UMD Voice

Holiday Fund Drive
For Macedonian
Children
Interview with
Thomas Bitove
Somerset Hills
YMCA Reaches
Across the Globe
United Macedonian Diaspora Publication, Volume II, Summer Edition - 2008
www.umdiaspora.org
UMD Voice
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5 Australian Macedonians Say It Loud
Macedonians display unity in Melbourne.
6 Holiday Fund Drive For Macedonia
UMD’s fund drive was in high gear during the
Holidays!
7 Florida’s Lou Vlasho
Lou becomes Honorary Consul of Florida.
8 War-time Lessons
Toni is not your average civics teacher...
9 Interview with Dr. Srgjan Kerim
The UN’s 62nd General Assembly President
gives us some insight into his role.
13 New Jersey’s Slavko Madzarov
This local businessman is on top of the world!
14 AMSUT Pursues Big Objectives
Club reaches for the stars in 2008.
14 Community Visits
A working visit to the Macedonian
communities in Detroit and Windsor.
15 The Lost Generation of Child Refugees
Marking the 60th anniversary.
16 Interview with Thomas Bitove
On charity, and being Macedonian.
17 Macedonian-American Charity
How Macedonians in Illinois are giving back.
18 Somerset Hills YMCA...
Working together for youth.
19 Macedonian in New York Honored...
About George Tomov ‘s biography
20 UMD Holds Grassroots Event
Thought-provoking discussion of issues.
21 Gorsevski to Bring Geological Expertise
A Fulbright Scholar comes home...
22 33rd Annual Convention
A new direction for the future!
UMD Voice
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Editor
Alexander Krstevski
editor@umdiaspora.org
Assistant Editor
Mark Branov
Contributors
Damjan Arsovski
Dijana Despodova-Pajkovski
Emil Ivanovski
Anthony Laskovski
Stojan Nikolov
Gorgi Popstefanov
Ljupco Stankovski
Jefrey Stavrof
Layout and Design
Nick Saveski/Delo Logic Arts
Any opi ni ons or vi ews
expressed i n ar ti cl es or
other pieces appearing in
UMD Voice are those of the
author alone and are not
necessarily those of UMD;
the appearance of any such
opinions or views in UMD
Voi ce i s not and shoul d
not be considered to be an
endorsement by or approval
of the same by UMD.
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UMD Voice In this issue...
UMD Voice
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Back Cover (full) - $500
Inside cover (full) - $450
Any inside full page - $350
Half page (vert/horiz) - $200
Quarter page (vert/horiz) - $130
For more details, please contact us:
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1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 6th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 756-2244 umdvoice@umdisapora.org
All advertising is subject to approval by UMD Voice’s editorial staff,
which reserves the right to refuse or cancel any advertisement at any time.
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UMD Voice
Founded in 2004, United
Macedonian Diaspora (UMD)
i s an i nternati onal non-
governmental organization
addressing the interests and
needs of Macedonians and
Macedonian communities
throughout the world.
Wi t h hea dquar t er s i n
Washington, D.C., UMD has
represent ati ves ser vi ng
Macedonian communities
around the world, including
Berlin, Brussels, Canberra,
London, Los Angel es ,
Melbourne, New York, Paris,
Stuttgart, Sydney, Toronto,
and Vienna.
UMD is a 501 (c) (3) charitable
organization.

Board
Metodija A. Koloski
President
Aleksandar Mitreski
Vice President
Michael A. Sarafn
Secretary
Denis Manevski
Treasurer
Ordan Andreevski
Director of Australian Operations
Chris M. Purdef
Igor Zvezdakoski
Marina Veljanovska
Director
Gorgi Popstefanov
International Policy & Diplomacy Fellow
Welcome to our new magazine UMD Voice!
Dear Reader,
The frst issue of UMD Quarterly was downloaded from
our website over 16,000 times since its release! We are
thrilled by the positive response from our members and
readers. On behalf of the Board of Directors, allow me to
introduce UMD Voice. This is one of our organization’s most
signifcant tools and we are confdent that it is destined to
become the premier publication in the global Macedonian Diaspora.
In this issue, you can read about UMD’s important and necessary work in Washington,
D.C., and throughout the world. During the past few months, UMD representatives
visited major Diaspora communities in the United States, Australia, and Canada,
learning about the needs of Macedonians throughout the world. The issues facing
our people are wide-ranging, from education to immigration, from the “name issue”
to civil rights, and from territorial and regional security to NATO and EU membership.
No matter the challenge, UMD is at the forefront of it all – thanks to you.
The recent Greek veto of Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic integration was a disgrace to
the ideals that the Euro-Atlantic community was built on. However, this has not
discouraged us. In fact, it has united Macedonians throughout the world against
the actions of the Greek regime. The Macedonian attitude is one of calm resistance
to Greek oppression, and despite all of the adversity it has faced, the Republic of
Macedonia is a beacon of light in the Balkans -- a role model for Southeastern
Europe.
UMD is raising funds to establish a more solid base in Washington, D.C. and to hire
a full-time staff. The support we received during our fall fundraising drive was
fantastic, and we opened a small offce last month in downtown Washington, D.C.
Our Board has outlined a $200,000 target goal for this year, and we are planning UMD
events and activities in the United States, Australia, Canada, and Europe; we invite you
to get involved and participate in a UMD event and activity near you.
Our friendships and working relationships are growing throughout the global
policymaking community. UMD represents the future of the global Macedonian
Diaspora – progressive, moderate, hard working, professional, and dedicated.
Help us move the Macedonian cause forward by supporting UMD, and please enjoy
this issue of UMD Voice.
Sincerely,
Metodija “Meto” A. Koloski
President
UMD Voice
Letter from the President
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UMD plays key role in
peaceful Melbourne rally
More than 20,000-strong Australian
Macedonians gathered in a massive
show of unity on the steps of Victoria’s
parliament in Melbourne to show their
support for Macedonia.
Protesters loudly appealed to the
Rudd Government to discontinue
Australia’s official use of the term
“former Yugoslav” and stand up for
Macedonian human rights and self-
determination. Australia remains one
of the few notable exceptions to a
global wave of diplomatic support for
Macedonia, now recognized
under its constitutional name
by 124 countries, including
the U.S., China, Russia, the
UK, and Canada.
T i t l e d “ Ma c e d o n i a ,
Macedoni ans, For ever,”
t he event i n downtown
Melbourne gave loud and
clear support for the right
of the Macedonians to their
biblical and constitutional
name, their unique culture,
language and identity.
Or gani zer s al so cal l ed
on t he UN, t he EU and
nations such as Australia
to protect t he right s of
Macedonians, including the
ethnic Macedonian minority
in Greece, which has been
oppressed since the Treaty of
Bucharest of 1913.

