Genocide survivor Rešad Trbonja visits Greenhead to share his story

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On Tuesday 20th November Rešad Trbonja came into college to deliver a harrowing talk to over 140 students about the time he had to fight to save his family and friends during the Siege of Sarajevo.

Rešad was just a teenager when the war broke out in 1992 and during his talk he described the horrors he faced in the conflict, which lasted the best part of four years.

Prior to the war, Sarajevo was a culturally diverse area where no attention was paid to the religion or ethnicity of the residents. That all changed in the space of a day, when Sarajevo found itself under attack by the Serbs. An army was quickly created in Sarajevo, in order for them to defend themselves and fight for an independent, multi-ethnic Bosnia, where people could live freely, as they had done for many years.

Over 11,000 people died over the few years of the Siege, including Rešad’s best friends from school.

Rešad said:

“I hope by sharing this today hopefully a Sarajevo won’t happen to anyone else in the world again.

“Once ‘us and them’ is created it leads to a genocide.

“Challenge people. Please don’t take things for granted. Don’t agree that something is black when it’s obviously white…

“Reject hate. Hate takes an effort. Liking something is so easy; it comes very naturally”.

Students Kate Hanss and Roshni Parmar-Hill were inspired by Rešad’s talk.

Kate said:

“It was amazing. It was something I had never heard of. It’s quite alarming we didn’t know more about it.

“It was inspiring that someone can be in a situation of hatred and be so full of love.”

Roshni added:

“I found it very moving.”

It was a really thought-provoking and emotional talk. Thank you, Rešad for coming in and sharing your story.

To read all about Rešad’s story, click here:




History trip 2018

As part of our Medieval History A Level studies we were given the exciting opportunity to attend the annual history trip, staying at Bernieres-sur-Mer and visiting many interesting historical sites including Château Gaillard (Richard I’s so called ‘cheeky’ castle) and Omaha beach where many American soldiers lost their lives during the D-Day landings in 1944. This trip improved our knowledge and put many historical events into perspective, as well as teaching us about the many influences of history on today’s world. We had plenty of time to explore key Norman cities including Rouen and Caen- where the traditional market allowed us to immerse ourselves in French culture and practice our language skills. We even managed a rather competitive Rounders game in the beautiful setting of Juno beach.

Our favourite visits included the birthplace of William the Conqueror, Falaise, where we used virtual reality screens to view the castle as it would have been at the time. This gave us great insight into how the royals lived and also told us a lot about the architecture and defences of a medieval castle. We also visited Bayeux where we viewed the spectacular source, the Bayeux Tapestry which depicts the Norman conquest of 1066. We also visited Bayeux cathedral where we saw the amazing gothic architecture and we were also given some free time to explore the beautiful city and some went off to enjoy a crepe in the sun.

On day two we arrived at Château Gisors and learnt about the role it played in Phillip II‘s attempt to extend his French possessions at the expense of England’s Angevin rulers. Following this visit we travelled to our favourite castle, Chateau Gaillard. This beautiful monument, overlooking the River Seine, uses early principles of concentric fortification and was one of the earliest European castles to use machicolations. In the early 1200s this castle played an important role in John’s embarrassing loss of his continental possessions.

The History trip was invaluable to us as students as we learnt lots about our course, made many new friends, experienced a new culture and saw many beautiful sights.

Written by students Nathaniel Norcliffe and Alice Lambert.