Bosnien-Herzegowina: Nadja Mehmedbasic

A person is never and will never be stronger with weapons only.

— Nadja Mehmedbasic

Nadja Mehmedbasic completed her law studies in Sarajevo. Since 1965, she has worked as a journalist, first for radio and then for television where she was responsible for the production of documentary films. Many of her documentaries promoting peace and tolerance have received international prizes and awards. During the war (1992–1995), she remained in besieged Sarajevo and worked to bring people closer together. After the war, she has continued to document the tragedy of the war and the needs of women survivors.

During the war, Nadja remained in besieged Sarajevo with her family. From the first day, she demonstrated her willingness to work against war and to promote peace and tolerance. In her television job, she worked on programs ranging from information to public commentaries and news advisories. At that time, her basic message was that “a person is never and will never be stronger with weapons only.” Her work on documentaries became the space in which Nadja fought against the war and campaigned for tolerance, peace, and love, hoping for happier childhoods for future generations. Those were the topics she explored during this harsh time while Sarajevo was under siege. “Bez Rat Hasem” (May peace be with you) is a story about Jews in Bosnia who, right before the outbreak of the war, celebrated the 500th anniversary of their arrival in their new homeland. Because of previous cruel experiences, this war left them with thousands of extremely difficult questions and dilemmas. Based on the diary of one Jew from Sarajevo, Nadja produced the documentary film “They Missed Our Heart,” a true war love story that promotes the value of collective life, understanding, and tolerance among peoples, no matter to which nation or faith they belong. One of Nadja's most important projects during the war was publishing “Friend,” a paper sponsored by the Red Cross of Sarajevo. Nadja participated in defining the paper’s concept, so that it would not only have a humanitarian character, but also once again bring people, who were torn apart by war, closer together. Ever since the paper’s release, many famous authors, poets, journalists, and all those who know the meaning of true friendship, have participated and worked closely together to find the right words.