Relations with the East

As the fighting on the ground continued, so too did talks and international conferences.  Izetbegović was often obliged to travel to the world’s metropolises to explain what was happening in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  He kept repeating that the war was a war of aggression against an independent country that had been prepared, not for war, but for peace.  From Geneva to New York, from Helsinki to Tehran, travelling the world from latitude to latitude and longitude to longitude, he set out the details – the strength of the JNA, the political context of the aggression against Bosnia and its genocidal nature, the state of affairs in the country, the cruel absurdity of the arms embargo, and the humanitarian disaster threatening to destroy an entire people.  Rather too slowly perhaps, all these diplomatic initiatives began to produce results.  The West sent food convoys and, one by one, introduced sanctions against Karadžić’s side, while the Muslim East helped with arms.  Combined with the Bosnian resolve to keep fighting the unequal war despite the many casualties, the combination of food and arms had a significant impact on the final outcome.

Though there were Serbs, Croats, Jews, Roma, Slovenes and Albanians among the victims of Karadžić’s troops, the worse casualties were among the Bosniac (Muslim) population.  As the war progressed, it became increasingly clear that the basic, if not the only, obstacle to the partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina was the Bosniacs, and that the war was aimed primarily at them.  As a result, the world’s Muslim countries became increasingly concerned about the war, and little by little, Alija Izetbegović became for them a mythical figure, the symbol of the just struggle for freedom of the Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Wherever he appeared in the Muslim world, he attracted attention and respect.  His authority there added to Muslim solidarity and was a great help in raising the funds needed to defend the country.

Both during and after the war in Bosnia he received a number of major awards from the Islamic world: the King Faisal Award for services to Islam in 1993; the Thinker of the Year Award from the Ali Osman Hafiz Foundation of Medina in 1996; the Order of the Turkish Republic, an honorary doctorate from the University of Riyadh, and an honorary doctorate in law from Marmara University, Istanbul in 1997; the Order of Independence of the State of Qatar in 1998; and the Islamic Man of the Year Award from the United Arab Emirates in 2001.


The permanent museum exhibition is located in the towers Kapi-kula Ploča and Širokac. In the Ploča tower, the life of Alija Izetbegović as statesman and politician is displayed on chronologically arranged exhibition boards, accompanied by text and photographs. In the Širokac tower, the exhibition is dedicated to Izetbegović's role as the Supreme Commander in the defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the Serbian agression.



Established in the recent times, the Museum „Alija Izetbegović“ offers modern answers to questions from the past, but also sets the foundation for the future. Through its objective scientific approach, it encourages young people, intellectuals and researchers to approach modern history with expertise and knowledge. 



The Museum educational programs are designed for elementary and secondary school students. They include professional tours of the permanent museum exhibition, interactive school workshops, pedagogical and educational publications, lectures, special programmes observing important historical dates, etc.