Tuesday, June 10, 2008

O Sarajevo...

“The Balkans produce more history than they can consume.”
-- Winston Churchill

“Sarajevans will not be counting the dead. They will be counting the living.”
-- Radovan Karadzic, Bosnian Serb leader

Sarajevo has been rebuilt in the last 3 years. See this great travelogue by Michael Totten who specialises in going to former warzones...

"Sarajevo can be startling for first-time visitors. Shattered buildings, walls riddled with bullet holes, and mass graveyards are shocking things to see in a European capital in the 21st Century. The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was more violent than the others in the former Yugoslavia, and it shows. If I believed in ghosts I'd say Sarajevo must be one haunted place. At the same time, the reconstruction and cleanup work is impressive. The destruction gave me a jolt, but at the same time I was slightly surprised I didn't see more of it.

Bosnia is a troubled country with a dark recent past, but it is no longer the war-torn disaster it was. Sarajevo was under siege for almost four years by Bosnian Serb forces on the surrounding hilltops who fired mortar and artillery shells and sniper rounds at civilians, but it’s over and it has been over for more than a decade. Most damaged buildings have been repaired, and many neighborhoods look almost as though nothing bad ever happened to them.

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