July in Stockholm

It is the first time in many years that I'm home in Sweden in the month of July, and did I chose the right year to stay! What wonderful weather we've had! It may not have been the same in the whole country but in Stockholm we've been lucky. I've even got a decent tan here for the first time. I will regret these words later, but we got happy when it started raining a moment ago, my brother and I went out on the balcony and started dancing, haha. We need a little cool, it's so sticky and muggy, and constantly hot in the apartment. Crazy, for Sweden. I have really enjoyed my free time ever since I finished working. It's not easy seing people post pictures from Bosnia and Croatia, but the nice weather has been comfortning, and the fact that we will be off to the U.S. IN ONLY ONE WEEK! I will pee my pants.

She's up all night 'til the sun

Let's raise the bar and our cups to the stars

Yet another weekend spent in Uppsala, and another great party night! The pictures speak for themselves. Everyone was in a great mood and I celebrated that I've finished working, WOHO! No more early mornings and sunny days spent at the office! Let's pretend that summer vacation just began...

Just a little something

Sometimes it's hard to figure out what to give as a gift, but if you are lucky you have the extra time to think of something, and maybe something a bit homemade, which is always more fun to give away. I'm going to share with you a present that my boyfriend and I gave away recently, which might inspire someone. Making a gift basket/gift box allows you to fill it with "goodies" and adjust it both price-wise and interest-wise. You can for example have a theme. If you give it to someone who likes to draw and paint, sew, or cook - fill it with things suitable for each interest. In our case, it was gifts that represented the characteristics of the receiver (figured it would either be very lame or very good). What everyone thought was most interesting seemed to be a comic strip that I'd drawn and put in the card, and a gift certificate from UNICEF (another good tip). I made the box out of a fruit box that I wrapped in gift paper and decorated with electrical tape and satin ribbon. Finally, I wrapped the whole basket in cellophane.

Never forget 11.07.1995.

Today it's been 18 years since
the Srebrenica genocide.
I'd rather keep everything sad outside the blog but it is important, and even a responsibility to talk about the genocide for those unaware of it. I'm usually in Bosnia this time of the year where the Memorial Day is clearly marked, but this year I'm, for the first time in very long, in Sweden and I'm pleasantly surprised by the presence of the day even here, in social media, news, radio, and the manifestations organized in different Swedish cities. It was a very nice manifestation in central Stockholm with speeches from politicians (including Mona Sahlin), a human rights activist from Serbia, a man from Srebrenica and a singer who ended the event beautifully before we put flowers in the water. It was hard to hold back tears.

But for me the main thing this day is not to mourn, even if it is difficult to keep emotions in check. For me, the main thing is to spread knowledge about this, to make people aware that something like this can happen in modern day society. I want people in Sweden and the world to understand that my parents laughed at the nationalists and their propaganda, just as we're laughing at the Swedish nationalist parties, so sure of that there are enough people with common sense that their ideologies will never get enough support. I want you to understand that for my parents, a bloody war felt as unreal as a war in Sweden seems to us today. Unfortunately, the leaders of these extreme nationalist parties, in fact, are intellectual and cleverly manipulative, despite their disturbed values, and nothing tells us that we are safe from these ideologies in this "modern" Europe, where people let the genocide and ethnic cleansing take place only 18 years ago. Even today there are people who still believe in the war criminal's propaganda, who denies the genocide, or even worse, justifies the killing of thousands of people. But still today remains of dead people are found. Today, a further 409 people will be buried. Don't let it happen again. Use the genocide in Srebrenica as a reference and an example, closer in time than World War II in Germany, of what can happen if we let nationalist forces go too far.

We, immigrants, are all Bosnian ambassadors. It is our duty to represent, speak for and spread knowledge of Bosnia & Herzegovina. It's the least we can do, and today we have all the funds for it. Since writing is not my best skill, I will end this post by refering to other articles from Swedish news sites where you can read more about this.

Aftonbladet: Våga tala om rasismens yttersta konsekvenser
Svenska Dagbladet: Vårt ansvar att inte glömma
Expressen: Ultranationalism bakom folkmordet

(And for you who are thinking about commenting "Bosniaks also murdered, it's not only the Serbs fault, media is blaming the Serbs, etc" - don't. I have had the discussion on my blog lots of times and I summarize it again: There is a difference between attacking and defending, and murdering civilians. Nothing justifies the genocide in Srebrenica. Nothing justifies the killing of civilians and innocent people regardless of nationality. If my father would have murdered civilians in the war, I would have judged him for that. This is not about trying to make a nation look bad or blaming a whole ethnic group, this is all about highlighting something bad that has been to learn from it and to be able to work towards a future society in which different people can live side by side without nationalism and racism. End of story.)

Sara's 1st Birthday Celebration

Last Sunday we celebrated sweet little Sara! Just look at her cheeks, smile, clothes and the hair - it's no wonder that we all would rather take a piece of her than of the cake. It was wonderful to see her large crowd of fans that will always spoil her with the best, even if she doesn't understand it yet.

Amela's 25th Birthday Celebration

This hot weekend has been full of celebrations from Friday to Sunday. Amela turned 25, and since it's the "big 25" the celebration went on a couple of days. On Friday we started at the wonderful Josefinas, with wonderful company and atmosphere, and later we continued to the club for some dancing.

On Saturday the party took place in Uppsala, where even more of her friends came for a bit calmer but equally nice birthday celebration at home.
All the best to our best A!

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