A Letter from Bosnia

It’s a really important day for the people in Bosnia today…

It’s a really important day for the people in Bosnia today – Radovan Karadžić has finally been accused by the The International war crimes tribunal in The Hague for the war crimes in Bosnia in 92-95, ethnical cleansing, genocide in Srebrenica in 1995, massacres in multiple municipalities and the eviction of non-Serbs in cities and villages in Bosnia, as well as murders and terrorizing the civilians during the Sarajevo siege (92-95).

I cannot explain how important this is to all the people who lost their dear ones in the war, in the massacres, in the genocide. People from my family also were victims and a lot of them were killed in these horrible events 20 years ago; both in Sarajevo during the 4-year siege and in Srebrenica.

We all know that this is not going to bring back the dead or „make up“ for the ethnical cleansing that happened in Bosnia. But this is an important political step that people have been waiting for in the last 20 years.

The biggest problem going on right now in my country is not just the genocide and war crimes that happened – but the fact that the majority of people are still being unable to deal with the past. There are so many people who have been denying these crimes for the past 20 years, also including young people born during and after the war who were raised in families and schools which persuaded them in thinking that mass murder, genocide, rape and ethnic cleansing never happened and that it’s all a lie. I met so many young people in my country who have this opinion.

4 days ago one student dorm in Pale, in Bosnia (Republica Srpska part), was built and named by Radovan Karadžić. The name of the student dorm is „Radovan Karadžić“, and the students in that part of our country didn’t protest this decision at all.

People hope that this decision by the chamber will change things and that this argument will now be used to prove that the war, genocide, murder, rape, and mass evictions truly happened in Bosnia. But who are we proving this to?

I see this as a very problematic thing because in the past 20 years, in this long period after the war, our society hasn’t been working on understanding the past, dealing with the past and trauma on the individual level at all. They have been mostly looking at something external; the war crimes tribunal to make the decision instead of us. They were not looking inside themselves and trying to heal their own and each other’s wounds – but looking at something outside; blaming it, finding reasons why it’s wrong or right and avoiding to truly deal with these issues in a deep level. Our society has been waiting all these 20 years for this day to come, and waiting for the pain to have an official „proof“ by someone other than ourselves. But what now?

Yes, on one side, I do understand the serious political implications that this decision is bringing. But on the other side, I think it’s even more important to currently address the question of „What now?“. How can we as individuals deal with the traumatizing events that occurred? And how to prevent ourselves from collecting hatred and violence, which is usually the easiest way out of these feelings of pain and loss?

I can see so many of my friends who lost their dear ones in the war and who shared a lot of opinions on Facebook today which sound like „This cannot make up for the dead, we have to revenge the Serbs“… This is so disturbing. I am so worried.

But at the same time I am so thankful to have you all as a world family of truly open-hearted human beings who can listen to me and help me in cleaning my own heart, so that maybe I can help others in the same process. And I am so grateful to be able to start a project of healing these people, even if it’s on a very small and local level.

Here I can also connect the topic we are discussing this week – the need for healing with love. It is so true that all the wars and all the violence really starts from ourselves; our fear, jealousy, wish for power and control, unhealthy relations, love not being fulfilled, fear of loss and separation. This is something very deep and important, and is something that people who are directly affected by the war usually cannot see, because they feel so much pain and are very frustrated – which leads them to collecting anger even more, feeling scared and acting violent. This is something I have to deal with in my project, and I have already written to Nora about one issue that has occurred in trying to talk to the people in my society. This is exactly how they feel – scared and with a huge lack of trust.

The biggest question is how to approach them when they are in this state of pain? This is my major concern. I am aware that I have to clean my own heart so so much to be able to do such a thing. And in this process I am so grateful for all the support, because I have almost no support in my own country where I deal with these people every day, and where I have to try to talk to them and gain their trust.

I deeply thank you all for being here, and for supporting our global project of love, unity and peace among humans, animals and the whole nature.


One thought on “A Letter from Bosnia

  1. Thank you Smirna, for letting us know about the suffering in Bosnia. We forget or just look the other way many times. I love how your heart is open and that you see how your country is trying to come back into balance. Much light and love being sent to you and all your families !

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