All posts by insidesarajevo

Children Charities Will Share Winter Bazaar Proceeds

65,000 Euros in proceeds from the December Diplomatic Winter Bazaar in Sarajevo will go to nine charities that work with disadvantaged children in Banja Luka, Doboj, Mostar, Sarajevo and the Srebrenica region.

“Thanks to the incredible generosity of all the corporate sponsors this year,” said Caroline Ferguson, wife of British Ambassador and member of the Organizing Committee, “the sponsorship covered the costs of holding the event, so that every KM spent at the bazaar on the day went direct to charity.”

“The focus for us on the Organizing Committee is always the children – both at the event and those who benefit as a result of the event”, said Sandra Horowitz, wife of the Deputy Head of Mission at the American Embassy.

“The children we support through the charities are all too often invisible and marginalized – none of them chose their circumstances, whether they are orphans or living with special needs, and we hope that our financial support can help to improve their quality of life.”

Some 40 embassies and 70 NGOs and vendors from BiH participated in theBazaar, held in the Mirza Delibasic hall at Skenderija.

Derventa Returnees Receive Keys to Rebuilt Homes

24 returnee families received keys to their rebuilt homes in Derventa, northern Bosnia, at a ceremony attended by Semiha Borovac, national Minister of Human Rights and Refugees, Davor Čordaš, Republika Srpska entity Minister of Human Rights and Refugees, Milorad Simic, Mayor of Derventa, Massimo Mina, Head of Operations, Section for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross-Border Cooperation at the EU Delegation to BiH, as well as by representatives of partner organisation UNHCR, OSCE and the CEB.

Mina stated: “We strongly support coordinated efforts of the responsible ministries, cantons and local government units in the design and implementation of adequate socio-economic measures that would support the return process and move beyond pure housing solutions. This means that not only the ministers for refugees at different levels should be involved, as it is mostly the case at the moment, but also ministries responsible for education, health, social security, and other relevant ministries.”

Mayne, the UNHCR Regional Representative for South Eastern Europe stressed that the UN Refugee Agency was “pleased to witness, today in Derventa, an example of the return of the most vulnerable families from displacement in the neighboring counties to the areas of BiH devastated during the war“.

This way, added  Mayne, the Regional Housing Program is fulfilling its very, specific aim, i.e. to help solve the serious known remaining problems of displacement in the region.

The ceremony was also an opportunity to celebrate another milestone, the launch of the reconstruction of a geriatric center for vulnerable IDPs which will house residents thus far accommodated in collective centers. The project is partially financed through CEB loans and aims at closing collective centers in Bosnia, providing durable accommodation to more than 7,000 people who are still living in collective and alternative accommodation across the country.

Polish Operator Signs Tarcin Hotel Deal

Polish hotel operator Orbis signed a franchise deal for a MGallery by Sofitel Tarcin Forest Resort&Spa hotel complex near Sarajevo. The resort will reportedly have 55 rooms and nine villas.

Orbis expects signing further deals in the region, company’s president GIlles Clavie said. “Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as other Balkan countries, is a place with attractive business possibilities. This hotel confirms our decision to further develop the AccorHotels chain in that part of Europe, that’s why I’m expecting similar deals in the future.”

The complex, located on 35 hectares of land, is said to launch in September.

Russia Sees No Reason for Conflict: Ambassador

Russia sees no reason for a conflict between entities in Bosnia, Russia’s ambassador told a Russian news agency.

“We don’t see objective reasons that could lead to a conflict between the entities,” ambassador Petr Ivantsov told TASS.

The diplomat said that “internal political difficulties in Bosnia and Herzegovina are not related to relations between the two entities – Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina – in any way.”

Pope Appoints Envoy to Medjugorje

Pope Francis named a Polish archbishop as special envoy to Medjugorje, a popular but controversial pilgrimage town thanks to alleged appearances of the Virgin Mary. Six young people in Medjugorje said Mary spoke to them in 1981 and continues visiting them to this day, but the apparitions were never officially confirmed by the Vatican.

Archbishop Henryk Hoser is being sent to “acquire a deeper knowledge of the pastoral situation” in Medjugorje, and “above all the needs of the faithful who go there on pilgrimage,” the Vatican said.

Hoser, whose mandate will last until summer, will not be tasked with verifying the authenticity of the apparitions, because that task falls to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Under growing pressure from local clergy and pilgrims to term the Medjugorje events a continuation of Marian visions, several church investigations have been commissioned. The last one, commissioned in 2010, concluded its report in January 2014, but nothing has been officially announced. In November 2013, Pope Francis issued what could be interpreted as an invitation to caution about events in Medjugorje.

“The Virgin is not a post office chief who would send messages every day,” he said.

Each year about one million people visit Medjugorje, some 25 kilometers southwest of Mostar .

Ombudspersons Are Compiling a Report on Journalists

The state Ombudspersons are compiling a report on press freedoms and threats against journalists in Bosnia. The report was recommended by the Council of Ministers as part of an action plan for the implementation of priorities set in the European Commission’s 2015 progress report on Bosnia.

The report will focus on the legal status of journalists and an analysis of the effectiveness of existing institutional mechanisms, the methods of their operation and their accessibility.

The Ombudspersons said they will quiz journalists about issues relevant to their employment status, work rights and obligations, safety in performing tasks, freedom of expression, protection against discrimination, etc.

Town’s Art Cinema Gets Heating, Organizes “Hot”Screening

Sarajevo’s art cinema said it now has heating in the theater, and on that occasion a Hollywood classic will be screened tonight, February 11, admission-free.

Kriterion cinema, open since 2011, is an art cinema/exhibition venue/bar that caters to fans of cinema and art. It employs students and emerging artists and fosters financial independence of promising talents.

The cinema will screen “Some like it hot” (1959) tonight at 9 pm to mark the installation of a heating system in the main venue. The entrance is free.

Synopsis: When two Chicago musicians, Joe and Jerry, witness the the St. Valentine’s Day massacre, they want to get out of town and get away from the gangster responsible, Spats Colombo. They’re desperate to get a gig out of town but the only job they know of is in an all-girl band heading to Florida. They show up at the train station as Josephine and Daphne, the replacement saxophone and bass players. They certainly enjoy being around the girls, especially Sugar Kane Kowalczyk who sings and plays the ukulele. Joe in particular sets out to woo her while Jerry/Daphne is wooed by a millionaire, Osgood Fielding III. Mayhem ensues as the two men try to keep their true identities hidden and Spats Colombo and his crew show up for a meeting with several other crime lords.