Friday, 8 August 2008

post conflict reconciliation

As the boys are still in England life has been seeming like a bit of a holiday despite the mountains of admin to plough through. There have been long mornings lounging in bed, late nights in restaurants and general behaving like we don't have any children. But, the holiday had to end and work starts tomorrow for us both.

D has got his new office up and running and now needs to set about registering his company and looking for some employees.

I on the other hand need to kick start my research. So, I am off, with a few friends, to the village where I hope the bulk of my research will be taking place. The main reason for going is to reintroduce myself and to sound out a few people about the feasibility of what I would like to do. However, tomorrow has a particular resonance for them. Their village was one of the first to be ethnically cleansed in 1992, and during the war years the mosque was razed to the ground and an orthodox church was built in its place. Since the conflict finished many of the original village inhabitants have returned. There are no Orthodox Christians resident in the village any more but those Muslims who wish to attend a mosque have had nowhere to pray. Tomorrow there will be a service at the church which is believed to be the first step towards shutting it down and permitting a mosque to be constructed in its place.

Whilst everyone hopes and expects that this will be a calm and peaceful process, there is a possibility that there may be some tensions and there will be a large scale police presence. Moments like these in rural Bosnian villages, will illustrate how far Bosnia has really come on the road of reconciliation.

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