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Romany Koran Published In Bosnia

(RFE/RL) 2 November 2005 -- Muharem Serbezovski, a Bosnian Roma singer of Macedonian origin, today presented his translation of the Koran from Arabic into Romany in Sarajevo.

This is the first-ever printed copy of the Koran in that language.

Serbezovski took seven years to complete his translation, and its presentation was timed to coincide with the Eid el-Fitr holiday -- known locally as Ramazanski Bajram -- that marks the end of Ramadan.

He said he will soon begin promoting his translation throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina and distribute free copies to local Roma. His next project is to translate the Bible into Romany, since many Roma in former Yugoslavia are Christian.

The former Yugoslavia had a large Roma population, although their exact numbers are difficult to determine despite the fact a census was taken there every 10 years. Many Roma either declared themselves to be members of another ethnic group to avoid discrimination or had no contact with census takers because of their nomadic lifestyle.

Estimates of Bosnia's Roma population range from 10,000 to 40,000. Serbia, Kosova, and Macedonia also have large numbers of Roma.


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