On behalf of the Board of Directors, our partners, donors, volunteers, and staff, I would like to thank you for supporting ACBH in 2012, and we wish you and your loved ones a joyous and prosperous 2013.
ACBH reflects on 2012 as another successful year of advocacy, steady and informed leadership, outreach, and diplomacy on behalf of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).
We are deeply appreciative of your support and interest in our work. In 2012, your partnership enabled us to make a difference and achieve important results. We are grateful to our supporters in the Bosnian American community across the United States, especially the Congress of North American Bosniaks and our friends at the Turkish Coalition of America for their generous matching grant.
This year, with your help, ACBH:
- Increased the membership of the Congressional Caucus on Bosnia (Bosnian Caucus) to 32 members of the U.S. Congress. The additional members include Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Congressman John Larson (D-CT), Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN), Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD), Congressman Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Congressman Lacy Clay (D-MO). The Bosnian Caucus consists of members from both political parties and is actively engaged in U.S. policy towards BiH and enhancing the relationship between the two countries.
- Led a 12 – member Congressional Staff delegation to BiH to give them a first-hand insight into the current state of affairs in BiH and the importance of continued U.S. engagement.
- Organized the fourth annual “Bosnian Women’s Day on Capitol Hill” event with the help of the office of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). The event focused on the 20th anniversary of the Siege of Sarajevo and the challenges women survivors face 20 years after the war. Dr. Edina Becirevic, Fulbright Visiting Fellow, Yale University and Elizabeth Sullivan, Senior Policy Advisor for European Affairs, U.S. Department of State served as keynote speakers. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-MO) attended the event and commemorated the victims of the Siege of Sarajevo.
- Facilitated the correction of Texas Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 39 together with the Congress of North American Bosniaks which stated that “in April of 1992, the Siege of Sarajevo began, leading to the deaths of more than 2,000 Serbs.” With the help from our friends at the American Jewish Committee, ACBH was able to change the language to state that “Over 100,000 Bosniak civilians were killed along with other ethnic groups and minorities between 1992-1995 as a result of a Serbian campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Herzegovina aimed at destroying the multiethnic society there.”
- Hosted the third annual “Bosnia and Herzegovina Days on Capitol Hill” event and introduced Bosnian American community leaders and advocates to the Washington policymaking community. This year’s delegation participated in meetings with members of the U.S. Congress, members of the diplomatic corps, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Helsinki Commission, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
- Organized “Syria: Lessons from Bosnia” event on Capitol Hill. Refik Hodzic, Director of Communications, International Center for Transitional Justice, Patrick McCarthy, Founder, St. Louis Bosnian Student Project and Reuf Bajrovic, President, Emerging Democracies Institute brought awareness regarding the current state of affairs in BiH and offered some lessons learned that policymakers might consider in the case of Syria.
- Participated on the Al Jazeera English daily television program “The Stream” and St. Louis’s “The Pulse” regarding the 20th anniversary of the war in BiH and the need for constitutional reform.
- Awarded a study abroad scholarship to Bosnian American Syracuse University Student, Alma Begic and assisted in internship placement on Capitol Hill for American University in BiH students studying abroad in Washington, D.C.
- Launched the “Bosnian American Voice in Washington” tour and engaged with Bosnian American communities across the U.S. ACBH presented its work to communities in Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, Detroit, MI, Utica, NY, Hartford, CT, New York, NY, St. Louis, MO and Jacksonville, FL.
We will continue to deepen our involvement and engagement with the Bosnian American community and policymakers in the United States and BiH as we strive to make BiH a member of the Euro-Atlantic community.
To help us continue our work, please donate TODAY! Signing up for a monthly donation only takes 2 minutes, the donation is tax deductible and will help ACBH remain the premier voice for Bosnian Americans in Washington, D.C. for years to come! Did you know that your donation to ACBH could be matched dollar for dollar? Many companies offer matching gift programs that will double, even triple a donation’s value. Check with your company to find out if your company will match your charitable contribution to ACBH.
With thanks and best wishes in 2013,
Admir Serifovic, Esq.