The last speeches to Borjan

   Biographic data

   We are separating from our dear friend and memories from our friendship, our high-school and academic years are coming back.

   He was not living long but there is a lot to say about his personality and his life.

   He attended high-school in “Nikola Karev” in Skopje and had excellent results. But there was also a lot of humor and charm on the classes he attended and afterwards. The stay as a child in Algeria made him more entertaining with speaking French and Arabic. His spirit could be noticed on any discussion in which he took part with a lot of ardor, enthusiasm and vivacity.

   He was a representative in the High-school Union where he was defending the interests of his generation. He also took part on three conferences of The Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (OBESSU), in Amsterdam, Pisa and Lichtenstein, thus starting his own way towards Europe.

   He was not hiding his ambitions for continuing his education abroad. He chose the American College of Thessaloniki, where with his friends he affirmed our education and the intellectual potentials of our students.

   He studied for 4 years, graduating with honors, on the Dean’s list. His high success was a proof of his high intellectual potentials, of his engagement in the studies, of his ambitions… He was a respected person to discuss with to all of his professors during the courses and afterwards. The professors which he appreciated most were also his good friends as Prof. Mueller, Prof. Tsorbatsoglou, Prof. Kavakas and others. He was appreciated in all of his debates as he was discussing with the right arguments, with a lucidity, in an intelligent way, with a european spirit and a very special sense of humor. Sport was one his great interests, and he was the center-blocker of the volley-ball team in ACT and also a captain in the last semester.

   He learned to speak Greek which made easier making friends between his greek colleagues and a better socialization in the greek milieu. After a 4 years stay in Thessaloniki, in a college with students from all the Balkan countries, he felt better the differences and similarities of the balkanic nations and wanted to spread his spirit of understanding and tolerance.

   He loved his home country – Republic of Macedonia, above all. He had a wish to see her place in the European Union and was dreaming to be one of the actors who were going to lead the country in the European Union.

   In early spring 2002 he dared to apply at Harvard, but in lack of work experience he was not accepted. He applied later and was accepted at the London School of Economics, where the criteria for acceptance are very high. He was searching for an other option as well and finally with a scholarship from the Belgian Foundation Roi Baudouin, he was accepted at the College of Europe in Natolin/Brugge. Before graduating he organized his post-graduate studies, tracing his own way to the European centers.

   Right after his graduation he attended the “Brave New Europe” seminar in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where important people from the European Union were present, as well as young intellectuals, all discussing about the future of Europe. He kept the contacts with all the participants hoping for lifetime friendships with his future colleagues.

   In the caffe-bars he frequented his humorous and charming jokes will still be mentioned. He started his first boem eves in the AHA- cafe, daring to face out the night, as he used to say. His presence was a privilege for everyone. A lot of girlfriends will remember him, some may be for a lifetime. He had the charm of a modern young man who loves deeply and sincerely.

   Always cheerful, serene, moderate, reasonable, pleasant and agreeable. Fascinating with simplicity, charm, humor, with a smile, but also with all the knowledge from many fields, universal, far-sighted. His friends recognized his exclusive intellectual capabilities in his approach, stimulating them to tend to higher intellectual aims. That may be most valuable and irreplaceable role was belonging to him.

   In August 2002 he celebrated his graduation with his roommates and about a 100 guests. And that was the last joy of Borjan. Unfortunately, the day he had to start his post-graduate studies he was hospitalized. After what, the cruel disease burned all his dreams into ashes. He was fighting with a lot of persistence and optimism, he wanted to be with his friends, and was not giving up till his very last breath.

   Loosing Borjan is very tragic for his parents and his sister, but they are proud they had a son and a brother with such a spirit and character that was admired by everyone.

   We, the friends, have lost a valuable friend, a leader who was uniting us, motivating and entertaining us.

   The sorrow of all people present here is huge, and the lost irreplaceable. He was special, unique, in a word - wonderful. We will keep his memory forever.

   May he rest in peace!

   Biographic data - Friends' speech - Prof. Mueller's speech

   Friends' speech

   Dear Borjan,

   We are gathered like if it was your birthday, like if we should write you a dedication, like if we should choose a present for you. The only difference is that noone laughs, and for the first time we are all standing silent. Today we are not writing a dedication to you for your birthday. Today we are writing a funeral speech.

   Noone understands what happened and what was happening. And noone understands why. And to whom should we address our “WHY?” . We are standing exausted in front of the defeat that broke our hearts and emptied our souls. Because we were all fighting for your life. Now we understand that this fight is not won by the number of our “bullets” nor our will… that to our “why” there is not a “because”. In this struggle we lost the meaning and above all, we lost YOU.

   We would like to write so much, to let you know. We would like it to be nice, to come from our soul, but it is hard. Because everything that could be said with words is impudently few to what you merit. Who is able to describe your spirit? That ardor that made our friendly company so nice. That sparkle that made all our holidays so cheerful, all the ordinary cafes significantly different. For your spirit can not only our words, not even our tears. In that struggle you stay an absolute winner. Your fire and your wind will stay in everyone of us.

   Your best friends

   We love you Borjan, we will love you tomorrow. And each day we will endlessly miss you.

   Biographic data - Friends' speech - Prof. Mueller's speech

   Prof. Mueller's speech

                                                                                                                              Skopje, 24.03.2003

   Borjan Tanevski

   [I am sorry that I cannot speak to you in Macedonian and I hope we can communicate in English.]

   Borjan Tanevski entered the American College of Thessaloniki, ACT, in the fall of 1998, four and a half years ago. We first met when he attended my introductory course to philosophy in the second semester and I was immediately struck by how bright he was, how sharp and concentrated his thinking. Borjan really was always completely present, one literally had the impression that there was a brighter light burning in his mind. Teaching him was just a pleasure.

   After a while we started to talk a little after classes and, amongst other things, I asked Borjan for his opinion on the “ Macedonian Question” – something much debated at the time. When this first year student explained the problem to me, I began to realize how deep his understanding already was – and how far removed from simple – minded nationalism. Talking to my colleagues, I kept hearing, “Ah, yes, Borjan Tanevski, he is something special” – Borjan had made an impression on all professors that had been lucky enough to have him in their classes, this applied particularly to professors in the social and political science, which were Borjan’s main interests.

   Meeting Borjan outside classes, I began to appreciate that he was not just the common good student, but also a very warm – hearted person, full of joy and with a great sense of humor. I have to add that meeting Borjan’s family, I realized that it is no accident that they produced this wonderful son – it is in this environment of warmth and educated intelligence that such characters are formed.

   When Borjan was looking into graduate education, he received an offer from the London School of Economics, probably the best university for political science in Europe. The Academic Dean of ACT and I wrote a special reference letter to support his scholarship application and we not only expressed our confidence that Borjan would do very well in his graduate studies, we also said that we expected him to play an important part in the future of his country and perhaps the region. Borjan was on his way to become a leader working for peace and understanding in the Balkans and I hope that we can continue to work in his spirit.

   On the occasion of his graduation, last summer, Borjan gave me a book about his home country, Macedonia, in which he wrote:”To Dr. Mьller, for the help and support during my college education, and, for our friendship. Borjan Tanevski, 25.06.2002” – it is terribly sad that we will not be able to develop that friendship further but I am also extremely proud and grateful that I had the privilege of knowing Borjan.

   Good Bye Borjan, you will always be in our hearts. [In Macedonian …]

   Dr. Vincent C. Mueller
   American College Of Thessaloniki

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