The passion for this protest
came at a critical time, just
as Greece and
i t s decr easi ng
n u m b e r o f
s u p p o r t e r s
ma n a g e d t o
i l l ega l l y vet o
Macedonia’s entry i nto
NATO. Talks on European
integration are also stalled;
both types of interference
havi ng been expressly
forbidden by international
t r eat i es t hat Gr eece
signed, and taking Athens’
international diplomatic
reputation to an all-new
low.
Local police praised the
organizers for a peaceful
ral ly without i ncident,
t hanks i n par t to t he
foresight of the Organizing
Committee and a large
team of volunteers. In less than a
month, very diverse groups were
organized using the latest techniques
of project management, with special
working groups focused on Media
Relations, Government Relations,
Community Relations, Internet and
Direct Communication, Fundraising,
and Merchandizing.
UMD assisted in planning, operations,
pr i nt i ng and di s t r i but i on of
promotional fyers, program design,
web communications, speech writing
and media relations. UMD also created
a Media Alert, a Media Briefing Kit
and a Media Release, which were sent
to all major press and broadcast media
outlets across Australia, as well as to
all Federal Members of Parliament and
EU diplomatic missions in Canberra.
The event successfully drew media
attention in Australia, Macedonia,
Canada and the U.S., and demonstrated
the peaceful Macedonian spirit, and
how it can be harnessed for positive
change and social justice.
Australian Macedonians Say It Loud:
“Macedonia, Macedonians, Forever”
By Ordan Andreevski, Ljupco Stankovski, and Igor Zvezdakoski
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long-term care for orphans and children
who can no longer grow up with their
biological families.
A ten-day supply of fresh milk was
donated to the Home for Babies and
Toddlers in Bitola for the orphaned
children in their care, and food was
donated to the public kitchen at St.
Petka’s church, which provides daily
meals to many of Skopje’s hungry and
unemployed. Food was also purchased
and donated to laid-off factory workers
who lost their savings and pensions
during Macedonia’s transition to a
market economy.
For more information about UMD’s
charitable projects during 2008, please
contact Aleksandra Trpkovska (586)
383-1721.
Through a heartwarming display of
holiday giving, UMD’s drive to support
Macedonia’s less fortunate exceeded
fundraising expectations, providing
them with a much needed gift from the
Diaspora. The outpouring of generosity
benefited more people than initially
expected, and donations were made to
beneft less fortunate children, homeless,
hungry, and elderly. Volunteers used the
funds to purchase in-kind donations of
food and other supplies in Macedonia.
All 108 children living in the SOS
Children’s Village - Macedonia (Detsko
Selo) for orphans and neglected children
received a package containing a pair of
gloves, a scarf, a hat, toys, and candy.
SOS Children’s Villages is an international
nonprofit organization active in 132
countries and territories worldwide. SOS
Children’s Villages provide family-based,
By Marina Veljanovska
Holiday Fund Drive Benefits Children,
Homeless, and Elderly in Macedonia
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A formal luncheon on February 8, 2008
marked the opening of the second
Honorary Consulate of the Republic of
Macedonia in the U.S., with the naming
of Lou Vlasho as the Honorary Consul in
Florida. Several Macedonian dignitaries
were among the 200 guests that flled
the Vergina Restaurant in Naples, Florida
for the occasion, including Dr. Srgjan
Kerim, President of the 62nd General
Assembly of the United Nations, Antonio
Milososki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of
the Republic of Macedonia, and Zoran
Jolevski, Ambassador of the Republic of
Macedonia to the United States.
Vlasho received a standing ovation
when he took the podium and refected
modestly on his achievements. “It
is humbling to have been elected
Honorary Consul by the Government of
Macedonia. I have always tried to the
best of my ability to help Macedonia
and the Macedonians in need” said
Vlasho. Macedonians in attendance felt
that the event was not only a celebration
of Lou’s work, but of the Macedonian
Diaspora’s involvement with Macedonia
as a whole. Addressing the audience,
Dr. Kerim stated “It’s good that people
know that the U.S. has with Macedonia
a small, but reliable ally. I want during
my tenure [as U.N. General Assembly
President] to reach out to Americans.”
Ambassador Jolevski praised Vlasho for
“actively and profoundly” promoting
Macedonia and Macedonian culture in
the U.S.
In addit ion, at tendi ng t he event
were Naples Mayor Bill Barnett, who
presented the Macedonian delegation
with the Key to the City and proclaimed
February 8th as Macedonia Day in
Naples, and representatives from the
offices of Senators Mel Martinez and
Bill Nelson, Congressman Connie Mack,
and City Councilman Rob Popoff of
Marco Island, FL, who is of Macedonian
descent. In their congratulatory letters,
the American legislators praised Vlasho
for his work with them in the past, and
for his efforts as a Macedonian-American
by remarking to Vlasho that his “efforts
will help forge a deeper understanding
and appreciation for the Macedonian
heritage in the United States,” and that
his “intelligence and diplomatic skills
have earned the respect of those that
have come to know” him.
Vlasho has been involved in numerous
humanitarian activities to benefit
Macedonia and Macedonians – on one
occasion he personally reached out
to healthcare supply giant Johnson
& Johnson and urged them to send
medical equipment tp help a deathly ill
child in Macedonia. When Macedonia
gained its independence, Lou seized
the opportunit y to share his vast
knowledge of business and fnance with
Macedonian entrepreneurs, preparing
t hem for t he rigors of a market-
based economy. In the United States,
Vlasho helped establish a scholarship
program for Macedonian undergraduate
students at Ohio University, his alma
mater, together with Macedonia-based
businessman Risto Gusterov.
Vlasho is a successful entrepreneur and
is currently the Vice President of the
Rimaco Corporation, which operates
the prestigious Vergina Restaurant in
downtown Naples.
Florida’s Lou Vlasho Named Macedonian Honorary Consul
By Aleksandar Mitreski
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Lou Vlasho with Ambassador Jolevski
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Every day, Toni Simovski reminds his
students about how the world affects
their lives. The South Lyon High School
government teacher plays video clips
of news events and audio recordings of
Supreme Court decisions. His students
attend school board and city council
meeting - sometimes asking pointed
questions of the board members.
Because of all of these activities, Simovski
was named the Civic Education Teacher of
the Year by the Michigan Center for Civic
Education.
“I just want to make kids active
participants,” Simovski said. “I have a fear
of us becoming too passive.”
Simovski was nominated by fellow
government teacher Ray Divitto, his mentor
and college professor Leslie Thornton, and
his wife, Natalie, a graphic designer who
put together an impressive nomination
package that included an audio recording.
“I thought he does a very good job at the
school and is a very dedicated teacher,”
Divitto said of Simovski. “He does a very
fne job of reaching out to the students in
a fun and exciting way.”
Simovski had no idea he had won until it
was announced last month at a luncheon
attended by 200 teachers, administrators
and others involved with civic education.
“It was a total surprise,” Simovski said.
“They said, ‘This recipient often brings
in guest speakers and has been teaching
[Advanced Placement] government for
nine years.’ I thought, ‘Well, that could be
me.’ Then they said, ‘He was a translator
in Macedonia.’ That kind of sealed it for
me.”
Simovski speaks fve languages including
Macedonian, Serbian, Bosnian and
Albanian, and in 1998-1999 he was in
the thick of the break up of Yugoslavia.
Simovski was a contractor with the
Department of Defense and was assigned
to work as a translator for the United
States Army in the former Yugoslavian
Republic of Macedonia. He translated for
U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright,
Vice President Al Gore and Secretary
of Defense William Cohen, as well as
soldiers in the feld. His work also took
him throughout the region including to
Bosnia and Albania.
On hi s classroom wal l he hangs
photographs of his time as an interpreter.
“The kids love these stories,” he said.
“’Wow! This guy knows top secret stuff.’”
Along with the pictures he has a plaque
recognizing him as runner-up for Oakland
County Teacher of the Year, and thank
you letters from congressmen and women
who have come to speak to his classes
over the years.
Simovski’s unique perspective to history
informs his teaching philosophy, he said.
Teaching government is about a lot more
than just how it works. It is also about
how government often doesn’t work and
why. It is about learning to think about
the consequences of bad governance.
His often trying times as a translator has
helped Simovski appreciate his new life as
a teacher. At the University of Michigan-
Dearborn, his professor, Leslie Thornton,
encouraged him to become a teacher.
“My professor talked me into it,” Simovski
said. “He said I had a knack for it, that I’m
a natural born teacher.”
That knack has translated into lessons
that are more informed by YouTube than
textbooks. Simovski recognizes that his
students learn by doing.
“They’re very positive, even for being in
a required class,” Simovski said of his
American Government students. “They
say, ‘At least he’s making it interesting.’”
Of course the recognition is nice, but
for Simovski, it’s all about educating his
students. “I just want to make them aware
of what’s going on,” he said.
Contact Jessie Ellis at (248) 437-2011 or
jjellis@gannett.com
War-time Lessons
Tr ans l at e i nt o
Statewide Award
By Jessie Ellis
Published in the January 10, 2008
edition of the South Lyon Herald
(Reprinted with permission)
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in order to move them forward to
reach concrete progress on the various
common issues countries agreed to
deal with through the United Nations
such as climate change, protecting
human rights, pursuing sustainable
development or combating terrorism.
Therefore, most of the daily work of
the president revolves around engaging
the representatives of Member States
in various forms: meeting with them
individually, bringing them together
into various formal meetings, presiding
over those meetings and making
offcial visits to countries.
UMD: What are some of the challenges
that you have come across since you
started this post?
Kerim: I am experienci ng what
I think all my predecessors must
have experienced: the challenge of
harmonizing the various views and
interests of the 192 Member States of
this Organization. Bringing everyone
to the negotiating table and keeping
Dr. Srgjan Kerim is a seasoned
Macedonian diplomat with a career
spanning over three decades. In
previous capacities, Dr. Kerim has
served as Macedonian Ambassador to
Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland,
and to the United Nations, and later as
Macedonian Foreign Minister. He has
lectured widely on Balkan issues, is
the author of nine books dealing with
international politics, economics and
youth, and has written more than 100
scholarly papers, many of which have
been published in countries across
Europe.
UMD: How did it happen that you
were nominated for the presidency of
the UN General Assembly? (What was
the process like both in Macedonia
and within the UN itself that lead to
the selection of a candidate and the
campaign leading up to the vote in
the UN?)
Kerim: The President of the United
Nations General Assembly is chosen
for one year. The post rot ates
among the 192 member states of the
organization based on the principle
of equitable geographic distribution
which in practice means that each
year a country from a di fferent
regional grouping nominates the
President. Macedonia is part of the
so-called East European group which
last nominated a candidate in 2002.
Following presidencies from the Latin
American, the African, the Western
European and the Asian groups, it was
our regional group’s turn again and
the regional group put forward my
candidacy which was then supported
and accepted by the full membership
of the United Nations.
UMD: Can you describe what is
involved in a day’s work as president
of the GA?
Kerim: The president’s work is to
facilitate and guide the political
negotiation work of the member states
by Alexander Krstevski
Interview with UN’s 62nd General Assembly President Dr. Srgjan Kerim
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Left to right: Meto Koloski, Dr. Kerim, and Aleksandar Mitreski
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them there is quite a task. Generating
t he necessar y pol itical wi l l for
common action and then maintaining
this political will to actually achieve
the commonly agreed goals is the
real challenge. It is not enough to
simply have countries agree on certain
common approaches, whether on
climate change
or how to fight
against terrorism
or what goals to
set as t arget s
t o have f or
s u s t a i n a b l e
devel opment ,
i t i s equal l y
chal lengi ng i f
not more so, to
keep countries
w i l l i n g n e s s
t o c o m m i t
resources and
political attention
focused on those
commi t ment s.
An addit ional
a n d n e wl y
evolving aspect
that adds to this
challenge is the
fact that it is
more and more
obvi ous t hat
there is a need
to reach beyond
governments and make the United
Nations capable of effectively engaging
non-governmental actors including
civil society, academia and the private
sector because they all have a role
in tackling some of the major global
challenges such as fghting HIV/AIDS
or dealing with climate change.
UMD: Will you be able to help for
further affirmation of Macedonia,
and possibly influence the name
negotiations?
Kerim: By electing a candidate from
Macedonia, Member States have already
given a very positive recognition
of our country. As President, if I am
able to do my job effectively and win
the cooperation and support of the
countries then through this I hope
I can further enhance this positive
international recognition for Macedonia.
Regarding the name negotiations, the
Secretary-General has an envoy, Mr.
Matthew Nimetz of the United States,
who is in charge of this issue and the
governments of Macedonia and Greece
are negotiating on this issue with the
facilitation of this envoy. This is a
process that should be left to them.
UMD: In your acceptance speech, you
mentioned that you will focus your
energy on topics like global warming,
immigration, and globalization. What
has been done so far on these issues,
and what do you hope to accomplish?
Kerim: Let me pick up on the global
warming topic you mentioned. In some
form or other this has been on the
United Nations agenda for decades. The
United Nations Framework Convention
on Climate Change entered into force
in 1994 but member states decided to
work on new legal instruments with
stronger commitments. This eventually
led to the Kyoto Protocol which was
adopted in Japan in 1997. This Protocol
calls for cutbacks in emissions of
carbon dioxide and other greenhouse
gases by at least 5 per cent below the
1990 levels by 2012. So this is where
we are now.
For me, one of the key tasks is to
maintain the commitment of member
states to their agreed goals, work with
them on fnding the ways and means to
this as well as engage the countries that
are not party to the Kyoto Protocol and
also reach out to the non-governmental
sphere, especially civil society and the
business sector.
At t he same
time it is equally
i mpor t ant t o
r e a l i z e a nd
ac k nowl edge
t hat c l i mat e
c h a n g e i s
not a si mpl e
envi ronment al
issue. It needs
to be addressed
from a broader
and cross cutting
perspective that
also looks at its
full implications
on s ec ur i t y,
energy, health,
e c o n o m i c
devel opment ,
human r ight s
a n d g l o b a l
g o v e r n a n c e .
Wi t h t h e s e
implications and
di mensions it
is a true global
issue that touches every country in
the world and an issue for the United
Nations as it cuts to the heart of the
Organization’s key activities. This is
why I have pushed this issue to be
a key issue on the United Nations’
agenda for the 62nd session. My goal
is to build on the existing framework
and commitment of member states and
work towards a stronger and broader
response to the cl i mate change
challenge and chart a roadmap that
can take us to 2012 and beyond.
UMD: In that same speech, you
menti oned that accompl i shi ng
tasks outlined in the Millennium
Development Goals is very important,
particularly in Africa. What can the
UN do to avoid and mitigate conficts
and the subsequent loss of life in
situations that may resemble those in
Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Darfur?
Dr. Kerim with President Bush
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Kerim: One of the key tasks for us
is of course to prevent conf licts
from breaking out in the frst place.
This means addressi ng the root
causes of conficts and dealing with
the conditions that may create the
potential for, or further aggravate an
existing crises situation in various
regions and countries. The key issues
on the agenda of the United Nations,
such as development, human rights,
governance, rule of law are crucial in
this regard. It is also in this context
that the Millennium Development
Goals are important.
Apart from continuing our efforts
in confict prevention, we must also
further enhance the United Nations
work in peacekeeping and longer term
peace building. The United Nations has
a good track record in this regard. It has
become a trusted and globally-sought
peacekeeper. This is underscored by
the fact that demand for this activity
has grown exponentially. Close to
100,000 feld personnel are currently
deployed in UN operations. The
combined costs of these missions have
grown close to 20 fold in the past two
decades to reach a combined budget of
roughly 5.5 billion dollars. At the same
time the tasks of personnel on the
ground has shifted considerably from
simply monitoring a cease-fre line to
a wide array of military, police, social,
economic and human rights functions.
This growth in demand means that
we must continuously strengthen
the capacity of the United Nations to
mount and sustain peacekeeping and
peace building operations.
There must also be willingness on the
part of the international community
to get involved and act in conflict
situations. I do see some very positive
developments with Member States
in 2005 agreeing to the principle of
responsibility to protect – meaning a
responsibility to protect populations
from genocide, war crimes, ethnic
cleansing and crimes against humanity.
World leaders agreed for the frst time
that states have a primary responsibility
to protect their own populations and
that the international community has
a responsibility to act when these
governments fail to protect the most
vulnerable among us. The next step is
to put the principle of responsibility to
protect effectively into practice.
UMD: Do you think that there should
be reforms in the way that the Security
Council operates? Do you think that
the body should be enlarged, and
which countries (if any) should be
introduced?
Kerim: I share the view of the majority
of countries that reform of the Security
Council is essential for making its
decisions more compatible with
contemporary realities. But there is no
consensus on the various formulas that
have been put forward as to how to
change the present composition. My
predecessors have been dealing with
this issue for over a decade since the
establishment of a working group on
Security Council reform within the
General Assembly. I will build on their
efforts and work and try to take the
issue further.
UMD: What other reforms do you
think are necessary for the UN to run
as efectively as possible?
Kerim: Reforming the United Nations
is almost as old as the Organization
itself. In fact the United Nations has
been in constant reform. The United
Nations is a unique tool in the hands of
its members, the countries represented
by their governments. It is ultimately
up to them whether they want to use
this tool and how to work with it and
how best to use this unique forum to
respond to common challenges. So
simply put, reform is about constantly
adapting this unique tool to make it
better equipped to deal with global
problems. However, since global
challenges have a changing nature
and Member States also have shifting
priorities this creates a constant
reform challenge for the Organization.
Therefore, reform should not be seen
as an event but as on ongoing process.
What is necessary is for Member
States to have a clear vision and
understanding as to what they want
to achieve together on the various
common issues they are discussing,
whether climate change or terrorism
or sustainable development or confict
prevention as well as for them to be
willing to follow through on their
commitments with resources and
political will. At the same time it is
equally necessary to have the United
Nations as an organization capable
of achieving the tasks Member States
assign to it by becoming more effcient,
transparent and accountable. That is
what reform must be about.
UMD: How long is the term of the
president of the general assembly, and
what do you plan to do afterwards?
Kerim: The term of a General
Assembly President is one year – it is
for one session of the Assembly. In
my case it’s the 62nd session which
began on 18 September 2007 and
ends in September 2008. The former
Presidents of the General Assembly
maintain an informal grouping and
gather from time to time to exchange
views and also propose ideas for
improving the work of the United
Nations, so I expect that I will maintain
some close affliation with the work of
the Organization through that channel.
At the same time I have enjoyed my
work as the head of the southeastern
European pillar of the WAZ media
group before becoming the General
Assembly president so I expect that I
would rejoin the company after this
one year with the United Nations.
UMD: What advice would you give
to young Macedonians around the
world?
Kerim: Globalization is bringing
changes in the world creating great
opportunities especially for young
people, opening up the whole world
for them to experience. I would
encourage them to take advantage of
this opportunity and be open to the
world, to its different cultures and
people. Gaining wide knowledge and
having the ability to transform that
knowledge, in whatever feld it may
be, to be able to use it with ease in
a multicultural environment is very
important. Also, the more languages
one knows the easier one may adapt
and transfer that knowledge and know
how in what ever environment one is
to work in. This is especially true for
us with a language few people speak.
However, I would also say that one
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UMD Voice
should never forget where one comes
from. We should always cherish our
own national identities and be proud
of who we are. Without respect for
our own roots we cannot respect the
cultures and identities of others.
UMD: What do you miss the most
about Macedonia?
Kerim: I would say mostly I miss the
friends I have at home – their company,
the relaxed atmosphere and discussions
we have had over local food and drinks
-- and coffee. And talking about coffee:
I must confess that in spite of all the
variety of coffee flavors New York
offers, I do miss the coffee from home.
Also, of course the country itself, the
natural surroundings, especially the
long quiet walks in the mountains.
UMD: After a long day at the UN, how
do you relax in New York City?
Kerim: New York is a great city – it
seems fast and always moving but I
fnd that it can also be quite relaxing.
For me, taking a walk in Central Park
is a great way to cleanse my mind
and clear my thoughts. Going to a
Broadway show or an opera at the
Metropolitan is another way for me to
unwind after a long day.
UMD: How do you like NYC as a place
to live?
Kerim: New York i s a unique
intellectual and cultural city which I
have always enjoyed. Its multicultural
and lively character is something I
like. I must confess that I am utterly
cosmopolitan and this city is utterly
cosmopolitan so we are absolutely on
the same wavelength.
UMD: What is your favorite music
band/artist?
Kerim: I have always liked listening
to Frank Si nat ra, Dean Marti n,
Louis Armstrong and of course Ella
Fitzgerald. That is my favored musical
world. But most recently a friend of
mine gave me a CD from the group,
The Pink Martinis. The moment I
heard them – they play a wide selection
of international easy-listening type
lounge music – I became a fan. In fact
I decided to buy a copy of their most
recent CD for each member of my team
as a welcome gift just as the General
Assembly opened. Little did I know
that by ordering close to 30 copies
of their CD I became their favorite
customer and weeks later I find my
name mentioned in an article in the
Los Angeles Times that portrayed the
Band. So now the Pink Martinis have
definitely entered my musical world
and it seems that the 62nd General
Assembly and its President has entered
theirs.
Dr. and Mrs. Kerim with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
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UMD Voice
On August 29, 2007, New Jersey
resident Slavko Madzarov was named
Honorary Consul for the State of
New Jersey by the Government of
the Republic of Macedonia. Over
150 guests, including representatives
from the Federal, New Jersey, and
local governments, as well as the
Macedonian government, attended
a ceremony at the Gett y Avenue
office of Slavko Construction, Inc.
in Clifton, New Jersey. Madzarov,
who immigrated to the United States
in 1987 from Miravci, Macedonia,
stood alongside Dr. Zoran Jolevski,
Macedonian Ambassador to the United
States, to unveil a plaque bearing the
seal of the Republic of Macedonia.
The plaque will remain affxed to the
front of the Getty Avenue building,
which houses the new Honorary
Consulate for the State of New Jersey.
Ambassador Jolevski expressed
gratitude to Madzarov for his “good
relations and personal friendship
with a great number of local, state
and federal rank politicians, like
Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., which
has helped in many ways in promoting
and protecting Macedonian interests
in U.S.” Congressman Pascrell, who
represents the 8th district of New
Jersey, thanked Madzarov for his
friendship, noting Madzarov’s strong
love for his homeland and willingness
to help his people in any way he
can. Mayor James Anzaldi of Clifton
presented Madzarov with the Key to the
City and proclaimed September 8th as
Macedonia Day in Clifton. Madzarov,
i n his remarks, stated that “the
opening of the Honorary Consulate is
an honor for the whole Macedonian-
American community of New Jersey,
which frst started immigrating to this
great state a century ago. With over
20,000 Macedonian-Americans living
in this state, a new chapter has begun,
ensuring stronger bonds between us
and our homeland.”
Guests traveled
from throughout
the United States
and Macedonia
t o c e l e br a t e
t he occasi on,
i n c l u d i n g
representatives
of both UMD and
the Macedonian
Human Right s
Movement of the
Uni ted St ates,
and Madzarov’s
par ent s, who
c a me f r o m
Macedonia.
Madzarov, who
has l i ved i n
Clifton for over
20 years, established a construction
and asbestos demolition company,
Sl avko Const r uct ion, I nc., t wo
years after arriving in the US. In
recognition of his business leadership
and community service, Madzarov
has been awarded and honored
by t he Passaic Count y Sheri ff ’s
Department, the Polish-American
Children’s Foundation, 200 Club in
Passaic County,
the New Jersey
Ci vi l Ser vi ce
A s s o c i a t i o n ,
t h e S h e r i f f
Jer r y Spezi ale
Foundation for
C o m m u n i t y
S e r v i c e, a nd
t h e G i b l i n
Fou nd a t i on s ’
Annual Award.
Madzarov is an
avid supporter
o f v a r i o u s
M a c e d o n i a n
or gani z at i ons
i ncl udi ng t he
M a c e d o n i a n
Orthodox parish communities St. Kiril
and Metodij in Cedar Grove, NJ. Nikola
in Totowa, NJ, and St. Clement of Ohrid
in Queens, New York. Madzarov
also sits on the United Macedonian
Di aspora Counci l , an advi sor y
group composed of individuals with
backgrounds in business and public
service that works to stimulate and
support the work of UMD.
New Jersey’s Slavko Madzarov Named
Macedonian Honorary Consul
By Aleksandar Mitreski
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Slavko Madzarov with Congressman Pascrell
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The Association of Macedonian Students
at the University of Toronto (AMSUT)
have set some very ambitious goals for
the 2008 year.
AMSUT, formed in 1988, has
seen its share of ups and downs over
the years. The club was dormant for
a short period of time before being
resurrected in 2002 and has since been
trying to bring together Macedonian
students across all three campuses of the
University of Toronto.
For 2008, the club has clearly
defned its objectives. AMSUT resolves
to focus on four priorities – membership,
community service, fund-raising, and
cultural promotion and expansion.
While increasing membership is the top
priority the club is also looking forward
to reaching out to the Macedonian
community.
In previous years the club
has done much volunteer work for the
Macedonian community in Toronto. Past
members have helped out at St. Clement
of Ohrid Macedonian Orthodox Church
as well as Canadian Macedonian Place,
which is the Macedonian seniors’ home
in Toronto.
This year, the club hopes to lend
a hand not only to other Macedonian
organizations but also to organizations
in the city that deal with socially
responsible causes which are important
to the general community. AMSUT
believes strongly that it’s important to
reach out to the community as much as
possible and build strong relationships
within it.
Also related to this initiative is
fund-raising. This year the club looks
forward to organizing events that will
raise money for various Macedonian
organizations. A couple of years ago the
club held a pub night in support of the
Tsunami relief effort which managed to
raise a modest sum for the cause. AMSUT
hopes to put on similar events this year
where its members can contribute to
the Macedonian community and have a
good time as well.
Fi nally, cultural promotion
is an extremely important initiative
that the club takes seriously and is
working hard to pursue. The belief
is that the Macedonian culture needs
to be promoted to the multicultural
communities of Toronto so that they may
both enjoy it and be educated about it.
Currently, the club is working on
bringing a performance of the critically
acclaimed “Who the Hell Started All of
This?” to the University of Toronto. The
play is written by Macedonian author
and playwright Dejan Dukovski and has
been very successful throughout Europe
in its ten year run. In August of this
year Fallen Angel Theatre presented this
performance to a Canadian audience for
the frst time in city of Toronto. The club
hopes to draw attention to this amazing
piece of work which showcases some of
our most talented Macedonian artists.
AMSUT is committed to all these
objectives and is working hard to spread
the Macedonian culture, build a stronger
community, and unite the Macedonian
youth.
By Nick Misketi, President of AMSUT
AMSUT Pursues Big Objectives for 2008
During the weekend of August 24-26,
2007, UMD President and Vice President,
Metodija A. Koloski and Aleksandar
Mitreski paid a working visit to the
Macedonian communities in Windsor,
Ontario, Canada and Sterling Heights,
Michigan, USA.
On Friday, August 24th, UMD President
and Vice President gave a presentation
about the organi zation’s mission,
structure, and key policy priorities in front
of parishioners at the hall of St. Nikola
Macedonian Orthodox Church. Very
Reverend Dr. Aleksandar Mustenikov
and the president of the parish board
presided at the meeting, initiated by local
Windsor artist Gligor Stefanov. Koloski
and Mitreski stressed the necessity for
Macedonian-Canadians in Windsor to
get more involved in their community
and promot e t hei r Macedoni an
heritage. Following the meeting, both
representatives were interviewed by the
local Macedonian radio program.
The next two days, both representatives
participated at the annual festival organized
by St. Mary Macedonian Orthodox
Church in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
The Macedonian-American community
in Michigan is the largest community in
the United States. With several thousand
in attendance, the festival was very lively
and full of great dancing and delicious
traditional Macedonian cooking. Koloski
and Mitreski provided remarks, in
addition, to the speeches made by the
president of the parish board, Svetozar
Stameski, the Macedonian Ambassador
to the United States, Dr. Zoran Jolevski,
the Macedonian Consul General, Dragan
Jordanovski, and a representative from the
Offce of Congresswoman Candice Miller
(R-MI). The youth presence at the festival
was encouraging. UMD congratulates the
community on a job well done.
Visiting the Detroit and Windsor Communities
By UMD Staff
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2008 marks the 60th anniversary of
the historical mass exodus of hundreds
of thousands of Macedonians from
northern Greece, among them 44,000
children between the ages of 2 and 14.
These children, without their parents,
often without documents, were put on
trains and sent to Romania, Poland,
Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the
Soviet Union. Macedonians refer to
this generation of refugee children the
“Deca Begalci.” (pronounced “DET-za
BEG-al-tzi”)
Now well in their late 60s, 70s, and 80s,
the Deca Begalci are trying to reclaim
their homes and farms in Greece.
However, the Greek government
refuses to acknowledge their claim or
apologize for the injustices committed
against them.
At the dawn of the 20th Century, the
European Powers were determined
to fght back an aggressive Ottoman
Sultan from the borders of Austro-
Hungary. In 1913, Greece was gifted a
large portion of geographic Macedonia
at the Treaty of Bucharest. Prior to
and since that fateful year, the Greek
government, military and corrupt
Greek clerics on the government payroll
committed gross
acts of genocide,
ethnic cleaning
a t r o c i t i e s ,
a nd s ys t emi c
di scr i mi nat i on
a g a i n s t t h e
M a c e d o n i a n
people.
Even to this day,
Macedonians who
were forced out
of Greece during
the Greek Civil
War have no right
to compensation
for their private
properties, which
were confscated
by the Greek government and the
Greek Orthodox Church. In a matter
of 80 years, a population that a French
census verifed as being well over 1.5
million has been reduced to roughly
200,000 today. The effect on Aegean
Macedonia’s ethnic composition was
compounded by waves of ethnic
Greek refugees feeing Turkish-held
territories in Asia Minor.
Today, the offcial line from Athens
is that the Hellenic Republic is an
“ethnical ly pure” state, denyi ng
evidence to the contrary from the
US St ate Depar t ment, Amnest y
International, Helsinki Watch and the
United Nations.
However, in 1988, the old Greek
strategy of not even mentioning the
word “Macedonia” was changed, and
Greece started renaming its northern
province with that name, in hopes of
denying it from the ethnic Macedonian
people, and completing the planned
assimilation. Three years later, the
dream of Goce Delcev was realized,
and the Republic of Macedonia was
born, in 1991. The Greek government
has also been wagi ng a war of
propaganda against Macedonia ever
since.
On May 10, 2008, the Association of
the Macedonian Children Refugees
based in Toronto held a banquet to
commemorate the 60th anniversary of
the mass exodus, with proceeds going
toward the 4th International Gathering
of Deca Begalci this summer. The
gat her i ng wi l l
take place from
July 12-13 in the
Czech Republic,
J ul y 18 -19 i n
M a c e d o n i a ,
a nd J u l y 2 0
i n Or ovchani ,
Gr eece. The
M a c e d o n i a n
Academy of Arts
a nd S c i enc e s
wi l l d i s pl a y
p h o t o g r a p h s
and books and
hol d a publ i c
s y m p o s i u m
r egar di ng t he
Deca Begalci.
60 Years On, Macedonians Commemorate The Lost
Generation of Child Refugees
By UMD Staff
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Left to right: Aleksandar Mitreski, Deca Begalci
President Risto Cackirovski, and Michael Sarafn
Aleksandar Mitreski giving
remarks at Deca Begalci Banquet
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UMD Voice
Thomas J. Bitove is the son of John and
Dotsa Bitove. He is a leading Toronto
businessman and pillar of the community
who has supported many charitable causes
including Big Brothers, the Canadian
Macedonian Place and ProAction Cops
and Kids.
UMD: What inspired you to get involved
with charity?
Bitove: We grew up in a family where
giving back to our communities was the
norm. Growing up, our parents were
involved in so many causes, many of them
Macedonian causes. When each of my
brothers, sister and I became involved in
charity work, it just seemed natural.
We never got involved in charity to get
recognized, so to be formally recognized
with the highest civilian honor a citizen of
Ontario can receive, I was humbled. When
the magnitude of the honor sunk in, I was
proud beyond description. To be the frst
Macedonian to receive the honor and for
this fact to be noted in the presentation of
the citation was the third proudest moment
of my life – the frst 2 being the births of
my daughters!
UMD: What advice would you give to those
who would like to get involved more with
charity work?
Bitove: Join a charity that you are
passionate about, that way it becomes a
labor of love and it will never seem like
it is a bother or a chore. Once you join,
commit yourself to success - whatever role
it is you perform. While fundraising is
the lifeblood of many charities, the other
volunteer roles are equally important.
UMD: How can Macedonians throughout
the world help Macedonia?
Bitove: So many Macedonians are
passionate about Macedonia that if we could
harness this passion, many issues could
be resolved. What we must remember is
that in any cause and for that matter in life,
there is no perfect world. As long as we
are committed to the vision and mission of
supporting Macedonia, we should not get
bogged down in petty differences that take
us away from our ultimate goal.
Macedonia has so much promise - we are
surrounded by vibrant economies, we have
the tremendous untapped potential in our
youth, etc. All we need is the opportunity
to show the world how great we are to
get to the next level for the citizens of
Macedonia.
For Macedonians living outside Macedonia,
we need their commitment to spend
time and resources to help our fellow
Macedonians in Macedonia. When
I travel, I am always impressed by how
many passionate Macedonians there are
outside Macedonia. Many have achieved
tremendous success in their adopted
homelands but they still feel the passion
for Macedonia. That is so reassuring to see
and hear.
UMD: What words of encouragement can
you give young Macedonians?
Bitove: I saw how proud my grandparents
were to be Macedonian, I see how proud
my parents are and it makes me proud. I
am so very proud to tell people that I am
of Macedonian descent. During a recent
trip to Macedonia, returning after 30 years,
I was very impressed with the vibrancy
of the country. This vibrancy did not
exist 30 years ago! Macedonia is on the
cusp of something fantastic. The youth
of Macedonia are so very fortunate to be
there today and to enjoy the fruits of our
ancestors.
For those young Macedonians living outside
Macedonia, be proud of your adopted
countries but consider a trip to Macedonia
to give you a better understanding of what
you are all about. I was fortunate enough
to take one of my daughters with me on
my trip last year and she “connected” with
Macedonia in a way I never expected.
She was emotionally overwhelmed when
we visited the ancestral homes of her
grandparents in Gabresh and Shestevo,
Aegean Macedonia, fnally understanding
what her ancestors had endured to give
her the live she has. As a parent, I couldn’t
have been prouder.
UMD: What would you recommend the
United Macedonian Diaspora do to help
further the Macedonian cause globally?
Bitove: It must start in our global
communities. UMD should focus on
getting Macedonians focused on our
common good, not individual agendas.
Successes like Canadian Macedonian Place
in Toronto, Ontario, Canada are an example
of how we can forward the Macedonian
community globally. This project was the
frst time the entire Macedonian community
in Toronto came together for our common
good. These types of projects allow us
to celebrate our ancestry and ultimately
they remind us of our roots. Once we
acknowledge and understand our roots,
we can then focus on the ultimate goal –
furthering the Macedonian cause globally.
Ultimately, there is a new need to respect
each other and work in a unifed manner
towards a common goal! Our ancestors
suffered great injustices trying to further
the common Macedonian cause and
identity. We must remember that every
effort we put forth should be focused on
advancing the Macedonian cause, not
individual agendas.
By Meto Koloski
Interview with Thomas Bitove
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UMD Voice
In December 2007, UMD Culture
Awar enes s Di r ec t or Mar i na
Veljanovska enjoyed a short tour
of Il l i noi s and Indiana at the
invitation of local Macedonian-
American community groups. It
was an opportunity for Veljanovska
t o i nt roduce UMD’s work i n
Washington, DC, while learning
mor e about how gr assr oot s
organizations in Chicago and Crown
Point are making a difference at the
local level.
After a morning interview on Radio
Biser in Chicago - Veljanovska
visited Sts. Peter & Paul Macedonian
Orthodox Church for the 2007
Women’s Christmas Party. Her
presentation about UMD was warmly
received, and a fundraiser followed
it for the “Detsko Selo” Project. The
next day, UMD joined Sts. Kiril &
Metodij Macedoni an Or t hodox
Church in Hinsdale, Illinois for the
“Hats Off to Women” Fashion Show,
designed to bring the community
together, promote fellowship with
other Macedonians, and raise money
for the church.
UMD i s especial ly gratef ul to
both communities for generous
donat ions to t he Det sko Selo
Project. Veljanovska was pleased
with the support noting, “Children
at orphanages in Macedonia are
in need of our help, and thanks to
the support of the community in
Indiana and Illinois, the children
at the Detsko Selo orphanages will
have a big smile on their faces for
Christmas.”
Macedonian-Americans
of Illinois, Indiana
Meet With UMD, Give
Generously to Charity
By Emil Ivanovski
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Plans to extend its mission beyond the
Somerset Hills and forge an international
partnership with a YMCA in the Balkan
region began in the summer of 2006
when leaders from the Somerset Hills
YMCA took part in a trip to the Balkan
region to meet with staff, members and
young volunteers of fedgling YMCAs
in Bulgaria, Macedonia and northern
Greece. A year later, the Somerset
Hills YMCA signed an agreement with
the YCS YMCA in Skopje, Macedonia
and is now fully entrenched in the
process of establishing a mutually
enriching collaboration between the
two organizations.
The official agreement between the
Somerset Hills YMCA and the YCS
YMCA in Skopje was signed in the
summer of 2007, marking the offcial
beginning of a symbiotic partnership
bet ween t he organi zat ions. The
relationship will provide opportunities
for cultural exchange, shared best
practices and a broader worldview for
all participants.
The relationship began following an
initial trip in 2006 when Lauren Luik,
then Chair of the Board of Directors,
and Carolyn Vasquez, Family Services
Director for the Somerset Hills YMCA,
traveled with a delegation of US-based
YMCA representatives to participate in
an International Leadership Institute
run by Y-USA in conjunction with
the Balkan Strategic Alliance Group.
Their trip was highlighted by meetings
with key leaders of YMCAs who are
playing a crucial role in education,
youth development, and community
engagement as the region emerges from
communism.
At the time, Lauren commented that,
“These promising, but in some cases,
struggl i ng, YMCAs i n the Bal kan
region are flling an essential need in
their society, teaching young people
leadership skills to help move new
democracies forward,” said Luik. “It is
truly remarkable to see the innovative
things they are doing, despite having
limited resources and facing many
economic and cultural obstacles.”
“The Y in Skopje particularly impressed
us in the way that it is mobilizing
and inspiring young people in the
community and providing vital, basic
human services. I think we have a great
deal to offer each other,” Luik added.
It is this ongoing, mutually benefcial
exchange of ideas t hat set s t hi s
international outreach program apart
from others. By partneri ng with
the YMCA in Macedonia, the well-
established Somerset Hills YMCA will
be able to provide strategic counsel
and support to this young, growing
organization, but will also learn a great
deal.
“The Skopje YMCA has expertise in
successful ly i ntegrati ng ethnical ly
diverse people, as well as in youth
leadership development,” said Vasquez.
“As our organization expands and looks
to offer more programs and services to
the varied populations of the Somerset
Hills, we will be able to look to our
colleagues in Skopje, and learn from
the success that they have had.”
For example, this past summer fve teen
volunteers, accompanied by Y staff and
adult volunteer chaperones, attended
the Balkan Youth Festival in Ohrid,
Macedonia. The impact that it made on
each of their lives was life-changing and
helped to expand their perspective with
regard to the international community.
The teens participated in a variety of
team building activities that helped
them learn about each other and the
cultures of their new friends.
“As an organi zation dedicated to
building strong kids, strong families,
and strong communities, it is important
that we look beyond our borders to
assist people around the world,” said
Bob Lomauro, President/CEO of the
Somerset Hills YMCA. “Our partnership
with the Skopje YMCA will enable
us to promote dialogue, awareness
and advocacy on critical issues that
affect YMCAs, youth, families and
communities and help us to develop
globally minded citizens with a mutual
respect for other cultures.”
To learn more about the Somerset
Hills YMCA’s community outreach and
international initiatives, as well as the
partnership with the YCS YMCA in
Skopje, visit the Somerset Hills YMCA
online at www.somersethillsymca.org.
Editor’s Not e: UMD has met
representatives from both the Somerset
Hills and Skopje YMCA’s and fully
supports such great initiatives. In the
coming months, UMD plans to work
with both YMCA’s to advance the
mission of this program.
By UMD Staff
Somer set Hi l l s
YMCA Reaches
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George Tomov Biography published in
Macedonian, English
George Tomov’s life as a teacher of Macedonian culture
has been documented in a 320-page volume released in
the spring of 2007 in Skopje. Tomov has been an active
member of the Macedonian Diaspora since his arrival in
the United States more than 40 years ago and is known by
many as an ambassador of Macedonian culture. The book,
published in both Macedonian and English, is rich with
photographs and text describing Tomov’s life as a member
of the Yugoslav folklore ensemble Lado and Macedonian
ensemble Tanec, and for the famous Tomov Folk Dance
Ensemble, which instructed Americans in Macedonian
folklore for 35 years in New York.
Tomov – born in Strumica – studied in Skopje
where he earned degrees in sculpture and architecture.
His career in folklore began with the Zagreb-based folklore
ensemble Lado and Skopje-based Tanec for whom he was
a showcased performer. He moved to the United States in
1967, where he earned notoriety among American folklore
enthusiasts by teaching college and community-organized
dance workshops. Before long dancers all over the United
States sought the instruction of George Tomov.
In 1974, a dream Tomov had described since
leaving Macedonia came true: his Tomov Folk Dance
Ensemble was founded in New York City! The ensemble
was composed of 40 professional singers and dancers –
primarily Americans enamored with Yugoslav folkdance –
who, under Tomov’s tutelage, performed songs and dances
from different regions of Yugoslavia in authentic regional
costumes. It was a glorious success! In 1979 and 1981,
the Ensemble was invited by the Yugoslav government to
tour the country where they also participated in Bitola’s
Ilindenski Denovi celebration. In 1980, they performed at
the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. Though in 2000, at
the age of 67 Tomov fnally retired the ensemble after 35
successful years, he continues to teach Macedonian youth
in the New Jersey Diaspora as co-director of the Goce
Delcev Macedonian Folkdance Ensemble, a Macedonian
amateur dance group. He is also the Director of the annual
European Folk Festival – which for 35 years has featured
diverse folk-dance groups including but not limited to
Macedonian, Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, Hungarian,
Ukrainian, Polish, Russian, and Norwegian – and is
sponsored by the Slavic Heritage Council of America.
In 2003, hundreds of people, both Macedonian
and American, including former members of the Tomov
Ensemble flled the main hall of New Jersey’s Sts. Kiril
and Metodij Macedonian Cultural Center in celebration of
Tomov’s 70th birthday. His friends, both Macedonian and
American, performed Macedonian music and the crowd
danced the night away.
In 2005, Tomov received the prestigious Ellis Island
Medal of Honor. This medal is awarded to immigrants or
their descendents who arrived in the USA via the Port of
New York or Ellis Island for outstanding contribution to
their own ethnic group and to American Society.
Tomov was warmly welcomed in Skopje where,
when he returned for the book’s release, Fokus Magazine
praised him as a “living legend of Macedonian folklore.”
Following his trip, the Brooklyn Heights International Folk
Dancers honored him in New York with a celebratory
dinner in his honor. On December 8, 2007, the biography
was launched in New Jersey. Guests included Congressman
Bill Pascrell, former Ambassador and Mrs. Jordan Plevnes,
and Macedonia’s Honorary Consul for New Jersey, Slavko
Madzarov.
By Sheila Krstevski
Macedonian in New York Honored in Skopje
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On November 18, 2007, UMD Founders
Boban Jovanovski, Meto Koloski,
Denis Manevski, Aleksandar Mitreski,
and Marina Veljanovska traveled to
Cedar Grove, New Jersey to hold a
presentation about UMD’s global
agenda at the Macedonian Cultural
Center adjacent to Sts. Kiril and Metodij
Macedonian Orthodox Church. Over
200 Macedonian-Americans attended
and had the opportunity to exchange
ideas and comment on the work of
UMD during the last 4 years.
The meeting was opened by the
host organizer Macedonian Human
Rights Movement of the United States
President Dragan Slavkovski and
Sts. Kiril and Metodij Macedonian
Orthodox Church Board President
Nikola Milevski. The parish priest
Father Slobodan Petkovski also gave
remarks. Meto Koloski introduced the
role of the organization and its history,
followed by a presentation by Boban
Jovanovski regarding UMD’s Macedonia
in NATO 2008 and Macedonia in EU
2012 campaigns. Marina Veljanovska
discussed the organization’s charitable
and cultural activities, specifically
our annual Christmas drive for less
fortunate children and orphans in
Macedonia. Aleksandar Mitreski
i nfor med t he audience on our
activities regarding name recognition
and the current human rights situation
of Macedonians living in Albania,
Bulgaria, Greece, and Serbia. Last but
not least, Denis Manevski briefed those
present on UMD’s budget, fundraising
goals, and plans to open an offce in
Washington, D.C. and hire a full-time
professional staff.
The presentation was well-received
and provided for a thought-provoking
discussion, which lasted two hours.
UMD was praised for its efforts
addressing the interests and needs of
Macedonians, particularly for the fact
that it is an all-volunteer organization
that in 4 years has managed to become
the largest and strongest Macedonian
organization in the Diaspora.
Plans are in store to hold such
presentations in other Macedonian
communities throughout the world.
Stay tuned…
UMD Holds Grassroots Event in
Cedar Grove, New Jersey
By UMD Staff
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Bordered by Greece and Bulgaria, Macedonia
isn’t foreign to Dr. Peter Gorsevski. He is
a native of the country and in 1992 received
his bachelor’s degree in forestry at Ss. Cyril
and Methodius University there. He received
his master’s degree in forest engineering from Oregon State
University in 1996 and his doctorate from the University of
Idaho in 2002.
A specialist in geospatial sciences, Dr. Gorsevski uses satellite
technology and other data to interpret natural processes. The
information can help humans “hopefully interact and manage
things like forests, water resources and other natural resources
in both an economically and environmentally sustainable
way,” he said.
He said he wanted to return to Macedonia because he knows
the language and has “expertise in precisely the data and
land-management strategies that a developing nation like
Macedonia can really beneft from.
“I like to work on research that will help Macedonia adapt
to its transition toward a market economy, with all the
related challenges that brings for Macedonia’s rich natural
environment.”
He plans on sharing his findings with other researchers
and faculty, as well as with students and the Macedonian
government.
“I’d like to develop a strong network of researchers and
others who are interested in bringing Macedonia into the 21st
century in an economically and environmentally sustainable
manner,” he said.
Dr. Gorsevski said he was drawn to BGSU by the new School
of Earth, Environment and Society.
“Its diversity of faculty, cutting-edge interdisciplinary research
and bright student body really impressed me when I came
here to interview,” he said.
He is still a new face on campus, having joined the BGSU
community just this academic year. For that reason, Dr. Charles
Onasch, geology and director of the school, was surprised
that Peter won the competitive award.
“It’s a tremendous honor and a very competitive fellowship,
and he got it relatively early in his career,” Onasch said.
Dr. Gorsevski was also surprised. “This is truly an honor for
me. When I was working on the grant, I knew the odds were
small because the competition is so great. I will endeavor to
do the best research and teaching work I can, to live up to the
Fulbright standard.”
Even with the prestigious award, he doesn’t forget his students,
who are one of his two favorite parts of the job.

