June 6th, 3 to 5 PM Meet with BOSFAM

Visited BOSFAM this afternoon and finally met the legendary Beba Muhic, the founder of BOSFAM.

Munira Beba Hadzic

Beba told us her story, how her life as a schoolteacher with a home, family and friends, car, shoes and a dentist suddenly collapsed when she was ousted by  the paramilitary during the wars and told to leave her home in Srebrenica.  She offered a poignant story, how she was  forced to leave without shoes, separated from her mother and sister, imprisoned from some time, then released. Although she never clarified what happpened to her husband, his destiny must have been the same as the other Moslem men  at that time.   Ultimately Beba was taken to Tuzla, where in time she found the strength to begin to reach out to other women, who survived the massacre of the husbands and children.  Together she and the women began to form the beginning of BOSFAM.  Beba”s thought was to utilize what the women she worked with knew to do, which was handicrafts.  She found that the women, by working with their hands, making rugs, clothing and other handicrafts began to open up,  tell their stories, and speak of their pain.

When we met with Beba, we were able to look at the wonderful and colorful work her women do. The brilliant rugs were spread out for our viewing.  It became a fashion show as we also tried on for each other their beautiful crocheted and knitted sweaters and shawls, necklaces, and caps.  Most of us ended up “donating” to BOSFAM and left with our loot. The next day we had another chance at their market in Srebrenice, where again we told each other how beautiful we looked in their wares.  Again we “donated” to their cause and left in delight.

BOSFAM is represented int he US by the Advocacy Project.  In March the delegation and other members of AWIU met with Ian Guest, Founder and Executive Director.  BOSFAM is one of several groups the Advocacy Project supports.  During our meeting, we viewed some of Bosfam’s products particularly a handsome large hand woven wool rug which Ian had carried from Bosfam through his travels in Europe and back to the office in Washington.

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