Beyond Bullets: Learning about Bosnia

August 26, 2011 § 4 Comments

When we first told people we planned to visit Eastern Europe, reactions were mixed. Some questioned why we would want to visit “a bunch of war-torn countries with bullet holes everywhere”. Coming to Bosnia was just that – our opportunity to see those bullet holes, but also to see beyond the limited view we had from the media snippets in the 90s. As we were in junior high during the Bosnian War, we had little recollection of what happened. Even hearing the events firsthand from people who lived it was confusing at first, trying to piece together the many interests at stake. The Orthodox Serbs fought to hold the crumbling nations together for Greater Serbia. The Catholic Croats partaking in the land grab to establish their new post-Yugoslavia state. The Muslim Bosniaks quite literally caught in the middle being pushed from all sides. Visiting the actual sites of the events, getting to know the people, seeing the more beautiful parts of the country made our week in the Bosnian cities of Mostar and Sarajevo a living learning experience.

The namesake bridge in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Exploring the still-in-shambles sniper tower in Mostar

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