“It’s hard to choose what I like better: working with students or
working with data,” Dr. Gorsevski said. “Either way, each kind
of work helps inform the other and keeps me productive.”
Luckily, Dr. Gorsevski won’t have to choose between students
and data this spring; he will incorporate both teaching and
research into his experience.
His research interests include GIScience and remote sensing,
grid modeling, multicriteria decision analysis, and terrain and
watershed analysis.
Gorsevski to Bring
Geological Expertise
to Macedoni a as
Fulbright Scholar
Published in the Bowling Green State
University Monitor on January 7, 2008
(Reprinted with permission)
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In the largest gathering of the North
American Diaspora, Macedonians from
across the continent flooded the halls
of the Millennium Hotel in Cincinnati,
Ohio for the 33rd annual American-
Canadian Macedonian Orthodox Diocese
Convention on September 1, 2007. The
event, known to Macedonians simply
as “the Convention,” has become a
ritual celebration of culture and identity
for thousands in the North American
Diaspora.
Dur i ng t he Convent i on, Uni t ed
Macedonian Diaspora’s leadership hosted
an informational meeting where they spoke
about issues currently facing Macedonians
and how UMD is working to address them
in Washington D.C. and around the world.
Among the speakers were UMD President,
Vice President, Treasurer and Director of
Cultural Awareness, Metodija A. Koloski,
Aleksandar Mitreski, Denis Manevski, and
Marina Veljanovska. Several prominent
Macedoni ans at tended, i ncludi ng
businessman George Atanasoski, and
Slavko Mangovski, former Editor-in-Chief
of the international weekly Makedonsko
Sonce.
Following presentations by representatives
of UMD, American-born Macedonian
Minister for Foreign Direct Investment,
Gligor Tashkovich discussed investment
opportunities in Macedonia, and ways
that UMD’s members can help increase
awareness about Macedonia’s investment
potential and climate.
Attendees then had a unique opportunity
for intimate discussion on the direction
of Macedonian causes. UMD Treasurer,
Denis Manevski praised the participants,
calling the forum “a great opportunity
to meet young aspiring Macedonians,”
and saying that “through the ongoing and
open exchange of ideas, new relationships
can be forged and a stronger, more united
Macedonian Diaspora is being built.”
UMD representatives later met privately
His Grace, Metropolitan Metodij of the
American-Canadian Macedonian Orthodox
Diocese to discuss UMD’s mission and the
potential for future cooperation.
Stay tuned to our website for information
about our activities during future
conventions.
By Aleksandar Mitreski
33rd Annual Convention Draws Macedonians to Cincinnati;
UMD Ofers Forum for an Exchange of Ideas
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MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR MACEDONIA!
JOIN UMD TODAY!
United Macedonian Diaspora (“UMD”) is a global non-governmental and non-for-proft organization addressing
the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world. UMD is a 501 (c) (3)
charitable organization.
Your membership helps foster the unity of the Macedonian people by ensuring the progress and advancement of
the traditional Macedonian spiritual, historical, and socio-cultural heritage furthered by charitable, educational,
public, and other community-minded endeavors. It is only through your support that UMD can remain effective
and continue to advocate the Macedonian cause. We sincerely thank you for your generosity.
Help move the Macedonian cause forward by joining TODAY! United, We Can!
Membership tiers in U.S. Dollars per year (please check one):
[ ] Student $15 (please include a copy of your student ID)

