Perhaps you noticed in some of the pictures of the Old Bridge in Mostar, there was a banner that read “Do Not Forget Srebrenica.” If you’re not familiar with The Srebrenica Massacre (in all honesty, I wasn’t before our arrival to Bosnia and Herzegovina) get ready for the briefest of brief history lessons: It was the July 1995 mass genocide of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims (mostly men and boys) in and around the small town of Srebrenica by the Republika Srpska army, commanded by General Ratko Mladić. The town of Srebrenica was supposed to be a safe area under protection by the United Nations, and witnessed an influx of refugees during the war from those seeking a safe haven. Unfortunately, the town was captured by the Repbulika Srpska and the 400 UN peacekeepers were able to leave before/during? the genocide that began to take place. This incident is a huge scar on the UN’s history. At first they denied that it had happened, and then with the discovery of mass burial sites, it was apparent justice had been lacking. I’m sure I’m leaving a lot of information out. The incident is overwhelming, to say the least, and being not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but in the Galerija 11/07/95 on the anniversary was moving.
The gallery was smaller than I thought it would be, but there were computers set up with multimedia programs that spelled out the chain of events in an incredibly detailed and informative way. And we were fortunate to have a really great guided tour, great, again, not in the exciting kind of way, but in the this-girl-knows-her-shit kinda way. Saliha (pictured on the right above with her friend and colleague at the Gallery) was incredibly informative and passionate about the events that took place and the events relating to the trials and the UN taking place today. I felt one tiny step closer to having a better understanding of what happened during the Bosnian War than I did before setting foot in the gallery. I thanked her afterwards and asked if I could take her picture (as pictures within the gallery weren’t allowed). She was kind enough to oblige. Thanks again for everything, Saliha!
We met up with Josh and Leanne afterwards for lunch, and then Andrew and I wandered around the downtown old town area while they went on the tour we did the day before. It was a low key day, one that we all appreciated, that and each other’s company. Have I mentioned how lovely it is to feel like we have friends again on this long journey around the world?