Bosnian Comrades on Hajj

Episode 406

hosted by Taylan Güngör

This episode explores the post-World War II travelogues of Bosnian journalist Hasan Ljubunčić, who went on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca after the Second World War. His narrative showcases the entanglements between religion and politics, Bosnian Muslims and their contemporaries in Turkey and the broader Muslim world, and socialism and Islamic modernism. In the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, Bosnian Hajjis sought alliances within the Muslim world. The travelogues thus speak to multiple audiences: local Muslim populations, socialist authorities, and international interlocutors. On a broader level, this evolving Hajj discourse speaks to similarities between Islamic and socialist modernist projects and the practical ways these were used in postwar Bosnia.

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Contributor Bios

Dženita Karić recently received her PhD from SOAS, University of London and is currently a researcher at the Oriental Institute in Sarajevo. Her research focuses on transformations of religious discourse in Ottoman and post-Ottoman Bosnia, with a particular emphasis on changes in conceptualizations of Hajj.
Taylan Güngör is a doctoral candidate at SOAS in London. His interests are in Medieval and Pre-Modern Eastern Mediterranean trading circles and his research is on trade in Istanbul after 1453. Taylan records and edits podcasts in London at the SOAS Radio studio.

Further Listening
Lale Can 191
Central Asians and the Ottoman Empire
Peter Wien 285
Nationalism, Communism, and Fascism in the Modern Middle East
Leyla Amzi-Erdoğdular 198
Late Ottoman Bosnia and the Imperial Afterlife
Michael Christopher Low 101
Hydropolitics and the Hajj
Darryl Li 459
The Bosnian War, Jihad, and American Empire


Episode No. 406
Release Date: 17 March 2019
Recording Location: SOAS Radio Studios, University of London
Audio editing by Taylan Güngör
Music: Yegah Sirto by Ehl-i Keyif
Images and bibliography courtesy of Dr. Dženita Karić


Yugoslav Hajj delegation drinking their farewell coffee (source: Glasnik)
Hajjis on a steamboat ''Romanija'' (Source: Glasnik)
Farewell ceremony at the main railway station in Sarajevo (Source: Glasnik)

Yugoslav Hajjis at a construction site in al-Haram al-Sharif in Madina (Source: Glasnik)
Taylan and Dženita at SOAS Radio

Select Bibliography

Baker, Catherine. Race and the Yugoslav Region: Postsocialist, Post-Conflict, Postcolonial? (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018).

Henig, David. "Crossing the Bosphorus: Connected Histories of "Other" Muslims in the Post-Imperial Borderlands of Southeast Europe." Comparative Studies in Society and History 58 (4), (2016): 908-934.

Ljubunčić, Hasan. "Put na hadž." Glasnik VIS-a, XIV/1950.

Ljubunčić, Hasan. "Istorija hadža u Bosni i Hercegovini sa putem na hadž u 1954. godini." Glasnik, VIS-a. XIX/1955.

Rexhepi, Piro. "Unmapping Islam in Eastern Europe: Periodization and Muslim subjectivities in the Balkans." In Eastern Europe Unmapped: Beyond Borders and Peripheries, edited by Irene Kacandes and Yulija Komska, 53-77 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2017).


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