Latest Blogs from the Balkans

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02 Oct 15

Why I Won’t Forget Usnija Redzepova

Petar Subotin

She may have passed away but the music of this exceptional Roma singer from Macedonia will live in in ex-Yugoslavia for a long time.

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29 Sep 15

Vujosevic’s Fall Shows How Serbia Operates

Slobodan Georgiev

The controversial basketball coach has not been sacked for his sporting failures - but because he became an enemy of the government.

25 Sep 15

Migrants in No Man’s Land

Valerie Hopkins

The old frontline between Serbia and Croatia has become a new kind of frontline today in the Balkan refugee ‘crisis’

25 Sep 15

All the Gardens, oh, be Scented!

Dusica L. Ikic Cook

I love all the great religious holidays in Bosnia but Bayram has a special place in my heart – if only for food-related reasons. 

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25 Sep 15

What to Expect When a Surrogate's Expecting

Jasmina Lazic

We meet in a café, after work. She welcomes me with a big smile.  As the topic is very sensitive, she asks me not to publish her real name. So we decide to call her Radmila.

07 Sep 15

How do Kosovo and Bulgaria Connect, Really?

Mirela Zarichinova

Kosovo and Bulgaria are not far away from each on the map but have yet to make a real connection that goes beyond stereotypes.

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03 Aug 15

Exploring Museum Mysteries Amid Fears of a Grexit

Fotini Barka

That night we ordered Chinese. A friend came over. After a long period of unemployment, she had just started working for a technology startup. We tried to recall the last time we ate Chinese food. Nobody could. "It’s been a long time," we said and tucked into the noodles as the kids played with the fortune cookies.

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24 Jul 15

Migrants Are Just Like the Rest of Us

Sanjeev Dasgupta

As Europe struggles to deal with the migrant crisis, it risks ignoring the fact that migrants are human beings, just like us - only born in less stable countries.

15 Jul 15

Life in Serbia

Slobodan Georgiev

Despite the kind words that international financial institutions are addressing to the Serbian government, the people fail to see much result - on the contrary.

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14 Jul 15

Hard Times for Bulgaria's Old Arms Hub

Mariya Petkova

Late last year, rumours spread through the historic Bulgarian town of Sopot that its most famous landmark, a statue of the great writer Ivan Vazov, might be sold off. The debt-laden local council was unable to pay its creditors so its property was appraised and put up for sale. As it turned out, the statue survived, although the mayor’s chair didn’t – it was sold for 74 levs (about 37 euros).

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13 Jul 15

An American Student’s Experience Marching in Mars Mira

Kristina Drye

On Friday I marched the last leg of the Mars Mira, or the Peace March, that began many days before in Tuzla.

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13 Jul 15

A Degree of Hopelessness

Jeton Mehmeti

Blerim Cakolli has both a bachelor's and a master's degree from the Faculty of Law at the University of Pristina. Since he graduated with his advanced degree three years ago, he has been working full-time - not as a lawyer, but as a waiter in a restaurant.

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10 Jul 15

Reliving Balkan Conflicts in a Canadian Taxi

Shpresa Loshaj

An angry encounter with a taxi driver in Toronto reminded me that people who have suffered often don’t feel for the suffering of others.

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09 Jul 15

Serbia's President is Indeed Like the Queen

Sasa Dragojlo

Nikolic chose the right person to address in Britain – like Queen Elizabeth, he has no political power.

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01 Jul 15

Language Loss Reflects Changing Identity of Bulgarian Roma

Zornitsa Stoilova

"How come I was born in Bulgaria and I don’t feel Bulgarian?! That’s not right." Yashar Hassan is angry. We are seated in the middle of the market in Stolipinovo, a Roma neighbourhood in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv with more than 50,000 residents. He is smoking cigarette after cigarette and his voice rises with the temperature of his words.