[ ] Individual $35 [ ] Family $100 [ ] Supporter $250 [ ] Sponsor $500
[ ] Sustaining $1,000 [ ] Patron $2,500 [ ] Benefactor $5,000
[ ] Washington Club [ ] Canberra Club [ ] Brussels Club [ ] Ottawa Club -- each $10,000
Please fll out the form below:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
First Name Last Name
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Please list family members if signing up for family membership
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title Business, Church, or Organization
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Address
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
City State/Province Zip Code Country
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E-mail Phone Fax
You can also visit our website at www.umdiaspora.org to become a member, or mail this completed form with
check or money order made payable to ‘United Macedonian Diaspora’ to:
United Macedonian Diaspora
1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 6th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20004
Please direct all questions to info@umdiaspora.org or (202) 756-2244
Left to right: Denis Manevski, Marina Veljanovska, Aleksandar Mitreski, and Meto Koloski
MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR MACEDONIA!
JOIN UMD TODAY!
United Macedonian Diaspora (“UMD”) is a global non-governmental and non-for-proft organization addressing
the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world. UMD is a 501 (c) (3)
charitable organization.
Your membership helps foster the unity of the Macedonian people by ensuring the progress and advancement of
the traditional Macedonian spiritual, historical, and socio-cultural heritage furthered by charitable, educational,
public, and other community-minded endeavors. It is only through your support that UMD can remain effective
and continue to advocate the Macedonian cause. We sincerely thank you for your generosity.
Help move the Macedonian cause forward by joining TODAY! United, We Can!
Membership tiers in U.S. Dollars per year (please check one):
[ ] Student $15 (please include a copy of your student ID)

