Prayer in a former war zone

I recently spent a semester in some of the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Traveling and studying in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo on a peace and conflict studies abroad was a transformative time. While the people I met were unfailingly charming and generous, most of these transitioning societies still struggle in the aftermath of armed conflicts linked to Yugoslavia’s collapse in the early 1990s. 

Many see Bosnia and Herzegovina as the republic that suffered the most during this hostile time, where war raged for nearly three years. It involved the three main ethnic groups, the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims. As the war intensified, genocide against the Muslims in Bosnia (also known as Bosniaks) was committed largely by nationalist Serbs, and the resulting devastation and damage are still being rectified 20 years later. While Bosnia and Herzegovina was once the triumphant example of peaceful interethnic relations in Yugoslavia, the war deeply entrenched and institutionalized ethnic divisions.

Life lessons
June 11, 2012

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