bosnia report
New Series No: 29-31 June - November 2002
Dr Smail Balic

Smail Balic (born Mostar 26 August 1920, died Vienna March 2002) was one of the most eminent orientalists of his day. After studies in Vienna, Leipzig and Wroc»aw, he doctored in librarianship at Vienna (1945). In postwar Austria he taught at two Viennese academic institutes and was librarian and curator for oriental languages and general linguistics at the National Library of Austria; he was also a research fellow in Arabic and Islamic studies at the J.W.Goethe University in Frankfurt. He was the first director of the Institut der Bosniaken in Zurich.   His many scholarly works include Kultura Bosnjaka (first edition Vienna 1973), Ruf vom Minarett (third edition Hamburg 1984), Das unbekannte Bosnien (Cologne, Weimar, Vienna 1992), Der Islam im Spannungsfeld von Tradition und heutiger Zeit (Würzburg, Altenberge 1993), Der Islam - europakonform? (Würzburg, Altenberge 1994) and Mostar - Wem gehört die leidgeprüfte bosnische Stadt? (Soest 1993). In June 2001 he took vigorous part in the seminar on ‘Ottoman Bosnia: texts, materials, interpretations’ organized in Sarajevo by The Bosnian Institute; his paper ‘The preparation and publication of Ottoman and Bosnian texts in Vienna: observations on a new catalogue ’ will be published next year with the other proceedings of the seminar.


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