Explore the rich history, beauty, and complexity of the Balkan countries through this fascinating journey of peace to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, and Albania from January 10-19, 2016! This trip is open to all Muslim and Jewish women and their spouses/partners. A special group airfare is available leaving early evening on January 10. See below for highlights of our itinerary or see our full itinerary.
- Discover how the intersection of ethnicity, religion, and nationalism has shaped the history of the region
- Meet with local religious leaders, community organizations, and peace activists who are pioneering projects in coexistence.
- In Bosnia-Herzegovina, visit the capital of Sarajevo to learn about both the cultural fluorescence of its Jewish community and the tragic history of the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide.
- Meet with Jews who helped to save Muslims during the Genocide.
- Explore the modern metropolis of Belgrade along the Danube and Sava rivers, where you will have opportunities to build new friendships through meetings with local community groups like Women in Black.
- Dive deeper into the histories of Muslim-Jewish coexistence with a trip to Albania.
- In the modern capital of Tirana discover the inspiring tales of Muslim protection of Albanian Jews during World War II and learn about efforts to promote peace among the different confessional and ethnic communities in the region.
During your visit to Bosnia, you will:
- Visit the National Museum of Bosnia where the historic Sarajevo Haggadah is kept
- Take a walking tour of Sarajevo and its history with special accent on relations between Jews and Muslims
- Meet with Jakob Finci, the leader of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Jewish community who also runs the charity Benevolencija, through which he helped save thousands of Muslim lives during the war
- Learn about the history of the Balkan civil war with one of the former generals of the Army of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Visit Srebrenica and the genocide memorial center (opened and inaugurated by US president Bill Clinton
- Visit Kamencia and the “Valley of mass graves” where Serbs buried thousands of executed Muslim men and boys in secondary mass graves
- Meet and have a dialogue with the association Mothers of Srebrenica
- Meet with Nela Hasic of Women’s Health Empowerment (WHEP) providing support groups and hotlines for breast cancer survivors, free mammogram checks, pap tests, and workshops. Nela’s work is successful through the acknowledgement that cancer is a killer that doesn’t differentiate among ethnicities or religions
- Meet the Grand Mufti of Bosnia (lead Islamic community in Bosnia) and visit the Bey’s mosque – the most important mosque in Sarajevo
- Meet with members of the Interreligious Council in Bosnia-Herzegovina
During your visit to Albania, you will:
- Experience how Albania is the only country in Europe where the number of Jews increased during WWII. The tour in Albania will focus on following anecdotal stories of how Albania was able to save the Jewish community.
- Attend Sabbath Services in Albania and share in a traditional Sabbath dinner with the community
- Explore Tirana during a walking tour, including a visit to the Peace Bell and the Et’hem Mosque
- Tour the State Museum to learn the history of Albania and Albanians that helped save Jewish lives
- Meet with representatives working on interfaith efforts (the Inter-Religious Council of Albania)
- Meet with the Alliance of Parliamentary Women and the Network of Women who fight for equality in decision making and politics
- Visit the Orthodox and Catholic Church in Tirana (learn about Christian Muslim relations)
- Visit Skenderbeg Castle in Kruja
- Meet with local Muslim families who helped save Jews during World War II
- Visit a Madrassa (school) and talk with students and teachers about interfaith relations
- Visit the city of Durres, See the Amphitheater and the Museum in town and learn more about the history of Durres and Albania
- Meet with government officials, including the President of Albania, and be hosted for a government official dinner
We hope you can join us on this life-changing trip! Feel free to contact us with questions or for more information.