This September from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th, young Muslim leaders from across Europe gathered for our 22nd General Assembly, which took place in the great city of Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and brought together 22 European Muslim youth organisations.
This annual gathering took place with the presence of 18 Member Organisations and 4 Observer Organisations, where delegates were able to hold the current board to account, review the mandate of each elected officer, and prepare for the future ahead of the elections in 2019.
This year’s GA consisted of sessions varying from training and development workshops, to roundtable discussions. In true FEMYSO style, we carry our objectives in ensuring that our sessions facilitate networking between organisations, including awkward ice breakers. We also were presented with some key FEMYSO campaigns launching in 2019; the FEMYSO Travel Project, the Green Up campaign, the Brussels Roundtables and the European Parliament Elections Campaign.
There was also the return of the European Muslim Youth awards, for a second year running, dedicated awards honouring the achievements of Young Muslims, and Young Muslim Organisations. FEMYSO would like to congratulate NUMU, MSF, EMF, SUM, FOSIS, MSA Nederland, Ardhmëria and the one and only Iaad Ben Dhia for their awards in the different categories!
As we were in the great city of Sarajevo, it was only befitting to us to organise a trip down memory lane. Bosnia & Herzegovina is a country not unknown to war and conflict. In fact, fingerprints, bullet holes and areas of shelling can still be marked out when walking through the streets of Sarajevo, from the Bosnian war that took place in the nineties.
During this war, a catastrophic event had occurred. A moment where humanity at large had failed to look after its international community. In July 1995, UNPROFOR’s 370 Dutchbat soldiers failed to prevent the town of Srebrenica from being captured by Serbian forces. What resulted was a genocide, the murder of 8732 Muslim men. As part of this year’s General Assembly, FEMYSO organised a trip to the Srebrenica memorial centre, where we had the chance to meet with survivors of the war, and getting to know what happened more than fifteen years ago. The International Court of Justice in 2007 recognized genocide in Srebrenica.
While in Bosnia, we also had the honour to meet the President, Mr Bakir Izetbegović at the presidency building in Sarajevo. We had a very productive and insightful discussion about the role of the youth in Bosnia and the Balkans region in general and also, about the role of FEMYSO in bridging between the East and the West, as well as upcoming projects we are currently working on to deliver next year for the Youth in the Balkans.
The conclusion of GA22 was on the sentiment of strength, unity, and proactivism. This year was an amazing year for all of our Member Organisations, as well as for FEMYSO. We hope to carry that on to next year, achieve more, and look forward to another excited General Assembly next year.