Around 150 people gathered together in Bosnia House last night for a community dinner. Organised by Bosnia UK Network, as a thank you to Remembering Srebrenica staff and volunteers, the event was a great success.
Guests included the Lord Mayor of Birmingham Councillor Yvonne Mosquito and her consort Winston Mosquito, Deputy Lord Lieutenant Dr Nasir Awan MBE, representatives from the police, community organisations and more. Many guests travelled from as far as Leicester, Stoke-upon-Trent and Worcester for the annual event.
On arrival, a traditional Bosnian feast was served, lovingly prepared by Bosnian ladies from Birmingham. As always, the food proved a massive hit with the guests. Compared by Dr Anes Ceric, Manager of UK Network, the programme included speeches from Councillor Mosquito and Amil Khan, Director of Remembering Srebrenica, as well as a vote of thanks from the charity’s regional chair, Alma Aganovic.
Councillor Mosquito said: ‘This year marks the 24th year since the genocide in Srebrenica took place. We can learn important lessons from the Bosnian war, including stories of courage of individuals and groups standing together to confront hatred. When one person stands up and speaks out against prejudice, they encourage others to follow. We are all responsible to find our commonalities with others and seek out that which brings our communities together. Thank you for inviting me here this evening, it’s been a privilege and an honour to share this event with you.’
A video of a successful clinical psychologist from Bosnia, Emina Hadziosmanovic, was an uplifting reminder of how far Bosnians have come since settling in the UK and a testimony to the work of Bosnia UK Network in helping them reach their goals. Whilst Emina sent her apologies as she was in Leeds, Dr Ceric paid tribute to Emina’s father and sister for her success and their contribution to it.
Two other young people were recognised for their support of Remembering Srebrenica charity over the last year. Selma Bektic and Amina Mekic both received Young Persons’ Award for speaking at various high profile events and sharing their families’ experiences. A member of Remembering Srebrenica’s West Midlands board, Aida Houghton, presented a lovely book to Bosnia UK Network, as a thank you for all their work with the Bosnian community.
The event finished with traditional dancing by young Bosnian children, who charmed the audience and put a smile on everyone’s faces. As they left, many guests paid special compliments to the organisers, promising to return next year. It looks like this event, only in its second year, is now firmly established in Bosnia UK Network’s calendar.