The Ceremonial Session of the Sarajevo City Council was held tonight in the atrium of the Sarajevo City Hall on the occasion of April 6th – the Day of the City of Sarajevo. Apart from the city councillors and the Mayor, the diplomatic corps, representatives of all levels of government in the country, representatives of war veterans organisations, former mayors, former winners of Sixth of April Award, the session was attended by numerous guests from friendly and sister cities from Budapest, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Novi Pazar, Prato, Pula, Brčko, Mostar, Zvornik, Istanbul Municipality Fatih and other invited guests
The guests were greeted by the Chairman of the City Council Igor Gavrić, MD, the host of the ceremony. Congratulating them on the holiday of freedom, the Chairman stressed that the sixth of April has manifold importance for our City. It is a day when we are remembering the sufferings and celebrating the victories. “This city has a rich past backed by scientific evidence. The area was first inhabited in the Stone Age. In the seventh century the Slavs came to this area, and by 13th century they referred to this area as Vrhbosna and the nearby fortification as Hodidjed. The tombstones –stećci – which in their appearance are unique in the world, date from that century. In 1462 seven years after the arrival of the Ottoman Empire to this area, exactly 555 years ago, Isa-bey Ishaković gave orders to lay foundations of the city and called it Saraj-ovasi, which translates as the field around the court. And thus, for the past 555 years, Sarajevo has been growing, receiving well-intentioned people of various faiths and ethnicities, and surviving devastation by aggressors, each time rebuilt to be even better and more beautiful than before. Sarajevo is a city of festivals, with well-known music scene, sport and host of first rate sport events such as the Winter Olympic Games 1984 and EYOF 2019. It is a city which was home to a Nobel Prize winner Vladimir Prelog”.
He further added that “the hatred of those who are different has no place here, and the newly built houses of worship, mosques and churches stand next to each other and represent a testimony to the new age. Every newly built building or event is a monument to the new age, a proof that the Sarajevo’s spirit of coexistence, happiness and progress is possible”, said the Chairman of the Sarajevo City Council Igor Gavrić, MD in his address.
The esteemed guests were greeted by the Mayor of the City of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka, who reminded of the significance of this date which marked our past.
He emphasized that the fate of this city was such that it had to defend itself against violence and crime, and that this was an occasion to remember April 6th 1992 which is still alive in our memory. This was the day when the citizens of our city, alone and forgotten, stood in the defence of their city, just like on April 6th 1941, said Mayor Skaka.
“And thus a city was created which combines, preserves and confirms the possibility of unity of diversity. During its history, Sarajevo went through many hardships which put to the test the readiness of its citizens to undertake great sacrifices to preserve its principles” said the Mayor.
“In the end I would like to say that being the head of the capital city represents a great obligation and a special honour. We have the task to create climate that would attract investments and return the reputation of economic centre to Sarajevo. This means that we must be ready to answer to the needs of our citizens, preserve our heritage, and at the same time adjust to the modern global trends” stressed the Mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka.
The session continued with the presentation of the award of Honorary Citizen for 2017 to Dr. Edmond Offermann.
Dr. Edmond Offermann was born in 1959 in Nijmegen, Holland. He obtained his master’s degree from the University of Utrecht’s Department of Physics and his doctor’s degree in Amsterdam, where he worked as an assistant at the NIKHEF-K laboratory. In the late 1980s he worked at the University of Illinois, and in the early 1990s as an assistant professor at the University of Gutenberg in Mainz. He worked as an experimental nuclear physicist at Jefferson National laboratory in Virginia. For one year he was a member of ROOT team at CERN, Geneva working on the program for analysis of data used for discovery of the Higgs particle. From 1997 to 2017 he worked as analyst for private finance company in New York. The wish of this acclaimed physicist is to help the home city of his wife, where he took a ride in the Trebević Cable Car for the first and last time in the early 1990s. Dr. Edmond Offermann gave an enormous contribution to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Trebević Cable Car, donating his own funds with the aim to implement the Project of Reconstruction of the Trebević Cable Car in order to rebuild this former landmark of Sarajevo and for it to become another tourist attraction in the city“
“My first visit to Sarajevo was in December 1988, when I fell in love with the city, its people and mountains. After the many visits that followed, I started to appreciate more and more the uniqueness of this city, the diversity of its culture and nature. Many of the main religions are practiced here, where the Olympic mountains are just a stone’s throw away. Where else can you find this in Europe? In the summer of 1990 I rode in the Cable Car to the mountain Trebević for the first time. It was the first time for me to see a cable car in a capital city. Unfortunately, the war brought an end to the cable car and everything else. The first victim of the aggression was Ramo Biber, the cable car operative who died defending the main station. The war changed the course of the city and the course of my life. In 1998 I made a pledge that I would help to restart the operation of the cable car. The foundations were built in 2010, and 2017 is the year the cable car will be put into operation. People say that I am impatient by nature, but they are wrong. There is one last thing, I forgot to mention where I am from. I am a European citizen just like you” stressed Dr. Offermann.
