all to live in.
The first time I walked into my son’s school after the tragedy, the day after the shooting. I heard the sound of little children’s laugher, oblivious to 20 human lives they shared so much in common so far away from them, thank goodness I told myself that it was unlikely they would ever have to experience such carnage in person. I broke down when I saw my sons teacher, crying I thanked her for the kindness and caring she provided for not only my son but all the children in her school. I realized that teachers love their children and what they do, in a day in age when we often treat public educators as a hindrance instead of an asset the realization that likely your child’s teacher too would sacrifice their own lives to protect the lives of their pupils, that they deserve more respect than they receive. I cried as I thanked her and the principle for the care and security which they provide, we give them our most precious gifts and yet we rarely take the time to appreciate what they do for us. The vitriol with which we attack educators in this country is appalling but that story is for another day.
I tried not to dwell too much on the details of what happened in Newton, CT and the endless cycle of coverage but my reaction was different than what I expected. I thought about all those children’s lives lost during the war in Bosnia, a war that started over 20 years ago and ended less than 5 years later. I thought about the endless cycle of massacres often directed, intentionally at children. From people waiting in lines to get bread and water in Sarajevo to children playing in parks, children were massacred on a daily basis. Sometimes like Markale I and II massacres that were covered heavily, while others like the children playing in a playground in Dobrinja to the endless cycle of sniper attacks were hardly ever mentioned. As soon as the story hit the papers, the outrage faded and so did the care about what was happening in Bosnia. The worst single massacre of children may have taken place in Tulza in 1995 when 71 people were killed and 240 wounded mostly young kids and young adults who were gathering and enjoying the day, being young and in love. The outrage was swift and concise, yet there was no video and it caused no change in the ineffectual UN policy which continued as is. The death of all these children still wasn’t enough to cause a change. A friend of mine survived a massacre of children playing in Sarajevo when the Serbs lobbed mortar rounds at a group of kids playing in Dobrinja, many of her friends weren’t so lucky.
A friend who fought in the Bosnian war walked by the same group of kid’s everyday on his way to the frontlines. One time after talking and walking past the group of kids sledding, he got about two blocks away when a mortar round landed on those kids. He ran back to the scene, tried to help one of the young girls mortally wounded who he had just been talking to minutes before. She laid their motionless, when he tried to help her up, her brain fell out of her head, an image he will never be able to get out of his head, and she was about 7 years old. My passion for Bosnia is partially driven by the lack of justice given to the victims by so much of the world after so much tragedy, trying to make up what they were never given, acknowledgment of their suffering and attention to it in an attempt, unlike what happened after WWII, that this time we will not allow it to happen to them again and we will not forget.
Scenes like that and the Newton classrooms, if people actually saw what it looked like to see classrooms with little bodies stacked up like wood, skid marks of blood trails as wounded children tried to pull themselves to safety and bloody handprints as they tried to get help for themselves and their wounded friends. If people actually saw these images instead of Facebook fake roadside velvet paintings of Jesus comforting those children while holding them in his arms, then maybe we could make a change.
Instead we are treated lunatics like Alex Jones spewing nonsense about suicide, homicide pills, 9-11 being an inside job and that the government of the US is a bunch of jack booted thugs (a comparison Osama Bin Laden would love if he was still alive today)…
Saturday, January 5, 2013
War Photo Limited a must see for visitors to Dubrovnik, Croatia and must have photo books for all!
War Photo Limited operates a gallery in the scenic Croatian Adriatic city of Dubrovnik, one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. What these exhibits bring is stark reality that most people never get to experience in their lifetime.
I was fortunate enough to see Ron Haviv’s Blood and Honey exhibit when I was there in 2005 and was even luckier to stumble across their website that features photographers and exhibits focusing not only on the Balkans but other trouble spots such as Chechnya, Palestine and conflict hotspots from around the globe.
The site features exhibits, upcoming exhibits, limited edition photos and very reasonably priced photography books.
A link to their website…
Some of the 11 books available include…
photographs and text by Emmanuel Ortiz
A journey through the wars that broke
the republics, broke the communities and
broke the people of the former Yugoslavia.
Emmanuel starts in Croatia visiting the
frontlines in eastern Slavonija and the
besieged city of Dubrovnik. War later
breaks out in Bosnia, Ortiz’s coverage of
Mostar, Bihaæ and the capital, Sarajevo
journeys through the lives both civilian and
combatants, their hardships, their loss.
Then on to Kosovo and its neighbouring
countries that accommodated hundreds of
thousands of expelled and fleeing Kosovo
Albanians seeking refuge from Serb security
Published in Croatia in 2012 by
War Photo Limited
Photography | © Emmanuel Ortiz
100 pages, 23.5 x 23.5
100,00 kn - 14.00 €
to place an order contact us at
The Scars of David
Grarup’s exhibit “The Scars of David” brings
together his award winning work from Israel
and Palestine; “The boys from Ramallah”, a
glimpse into the lives of the Palestinian youth
of the west bank town of Ramallah and “The
boys from Hebron”, a similar look at the youth
of the Israeli settlement town of Hebron.
Grarups work questions the extreme
pressure applied on the youth by violence
and fear that surrounds them. He provides
us with an insight into the conditioning of a
population at a very young age, for a conflict
that is being pass through the generations.
Published in Croatia in 2005 by
War Photo Limited
Photography | © Jan Grarup
Forward by Jan Grarup
BLOOD & HONEY
Photographs by Ron Haviv
Of the thousands of photographs that
emerged from the wars in the former
Yugoslavia, Ron Haviv’s stand out as a
unique record. From the first outbreak
of war in 1991 to the recent turmoil in
Kosovo, Haviv produces images that
depicted both the urgency and the
tragedy of war.
Published in Croatia in 2010 by
War Photo Limited
Photography | © Ron Haviv
Forward by Alison Morley
64 pages, 82 color images
100,00 kn - 14.00 €