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Sarajevo's Crossroads of the World

4 corners of religion & people

Fellow Olympics lovers. This is the bittersweet post I knew I would have to make from the medieval ski town where the awesome 1984 Winter Olympics took place..

Katerina Witt skated to Gold for Germany, and the U.S. Mahre brothers skiied to a pair of medals.

Remember them?

Back then it was Sarajevo, Yugoslavia and this Olympics was supposed to put a great little Bosnian ski resort on the map..

Tito was a Serbian partisan who fought the Nazi's and united the 7 Balkan countries as Yugoslavia for 40 years.

President Tito had kept the Soviets at a distance for 40 years and also kept friendly with the west.. All was well until Tito passed away and Serbian tensions escalated into an awful Homeland War and ethnic cleansing from ‘92-95....

Now this town is restored and vibrant - and incredibly welcoming to visitors to see the town known as 'European Jerusalem'.. At the crossroads of the Old Town there are 4 religions and their churches peacefully living together: Muslim, Orthodox, Catholic, and Jewish..

.. I found a Bosnia that is full of kind hearted people who interact, intermingle, and inter-marry...our guide was a published professor who graciously guided me through the welcoming gates of the Sarajevo Cathedral, Grand Mosque, and the oldest synagogue in Europe..

We also stood on the corner where Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated to kick off WW I… Yup that was Sarajevo!

The local food is distinctly Turkish and Austrian mixed together, so the coffee is strong by the personal pot, and the schnitzel and sausages are served with cous-cous.. Ha! Baklava and a whole

candied pear for dessert and then they bring out Rakija clear walnut brandy to help digest – or in my case to put me in a coma!

One final share...Every morning I run a few miles to stay fit and reflect on my good life...This morning at 5 am I stopped several times through the quiet city:

at the Eternal reflect;

at the Children's Memorial for those killed... to cry;

at the Cathedral... to warm up from the biting cold - and pray...

If my prayers are answered we'll see peace in this beautiful 700 year-old town that beckons us to come and enjoy it!

...Mir, Peace, Salaam, Shalom...

..more Global travel to come..


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Captain Joe Sacchetti served 2 tours in Iraq, commanding Ranger Scouts in the 82nd Abn & earning the Bronze Star Medal.

MIT's Exec Ed program in Strategy & Innovation teaches senior Business Managers to think like Leaders. me @

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