October 14, 2023 – This past Saturday, members of the Board of Directors of the Congress of Bosniaks of North America (“CBNA”) virtually attended a meeting with the Congressional Delegation (“CODEL”) that traveled to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and visited the Srebrenica Memorial Center. Joining CBNA from the United States were representatives of the New Hampshire Bosniak-American community.
Local attendees included Ms. Munira Subasic, President of Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa, Ms. Suhra Sinanovic, President of Women of Podrinje, Ms. Fazila Efendic, President of Srebrenica Mothers, and Ms. Nura Begovic, President of Women of Srebrenica.
The Executive Director of CBNA, Ms. Selma Porca, briefly addressed the meeting attendees on behalf of the Bosniak-American community. Her statement is included below. We are so very grateful to Senator Shaheen, Senator Welch and Ambassador Murphy for their visit to Srebrenica and for offering a platform to the honorable mothers of Srebrenica. Their stories must never be forgotten.
Hello everyone. My name is Selma Porca and I am the Executive Director of the Congress of Bosniaks of North America (CBNA). It has been my pleasure to work with Senator Shaheen’s staff over the past year, and I want to thank you, Senator Shaheen, for all that you have done and continue to do for our community in the US. Thank you for keeping Bosnia top of mind and for including us in the conversation regarding the Srebrenica Remembrance Act in the US.
To our brave mothers of Srebrenica and the survivors of the genocide – your noble fight is ours and we will stand by your side and do everything in our power to ensure that the victims of the Srebrenica Genocide are never forgotten. As time goes on, and we witness the rise of ultranationalism and anti-Muslim hate around the world, remembrance becomes critically important in countering narratives of othering and hate, which lead to genocide.
On a personal note, as a child refugee from Banja Luka, who survived several refugee camps across Bosnia and two years under siege in Sarajevo, I am grateful today to live in a country that celebrates my heritage and cares about the Bosniak community being a contributing thread to the colorful fabric of this great nation. It is a privilege to represent the Bosniak-American community here today. Thank you.