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Report From The Annual Academy Meeting In Memphis, TN

Bosnian-Herzegovinian American Academy of Arts and Sciences (BHAAAS/Academy) held its 13th annual meeting in Memphis, Tennessee, USA this year. The hosts were Dr. Kenan and Sanja Arnautović who prepared a range of activities for the members and friends of the Academy, which encouraged cooperation with partner and supporting institutions from both USA and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On Friday, before the official meeting, Kenan and Sanja organized a dinner at their home for all the Academy members, as well as a number of their local friends. The next day, the official program started.

Although the Academy activities are split into sections – Technical section, Medicine and Health section, Social Sciences and Humanities section and Art section, medical topics prevailed this year in Memphis.

Dr. Kenan Arnautović, a neurosurgeon who has been living and working in Memphis for many years, talked about Memphis, history and culture of this beautiful city, about his journey from the War hospital in the besieged Sarajevo to Semmes-Murphey Neurosurgery Clinic in Memphis. Dr Arnautović presented the cooperation he established in recent years with neurosurgery hospitals in Sarajevo, Belgrade, Zagreb and Osijek in his inspirational speech.

The keynote speech was given by Dr. Frederick Boop, an honorary member of the Academy and former president of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons on topic: Leadership in neurosurgery, the future of neuroscience and technology. Dr. Boop is currently the Chairman of Neurosurgery at the University of Tennessee in Memphis.

An impressive and very emotional speech was given by a great friend of B&H, professor of pharmacology, also from the University of Tennessee, Dr. Kafait Malik. He talked to those present about his journey from Pakistan to Bosnia (that is, Sarajevo), where he graduated from the medical university and the experiences which followed after Bosnia and brought him to Memphis. On several occasions, he expressed his gratitude for the knowledge he acquired in the ex-Yugoslavia.

Professional presentations were also given by the guests, Dr. Aleksandr Jankov, who talked about how to “live to be a hundred”, and Jasmin Nuhić who presented the challenges and opportunities in production of medical devices.

The meeting in Memphis also had the Annual meeting session for the members. The former president of the Academy, Dr. Emir Festić, submitted the annual report of the Academy activities, emphasizing that the Academy has achieved its goals in the previous period regarding promotion of science and art and expanding cooperation with universities and other related institutions in B&H. His report once again confirmed the aim of the Academy to create better conditions for easier action in all areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina, without any financial help.

The Academy inaugurated the new president, Dr. Mahira Tanović, who works as a plastic surgeon in New York City. Dr. Tanović, as well as some other members of the Academy, have been supporting the Academy activities financially for years and regularly donate funds for its successful work and various programs.

In order to promote a spirit of intellectual diversity, Dr. Tanović has announced that the 12th Days of the BHAAAS in B&H will be held in Mostar in the summer of 2020 and 14th Annual meeting in San Diego, California.

Djenita Pasić, former Academy president, read the report on main activities of the Academy in USA and the homeland. This report was prompted by a call of the B&H Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees to grant awards to our organizations in diaspora in many fields. The Academy has applied for the award in 4 fields: a) science and education; b) culture and information; c) health and social care; and d) philanthropic and humanitarian activities. In this report on the Academy activities from its beginnings until now, it was evident that the Academy has achieved great success in cooperation with experts in the homeland. In the past 12 years the Academy has been accomplishing its mission of exchanging knowledge in all fields of science and arts, helping underprivileged areas and institutions with donations in funds and necessary equipment and participating in philanthropy and charity activities with other organizations in USA and B&H.

The most important activity of the Academy is surely the Days of BHAAAS in B&H which last 3-4 days and in which up to a thousand participants and lecturers from USA, Canada and other parts of the world and the Balkan region take part, bringing together experts from areas of medical, technical and social sciences.

Along the scientific program of the Days of BHAAAS, various cultural and arts programs take place as well. While informing the participants about this year’s Days in Sarajevo, especially about the cooperation with Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, Dr. Edin Karaiković said:

“Our long lasting cooperation with Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra has been very successful. We’ve ensured the participation of musicians from the USA with Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra. We’ve been sponsoring for years young musicians who spend one year in Sarajevo and thus make the continuation of the work of the Orchestra possible.” Apart from the concert of the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra at the Days in B&H, this International cultural exchange program for classical music performers enables Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra access to musicians who otherwise would be difficult to find in the region. Until now, 30 foreign musicians from 17 US states and Taiwan have participated.

On Sunday, after the official part of the Annual meeting, members of the Academy visited the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, which was built at the spot of the assassination of the most famous US human rights and anti-segregation activist, Dr. Martin Luther King. This distressing museum displayed historical beginnings of slavery, its spreading and different forms it went through in the USA, back from 1619 until the 60’s of the last century. It was also evident that the struggle for equality and human rights of the African American citizens is still ongoing.

And in the end, at the Annual meeting, new members of the Academy were announced and those present were awarded a certificate and the Academy pin.

The following are the members who joined the Academy in 2019:

  1. Nedim Durakovic, Active member, St. Louis, MO
    MD, Assistant Professor, Washington University in. St. Louis, MO
  2. Anes Kazagic, Corresponding Member, Sarajevo, B&H
    PhD in Technical Science,
    Manager for Energy Efficiency and Senior Expert for Development of Power Plants, Elektroprivreda B&H, Sarajevo
  3. Miralem Smajic, Corresponding Member, Tuzla, B&H
    PhD in Pharmacy, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy,
    University of Tuzla
  4. Edin Mujcic, Corresponding MemberBihac, B&H
    PhD in Electrical Engineering, Associate Professor, Leader of Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Bihac
  5. Amir Berbic, Active MemberChicago, ILProfessor and Chair of Graphic Design School of Design, Associate Dean for Faculty Affair
    College of Architecture, Design and the Arts, University of Illionis at Chicago
  6. Amer Kobaslija, Associate Member, Jacksonville, FL
    MFA, ArtistAssistant ProfessorUniversity of Central Florida,
    Orlando, FL
  7. Safet Sharenkapa, Associate Member,Tampa, FL
    M.Sc. Information System Management,
    Director Business Development & Inovation- Spot Buy,
  8. Nina Jovanovic, Corresponding Member Sarajevo, B&H
    MD, Ophtalmologist, Head of Oculoplastic Section,
    Cantonal Hospital Zenica
  9. Edin Beciragic, MD, Corresponding Member, Sarajevo, B&H
    General Surgeon, Departmant of Surgery, Dr Abdulah Nakas
    General Hospital Sarajevo
  10. Sasa Delic, Corresponding member, Lukavac, B&H
    Msc, PhD, Defectologist – Oligophenologist
    Institute for Education of Persons with Disabilities in Mental and Physical development, Tuzla, Social Work Center, Lukavac, B&H
  11. Vesna Mehinovic, Active member, New Haven, CT
    Master of Art, Conductor, music director, educator, pianist
  12. Ahmed Novo, Corresponding member. Sarajevo, B&H
    MD, PhD, Public Health Specialist (Social medicine, organization and health economics)
    Director of the Agency for Quality and Accreditation in Healthcare of FB&H
  13. Amina Smajlovic, Active member, Columbus, OH
    Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
    The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH
  14. Dina Mehmedbegovic – Smith, Corresponding member
    London, UK, EdD,  Lecturer in Education
    Institute of Education College  London, UK-IOE UCL
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