[ ] Individual $35 [ ] Family $100 [ ] Supporter $250 [ ] Sponsor $500
[ ] Sustaining $1,000 [ ] Patron $2,500 [ ] Benefactor $5,000
[ ] Washington Club [ ] Canberra Club [ ] Brussels Club [ ] Ottawa Club -- each $10,000
Please fll out the form below:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
First Name Last Name
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Please list family members if signing up for family membership
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Title Business, Church, or Organization
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Address
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
City State/Province Zip Code Country
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E-mail Phone Fax
You can also visit our website at www.umdiaspora.org to become a member, or mail this completed form with
check or money order made payable to ‘United Macedonian Diaspora’ to:
United Macedonian Diaspora
1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 6th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20004
Please direct all questions to info@umdiaspora.org or (202) 756-2244
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1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 6th Floor
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.org umdvoice@umdiaspora.. 6th Floor Washington. Working together for youth.org Mark Branov Damjan Arsovski Dijana Despodova-Pajkovski Emil Ivanovski Anthony Laskovski Stojan Nikolov Gorgi Popstefanov Ljupco Stankovski Jeffrey Stavroff Nick Saveski/Delo Logic Arts A ny o p i n i o n s o r v i e w s expressed in ar ticles or other pieces appearing in UMD Voice are those of the author alone and are not necessarily those of UMD. How Macedonians in Illinois are giving back. UMD Voice 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue. UMD Holds Grassroots Event 17 20 21 22 Thought-provoking discussion of issues. This local businessman is on top of the world! Club reaches for the stars in 2008.InUMD Voice this issue.umdiaspora.. 9 16 17 18 19 Macedonian-American Charity Somerset Hills YMCA. 5 6 UMD Voice Australian Macedonians Say It Loud Macedonians display unity in Melbourne. and being Macedonian.. 20004 Phone: (202) 756-2244 Fax: (202) 756-7323 info@umdiaspora.. Marking the 60th anniversary. About George Tomov ‘s biography Macedonian in New York Honored. the appearance of any such opinions or views in UMD Voice is not and should not be considered to be an endorsement by or approval of the same by UMD. Layout and Design Contributors Assistant Editor Editor 5 7 8 9 Florida’s Lou Vlasho War-time Lessons Interview with Dr. 15 The Lost Generation of Child Refugees Interview with Thomas Bitove On charity... A new direction for the future! Gorsevski to Bring Geological Expertise 33rd Annual Convention 21 Summer 2008  . A Fulbright Scholar comes home...org Alexander Krstevski editor@umdiaspora. Holiday Fund Drive For Macedonia UMD’s fund drive was in high gear during the Holidays! Lou becomes Honorary Consul of Florida. The UN’s 62nd General Assembly President gives us some insight into his role.org http://www.C. D.. Srgjan Kerim 13 New Jersey’s Slavko Madzarov 6 14 14 AMSUT Pursues Big Objectives Community Visits A working visit to the Macedonian communities in Detroit and Windsor. Toni is not your average civics teacher. NW.

Board Metodija A. New York.a role model for Southeastern Europe. Our Board has outlined a $200. D. Sarafin Secretary Denis Manevski Treasurer Ordan Andreevski Director of Australian Operations Chris M. The issues facing our people are wide-ranging. Melbourne. Sydney. this has not discouraged us. Australia. and Vienna.C. learning about the needs of Macedonians throughout the world. from the “name issue” to civil rights. UMD represents the future of the global Macedonian Diaspora – progressive. The first issue of UMD Quarterly was downloaded from our website over 16. Canada. D. Koloski President Aleksandar Mitreski Vice President Michael A. UMD representatives visited major Diaspora communities in the United States. Koloski President  Summer 2008 . UMD is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. and throughout the world.000 times since its release! We are thrilled by the positive response from our members and readers. you can read about UMD’s important and necessary work in Washington. the Republic of Macedonia is a beacon of light in the Balkans -.C.. including Berlin. hard working. and from territorial and regional security to NATO and EU membership. United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) is an international non governmental organization addressing the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world. UMD has represent atives ser v ing Macedonian communities around the world. and Europe. and we opened a small office last month in downtown Washington. UMD is at the forefront of it all – thanks to you.UMD Voice Letter from the President UMD Voice Welcome to our new magazine UMD Voice! Dear Reader. During the past few months. we invite you to get involved and participate in a UMD event and activity near you. allow me to introduce UMD Voice. and to hire a full-time staff. Sincerely. UMD is raising funds to establish a more solid base in Washington. Stuttgart. In this issue. Canberra. and despite all of the adversity it has faced. The Macedonian attitude is one of calm resistance to Greek oppression. moderate. Brussels. This is one of our organization’s most significant tools and we are confident that it is destined to become the premier publication in the global Macedonian Diaspora. it has united Macedonians throughout the world against the actions of the Greek regime. However. Help us move the Macedonian cause forward by supporting UMD. On behalf of the Board of Directors. No matter the challenge. and dedicated. In fact. and we are planning UMD events and activities in the United States. Paris. With headquarters in Washington. professional. Australia. Toronto. Purdef Igor Zvezdakoski Marina Veljanovska Director Gorgi Popstefanov International Policy & Diplomacy Fellow Metodija “Meto” A.C.000 target goal for this year.. D. D. Los Angeles. from education to immigration.C. Our friendships and working relationships are growing throughout the global policymaking community. The support we received during our fall fundraising drive was fantastic. London. and Canada. and please enjoy this issue of UMD Voice. Founded in 2004. The recent Greek veto of Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic integration was a disgrace to the ideals that the Euro-Atlantic community was built on.

S. and how it can be harnessed for positive change and social justice. language and identity. Protesters loudly appealed to the Rudd Government to discontinue Australia’s official use of the term “former Yugoslav” and stand up for Macedonian human rights and selfdetermination. the EU and nations such as Australia to protect the rights of Macedonians. and taking Athens’ international diplomatic reputation to an all-new low.” t he event i n downtown Melbourne gave loud and clear support for the right of the Macedonians to their biblical and constitutional name. UMD assisted in planning. and Igor Zvezdakoski Macedonia.. Internet and Direct Communication. which were sent to all major press and broadcast media outlets across Australia. M ac e d o n i a n s . including the U. a Media Briefing Kit and a Media Release. their unique culture. and Canada. and Merchandizing. Titled “Macedonia. Government Relations. UMD plays key role in peaceful Melbourne rally More than 20.000-strong Australian Macedonians gathered in a massive show of unity on the steps of Victoria’s parliament in Melbourne to show their support for Macedonia. program design. now recognized under its constitutional name by 124 countries. Talks on European integration are also stalled. very diverse groups were organized using the latest techniques of project management. both types of interference having been expressly forbidden by international treaties that Greece signed. Fundraising. Macedonians. Macedonia. Australian Macedonian Weekly Australian Macedonians Say It Loud: “Macedonia. and demonstrated the peaceful Macedonian spirit. The passion for this protest came at a critical time. Local police praised the organizers for a peaceful rally without incident.UMD Voice Photos courtesy of: MacedonianCommunity. as well as to all Federal Members of Parliament and EU diplomatic missions in Canberra.. including the ethnic Macedonian minority in Greece. Organizers also called on the U N. just as Greece and i t s d e c r e a s i ng number of supporters managed to i l legal ly veto Macedonia’s entr y into NATO. the UK. with special working groups focused on Media Relations. web communications. Russia. UMD also created a Media Alert.com. China. Ljupco Stankovski. Community Relations. pr inting and distr ibution of promotional flyers.S. operations. speech writing and media relations. Australia remains one of the few notable exceptions to a global wave of diplomatic support for Summer 2008  . Canada and the U. In less than a month. which has been oppressed since the Treaty of Bucharest of 1913. Forever” By Ordan Andreevski. Fo r e ve r. thanks in par t to the foresight of the Organizing Committee and a large team of volunteers. The event successfully drew media attention in Australia.

Volunteers used the funds to purchase in-kind donations of food and other supplies in Macedonia. which provides daily meals to many of Skopje’s hungry and unemployed. and Elderly in Macedonia By Marina Veljanovska Through a heartwarming display of holiday giving. The outpouring of generosity benefited more people than initially expected.  Summer 2008 . long-term care for orphans and children who can no longer grow up with their biological families. All 108 children living in the SOS Children’s Village . a scarf. hungry. and elderly. A ten-day supply of fresh milk was donated to the Home for Babies and Toddlers in Bitola for the orphaned children in their care. UMD’s drive to support Macedonia’s less fortunate exceeded fundraising expectations. a hat. SOS Children’s Villages provide family-based. Petka’s church. homeless. please contact Aleksandra Trpkovska (586) 383-1721.UMD Voice Photos: UMD Staff Holiday Fund Drive Benefits Children. Homeless. and food was donated to the public kitchen at St.Macedonia (Detsko Selo) for orphans and neglected children received a package containing a pair of gloves. For more information about UMD’s charitable projects during 2008. and donations were made to benefit less fortunate children. SOS Children’s Villages is an international nonprofit organization active in 132 countries and territories worldwide. Food was also purchased and donated to laid-off factory workers who lost their savings and pensions during Macedonia’s transition to a market economy. toys. providing them with a much needed gift from the Diaspora. and candy.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia. with the naming of Lou Vlasho as the Honorary Consul in Florida. In addition.N. Vlasho received a standing ovation when he took the podium and reflected modestly on his achievements. his alma mater. In the United States.UMD Voice Photos courtesy of: Lou Vlasho Florida’s Lou Vlasho Named Macedonian Honorary Consul By Aleksandar Mitreski A formal luncheon on February 8. and for his efforts as a Macedonian-American by remarking to Vlasho that his “efforts will help forge a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Macedonian heritage in the United States. Srgjan Kerim. “It is humbling to have been elected Honorary Consul by the Government of Macedonia. 2008 marked the opening of the second Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Macedonia in the U. I want during my tenure [as U. including Dr. Lou seized the opportunity to share his vast knowledge of business and finance with Macedonian entrepreneurs. Kerim stated “It’s good that people know that the U. which operates the prestigious Vergina Restaurant in downtown Naples. Congressman Connie Mack. I have always tried to the best of my ability to help Macedonia and the Macedonians in need” said Vlasho.. Antonio Milososki. together with Macedonia-based businessman Risto Gusterov. and City Councilman Rob Popoff of Marco Island. but reliable ally.S. preparing them for the rigors of a marketbased economy. who presented the Macedonian delegation with the Key to the City and proclaimed February 8th as Macedonia Day in Naples.S. has with Macedonia a small. Vlasho helped establish a scholarship program for Macedonian undergraduate students at Ohio University. President of the 62nd General Assembly of the United Nations. Vlasho has been involved in numerous humanitarian activities to benefit Macedonia and Macedonians – on one occasion he personally reached out to healthcare supply giant Johnson & Johnson and urged them to send medical equipment tp help a deathly ill child in Macedonia. When Macedonia gained its independence.” and that his “intelligence and diplomatic skills have earned the respect of those that have come to know” him. and Zoran Jolevski. Several Macedonian dignitaries were among the 200 guests that filled the Vergina Restaurant in Naples. Addressing the audience. FL. at tending the event were Naples Mayor Bill Barnett. but of the Macedonian Diaspora’s involvement with Macedonia as a whole. who is of Macedonian descent.S. Macedonians in attendance felt that the event was not only a celebration of Lou’s work. Dr. Florida for the occasion. the American legislators praised Vlasho for his work with them in the past. and representatives from the offices of Senators Mel Martinez and Bill Nelson. Lou Vlasho with Ambassador Jolevski Summer 2008  .” Ambassador Jolevski praised Vlasho for “actively and profoundly” promoting Macedonia and Macedonian culture in the U. Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia to the United States. Vlasho is a successful entrepreneur and is currently the Vice President of the Rimaco Corporation. General Assembly President] to reach out to Americans. In their congratulatory letters.

