War Thwarts Sarajevo Project


From the Civic Education Project Newsletter, Volume 1, Number 1, Winter 1994/95

Mounting hostilities in Bosnia/Herzegovina this winter thwarted an effort by CEP to send lecturers to teach at the University of Sarajevo, as part of the Open Society Institute's Open City Sarajevo Project. From August to October, CEP received approximately 250 applications from interested academics. After more than 100 phone interviews, the list of candidates was narrowed to eight. Phil Henderson, Deputy European Director, was able to join an October Open Society Institute trip to Sarajevo in order to assess the needs of the university and the conditions under which CEP lecturers would teach. After consultations with the heads of different faculties, it became clear that CEP's presence was enthusiastically welcomed by students and faculty of the university. Subsequently, two of the final eight candidates were chosen to deliver lectures during an intensive two-week period.

The two candidates chosen were Dr. Barbara Brooks and Dr. Nancy Jones. Dr. Brooks is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in New York City. Her firm specializes in employee training for corporations and in responding to the psychiatric needs resulting from disasters and emergencies such as Hurricane Andrew and the World Trade Center bombing.

Dr. Jones, a resident of California, teaches British Literature at the University of the Pacific and is presently writing a book on post-colonial literature. She has traveled extensively and also holds a Master's degree in political science.

Nancy and Barbara both epitomize the rare combination of qualities CEP seeks in its candidates: extremely qualified academically, resourceful and self-reliant, energetic, outgoing, culturally sensitive, and imbued with community spirit.

Unfortunately, due to the escalation of hostilities in Bosnia/Herzegovina, Nancy and Barbara were unable to fly into Sarajevo in late November. All parties involved concluded that the risks were simply too high given the deteriorating military situation in Sarajevo. The fragility of the current truce in Bosnia/Herzegovina leaves doubt as to whether and when this project will go forward.