In the early ‘90s, no one believed that war would hit Sarajevo or that the Yugoslav National Army could turn into an enemy of the city’s people. For centuries, Sarajevo had been a multicultural city with its mosques, synagogues, and Catholic and Orthodox churches.
While discussion about Islam’s role in European culture has been ongoing, their shared history goes back much further. Recognizing this history raises questions on how people will live together on this diverse continent.
Of all the groups of individuals that have been recognized for their bravery and humanitarian actions during the siege of Sarajevo, perhaps the most effective and far-reaching organization was La Benevolencija.
The siege of Sarajevo lasted 44 months. For 1425 days, Sarajevans were first under the occupation of the Yugoslav People’s Army, followed by the Army of Republika Srpska. In what would become the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare, independence, it seems, came at a cost.