Growing Flowers on Rocks

Deborah Meroff

IMG_1019Visitors roaming through the Bosnia-Herzegovina countryside are struck by stunning mountain vistas, rushing rivers and lush green valleys dotted with neat houses, gardens and haystacks. But the wounds of war are also visible: buildings reduced to ruins or pitted with bullets, the occasional skull-and-crossbones sign warning of unexploded landmines, and the disturbing frequency of cemeteries. Gravestones are instantly identifiable as Muslim, Catholic or Orthodox and to passers-by who stop for a closer look, it becomes obvious that the years 1992 to 1995 signaled a tragedy of staggering proportions.

Much of the world has forgotten the killing fields of Bosnia after it followed Slovenia and Croatia’s IMG_1034lead and broke away from Yugoslavia. The explosion of hatred between Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats and Muslim-background Slavs left over 100,000 dead, a third of them women and children. But although the grass has grown over those 15-year-old graves, the hearts of survivors remain deeply…

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