Author, Peace Activist to Visit Harper College

Nadja Halilbegovich was 12 years old when war broke out in her native country of Bosnia. For the next three-and-a-half years, she documented the perils of living in the capital city of Sarajevo - from going without food and watching the abduction of her classmates to being hit herself by a falling bombshell - in her diary.

After her escape to the United States at age 16, Halilbegovich took to the stage as a popular speaker on behalf of peace. Her story, which has drawn comparisons to Anne Frank's, has been featured alongside tales from Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama in the book Architects of Peace.

Halilbegovich will share her message at Harper College during a special visit marking March's Women's History Month.

Her presentation, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, will include details from her award-winning book "My Childhood Under Fire: A Sarajevo Diary" and will highlight an array of issues including personal growth and inspiration, leadership, peace, tolerance, multiculturalism and women's empowerment.

"Her message is about finding hope in a hopeless situation," says Michael Vanlandingham, Harper's Theatre Technical Director and a former classmate of Halilbegovich's who invited her to the College. "The lesson I always pull from her story - and one I hope others will want to hear - is that you can achieve whatever you put your mind to."

Her talk will be held in the J Theatre, Room J143, Building J on the College's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine.

Tickets are $8 for general admission with discounts for seniors and students.