“It was a total surprise. “They’re very positive.sometimes asking pointed questions of the board members. “I just want to make them aware of what’s going on. On his classroom wall he hangs photographs of his time as an interpreter.’” Of course the recognition is nice. a graphic designer who put together an impressive nomination package that included an audio recording. as well as soldiers in the field. “I just want to make kids active participants. ‘At least he’s making it interesting.UMD Voice War-time Lessons Tr a n s l a t e i n t o Statewide Award By Jessie Ellis Published in the January 10. He translated for U.” he said. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.” Simovski had no idea he had won until it was announced last month at a luncheon attended by 200 teachers.’ I thought.S. “He does a very fine job of reaching out to the students in a fun and exciting way. 2008 edition of the South Lyon Herald (Reprinted with permission) Bosnia and Albania. “They say.’ Then they said.’” Along with the pictures he has a plaque recognizing him as runner-up for Oakland County Teacher of the Year.” Simovski was nominated by fellow government teacher Ray Divitto. Leslie Thornton. that I’m a natural born teacher. and thank you letters from congressmen and women who have come to speak to his classes over the years. encouraged him to become a teacher. It is about learning to think about the consequences of bad governance. “They said.” Simovski said of his American Government students. but for Simovski. ‘This recipient often brings in guest speakers and has been teaching [Advanced Placement] government for nine years. “The kids love these stories. even for being in a required class.com Every day. Serbian. His work also took him throughout the region including to 8 Summer 2008 Photos courtesy of: South Lyon Herald . Vice President Al Gore and Secretary of Defense William Cohen. his professor. Bosnian and Albanian.” Divitto said of Simovski. “’Wow! This guy knows top secret stuff. Simovski’s unique perspective to history informs his teaching philosophy. At the University of MichiganDearborn. that could be me.” Simovski speaks five languages including Macedonian. His often trying times as a translator has helped Simovski appreciate his new life as a teacher. Simovski was a contractor with the Department of Defense and was assigned to work as a translator for the United States Army in the former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia. “He said I had a knack for it. His students attend school board and city council meeting . ‘He was a translator in Macedonia.” he said. Natalie.” That knack has translated into lessons that are more informed by YouTube than textbooks. “I thought he does a very good job at the school and is a very dedicated teacher. “I have a fear of us becoming too passive. Teaching government is about a lot more than just how it works. “My professor talked me into it. and his wife. his mentor and college professor Leslie Thornton.” Simovski said. It is also about how government often doesn’t work and why. Toni Simovski reminds his students about how the world affects their lives. Simovski recognizes that his students learn by doing.” Simovski said. it’s all about educating his students.” Simovski said. The South Lyon High School government teacher plays video clips of news events and audio recordings of Supreme Court decisions. Simovski was named the Civic Education Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Center for Civic Education. he said.’ That kind of sealed it for me. administrators and others involved with civic education. and in 1998-1999 he was in the thick of the break up of Yugoslavia. ‘Well. Contact Jessie Ellis at (248) 437-2011 or jjellis@gannett. Because of all of these activities.

pursuing sustainable development or combating terrorism. and to the United Nations. presiding over those meetings and making official visits to countries. it was our regional group’s turn again and the regional group put forward my candidacy which was then supported and accepted by the full membership of the United Nations. is the author of nine books dealing with international politics. economics and youth. Therefore. and later as Macedonian Foreign Minister. UMD: What are some of the challenges that you have come across since you started this post? Kerim: I am experiencing what I think all my predecessors must have experienced: the challenge of harmonizing the various views and interests of the 192 Member States of this Organization. most of the daily work of the president revolves around engaging the representatives of Member States in various forms: meeting with them individually. Srgjan Kerim Left to right: Meto Koloski. and has written more than 100 scholarly papers. Macedonia is part of the so-called East European group which last nominated a candidate in 2002. Bringing everyone to the negotiating table and keeping Summer 2008  . Liechtenstein. Dr. He has lectured widely on Balkan issues. Kerim has served as Macedonian Ambassador to Germany. Kerim. Srg jan Kerim is a seasoned Macedonian diplomat with a career spanning over three decades. protecting human rights. In previous capacities. Dr. and Aleksandar Mitreski Interview with UN’s 62nd General Assembly President Dr. Srgjan Kerim by Alexander Krstevski Dr. bringing them together into various formal meetings. Dr. T he post rotates among the 192 member states of the organization based on the principle of equitable geographic distribution which in practice means that each year a country from a different regional grouping nominates the President. many of which have been published in countries across Europe. Following presidencies from the Latin American. the African.UMD Voice Photos courtesy of: UMD Staff. the Western European and the Asian groups. UMD: Can you describe what is involved in a day’s work as president of the GA? Kerim: The president’s work is to facilitate and guide the political negotiation work of the member states in order to move them forward to reach concrete progress on the various common issues countries agreed to deal with through the United Nations such as climate change. Switzerland. UMD: How did it happen that you were nominated for the presidency of the UN General Assembly? (What was the process like both in Macedonia and within the UN itself that lead to the selection of a candidate and the campaign leading up to the vote in the UN?) Kerim: The President of the United Nations General Assembly is chosen for one year.

A n additional and newly evolving aspect that adds to this challenge is the fact that it is more and more obvious that there is a need to reach beyond governments and make the United Nations capable of effectively engaging non-governmental actors including civil society. you mentioned that accomplishing tasks outlined in the Millennium Development Goals is very important. For me. if I am able to do my job effectively and win the cooperation and support of the countries then through this I hope I can further enhance this positive international recognition for Macedonia. This Protocol calls for cutbacks in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by at least 5 per cent below the 1990 levels by 2012. and possibly influence the name negotiations? Kerim: By electing a candidate from Macedonia. health. 10 Summer 2008 . Kerim with President Bush UMD: In your acceptance speech. It needs to be addressed from a broader and cross cutting perspective that also looks at its full implications o n s e c u r i t y. Generating the necessar y political will for common action and then maintaining this political will to actually achieve the commonly agreed goals is the real challenge. Matthew Nimetz of the United States. and what do you hope to accomplish? Kerim: Let me pick up on the global warming topic you mentioned. it is equally challenging if not more so. It is not enough to simply have countries agree on certain common approaches. At the same time it is equally impor tant to realize and acknowledge that climate change is not a si mple environmental issue.UMD Voice them there is quite a task. What has been done so far on these issues. whether on climate change or how to fight against terrorism or what goals to set as targets to have for sustainable d e ve l o p m e n t . UMD: In that same speech. hu m a n r ig ht s and global governance. Sierra Leone. This eventually led to the Kyoto Protocol which was adopted in Japan in 1997. In some form or other this has been on the United Nations agenda for decades. to keep countries willingness to commit resources and political attention focused on those com m it ment s. As President. This is a process that should be left to them. particularly in Africa. Member States have already given a very positive recognition of our country. immigration. and Darfur? Dr. With these implications and di mensions it is a true global issue that touches every country in the world and an issue for the United Nations as it cuts to the heart of the Organization’s key activities. UMD: Will you be able to help for further affirmation of Macedonia. My goal is to build on the existing framework and commitment of member states and work towards a stronger and broader response to the climate change challenge and chart a roadmap that can take us to 2012 and beyond. energy. Regarding the name negotiations. What can the UN do to avoid and mitigate conflicts and the subsequent loss of life in situations that may resemble those in Rwanda. you mentioned that you will focus your energy on topics like global warming. e c o n o m i c d e ve l o p m e n t . the Secretary-General has an envoy. So this is where we are now. This is why I have pushed this issue to be a key issue on the United Nations’ agenda for the 62nd session. who is in charge of this issue and the governments of Macedonia and Greece are negotiating on this issue with the facilitation of this envoy. and globalization. one of the key tasks is to maintain the commitment of member states to their agreed goals. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change entered into force in 1994 but member states decided to work on new legal instruments with stronger commitments. academia and the private sector because they all have a role in tackling some of the major global challenges such as fighting HIV/AIDS or dealing with climate change. especially civil society and the business sector. Mr. work with them on finding the ways and means to this as well as engage the countries that are not party to the Kyoto Protocol and also reach out to the non-governmental sphere.

UMD: Do you think that there should be reforms in the way that the Security Council operates? Do you think that the body should be enlarged. I do see some very positive developments with Member States in 2005 agreeing to the principle of responsibility to protect – meaning a responsibility to protect populations from genocide. the more languages one knows the easier one may adapt and transfer that knowledge and know how in what ever environment one is to work in. war crimes. ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. governance. economic and human rights functions. Gaining wide knowledge and having the ability to transform that knowledge. such as development. and what do you plan to do afterwards? Kerim: The term of a General Assembly President is one year – it is for one session of the Assembly. I would encourage them to take advantage of this opportunity and be open to the world. and which countries (if any) should be introduced? Kerim: I share the view of the majority of countries that reform of the Security Council is essential for making its decisions more compatible with contemporary realities. This growth in demand means that we must continuously strengthen the capacity of the United Nations to mount and sustain peacekeeping and peace building operations. At the same time it is equally necessary to have the United Nations as an organization capable of achieving the tasks Member States assign to it by becoming more efficient. It has become a trusted and globally-sought peacekeeper. It is also in this context that the Millennium Development Goals are important. in whatever field it may be. The United Nations has a good track record in this regard. to its different cultures and people. I will build on their efforts and work and try to take the issue further. What is necessary is for Member States to have a clear vision and understanding as to what they want to achieve together on the various common issues they are discussing. UMD: What advice would you give to young Macedonians around the world? Kerim: Globalization is bringing changes in the world creating great opportunities especially for young people. human rights. The next step is to put the principle of responsibility to protect effectively into practice. police.5 billion dollars. There must also be willingness on the part of the international community to get involved and act in conflict situations. However. At the same time the tasks of personnel on the ground has shifted considerably from simply monitoring a cease-fire line to a wide array of military. Also. World leaders agreed for the first time that states have a primary responsibility to protect their own populations and that the international community has a responsibility to act when these governments fail to protect the most vulnerable among us. In fact the United Nations has been in constant reform. However. rule of law are crucial in this regard. My predecessors have been dealing with this issue for over a decade since the establishment of a working group on Security Council reform within the General Assembly. Apart from continuing our efforts in conflict prevention. This is underscored by the fact that demand for this activity has grown exponentially. The United Nations is a unique tool in the hands of its members. we must also further enhance the United Nations work in peacekeeping and longer term peace building. transparent and accountable. It is ultimately up to them whether they want to use this tool and how to work with it and how best to use this unique forum to respond to common challenges. UMD: How long is the term of the president of the general assembly. So simply put. reform should not be seen as an event but as on ongoing process. At the same time I have enjoyed my work as the head of the southeastern European pillar of the WAZ media group before becoming the General Assembly president so I expect that I would rejoin the company after this one year with the United Nations. But there is no consensus on the various formulas that have been put forward as to how to change the present composition. The former Presidents of the General Assembly maintain an informal grouping and gather from time to time to exchange views and also propose ideas for improving the work of the United Nations.000 field personnel are currently deployed in UN operations. so I expect that I will maintain some close affiliation with the work of the Organization through that channel. social. whether climate change or terrorism or sustainable development or conflict prevention as well as for them to be willing to follow through on their commitments with resources and political will. or further aggravate an existing crises situation in various regions and countries. since global challenges have a changing nature and Member States also have shifting priorities this creates a constant reform challenge for the Organization. Close to 100.UMD Voice Kerim: One of the key tasks for us is of course to prevent conf licts from breaking out in the first place. The key issues on the agenda of the United Nations. That is what reform must be about. The combined costs of these missions have grown close to 20 fold in the past two decades to reach a combined budget of roughly 5. I would also say that one Summer 2008 11 . Therefore. opening up the whole world for them to experience. UMD: What other reforms do you think are necessary for the UN to run as effectively as possible? Kerim: Reforming the United Nations is almost as old as the Organization itself. This means addressing the root causes of conflicts and dealing with the conditions that may create the potential for. the countries represented by their governments. This is especially true for us with a language few people speak. to be able to use it with ease in a multicultural environment is very important. reform is about constantly adapting this unique tool to make it better equipped to deal with global problems. In my case it’s the 62nd session which began on 18 September 2007 and ends in September 2008.

That is my favored musical world. Dean Mar tin. the natural surroundings. Kerim with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes 12 Summer 2008 . of course the country itself. Also. Little did I know that by ordering close to 30 copies of their CD I became their favorite customer and weeks later I find my name mentioned in an article in the Los Angeles Times that portrayed the Band.UMD Voice should never forget where one comes from. I must confess that I am utterly cosmopolitan and this city is utterly cosmopolitan so we are absolutely on the same wavelength. Going to a Broadway show or an opera at the Metropolitan is another way for me to unwind after a long day. So now the Pink Martinis have definitely entered my musical world and it seems that the 62nd General Assembly and its President has entered theirs. I do miss the coffee from home. and Mrs. The moment I heard them – they play a wide selection of international easy-listening type lounge music – I became a fan.and coffee. especially the long quiet walks in the mountains. taking a walk in Central Park is a great way to cleanse my mind and clear my thoughts. UMD: What do you miss the most about Macedonia? Kerim: I would say mostly I miss the friends I have at home – their company. UMD: What is your favorite music band/artist? Kerim: I have always liked listening to Frank Sinatra. And talking about coffee: I must confess that in spite of all the variety of coffee flavors New York offers. For me. Its multicultural and lively character is something I like. UMD: How do you like NYC as a place to live? Kerim: New York is a unique intellectual and cultural city which I have always enjoyed. We should always cherish our own national identities and be proud of who we are. Louis Armstrong and of course Ella Fitzgerald. In fact I decided to buy a copy of their most recent CD for each member of my team as a welcome gift just as the General Assembly opened. The Pink Martinis. But most recently a friend of mine gave me a CD from the group. how do you relax in New York City? Kerim: New York is a great city – it seems fast and always moving but I find that it can also be quite relaxing. Dr. Without respect for our own roots we cannot respect the cultures and identities of others. UMD: After a long day at the UN. the relaxed atmosphere and discussions we have had over local food and drinks -.

