As we sat and listened not just with our ears but hearts and souls at the harrowing accounts of the worst conflict on European soil since WWII we felt the need to post a simple piece to reflect on the passing of 7,665 days since the murder of more than 8372 human souls.
The words of Resad Trbonja resonated through us during this week of remembrance as he spoke of the beautiful multicultural country of Bosnia-Hercegovina and how he, as a 19 year old young man was thrust into war and the time of his life where he was meant to experience the best years of his life. He mentioned how Muslims in Prijedor were made to wear white arm-bands in 1992 (see Ulia’s post) and 21 years later we don’t have reconciliation in Bosnia. Resad left us with a powerful message and real change we must effect in ourselves to truly bring about a genuine encompassing of peace and justice in the world we live in. Below is a short extract of the words spoken in the beautiful Manchester Cathedral on 13th July 2016. One day there will be no survivors left to tell us from their own mouths such a deeply touching message and words of advice such as Resad’s words.
“Hatred spreads so quickly, so it is important to tackle the hatred very quickly as it doesn’t start with the killing it starts with “us” and “them”. That is the time to act it will already be too late.
Why Srebrenica? Unfortunately, we are the example of how thing can go very very bad if the society doesn’t react at the time. The story about Srebrenica is the story about hatred. This is why we are here, we are here to tackle it, we here to take some actions and fight hatred.
Even though my best years of my life were taken away from me, three and a half years when I was supposed to be wildest life, I spent it in the trenches, but I have no regrets and I have no hate for anyone. If you talk to the survivors, you talk to the mothers who lost their sons, a mother who lost 47 members of her family, if you talk to her she doesn’t have hatred in her heart. That is very important and that is something I want you to take away from here.
Hate, if you hate someone that means you are weak. A far better emotion to work on and work with is Love. So, if you could only try toward our neighbours, brothers, cousins, sisters, nephews, whoever, share some love with them. This world would be a far better place for all of us. If we could only live with our neighbours, not next to them and know their fears and know what they think. And try to do something about the divisions. We can make this world a far better place.”
— justiceforbosnia (@justicebosnia) July 17, 2016
Resad concluded by thanking us for being ready to listen to the survivors stories and to the lessons that are being learnt.