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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Study club holds international affairs program

An International Affairs Department Program was held at 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct, 22, by The Modern Study Club in the parlor of the First Christian Church, 423 S. Elm. Nan Cate, chairman of the department was in charge.

The thought- quote for the meeting was "Yugoslavia- a house much divided: six republics, six bows drawn tight- the bow strings sing of hatred, group against groups"- Kenneth C. Danforth, National Geographic Magazine, August 1990.

Mrs. Cate prepared and made the presentation of the program entitled- "The Balkan: A Land of Strife and Trouble, Dominated by Others."

In an effort to better understand the events of that region in the last few years Mrs. Cate made the following comments.

Perhaps one of our first introductions to the Balkan Countries occurred when we heard or read of St. Paul of the Bible when he was in Greece and had a vision of a man calling to him "Come over to Macedonia and help us." Or perhaps we remember when we were in school our study of Greece in ancient days when it was the center of learning demonstrate art, knowledge and culture.

The Balkan Peninsula is surrounded by five Seas, the Adriatic, Ionian, Mediterranean, Aegean and the Black Sea. It includes the following countries, Greece, Macedonian, Albania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, the European part of Turkey and Romania. Also closely associate with the Balkan countries are Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Balkan means mountains in the Turkish language and indeed mountains cover three-fourths of the land of the Balkans. It also has the Danube River, which begins in the Black Forest of Germany and empties in the Black Sea. The fertile valley that surrounds the Danube River, which begins in the Black Forest of Germany and empties in the Black Sea.

The fertile valley that surrounds the Danube River produces citrus fruit, cotton, olive oil, rice and tobacco. The river also acts as the chief commercial water-way carrying goods and people from western Europe and eastern Asia.

The Balkans are predominately Slavs who came to the Balkans in the 7th-9th centuries, A.D. They have been conquered and ruled by people from other lands-first the Romans, who brought the Roman Catholic church and later the Greek Orthodox church. The Ottoman Turks conquered the area in the 12th century and converted many of the people to the Muslim faith. There has been recent conflict in Yugoslavia between the Christians and the Moslems.

The Hapsburgs from western Europe have ruled parts of the Balkans and have also caused conflict, especially when they reduced Albania and left many Albanians in Kosovo and Bosnia.

The Germans conquered and ruled the Balkans in World War II and the Soviet Union gained control after World War II and established communist governments and communistic economic system. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, the region has been trying to establish democratic societies with varying success.

The tragic effort by Slobadon Melosevic to rid Bosnia and Kosovo of the Muslim population by "ethnic cleansing" has resulted in death and destruction. In 1995 NATO and later United Nations sent in 60,000 peacekeepers to stop the killings, remove Melosevic, help rebuild the country and keep the peace. The United States sent 20,000 troops and in September, 2003, still maintained 5,150 in Bosnia and Kosovo. Rebuilding has begun but there is still much to be done.

Many destroyed homes and hospitals have not been rebuilt, thousands of people are still refugees in neighboring countries and within Bosnia and Kosovo. The economy is in shambles, the government without funds to restore infrastructures and assist people in rebuilding their lives. Drought and poverty are not confined to Yugoslavia but touches many other countries of the Balkans.

This war in Bosnia and Kosovo defied reason, confounded diplomats and raged on through cease-fires.

The Balkans today could still issue the same call as came to St. Paul, "come over to Macedonia and help us."

President Joyce Morton conducted opening ceremonies and presided during the business meeting. The club collect was led by Lena Harpham and the pledge to the United States of America and Texas Flags were led by Joyce Morton while those in attendance repeated all in union.

Following the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting and presentation of club finances, Lena Harpham, Federation Counselor presented a report from the article "Save Money Through Giving," which was published in the Aug-Sept. 2003 General Federation of Women's Club Clubwoman Magazine. The G7WC Legacy Fund was launched during the 2003 Convention in Little Rock, Arkansas and is a series of planned giving opportunities that support G7WC and it's programs and projects.

One of the programs that seemed most attractions was called a Charitable "Gift Annuity and Mrs. Harpham detailed the plan.

Martha Jay was joined by Lana Lamsey with hostess duties and the ladies served an array of delicious finger foods, punch and coffee.

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