Latest Blogs from the Balkans

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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.

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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.

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30 Jun 15

I Got Serbia to Stamp my Kosovo Passport

Taulant Hodaj

How a Danube cruise that ran aground ended with me becoming a Facebook sensation.

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26 Jun 15

The Romanian City That Can Only Export Luxury

Laura Stefanut

The old lady sitting on a street bench had the elegance of a grandmother dressed for church. She looked intrigued and somewhat amused by my question. After pausing to see whether I was joking, she replied: "You won't find a shopping mall in this city. No famous brands. People could never afford them."

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23 Jun 15

Gruevski Does Not Deserve Any More Chances

Florian Bieber

The EU is in a difficult position, its bargaining power is limited in Macedonia and its interlocutor, Nikola Gruevski has a lot to lose: for him, losing control over government is likely to land him in jail.

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19 Jun 15

Of Heroes and Hoodlums

Mikra Krasniqi

One day in March 1999, I was loitering with friends in front of a grocery store in the village of Bardh i Vogel in Kosovo, smoking, gossiping, and trying to kill time when four young men in their early twenties came from a nearby village and told us one heck of a story.

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12 Jun 15

We Chose to be Watchdogs, Not Lapdogs

Dragana Nikolic Solomon

With five women and one man sitting around a table a decade ago, a decision was reached in the spur of a moment without any concrete plan for the future.

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11 Jun 15

From Karl Marx to Sister Teresa

Damir Pilic

There is no doubt that Karl Marx is one of the most influential philosophers of all time. Just one illustration: in a BBC poll in 1999, he was voted “the greatest thinker of the millennium”.

In my personal life, Karl Marx has also played an important role. Without him, I probably would not have been born.

Fellowship 2013: Integrity

04 Jul 13

Sporting Chance

15 Jul 13

A New Life

07 Aug 13

Medical Needs

08 Aug 13

Fire from Ice

09 Aug 13

Old Wars and New

13 Aug 13

No Middle Ground

Premium Selection

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03 Sep 15

Serbia’s Ex-Royals Struggle to Win Back Riches

After all the members of the Karadjordjevic family, Yugoslavia’s former royals, were rehabilitated by the courts, their descendants’ legal struggle to regain their confiscated property is set to begin.