Message from the Founder
The Foundation is an independent, non-govermental, non-profit, and strictly non-political organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of the shared heritage of Sarajevo. And what is Sarajevo’s shared heritage? In a nutshell, it is a common heritage of humanity! Sarajevo is a unique symbol of universal multiculture and a hub for civilization.
Sarajevo is not just a geographical or political term, but primarily a civilizational and cultural notion. The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina has a long and rich history of religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity. Sarajevo is not just a city, but a living paradigm of universal values. This paradigm is, in essence, at the very heart of the idea of Europe, and that is what modern Europe should strive for. Unity and richness in diversity have been and still remain a trademark of Sarajevo for the past five and a half centuries.
Nowadays, the world is more diverse than ever. Growing tendencies to label and segregate people along different cultural, racial, ethnic, and religious lines in many countries and societies pose a real threat to the peaceful coexistence and challenge the survival of divergent human civilizations.
Sarajevo is one of the most heterogeneous places in Europe. It is a place where, during its long and fascinating history, the eastern and western civilisations met and clashed occasionally, but nonetheless always enriched, complemented and strengthened one another. Throughout its history, Sarajevo has developed into a microcosm encapsulating and integrating different ethnicities, religions and cultures, and where extremism of any kind has never taken root. It has always been a place and a bridge where different cultures created a mosaic of a diverse, but also a sui generis unique shared heritage.
Despite the losses and destruction suffered by the city in the past due to foreign invasions, wars and conflicts, including the longest siege in the history of modern warfare, Sarajevans have never been deterred from the principle of living together and protecting and preserving their shared heritage and their inherent centuries-old values.
And therein lies the significance of Sarajevo in today’s world. Its significance transcends that of an administrative capital. It is immeasurable in a world that is beginning to tear down the values of multiculturalism and richness in diversity. And therefore Sarajevo’s shared heritage has to be protected and promoted as a living example of common heritage of humanity and a way out of the growing divides and present cultural, religious and ethnic conflicts and cleavages.
To introduce, protect, preserve, and promote the concept of Sarajevo’s shared heritage as a living example of common heritage of humanity and foster values that can help bridge the growing divides in today’ world.
Diverse societies that will become more peaceful, prosperous and developed by embracing the concept of shared heritage. Peace, prosperity and development will be the result of their readiness and efforts to promote advantages of their shared heritage.
Through the development of a range of projects and activities, we aim to be a strong public voice for the protection and promotion of Sarajevo’s shared heritage. The over-arching goal of the Foundation is for Sarajevo’s shared heritage to be better understood and appreciated, to be articulated within the international community, and to be recognized and valued as the common heritage of humanity.
Sarajevo’s shared heritage – Why?
The main goal of the Foundation is to protect and promote the concept of Sarajevo’s shared heritage not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina but globally as well.
Sarajevo is a place where east and west meet. It is one of Europe’s most intriguing cities. With its churches, mosques and synagogues, Sarajevo is the heart of multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its centuries-long struggle for the preservation of its inherent values, which are identical to fundamental civilizational values, can serve as a model for Europe and the world. Throughout its history, Sarajevo was a source of inspiration, understanding among all individuals, as well as an example of mutual respect regarding different religious, ethnic and cultural differences and identities. For centuries, Sarajevo has lived as one society with different identities but with a shared heritage.
Today, all over the world, we are witnessing attempts by extremists and fundamentalists of all sorts to use different identities to spread the venom of hatred and conflict among various communities. They even go to the extent of waging war against those who do not go along their way. Therefore, in order to reduce the gaps caused by the growing divides in today’ world and to address the new challenges and regressive trends brought about by globalization, such as the rise of antisemitism, islamophobia and xenophobia, we need to build new bridges. These bridges have to interconnect cultures, beliefs, races, and ethnicities.
We strongly believe that promoting Sarajevo’s shared heritage, as a living paradigm of universal values and common heritage of humanity, is one of such bridges and practical options for responding to contemporary challenges faced in many places all over the globe.
Planned activities and projects – how?
Expected results – what?
Identification and promotion of the concept of shared heritage among diverse communities and societies worldwide will contribute to their greater understanding, prosperity and development, as well as avoidance of conflicts and embracing and fostering the culture of peace.
SARAJEVO HERITAGE – Foundation for Protection and Promotion of the Shared Heritage of Sarajevo
Bosnia and Herzegovina
T: +387 33 22 11 22