To Tell Of Srebrenica

As social workers we have the unique responsibility of telling the stories for those individuals who lack the ability and resources to present their truths to the world. In our travels to Srebrenica I met the most impressive man I have ever encountered. Hasan has been doing the important work. The work of giving a voice to the people of Srebrenica who have suffered the indignant travesty which befell them at the hands of the aggressors during the conflict. He has dedicated his life to presenting the story of this genocide to the world. He has given a voice to the thousands of stories which need to be concluded for healing of the individuals, reestablishing the shattered communities, and giving a society a chance for lasting peace.

While visiting with Hasan I made a connection and the level of the heart. A bond I will cherish for the rest of my life. This human connection developed is a key to making these changes occur. Hasan  arranged a visit for the group to break bread with SuliHa at her country home. She lost her sons and her husband in the conflict. Even experiencing all of the pain of a grieving mother SuliHa has found a balance with the past and the present. She is a very brave woman to share with her home and her resources with us. She brings us here from a position of gratitude. Asking nothing more of from us than to fully experience her peaceful piece of the world. To make a human connection to those of us who have the societal privilege to travel here from the safe confines of our sheltered world. A world where we cannot fully comprehend how a genocide occurred under the watch of a war wary international community. The politics of how it happened are much less important to that it happened. Identifying the victims by gathering evidence which is precise and accurate to support the truth to the world. The common fact throughout world history that to the victor goes the spoils of war. One spoil of war which shifts to the victor is the power to write the history books, establish the educational curriculum from which to educate the children, and the resources of the society to present the story they would like to be heard by the outside world. Oppressing the voices of those defeated to tell their story.

This has been an effective strategy throughout history because the evidence fades and people are oppressed. In this instance the DNA evidence is providing the proof needed to ensure the evidence is irrefutable.

Each of these fine individuals are shifting the power to shed light on the this undeniable truth by relentlessly telling their story to all who will listen. A truth they are pain staking about presenting with a factual preponderance of evidence. Beyond the individual sharing a much larger tool has been constructed in the form of the Genocide Memorial. This powerful platform provides the stage for Hasan and his colleagues to tell the story up to five times a day to visitors from around the world to take back and share. A story of people who want justice for the crimes against their families, communities, and the society as a whole. I will forever be touched by their stories and I am honored to share a piece of myself with them by caring their story and sharing with all whom will listen.


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