Panel Discussion on the Centenary of the First World War
On the 29th Oktober, 2014, the Institute for Islamic Tradition of Bosniaks organized a panel discussion on the Berlin-Baghdad and Hejaz railway with an emphasis on the Hejaz railway to mark the centenary of WWI.
Kaiser and Sultan: The Berlin – Baghdad and Hejaz railway
On the 29th October, 2014, the Institute for Islamic Tradition of Bosniaks organized a panel discussion on the Berlin – Baghdad and Hejaz railway with an emphasis on the Hejaz railway to mark the centenary of WWI.
The Berlin – Baghdad and Hejaz railway were a very important strategic tool for the stakeholders of WWI. Thus, the presentation of various perspectives, perceptions and interests are of importance. Interestingly, written records reveal that the Hejaz railway played an important role for the Bosniaks at that time. Bosniaks (men and women!) contributed to the building of the Hejaz railway with money and jewelry, particularly to facilitate the pilgrimage to Mecca. Among the guests at this panel were many academicians, experts, researchers and students on this subject and representatives of other institutions as well. The conference participants were experts and researchers from the fields of history, law, politics and international relations who held lectures on purposes and importance of Hejaz railway, especially on the importance and role of Bosniaks in that project.
At the opening of the conference, the guests were welcomed with warm wishes for a successful work by the representative of reisul – ulema in BiH, prof. dr. Enes Ljevaković, the mufti of Sarajevo.
In the working part of the panel was shown a 20 – minute documentary “Jordan – Hejaz railway” which shows the Arab perspective of Hejaz Railway.
Panel was divided into two sessions. The speakers were researchers coming from key institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the first sessions, the speakers were:
Prof. Dr. Fikret Karčić on the topic “Kaiser, Sultan and Jihad: German – Turkish relations on the eve of World War I”, from the Law Faculty of the University of Sarajevo. “In November, 1914. the Ottoman Turkey joined the First World War on the side of Germany and Austro – Hungarians. That war was a result of many years’ events”, said prof. Karčić.
Prof. Dr. Safet Bandžović, from the Institute for History of the University of Sarajevo, gave a lecture on the topic “The Hejaz Railway from a Russian perspective”, while the Assist. Prof. Dževada Šuško, from the Institute for Islamic Tradition of Bosniaks, held a lecture on the topic “The importance of the Hejaz Railway for Germany”.
The second session started with Assist. Prof. Aliye Fatma Mataraci, from the International University of Sarajevo. She delivered the lecture on the topic “Hejaz Railway in contemporary Turkish historiography”. The last lecture was delivered by Dr. Hamza Karčić on the topic “Bosniak contribution to the Hejaz Railway”, from the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Sarajevo.
By the end of the year, it is planned to publish the conference proceedings from this panel that will significantly contribute to the research – bibliographic material.