The Chairman of the Board for City of Sarajevo Sixth of April Award addressed the guests and presented the importance of the Award and this year’s members of the Board. This was followed by the announcement and presentation of the “City of Sarajevo’s Sixth of April Award” for 2017.
The Chairman of the City Council Igor Gavrić, MD presented the “City of Sarajevo’s Sixth of April Award” for contribution to other fields of work and creation to the Association for preservation of historical values “Haber” for 2017.
For a number of years the association for protection of historical values “Haber” has been giving a great contribution to the development and preservation of Bosnian and Herzegovinian history focusing on the post-war period, which was documented on film such as “Bloody Dance in Sheher”, “We were just children”, “Bosnia or Death”, “Tuzla is far Away, “1st Corps of BiH Army”, “Bosnian Women”, “Heroes in White” , “Humanists and Heroes” and work in progress “Sarajevo’s Massacres”. The Association for preservation of historical values is the author of 5 books “The Executioners of My People” “The Role of Women in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, “2nd and 3rd of May Dobrovoljačka Street”, “Naser-from Gazimestan to Hague and back”. The publishing of the book “Sarajevo Massacres” is in progress.
The award was handed to the executive producer and president of the Association Omer Hadrović, who said:”I am standing here tonight and I would like to say that this is not just an award for Association “Haber” but an award for all the fighters and citizens of the heroic city of Sarajevo. I would like to thank the Sarajevo City Council who recognized and awarded the award to “Haber” for preserving the truth about the aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina and the city of Sarajevo. You have encouraged us to produce many more films about the aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina and thus preserve the truth which will prevent our children from going through the horrors of the siege like the one from 1992 to 1995. That is our obligation and historical task and “Haber” will not allow the history to be forgotten, revised or the heroic fight and sufferings of fighters and citizens of our country to be denied. We would like to thank the City of Sarajevo headed by Abdulah Skaka on the support he has shown to our Association.
“City of Sarajevo’s Sixth of April Award” for the contribution to the field of science and education for 2017 was presented to the Association FAMA Methodology. The purpose of FAMA Methodology is to put into use the FAMA collection through educational module of the “School of Knowledge”. The FAMA collection went through different stages during its development (Fama, Fama Archive, Fama Collection), and it is considered the biggest independent world collection of multi-media projects about the siege of Sarajevo (1992-1996) and the events concerning the break-up of Yugoslavia (1991-1999). The collection had grown despite the often difficult circumstances (the siege and post-war transition), developing pioneering concepts and different topics.
The FAMA team has, with the help of numerous collaborators, friends and supporters for 25 years in the midst of difficult circumstances of the siege and post-war transition, created a collection developing different themes and pioneering methodological concepts. All segments of the collection have become a teaching tool at world universities, as well as a part of world encyclopaedia and national and university libraries. Through its School of Knowledge of the FAMA Collection, FAMA methodology facilitates the study and research of historians, sociologists, psychologists, medical workers, humanitarian organizations, media, artists, anthropologists, and many other scientific and educational fields. Aside from the scope and historical-educational importance of the project, the collection in itself represents a new approach to documenting facts and evidence, and mapping the causes and consequences of events, presenting them in a form acceptable to the wider audience.
