Bosnian community

(via Flickr/NathanReed)

The St. Louis region needs more immigrants to help bolster the economy.

That was the message delivered by public officials and representatives from economic development agencies during the launch of St. Louis Mosaic Project on the same day comprehensive immigration reform cleared the U.S. Senate.   

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Many Bosnian residents in south St. Louis City continue to feel unnerved by the murder of Haris Gogic, a 19-year-old convenience store worker who was killed three weeks ago.

Days later a 30-year old 7-Eleven worker, Mon Rai, was shot death.  

President of the Bosnian Chamber of Commerce, Sadik Kukic, said some members of the community have considering leaving south city in favor of the county or another city all together.

Ben Moore

About 60,000 Bosnians live in St. Louis.  That’s estimated to be more Bosnians per capita than anywhere else in the world outside of Bosnia.

Bosnians settled in St. Louis during the 1990s, after the break-up of the former Yugoslavia and ensuing war and genocide.  Bosnia, or Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country in southeastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of when Bosnians came to St. Louis and questions surrounding Bosnian cultural and national identities remain unresolved.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

This fall will mark the 20th anniversary of the first refugees from the Bosnian war arriving in St. Louis.

We’re continuing our ongoing look at their experiences in this country with a story about business, more specifically, business and cultural identity.   

Many of the early Bosnian entrepreneurs catered to other Bosnians in St. Louis. 

That’s starting to change, though, as Bosnian business owners search for success by connecting with the larger community.    

Have you ever asked yourself: “Could I completely start over?”

The folks over at Atlantic Cites have an article up today examining the origins of our sizable Bosnian immigrant population. St. Louis native Kathy Gilsinan writes the piece. Also, check out our Tim Lloyd's series on the city's Bosnian population - click on the "Bosnian community" tag below.

Tim Lloyd/St. Louis Public Radio

Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the first refugees from the Bosnian War arriving in St. Louis. 

In the coming months we’re going to take a closer look at their experiences in this country and how their presence has changed the cultural landscape of our city.   

But to know how St. Louis became home to what’s estimated to be the largest Bosnian population outside of eastern Europe, you have to first understand the brutal ethnic war that many of them fled.