Edhem Fočo

The advantage of Sarajevo is that it is a small city

Edhem Fočo, one of the instigators behind Al Jazeera Balkans (AJB), with a main office in Sarajevo, is also director of the AJB DOC Film Festival, which will be held in our city for the second time (Sept. 20-24).


After years of producing documentary films, AJB started its doc film festival in 2018. Winners were nominated for Oscars and the event has enriched Sarajevo's festival scene by offering major works that inform, educate and engage the public, which prefers real stories, in conversations.

- SFF is the undisputed regional champion when it comes to festival tourism, the Bookstan Literature Festival satisfies even the most demanding intellectual audience, while AJB DOC is a chance for the doc format to get a reaction from viewers. This year, over 20 top films on the topic of “change” await us, as well as a few by BiH filmmakers.

Exotic city

Visitors were thrilled with the first AJB DOC, whose atmosphere was described as intimate, with phenomenal organization, then there's the exotic capital city of BiH.

- Guests like that everything is close. The advantage of Sarajevo is that it is a small city, where you can get around on foot and it seems you know everyone, like you're part of a big family.

Edhem also sees the old part of town, Baščaršija, as a small, authentic space, and suggests a walk along the small streets, with Bosnian houses surrounded by flowers and intriguing details not found in any tourist brochures.

- Feel the charm of Baščaršija at Miris Dunja, look for the spirit of a metropolis at Jazzbina, and at S One Sky Lounge on the rooftop of Courtyard by Marriott.

When advising gourmets, besides ćevapi on Bravadžiluk St., he recommends Bosnian specialties at Dženita and Hadžibajrić, Sarajevo's oldest aščinica.

- The best traditional restaurant with a view of Sarajevo is Kibe Mahala, and I choose Four Seasons' terrace when I want to enjoy international specialties.

Edhem says that jewelry by goldsmith Sead Sofić, which is inspired by pieces worn by BiH royalty, makes a great Sarajevo gift.

Sports tourism

- Our mountains are ideal for training and contests, but more sports activities are needed. I'm glad Feri Hotel will open soon on Igman – the open air “spa” that's perfect for training – and everyone should raft the Neretva.

He thinks the country should provide more help to institutions like the National Museum, and there should be regular transport to surrounding mountains.

- Just ten minutes from the city, Trebević is now more accessible after the cable car renovation, and our nature comes as a revelation to tourists, because in 20 minutes you're up on Ravna Planina or Jahorina, and in an hour you’re at the villages of Bjelašnica: Sinanovići, Lukomir....

Edhem believes tourism is a terrific way to present the city to potential investors.

- Sarajevo Airport should have more flights, and the city and mountains need more hotels with greater capacities.