Ode to Sarajevo: 'Where Have All the People Gone?'
St. John's Journal of Legal Commentary, Vol. 12, Issue 2 (Spring 1997)
14 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2015
Date Written: Spring 1997
This article functions as a vividly-detailed, first-person travelogue of the author’s travels to Bosnia, leading up to the historical election of 1996. It explores the circumstances leading up to the election, including the national demographics and current political views, while also sharing personal views.
The article offers a candid vantage point on the history of Yugoslavia, identifying with the Bosnian Muslims from the viewpoint of an American-Jewish woman. Sarajevo, the once prominent and glamorous European city that hosted the 1984 Olympics, was now riddled with destruction and despair, due to the bombings, murders and rapes that took place during the two-and-a-half year siege.
The Introduction discusses the arrival in Sarajevo, and doubt that an election would even take place, due to the city’s angst, turmoil, and destruction. Part I examines the history of Yugoslavia, and why the election was historical. Part II breaks down the author’s visit to Sarajevo and her observations of Bosnian Muslims and their state of recovery after living in constant conflict and fear of being persecuted and tortured due to their religion.
Finally, the article uses excerpts from Beverly Allen’s Rape Warfare: The Hidden Genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia to describe the horrors of warfare, torture and genocidal rape. Overall, this article provides great insight into human rights issues abroad, and is an enlightening, very personal synopsis that will leave the reader educated and aware of the crisis in Sarajevo.
Keywords: Torture, Amnesty International, United Nations, UN, Convention on Torture, Human Rights, International, War, Violations, Sarajevo, democracy, reconstruction, integrity, genocide, genocidal rape
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