Surrounded by Hate

Yes, I know I’m late in posting. What’s funny though is that prior to leaving for Srebrenica I knew what I was going to blog about, but time just seemed to get away from me. Now that I here though, everything I was going to say just doesn’t seem to fit yet everything I’m thinking and feeling doesn’t feel right either. So where does that leave me but rambling somewhere in the middle.

Today we went and registered our presences with the Republika Srpska; and as we pulled up to the police station, where our passports were to be examined and fee paid, I saw the Serbian flag. Seeing it there, flapping in the gentle breeze, my mind turned to thoughts of what it must feel to live surrounded by those who hate you.

When I studied in Northern Ireland, my university was in the predominantly Catholic area of the city. I say predominately because nestled within the area was a tiny enclave of Brits who proudly proclaimed their heritage, flying the Union Jack wherever they could. And while there is dispute as to what rights these people had over the land, it cannot be denied that they somewhere they were not wanted.  Yet regardless of that, they remain. Why? I can’t imagine.

And so my thoughts turn to the people of Srebrenica and how so many (though clearly not all) have chosen to return to their homes, regardless of the fact that the people who committed these crimes against them are still there, living in the area. They come back knowing that they are surrounded by people who hate them, people who tried to kill them.  I can’t help but wonder what has motived them to do this.  Is it simply because they see Srebrenica as their homes and thus their right? Or perhaps it is because to do otherwise would be to let the Serbs win? Maybe, and the mostly likely, it is something else completely different that I just don’t understand.

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