New Jersey. New York. the Sheriff Jer r y Speziale Foundation for Community Ser vice. Madzarov also sits on the United Macedonian Diaspor a Counci l. Madzarov has been awarded and honored by the Passaic Count y Sheriff ’s Department. New Jersey resident Slavko Madzarov was named Honorary Consul for the State of New Jersey by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia. Jr. Kiril and Metodij in Cedar Grove. Madzarov is an avid supporter of various Macedonian organizations i n c lu d i ng t h e Macedonian Orthodox parish communities St.” Guests traveled from throughout the United States and Macedonia to celebrate the occasion. New Jersey. I nc. attended a ceremony at the Getty Avenue office of Slavko Construction. Mayor James Anzaldi of Clifton presented Madzarov with the Key to the City and proclaimed September 8th as Macedonia Day in Clifton. Clement of Ohrid in Queens. A mbassador Jolevsk i expressed gratitude to Madzarov for his “good relations and personal friendship with a great number of local. like Congressman Bill Pascrell.. Madzarov. Nikola in Totowa. noting Madzarov’s strong love for his homeland and willingness to help his people in any way he can.” Congressman Pascrell. who immigrated to the United States in 1987 from Miravci. including representatives from the Federal. With over 20. t wo years after arriving in the US. Macedonia. which has helped in many ways in promoting and protecting Macedonian interests in U.000 Macedonian-Americans living in this state. ensuring stronger bonds between us and our homeland. thanked Madzarov for his friendship. NJ. stood alongside Dr. and Madzarov’s parents. Madzarov. the Polish-American Children’s Foundation. in his remarks. stated that “the opening of the Honorary Consulate is an honor for the whole MacedonianAmerican community of New Jersey. Madzarov. the New Jersey Civil Ser vice Association.. Slavko Const r uc t ion. who has l ived i n Clifton for over 20 years. In recognition of his business leadership and community service. i n c l u d i ng representatives of both UMD and the Macedonian Human R ights Movement of the Un ited St ates. 200 Club in Passaic County. and local governments. a new chapter has begun. Zoran Jolevski. who represents the 8th district of New Jersey. Slavko Madzarov with Congressman Pascrell Summer 2008 1 . which first started immigrating to this great state a century ago.S. Macedonian Ambassador to the United States. an advisor y group composed of individuals with backgrounds in business and public service that works to stimulate and support the work of UMD. established a construction and asbestos demolition company.UMD Voice Photos: Alexander Krstevski New Jersey’s Slavko Madzarov Named Macedonian Honorary Consul By Aleksandar Mitreski On August 29. to unveil a plaque bearing the seal of the Republic of Macedonia. which houses the new Honorary Consulate for the State of New Jersey. as well as the Macedonian government. and the Giblin Foundations’ Annual Award. in Clifton. and St. 2007. who came from Macedonia. The plaque will remain affixed to the front of the Getty Avenue building. state and federal rank politicians. Over 150 guests. Inc. NJ.

and a representative from the Office of Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-MI). For 2008. Also related to this initiative is fund-raising. The play is written by Macedonian author and playwright Dejan Dukovski and has been very successful throughout Europe in its ten year run. initiated by local Windsor artist Gligor Stefanov. Visiting the Detroit and Windsor Communities By UMD Staff During the weekend of August 24-26. AMSUT hopes to put on similar events this year where its members can contribute to the Macedonian community and have a good time as well. both representatives were interviewed by the local Macedonian radio program. which is the Macedonian seniors’ home in Toronto. Mary Macedonian Orthodox Church in Sterling Heights. Ontario. fund-raising. Dragan Jordanovski. President of AMSUT The Association of Macedonian Students at the University of Toronto (AMSUT) have set some very ambitious goals for the 2008 year. In previous years the club has done much volunteer work for the Macedonian community in Toronto. Clement of Ohrid Macedonian Orthodox Church as well as Canadian Macedonian Place. Very Reverend Dr. 2007. the club hopes to lend a hand not only to other Macedonian organizations but also to organizations in the city that deal with socially responsible causes which are important to the general community. With several thousand in attendance. 1 Summer 2008 Photos: Emil Ivanovski . AMSUT believes strongly that it’s important to reach out to the community as much as possible and build strong relationships within it. in addition. The belief is that the Macedonian culture needs to be promoted to the multicultural communities of Toronto so that they may both enjoy it and be educated about it. formed in 1988. build a stronger community. AMSUT resolves to focus on four priorities – membership. Canada and Sterling Heights. and unite the Macedonian youth. cultural promotion is an extremely important initiative that the club takes seriously and is working hard to pursue. While increasing membership is the top priority the club is also looking forward to reaching out to the Macedonian community. UMD congratulates the community on a job well done. Past members have helped out at St. Metodija A.UMD Voice AMSUT Pursues Big Objectives for 2008 By Nick Misketi. AMSUT is committed to all these objectives and is working hard to spread the Macedonian culture. This year. In August of this year Fallen Angel Theatre presented this performance to a Canadian audience for the first time in city of Toronto. Michigan. AMSUT. Koloski and Mitreski stressed the necessity for Macedonian-Canadians in Windsor to get more involved in their community a nd pr omote t hei r M ace don i a n heritage. and cultural promotion and expansion. the festival was very lively and full of great dancing and delicious traditional Macedonian cooking. community service. Aleksandar Mustenikov and the president of the parish board presided at the meeting. Currently. This year the club looks forward to organizing events that will raise money for various Macedonian organizations. the Macedonian Ambassador to the United States. both representatives participated at the annual festival organized by St. to the speeches made by the president of the parish board. Svetozar Stameski. The youth presence at the festival was encouraging. and key policy priorities in front of parishioners at the hall of St. On Friday. has seen its share of ups and downs over the years. Dr. USA. Zoran Jolevski. The next two days. the club is working on bringing a performance of the critically acclaimed “Who the Hell Started All of This?” to the University of Toronto. Koloski and Mitreski provided remarks. The Macedonian-American community in Michigan is the largest community in the United States. the club has clearly defined its objectives. Finally. The club was dormant for a short period of time before being resurrected in 2002 and has since been trying to bring together Macedonian students across all three campuses of the University of Toronto. UMD President and Vice President. Following the meeting. structure. A couple of years ago the club held a pub night in support of the Tsunami relief effort which managed to raise a modest sum for the cause. the Macedonian Consul General. August 24th. The club hopes to draw attention to this amazing piece of work which showcases some of our most talented Macedonian artists. Nikola Macedonian Orthodox Church. Michigan. Koloski and Aleksandar Mitreski paid a working visit to the Macedonian communities in Windsor. UMD President and Vice President gave a presentation about the organization’s mission.

a population that a French census verified as being well over 1. and the Republic of Macedonia was born. Deca Begalci President Risto Cackirovski. the old Greek strategy of not even mentioning the word “Macedonia” was changed. among them 44. and systemic d i s c r i m i n at ion against the Macedonian people. Aleksandar Mitreski giving remarks at Deca Begalci Banquet by the Greek government and the Greek Orthodox Church. Czechoslovakia. The gat her i ng w i l l take place from July 12-13 in the Czech Republic. On May 10.” (pronounced “DET-za BEG-al-tzi”) Now well in their late 60s. Macedonians who were forced out of Greece during the Greek Civil War have no right to compensation for their private properties. denying evidence to the contrary from the US State Depar tment. Prior to and since that fateful year. Poland. These children. and Michael Sarafin Summer 2008 1 . and completing the planned assimilation. Helsinki Watch and the United Nations. the official line from Athens is that the Hellenic Republic is an “ethnically pure” state.5 million has been reduced to roughly 200. A m nest y International. Hungary. the Greek government refuses to acknowledge their claim or apologize for the injustices committed against them. However. Greece was gifted a large portion of geographic Macedonia at the Treaty of Bucharest. without their parents. ethnic cleaning atrocities.000 today. often without documents. in 1988. and Greece started renaming its northern province with that name. and the Soviet Union. the European Powers were determined to fight back an aggressive Ottoman Sultan from the borders of AustroHungary.UMD Voice Photos: UMD Staff 60 Years On. T he Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences will display photographs and books and hold a publ ic symposium r e g a r d i ng t h e Deca Begalci. Today. The effect on Aegean Macedonia’s ethnic composition was compounded by waves of ethnic Greek refugees fleeing Turkish-held Left to right: Aleksandar Mitreski. in 1991. with proceeds going toward the 4th International Gathering of Deca Begalci this summer. the Greek government. military and corrupt Greek clerics on the government payroll committed gross acts of genocide. the dream of Goce Delcev was realized. the Deca Begalci are trying to reclaim their homes and farms in Greece. Even to this day.000 children between the ages of 2 and 14. In a matter of 80 years. At the dawn of the 20th Century. Greece. in hopes of denying it from the ethnic Macedonian people. 2008. The Greek government has also been waging a war of propaganda against Macedonia ever since. the Association of the Macedonian Children Refugees based in Toronto held a banquet to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the mass exodus. 70s. and 80s. Macedonians refer to this generation of refugee children the “Deca Begalci. Macedonians Commemorate The Lost Generation of Child Refugees By UMD Staff 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the historical mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of Macedonians from northern Greece. J u l y 18 -19 i n Macedonia. and July 20 i n O r ovc h a n i . were put on trains and sent to Romania. Three years later. which were confiscated territories in Asia Minor. In 1913. However.

Growing up. What we must remember is that in any cause and for that matter in life. we need their commitment to spend time and resources to help our fellow Macedonians in Macedonia. Aegean Macedonia. our parents were involved in so many causes. not individual agendas. He is a leading Toronto businessman and pillar of the community who has supported many charitable causes including Big Brothers. This project was the first time the entire Macedonian community in Toronto came together for our common good. Once we acknowledge and understand our roots. Canada are an example of how we can forward the Macedonian community globally. commit yourself to success . She was emotionally overwhelmed when we visited the ancestral homes of her grandparents in Gabresh and Shestevo. many of them Macedonian causes. This vibrancy did not exist 30 years ago! Macedonia is on the cusp of something fantastic. UMD: What would you recommend the United Macedonian Diaspora do to help further the Macedonian cause globally? Bitove: It must start in our global communities. I was fortunate enough to take one of my daughters with me on my trip last year and she “connected” with Macedonia in a way I never expected. UMD should focus on getting Macedonians focused on our common good. there is no perfect world. We never got involved in charity to get recognized. When the magnitude of the honor sunk in. Successes like Canadian Macedonian Place in Toronto. Many have achieved tremendous success in their adopted homelands but they still feel the passion for Macedonia. that way it becomes a labor of love and it will never seem like it is a bother or a chore. we should not get bogged down in petty differences that take us away from our ultimate goal. While fundraising is the lifeblood of many charities. there is a new need to respect each other and work in a unified manner towards a common goal! Our ancestors suffered great injustices trying to further the common Macedonian cause and identity. Once you join. so to be formally recognized with the highest civilian honor a citizen of Ontario can receive. Thomas J. That is so reassuring to see and hear. be proud of your adopted countries but consider a trip to Macedonia to give you a better understanding of what you are all about. Bitove is the son of John and Dotsa Bitove. 1 Summer 2008 Photos courtesy of: Thomas Bitove . we have the tremendous untapped potential in our youth. the Canadian Macedonian Place and ProAction Cops and Kids. I was very impressed with the vibrancy of the country. returning after 30 years. UMD: What words of encouragement can you give young Macedonians? Bitove: I saw how proud my grandparents were to be Macedonian. Ultimately. Ontario. During a recent trip to Macedonia. UMD: What inspired you to get involved with charity? Bitove: We grew up in a family where giving back to our communities was the norm. many issues could be resolved. For Macedonians living outside Macedonia. I am so very proud to tell people that I am of Macedonian descent. These types of projects allow us to celebrate our ancestry and ultimately they remind us of our roots. We must remember that every effort we put forth should be focused on advancing the Macedonian cause. Macedonia has so much promise . not individual agendas. etc. I was proud beyond description. When each of my brothers. I see how proud my parents are and it makes me proud. the other volunteer roles are equally important.we are surrounded by vibrant economies. sister and I became involved in charity work. As long as we are committed to the vision and mission of supporting Macedonia. we can then focus on the ultimate goal – furthering the Macedonian cause globally. finally understanding what her ancestors had endured to give her the live she has.UMD Voice Interview with Thomas Bitove By Meto Koloski of my life – the first 2 being the births of my daughters! UMD: What advice would you give to those who would like to get involved more with charity work? Bitove: Join a charity that you are passionate about. it just seemed natural. To be the first Macedonian to receive the honor and for this fact to be noted in the presentation of the citation was the third proudest moment UMD: How can Macedonians throughout the world help Macedonia? Bitove: So many Macedonians are passionate about Macedonia that if we could harness this passion. I am always impressed by how many passionate Macedonians there are outside Macedonia. All we need is the opportunity to show the world how great we are to get to the next level for the citizens of Macedonia. I couldn’t have been prouder.whatever role it is you perform. The youth of Macedonia are so very fortunate to be there today and to enjoy the fruits of our ancestors. I was humbled. When I travel. As a parent. For those young Macedonians living outside Macedonia.

