Ahmo – Srebrenica
“If we don’t resolve the past, we have no future.”
“If we don’t resolve the past, the next 25 years will be the same,” says Ahmo, sipping coffee and nodding to each passerby he knows, which is most.
Srebrenica is a small town in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina where the residents know each other and the consequences of the war intimately. “I grew up with a natural love for history… dates, details, and such. And I grew up loving Srebrenica. When you love something, you care for it.”
Ahmo studied history and started working at the Srebrenica Memorial Center in Potocari as a genocide historian. It was near there, only three months before his birth, that his grandfather, his uncle’s son and many other relatives were killed. They were just a few of the over 8,372 men and boys who were killed in the Srebrenica genocide during the war in the 1990s. “I listen to the stories of the victims of the Srebrenica genocide and they haunt me. I can’t sleep for thinking of them. But I need to listen, so the kids will know what happened. We must document that history and tell it in the schools for the genocide it was.” In BiH, school curriculums are chosen by district and the histories taught show a lot of variation. Ahmo knows the challenges well, but still exudes hope and optimism for the future. “If we can lay the past to rest locally, we can become a global hub for genocide recovery and prevention. The whole world will come to us to learn how we can achieve peace together. I’m going to stay to see that happen.”