June 8th, “Mothers of Srebrenica”

After our meeting with Women for Women International today, we had the honor of meeting with

Kathleen Hunt, President (r) with Munira Subasic, President Mothers of
Srebrenica

, the president of  “Mothers of Srebrenica” along with four women from her organization.  Mothers of Srebrenica was formed in 1996 after the Srebrenica massacre by a group of mothers who along with thousands of others were  brutally affected by the tragic event.  There are 8,116  Mothers of Srebrenica.  Every one of them  has lost a family member in the massacre.  Most of them have lost a number of family members, and some as many fifty to sixty members of their extended family.  The grim statistics:  10,701 men.  5,070 women and 1,042 children murdered.    The main focus of Mother”s Srebrenica is to find and identify the victims and to bring to justice the perpetrators of the crimes.

Along with their pain and outrage though, they spoke of their love and pride in their children, how important it was for their children to  be free from hostility and hatred, but instead go on with their lives.    They spoke proudly of their children, how many of them had gone on to be doctors and lawyers and teachers and writers.  “The hardest thing in the world”, Munira said, is to live life hating someone.”  Although it is important for women as mothers to speak out against all violence in the world, it is also important to bring up our children to be aware of the existence of violence and fight against it, but along with this to forgive and emphasize the possibility for goodness and healing in the world.

Mothers of Srebrenica is an internationally respected and recognized organization.  Certificates and awards from countries and dignitaries from around the world lined the walls of their office we met in.   Our meeting though was heartfelt and very human.  They spoke to us as women and mothers sharing their hope and strength as well as their pain.  We left each other with a deeply felt sense of connection and the beginning of friendship.  Munira shared her e-mail and hopes we can continue to stay connected.  We will.

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