UMD joined Sts. UMD Culture Aw a r e n e s s D i r e c t o r M a r i n a Veljanovska enjoyed a short tour of Illinois and Indiana at the invitation of local MacedonianAmerican community groups. Peter & Paul Macedonian Orthodox Church for the 2007 Women’s Christmas Party. the children at the Detsko Selo orphanages will have a big smile on their faces for Christmas. “Children at orphanages in Macedonia are in need of our help. and raise money for the church. Give Generously to Charity By Emil Ivanovski In December 2007. and thanks to the support of the community in Indiana and Illinois. Kiril & Metodij Macedonian Or thodox Church in Hinsdale.” Summer 2008 1 . Her presentation about UMD was warmly received. Veljanovska was pleased with the support noting. while learning m o r e a b o u t h ow g r a s s r o o t s organizations in Chicago and Crown Point are making a difference at the local level. and a fundraiser followed it for the “Detsko Selo” Project. It was an opportunity for Veljanovska to i nt ro duce U M D’s work i n Washington.UMD Voice Photos: Emil Ivanovski Macedonian-Americans of Illinois. DC.Veljanovska visited Sts. designed to bring the community together. Indiana Meet With UMD. promote fellowship with other Macedonians. UMD is especially grateful to both communities for generous donations to the Detsko Selo Project. After a morning interview on Radio Biser in Chicago . Illinois for the “Hats Off to Women” Fashion Show. The next day.

growing organization. and community engagement as the region emerges from communism. Lauren commented that. The official agreement between the Somerset Hills YMCA and the YCS YMCA in Skopje was signed in the summer of 2007. struggling. Macedonia and is now fully entrenched in the process of establishing a mutually enriching collaboration between the two organizations. mutually beneficial exchange of ideas that sets this international outreach program apart from others. then Chair of the Board of Directors. it is important that we look beyond our borders to assist people around the world.somersethillsymca. this past summer five teen volunteers. “It is truly remarkable to see the innovative things they are doing. and learn from the success that they have had. Their trip was highlighted by meetings with key leaders of YMCAs who are playing a crucial role in education. Macedonia. marking the official beginning of a symbiotic partnership bet ween the organizations. In the coming months.” said Vasquez. as well as in youth leadership development. “The Skopje YMCA has expertise in successfully integrating ethnically diverse people.UMD Voice Somerset Hills YMC A Reaches Across the Globe By UMD Staff Plans to extend its mission beyond the Somerset Hills and forge an international partnership with a YMCA in the Balkan region began in the summer of 2006 when leaders from the Somerset Hills YMCA took part in a trip to the Balkan region to meet with staff. attended the Balkan Youth Festival in Ohrid. traveled with a delegation of US-based YMCA representatives to participate in an International Leadership Institute run by Y-USA in conjunction with the Balkan Strategic Alliance Group.” said Bob Lomauro. It is this ongoing. shared best practices and a broader worldview for all participants. youth development. families and communities and help us to develop globally minded citizens with a mutual respect for other cultures. The teens participated in a variety of team building activities that helped them learn about each other and the cultures of their new friends. despite having limited resources and facing many economic and cultural obstacles. teaching young people leadership skills to help move new democracies forward.” “The Y in Skopje particularly impressed us in the way that it is mobilizing and inspiring young people in the community and providing vital. youth. Editor’s Not e: U M D h a s me t representatives from both the Somerset Hills and Skopje YMCA’s and fully supports such great initiatives. accompanied by Y staff and adult volunteer chaperones. President/CEO of the Somerset Hills YMCA. I think we have a great deal to offer each other.” To learn more about the Somerset Hills YMCA’s community outreach and international initiatives. T he relationship will provide opportunities for cultural exchange. strong families. “These promising. A year later. the Somerset Hills YMCA signed an agreement with the YCS YMCA in Skopje. we will be able to look to our colleagues in Skopje. The impact that it made on each of their lives was life-changing and helped to expand their perspective with regard to the international community. basic human services. but will also learn a great deal. but in some cases. “As an organization dedicated to building strong kids. At the time.org. 18 Summer 2008 Photos courtesy of: YMCA . Family Services Director for the Somerset Hills YMCA. as well as the partnership with the YCS YMCA in Skopje. members and young volunteers of fledgling YMCAs in Bulgaria. Macedonia and northern Greece. UMD plans to work with both YMCA’s to advance the mission of this program. “Our partnership with the Skopje YMCA will enable us to promote dialogue.” For example. By partnering with the YMCA in Macedonia. YMCAs in the Balkan region are filling an essential need in their society. “As our organization expands and looks to offer more programs and services to the varied populations of the Somerset Hills.” Luik added. awareness and advocacy on critical issues that affect YMCAs. The relationship began following an initial trip in 2006 when Lauren Luik. the wellestablished Somerset Hills YMCA will be able to provide strategic counsel and support to this young. visit the Somerset Hills YMCA online at www. and strong communities. and Carolyn Vasquez.” said Luik.

he continues to teach Macedonian youth in the New Jersey Diaspora as co-director of the Goce Delcev Macedonian Folkdance Ensemble. Greek. is rich with photographs and text describing Tomov’s life as a member of the Yugoslav folklore ensemble Lado and Macedonian ensemble Tanec. performed songs and dances from different regions of Yugoslavia in authentic regional costumes. Summer 2008 1 . In 2003. Ukrainian. performed Macedonian music and the crowd danced the night away. both Macedonian and American. He moved to the United States in 1967. published in both Macedonian and English. Slavko Madzarov. On December 8. Tomov was warmly welcomed in Skopje where. the Brooklyn Heights International Folk Dancers honored him in New York with a celebratory dinner in his honor.UMD Voice Photos courtesy of: George Tomov Macedonian in New York Honored in Skopje By Sheila Krstevski George Tomov Biography published in Macedonian. at the age of 67 Tomov finally retired the ensemble after 35 successful years. English George Tomov’s life as a teacher of Macedonian culture has been documented in a 320-page volume released in the spring of 2007 in Skopje. Before long dancers all over the United States sought the instruction of George Tomov. and Macedonia’s Honorary Consul for New Jersey. Russian. Guests included Congressman Bill Pascrell. including former members of the Tomov Ensemble filled the main hall of New Jersey’s Sts. the biography was launched in New Jersey. former Ambassador and Mrs. Polish. both Macedonian and American. Jordan Plevnes. The book. In 1974. where he earned notoriety among American folklore enthusiasts by teaching college and community-organized dance workshops. Serbian. In 2005. Tomov – born in Strumica – studied in Skopje where he earned degrees in sculpture and architecture. Tomov received the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor. when he returned for the book’s release. He is also the Director of the annual European Folk Festival – which for 35 years has featured diverse folk-dance groups including but not limited to Macedonian. Bulgarian. Hungarian. hundreds of people. Kiril and Metodij Macedonian Cultural Center in celebration of Tomov’s 70th birthday. His friends. under Tomov’s tutelage. In 1980. which instructed Americans in Macedonian folklore for 35 years in New York.” Following his trip. the Ensemble was invited by the Yugoslav government to tour the country where they also participated in Bitola’s Ilindenski Denovi celebration. Though in 2000. 2007. It was a glorious success! In 1979 and 1981. and Norwegian – and is sponsored by the Slavic Heritage Council of America. a dream Tomov had described since leaving Macedonia came true: his Tomov Folk Dance Ensemble was founded in New York City! The ensemble was composed of 40 professional singers and dancers – primarily Americans enamored with Yugoslav folkdance – who. they performed at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. This medal is awarded to immigrants or their descendents who arrived in the USA via the Port of New York or Ellis Island for outstanding contribution to their own ethnic group and to American Society. His career in folklore began with the Zagreb-based folklore ensemble Lado and Skopje-based Tanec for whom he was a showcased performer. and for the famous Tomov Folk Dance Ensemble. Tomov has been an active member of the Macedonian Diaspora since his arrival in the United States more than 40 years ago and is known by many as an ambassador of Macedonian culture. Fokus Magazine praised him as a “living legend of Macedonian folklore. a Macedonian amateur dance group.

The parish priest Father Slobodan Petkovski also gave remarks. and Serbia. Denis Manevski briefed those present on UMD’s budget. and Marina Veljanovska traveled to Cedar Grove. particularly for the fact that it is an all-volunteer organization that in 4 years has managed to become the largest and strongest Macedonian organization in the Diaspora. which lasted two hours. D. The meeting was opened by the host organizer Macedonian Human Rights Movement of the United States President Dragan Slavkovski and Sts. Over 200 Macedonian-Americans attended and had the opportunity to exchange ideas and comment on the work of UMD during the last 4 years. Greece. The presentation was well-received and provided for a thought-provoking discussion. Stay tuned… 20 Summer 2008 Photos: Alexander Krstevski . specifically our annual Christmas drive for less fortunate children and orphans in Macedonia. UMD was praised for its efforts addressing the interests and needs of Macedonians. Marina Veljanovska discussed the organization’s charitable and cultural activities. and plans to open an office in Washington.UMD Voice UMD Holds Grassroots Event in Cedar Grove. Plans are in store to hold such presentations in other Macedonian communities throughout the world. 2007. Denis Manevski. fundraising goals. UMD Founders Boban Jovanovski. Aleksandar Mitreski i n for med the audience on our activities regarding name recognition and the current human rights situation of Macedonians living in Albania. followed by a presentation by Boban Jovanovski regarding UMD’s Macedonia in NATO 2008 and Macedonia in EU 2012 campaigns. Bulgaria. New Jersey to hold a presentation about UMD’s global agenda at the Macedonian Cultural Center adjacent to Sts. Meto Koloski introduced the role of the organization and its history. Aleksandar Mitreski. Last but not least. Kiril and Metodij Macedonian Orthodox Church Board President Nikola Milevski.C. Kiril and Metodij Macedonian Orthodox Church. Meto Koloski. and hire a full-time professional staff. New Jersey By UMD Staff On November 18.

I will endeavor to do the best research and teaching work I can. When I was working on the grant. Dr. as well as with students and the Macedonian government. Gorsevski said he was drawn to BGSU by the new School of Earth. “I like to work on research that will help Macedonia adapt to its transition toward a market economy. to live up to the Fulbright standard. Dr. Gorsevski was also surprised. He is still a new face on campus. each kind of work helps inform the other and keeps me productive.” he said. and he got it relatively early in his career. Environment and Society.” he said. Charles Onasch.” Luckily.” Onasch said. “Either way. “It’s a tremendous honor and a very competitive fellowship. he will incorporate both teaching and research into his experience. cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and bright student body really impressed me when I came here to interview. water resources and other natural resources in both an economically and environmentally sustainable way. Cyril and Methodius University there. Dr. I knew the odds were small because the competition is so great. For that reason. 2008 (Reprinted with permission) Bordered by Greece and Bulgaria. geology and director of the school. Gorsevski uses satellite technology and other data to interpret natural processes. He received his master’s degree in forest engineering from Oregon State University in 1996 and his doctorate from the University of Idaho in 2002. and terrain and watershed analysis.” he said. The information can help humans “hopefully interact and manage things like forests.” He plans on sharing his findings with other researchers and faculty. who are one of his two favorite parts of the job. with all the related challenges that brings for Macedonia’s rich natural environment. he doesn’t forget his students. “Its diversity of faculty. Macedonia isn’t foreign to Dr. grid modeling. having joined the BGSU community just this academic year.UMD Voice Photos courtesy of: Bowling Green State University Monitor Gorsevski to Bring Geological Expertise to Macedonia as Fulbright Scholar Published in the Bowling Green State University Monitor on January 7. Peter Gorsevski. Dr.” Dr. Summer 2008 21 . He said he wanted to return to Macedonia because he knows the language and has “expertise in precisely the data and land-management strategies that a developing nation like Macedonia can really benefit from. multicriteria decision analysis. “It’s hard to choose what I like better: working with students or working with data.” Even with the prestigious award. “I’d like to develop a strong network of researchers and others who are interested in bringing Macedonia into the 21st century in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. He is a native of the country and in 1992 received his bachelor’s degree in forestry at Ss. A specialist in geospatial sciences. His research interests include GIScience and remote sensing. Gorsevski won’t have to choose between students and data this spring. Dr. “This is truly an honor for me. Gorsevski said. was surprised that Peter won the competitive award.

Treasurer and Director of Cultural Awareness. UMD Offers Forum for an Exchange of Ideas By Aleksandar Mitreski In the largest gathering of the North American Diaspora. Stay tuned to our website for information about our activities during future conventions. D u r i ng t he C onvent ion. and Marina Veljanovska. and Slavko Mangovski.” has become a ritual celebration of culture and identity for thousands in the North American Diaspora. Koloski. more united Macedonian Diaspora is being built. The event. and Meto Koloski 33rd Annual Convention Draws Macedonians to Cincinnati. and ways that UMD’s members can help increase awareness about Macedonia’s investment potential and climate. Ohio for the 33rd annual AmericanCanadian Macedonian Orthodox Diocese Convention on September 1. 2007. Aleksandar Mitreski. Macedonians from across the continent flooded the halls of the Millennium Hotel in Cincinnati. Gligor Tashkovich discussed investment opportunities in Macedonia.C. UMD Treasurer.” and saying that “through the ongoing and open exchange of ideas. calling the forum “a great opportunity to meet young aspiring Macedonians. former Editor-in-Chief of the international weekly Makedonsko Sonce. and around the world. Among the speakers were UMD President. Attendees then had a unique opportunity for intimate discussion on the direction of Macedonian causes.UMD Voice Photos: Emil Ivanovski Left to right: Denis Manevski. including businessman George Atanasoski. Vice President. Following presentations by representatives of UMD. American-born Macedonian Minister for Foreign Direct Investment. 22 Summer 2008 . Marina Veljanovska. Denis Manevski. Un ited Macedonian Diaspora’s leadership hosted an informational meeting where they spoke about issues currently facing Macedonians and how UMD is working to address them in Washington D. Denis Manevski praised the participants. Metropolitan Metodij of the American-CanadianMacedonianOrthodox Diocese to discuss UMD’s mission and the potential for future cooperation. Metodija A.” UMD representatives later met privately His Grace. new relationships can be forged and a stronger. Several prominent Macedonians at tended. Aleksandar Mitreski. known to Macedonians simply as “the Convention.

000 [ ] Sponsor $500 Please fill out the form below: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------First Name Last Name ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Please list family members if signing up for family membership ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Title Business. Your membership helps foster the unity of the Macedonian people by ensuring the progress and advancement of the traditional Macedonian spiritual. It is only through your support that UMD can remain effective and continue to advocate the Macedonian cause.000 [ ] Brussels Club [ ] Ottawa Club -each $10. educational.MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR MACEDONIA! JOIN UMD TODAY! United Macedonian Diaspora (“UMD”) is a global non-governmental and non-for-profit organization addressing the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world. Church. We Can! Membership tiers in U. Dollars per year (please check one): [ ] Student $15 (please include a copy of your student ID) [ ] Individual $35 [ ] Sustaining $1. UMD is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. D. Help move the Macedonian cause forward by joining TODAY! United.500 [ ] Canberra Club [ ] Supporter $250 [ ] Benefactor $5. We sincerely thank you for your generosity.S. 20004 Please direct all questions to info@umdiaspora. and socio-cultural heritage furthered by charitable.umdiaspora.C. or Organization ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Address ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------City State/Province Zip Code Country ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------E-mail Phone Fax You can also visit our website at www. historical. public.org or (202) 756-2244 . and other community-minded endeavors.000 [ ] Washington Club [ ] Family $100 [ ] Patron $2.org to become a member. NW. or mail this completed form with check or money order made payable to ‘United Macedonian Diaspora’ to: United Macedonian Diaspora 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue. 6th Floor Washington.

com United Macedonian Diaspora 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue.org http://www.an organization uniting Macedonians worldwide . NW.The United Macedonian Diaspora is grateful for all the help Delo Logic Arts has provided with design and layout of our new publication UMD Voice magazine.delologicarts. Delo Logic Arts is proud to assist in the efforts of the United Macedonian Diaspora . www.org . 20004 Phone: (202) 756-2244 Fax: (202) 756-7323 E-mail: info@umdiaspora. Delo Logic Arts expresses best wishes and success in the important work of UMD. 6th Floor Washington.umdiaspora.C. D.and looks forward to continued collaboration.

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