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: