Category Archives: Activities

The Sarajevan Interfaith Experience

On Friday, June 15, the Mali Koraci team had the privilege of introducing 29 American students on a study abroad program to Sarajevo, its history, and its religious diversity. The study abroad program is hosted by our friends Petra and James Taylor at the European Center for the Study of War and Peace (ECSWP). The students came from Boston College in Boston, Massachusetts and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, and after spending their first day with us, they will spend another month in Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina for their studies.

ECSWP interfaith tour 2

As an introduction, Amra Pandžo shared her experience of the siege of Sarajevo, as well as her transformation after the war when she began to engage in peace work. Then the students went on a short visit to three of Sarajevo’s traditional holy sites, including the Emperor’s mosque, the Church of St. Anthony, and the Old Orthodox Church, which the students visited the following day.

Careva dzamija

Most of the students entered a mosque for the first time when they visited the Emperor’s Mosque. It was also their first experience learning about how Muslims pray. Some of the students observed the prayers, while others participated in the prayers together with the Muslims in attendance.

Fra Marinko Pejić

In the Church of St. Anthony, Fra Marinko Pejić shared about the Sarajevan tradition, in which people from every religion would pray at the Old Orthodox Church, the Church of St. Anthony, and the Tomb of the Seven Brothers, giving the same amount of money as a voluntary contribution at each holy site, in the hopes of having their prayers answered. He went on to describe how each house of prayer is open to people of every faith, when they need a quiet place to come and pray. He concluded that we all worship the one God, even though we understand God and worship him differently.

starija pravoslavna crkva

Sarajevo’s interfaith experience is fascinating for many visitors, because the history of mutual respect, collaboration, and love between people of different religious communities is unique and offers a hopeful perspective about how people are interconnected, regardless of their religion or nationality.

Our Handbook for Islamic Religious Educators is being used in Europe

By Naida Kurdi
Aljazeera Balkans

10703510_761713077218169_4474320111234500884_nAmra Pandžo has been a peace activist for almost twenty years. She finds motivation for her peace work in faith. Over the past 20 years she has worked with a large number of people in the region to overcome the consequences of war by engaging in activities dealing with reconciliation, conflict transformation, and peace education.

Immediately after the war, she was the originator of the first network of non-governmental organizations that worked across ethnic divisions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and she was also among the first to cross those divisions herself.

In the TPO Foundation survey, Amra was one of eleven women in Bosnia and Herzegovina who were recognized in their local communities as women who contributed to peace. She edited the Manual for the Teachers of Islamic Religion on the Peaceful Dimensions of Islam and co-author of the book The Peace Road, which was published in 2016. She is a member of the organizational team of Believers for Peace and on the board of directors for the widely acclaimed inter-religious choir Pontanima. She works at the American Corner of the Sarajevo Library and runs Small Steps, an association for dialogue in the family and society.

Continue reading here.