FAMA Methodology presents an opportunity for setting up a regional educational portal for interpreting the period of the breakup of Yugoslavia. Through its educational modules it has given and will continue to give its contribution to factography in the region where a war of interpretations has been waged for decades, overlooking the fact that the truth is simple – provided that only facts are being examined. FAMA Methodology transfers the knowledge about the 20th century events into a great interactive space of permanent education in the 21st century.
On behalf of the Association the award was handed to Suada Kapić, the leader of FAMA team. “When you are following principles and starting the heroic deed of creating a collection of knowledge for 25 years, you cannot do it alone. I am taking this warad on my behalf and on behalf of the FAMA team: Miran Norderland, Davor Vidović and Asja Hafner. Around 100 people were involved in the different stages of the project: families, numerous collaborators, friends, donors…. and we can all be proud because with this collection – as some have said– we have made a contribution to the intangible world heritage and enabled the preservation and transfer of collective knowledge to others.
Our map of the siege was included in the cartographic world exploration encyclopaedia, among 300 maps from different periods of human history and from different parts of the world, which explore what the maps can tell us about history and about ourselves. It says a lot about the phenomenon of the siege and the magnificent resistance of the citizens of Sarajevo to the four years of terror.” said Suada Kapić.
The Mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka presented the “City of Sarajevo Sixth of April Award” for 2017 for the contribution to the field of culture and art to Edin Dervišhalidović (Dino Merlin).
He was born in 1962 in Sarajevo. In 1983 he began his career as the founder, composer, lyricist and singer in the pop rock group “Merlin”, and went on to make records “Kokuzna vremena”, “Teško meni sa tobom”, “Merlin”, “Nešto lijepo da se desi” and “Peta strana svijeta”. In 1991 he started his solo career and made the following records “Moja bogda sna”, “Fotografija”, “Sredinom”, “Burek”, “Ispočetka” and “Hotel National”. He is the winner of several awards and recognitions in the field of music, cultural creation and humanitarian work, including the award for diamond record fir the sales of his record “Hotel National”, the golden award for the record “Dino Merlin the Ultimate Collection”, “Davorin”, “Porin”, “Croatian Radio Festival”, “Recognition for Humanism”, “Kemal Monteno” award. Dino Merlin achieved historic success as the only artist from the region whose record “Hotel National” reached the prestigious Billboard World Albums list. He is the author of the first national anthem of Bosnia and Herzegovina which still lives in the memory of the people. The song “Rose” was written to encourage the people in the region to get involved in providing aid to the people threatened by floods which hit Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia in 2014. He represented our country at the Eurosong music contest as the author of music and co-author of lyrics of the song “Sva bol svijeta”, and later as the author and performer of songs “Putnici”, and “Love in Rewind” which reached the seventh and sixth place. During his career he collaborated with acclaimed artists from the international music scene, including Cat Stevens, Mustafa Sandal, Lutvi Bošnjak, Edo Zanki Gani Tamir, Kempa Orchestra and many others. He is the only artist who held four sold-out concerts at the Koševo stadium. His concerts are always attract great interest.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great pleasure to be here with you tonight. It is a great honour to receive the greatest recognition “City of Sarajevo’s Sixth of April Award”, and be in the company of all the great people who received the award before me. I am proud to be at the City Hall tonight, this unconquered temple of culture, and I am particularly proud that it is taking place in my neighbourhood. On my way here I noticed that blossoms are in bloom across Bosnia, and that Sarajevo is where it has always been and it shall remain there. It is up to us to do everything we can with what we’ve got to set our watches to European time and for the better future to be more in our actions and less on our lips” stressed Edin Dervišhalidović (Dino Merlin).
The ceremonial program was marked by the performance “One Day in Sarajevo is not Enough” by stage director Mirela Trepanić, “Prose texts about Sarajevo” by Evli Çelebi, sevdah “Yellow Quinces”, dance performance “Farewell”, song “Boško and Admira” performed by “Zabranjeno pušenje” , and song “If I was Somebody” by composer Hrvoje Hegedušić performed by young Sarajevo actors and dancers.