Reflections on my recent trip to Srebrenica (Bosnia)

Tomorrow (Tuesday 11th July) marks the 28th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. This date is a dark day in the history of humanity and over 7,000 Muslim men and children were murdered in cold blood.

In Ramadan 2023, I was fortunate to have visited Bosnia with the Bosnia Trust team and spent some time at the Srebrenica Memorial Center. Words alone can’t describe how it felt to have visited this place. Approximately 8,000 Muslims are buried here. Each one of them were brutally massacred and murdered.

As I was walking through the Memorial Wall, I noticed over 80 members of one family were all murdered on the same day. SubhanAllah, an entire family lineage was wiped out. It was a heavy moment to absorb. These individuals have left behind widows and many family members. I was taken aback by the memorial wall where the names of the 8,372 victims are engraved. The victims were grandfathers, fathers and sons.

During our visit, we met with some of the Bosnian widows who had lost their husbands due to the genocide. Despite their struggles and losses, they seemed so content and at peace with Allah’s decree. It felt as if they were being brave by putting on a strong front but deep down, Allah alone knows how much they were suffering.

The aftermath of the Srebrenica massacre is still evident in Bosnia today but I was so taken aback by how much the country is developing. The Mosques reminded me of being back in Turkey, as the vast majority of the Mosques have been designed according to the Ottoman style. Also, the Bosnian community are so welcoming and hospitable. Very simple and down to earth. The natural scenery and landscapes throughout Bosnia is absolutely breathtaking. I remember stopping at several locations and viewpoints to admire the beauty of Bosnia. There is such a strong sense of culture within Bonsia and a close-knit community is evident throughout the country. Family life is valued and many Bosnians live such simple and content lives.

If you haven’t yet visited Bosnia, it’s a country worth visiting and exploring. The culture, food, entertainment, excursions and natural beauty is worth seeing.

What happened on 11th July 1995 will never be forgotten and Insha’Allah will never happen again.

May Allah bless the country of Bosnia and allow its community to grow and prosper for many generations to come. May Allah grant the deceased the hugest ranks of Jannah and grant ease, patience and steadfastness to their families. Ameen.