St. Louis Bosnians | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Bosnians

Carmen Dence is the founder and director of Grupo Atlantico, Akif Cogo is the founder of St. Louis Bosnians Inc., and Anna Crosslin is the president and CEO of the International Institute of St. Louis.
EVIE HEMPHILL | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

The International Institute of St. Louis has been a welcoming community for immigrants and refugees to the area for 100 years. Its mission is to foster a more connected community to benefit not only immigrants and their families, but the wider community as well. 

According to IISTL President and CEO Anna Crosslin, most of the organization’s events are “geared toward trying to demystify ‘the other,’ so that people are less fearful.”

“They can find out that there are, in fact, shared values and behaviors among people that go beyond the visible differences,” she said.

RukaNade founder Nermana Huskic came to St. Louis in the late 1990s, arriving with family members as refugees after the Bosnian war.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

For Nermana Huskić, the seeds of her future as a resource and service provider for homeless people were planted young. 

At the age of 5, Huskić witnessed terror and violent intimidation by Serbian soldiers who barged into her home looking for her father and other male figures. 

It was 1992 and the start of the Bosnian war. The Bosnian Serbs set out to rid the country of its Muslim population and gain desired land. 

'Being Bosnian' explores impact of genocide on a new generation

Apr 9, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 09, 2013 - In 1993, the first Bosnian refugees from the genocidal war in Bosnia Herzegovina arrived in St. Louis. Since then, the Bosnian population here has grown to an estimated 60,000. Now, 20 years later, a different set of challenges faces a younger generation of Bosnians, many of whom have no first-hand memories of the war, but nonetheless represent its legacy.

Immigrants in St. Louis could help decide an election in Bosnia

Feb 11, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 11, 2013 - The Prvi Mart initiative, an international movement to facilitate voter registration among refugees from the Bosnian genocide of the 1990s, announced the founding of U.S. operations on Sunday at a public meeting on the campus of Fontbonne University, hosted by the Bosnia Memory Project. Given that St. Louis is said to have the largest population of Bosnians in the United States, organizers hoped for a large turnout.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 1, 2012 - When war broke out in Bosnia, Ibro Tucakovic and his family didn’t stay for long.

One summer day, it was bright and hot and he hung around with friends at a playground near his Sarajevo home. When shells fell on the playground killing neighborhood kids, his family had enough.

“We left two days after that,” he says.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 2, 2012 - Almost 50 years ago, and she can still remember those nights. Men with guns rattled the windows and doors of her home while Haniny Hillberg and her family hid in their beds. 

The men wanted her brother, a revolutionary who protested in the streets against the government as Bolivia edged toward revolution.