What were the most memorable moments of the trip?
There were two main things that stood out for me in Bosnia. Firstly, the warmth and friendliness of the capital Sarajevo. Seeing mosques and churches and synagogues on the same street, people mixing. The combination of the old and the new, a feeling of hope and acceptance. The second, in contrast, was visiting the genocide memorial centre in Srebrenica, commemorating the thousands of Muslims killed in acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing.
Listening to the stories of genocide survivors – a woman who had lost 22 members of her family through ethnic cleansing, and the man who had miraculously survived a mass execution during the conflict, were stark reminders of the brutality and inhumanity on display during the conflict of only thirty years ago. Profoundly humbling and moving. The experiences I had in Sarajevo and Srebrenica were different and yet one thing shone through the people I met – “Hope”. That feeling was powerful for me yet tempered with a slight unease about the current situation in areas of the country and the question “How can we ensure this is never allowed to happen again” was one that I frequently asked myself.