By Liljana Meshaj – Sarajevo
The outbreak of the First World War took place 100 years ago, on 28 July 1914 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina when a young nationalist named Gavrilo Princip killed the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. The Archduke Franz Ferdinand was heir to the throne of the Austro – Hungarian Empire. This assassination was followed by many events that would lead to the outbreak of the First World War.
100 years later, in June 2014 eyes of Europe will once again be focused in Sarajevo. This time however, a message of peace will be sent from Sarajevo, reconciliation, solidarity and human rights to the world. Sarajevo will be center of cultural and peace events throughout June.
From 6-9 June 2014 the biggest international peace event within the context of the outbreak of the First World War will be held in Sarajevo. Many international coalitions, supported by the peace groups of all states of the former Yugoslavia are preparing for this event called The Peace Event Sarajevo 2014. Some of the activities as part of this event will be workshops, round tables and cultural activities.
As informs the Network for Peace Building Sarajevo 2014, the “The preparations for the Peace Event Sarajevo 2014 have entered their final phase. The streets of Sarajevo will turn to a great colorful meeting point of peace activists from all over the world, as well as to a symbol of tolerance and solidarity. The Peace Event Sarajevo 2014 will be an important opportunity for all its participants to exchange knowledge, experience, thoughts, ideas and passion for peace building and human rights”.
The event organizers emphasize that the power of active non-violence is the only sustainable way to transform a world of wars and violence into a culture of peace and non-violence.
Furthermore, the Foundation “Sarajevo Heart of Europe” is another organizer of the 100 anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. The foundation is established by the French Embassy in B&H, Sarajevo City Council and “Mision de Centenaire” from Paris and EU members countries joint it, as well as cultural, scientific and sports organizations. They will be the organizers of the program “Sarajevo 2014”. The messages of solidarity will be conveyed through this program.
Roland Gilles, the French Ambassador in B&H and the honorary President of this Foundation said that “Messages of peace, reconciliation, coexistence will be sent and these messages will be intended to young generation with a call for cooperation, understanding and common life”.
The Vienna philharmonic Concert will take place on 28 June and the cycling race that is organized in cooperation with Tour de France. Also, there will be organized a competition for a new generation of artists called “Share-Too Much History, More Future”, then Concert Orchestra di Piazza Vittoria, film screenings, photo exhibitions and other sports and cultural event.
Floods that took place in B&H showed that solidarity is one of the most significant ways to live in community. B&H people expressed their solidarity by helping each other more than anyone could help. Thus, it is time that from Sarajevo to be sent powerful and significant messages of peace and solidarity.