'In The Heart of the Balkans': Serbian Secretary shares history, legacy, heritage with Webster Athens students

On Dec. 1, Webster Athens students had the honor and the privilege to enjoy a vivid virtual lecture given by Nemanja Diković, Second Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Athens, Greece.

Mr. Diković, a dynamic diplomat of rich experience and high expertise in political science and international relations, presented the challenging route of his country, which lies “in the heart of Balkans,” as he characteristically put it. In a lively, interactive way, he covered the historical development of Serbia and of its predecessor states, from the early Stone Age to contemporary life. He presented an intriguingly nostalgic amalgam of history, civilization, and culture; a fascinating blending of present and past, communism and nationalism, conquest and freedom, tradition and modern lifestyle; a painfully endless military, cultural, and economic clash; the passage from the world wars and the Cold War to the collapse of communism, the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and the quest of identity.

Through his inspiring speech, Diković stressed the deep connection between Serbia and Greece as well as the countries shared need to “build bridges, find common values, and establish dialogue." The Second Secretary talked about the historical moments of 1915-16, the tragedy on the Albanian mountains during the Balkan Wars, and the role of the Greek island of Corfu, the “island of salvation’’ for the Serbs, who continue visiting the island to honor their dead. To showcase this cultural dialogue, Diković stressed the importance of “common legacy – history – world heritage” being “united through difference” while pointing out that the only way to overcome division, move forward, and reach a sustainable solution is “to boost economies, to secure good life, a life of no fear, a life of stability.”

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