A group of Notre Dame and Bosnian students used a May 18-28 trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina to study religion, identity, and peacebuilding.
The experience brought participants to the cities of Sarajevo, Srebrenica, and Mostar to learn from local Bosnian peacebuilders and social scientists about Bosnia and Herzegovina’s rich history of peacebuilding, competing ethno-religious narratives, trauma and cycles of conflict, and issues of identity. It included stops at a number of historic sites, including several that figured prominently in the 1992-1995 Bosnian War.
Facilitators helped students reflect on how the trip's central themes are relevant in Europe and the United States, and how students can apply what they learned to their current studies and future work.
Facilitators included Mahan Mirza, executive director of the Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion; Martin Brooks, president of Peace Catalyst International (PCI); and Sarajevo-based PCI staff member Bryan Carey.
Below are a few highlights from the trip that participants shared on social media.
Below are a few highlights from the recent student trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina that participants shared on social media.
First two days in Sarajevo introduce us to religious spaces and inter religious peace building coalitions, plus tour of old city. Synagogue below has no security guard, anti-Semitism not having been an issue historically nor presently in this land pic.twitter.com/VON1qjkT9T— Mahan Mirza (@MirzaMahan) May 21, 2022
Day 2 in Sarajevo: Visits to Franciscan, Orthodox, & Muslim houses of worship. Incredible diversity going back centuries (and millennia)! The last supper mural features multitudes with Jesus, instead of just the 12 disciples, symbolizing the universality of God’s love ❤️ pic.twitter.com/tGQypvdlGp— Mahan Mirza (@MirzaMahan) May 21, 2022
Students from @NanovicND and @AnsariUND of @NotreDame are continuing their week with our #Sarajevo team, our President @martinkbrooks, and Dr. @MirzaMahan in #Bosnia. This weekend we visited several places of worship and heard stories from survivors of the siege of Sarajevo. pic.twitter.com/RVcP68B9zF— Peace Catalyst (@PeaceCatInt) May 23, 2022
Day 4 with Srdan Puhalo, a “ruthless social critic of Bosnian politics and nationalism,” followed by Ahmet Alibašić, Islamic studies faculty at U of #Sarajevo. Both excellent & provocative! Student of diff ethnic backgrounds from all over #Bosnia also joined this week. pic.twitter.com/kApgZNdGSs— Mahan Mirza (@MirzaMahan) May 23, 2022
Day 5 in #Sarajevo with Dr Zilka Spahić Šiljak, scholar of religion & gender. Rocked our world! Workshop on identity (brought some to tears) by Vahidin Omanović & Mevludin Rahmanović of Center for #Peacebuilding in Sanski Most. Look them up for internships & sabbaticals 🇧🇦 pic.twitter.com/yqI9MLwdlt— Mahan Mirza (@MirzaMahan) May 24, 2022
Day 6: #Mostar & #Medjugorje, including visit to Orthodox monastery, Apparition Hill, & Stari Most. Conversations led by Fr. Danilo Pavlović, Friar Iko Skoko, Marko-Antonio Brkić, Sr. Anka, Imam Yusuf. Our first foray into Croat culture in #Bosnia. pic.twitter.com/juJIX6vLlY— Mahan Mirza (@MirzaMahan) May 25, 2022
Today's snapshot from our student trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina with @PeaceCatInt, @NanovicND, and @KrocInstitute. Participants are studying religion, identity, and peacebuilding. Here, our group took a moment to gather for quick photo at Stari Most, the iconic Mostar Bridge. pic.twitter.com/mj1zGHnqrD— Ansari Institute (@AnsariUND) May 26, 2022
Peace Studies students Dane Sherman and Erin Tutsi are pictured here with Amra, a local leader in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The students are part of a group traveling with faculty fellow and @AnsariUND Executive Director Mahan Mirza. pic.twitter.com/Z0PPvfQlur— Kroc Institute (@KrocInstitute) May 26, 2022
Day 8: Last day of crosscultural literacy in #Bosnia: deepening relationships through much needed R&R! @KeoughGlobalND offers transformational educational programs. Consider partnering w/ @PeaceCatInt & their fabulous team on the ground in #Sarajevo: @BryanCa89218460 & Stephanie. pic.twitter.com/NBawToG0X1— Mahan Mirza (@MirzaMahan) May 27, 2022
John Paul Lederach says we have to be able to imagine ourselves living together before it can become reality. The @NanovicND students are imagining communities thriving together and are giving us hope for the kind of future they’ll create. @MirzaMahan @KrocInstitute @AnsariUND pic.twitter.com/xfydGP3OTn— Peace Catalyst (@PeaceCatInt) May 27, 2022
Our #Bosnia #peace building trip with @NotreDame is officially a wrap! Thanks to @MirzaMahan, @KeoughGlobalND, @NanovicND, and all of our amazing partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina for making this happen! Here are pics from our last day on the river. pic.twitter.com/eVPICBbHt5— Peace Catalyst (@PeaceCatInt) May 31, 2022