You are invited to participate in a retreat to bear witness to genocides and broad-based campaigns of ethnic cleansing that transpired in the Balkans and continue in many places around the world.
The retreat will take place from 8th to 12th May 2017.
It will include arrival in Sarajevo, now the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which came under brutal assault during the war. Participants will then continue to Srebrenica, the ‘silver city’, and the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial Center, where we will sit in silence as well as chant the names of the dead. There will be time to walk through the former UN military base, to visit the mass graves, to do vigils inside the buildings where refugees hoped to find safety, and to do memorial services.
The retreat will be multi-faith and multinational in character, with a strong focus on the Zen Peacemaker Order’s Three Tenets: Not-Knowing, Bearing Witness, and Doing the Actions Arising from Not-Knowing and Bearing Witness. Participants and witnesses will include Bosniaks, Bosnian Serbs, and Bosnian Croatians.
We will meet daily in small council groups designed to create a safe place for people to share their inner experiences. The whole group will meet in the evenings to bear witness to the diversity of all the voices, to stories of survival, and to whether peace can arise in the middle of such a long history of anger, guilt and denial.
Unique for this retreat is that during their stay in Srebrenica participants will be lodged at local people’s homes in the town.
The language of the retreat will be English and translation will be offered whenever needed (and possible).
For more information and registration click here
SUNDAY 7th MAY
Check-in Hotel Saraj, Nevjestina 5, Bentbasa , 71000 Sarajevo
5 pm Registration for the retreat in Hotel Saraj
Free dinner in town
Suggestions for activities on arrival day (not organized by the ZPO)
- individually viewing permanent exhibition “Srebrenica – genocide in the heart of Europe”, a series of black-and-white photographs by Tarik Samarah. At Galerija 11/07/95, Trg fra Grge Martića 2/III in Sarajevo.
- pre-retreat Sarajevo historical and cultural guided tour with professional guide, starting from hotel lobby at 3 pm. Sign up for this tour before hand at hotel Saraj. Minimum 10 people.
MONDAY 8th MAY
- Walk to and opening meeting in the newly restored National Library, symbol of the destruction of Sarajevo
- Walking tour in the old town, including places to bear witness like the bread line, the roses of Sarajevo, the Markala market, the children’s memorial, Sniper Alley and the Suada and Olga bridge
- Bag lunch
- Visit of the tunnel under the airport and its museum in Ilidža
- Orientation meeting at hotel Saraj
- Dinner and council orientation
TUESDAY 9th MAY
- Visit of Mount Trebevic and Bearing Witness
- Travel by bus to Srebrenica (3 ½ hour trip)
- Lunch stop in Milići
- Arrival in Srebrenica and guided visit of the memorial, the UN-Potocari compound and the Sense museum
- Check-in in Srebrenica
- Dinner and short evening programme
WEDNESDAY 10th MAY
- Council Groups
- Bearing Witness at the Memorial in Potocari with reading of names
- Soup at Potocari
- Bearing witness with survivors at Memorial
- Dinner in Srebrenica
- programme at local theatre
THURSDAY 11th MAY
- Council Groups
- Travel by bus to the Memorial in Kravica and Bearing Witness
- Soup in Srebrenica
- Visit of orthodox and catholic church and mosque in Srebrenica
Evening programme in Potocari hangar and Bearing Witness
FRIDAY 12th MAY
- Council Groups
- Final Bearing Witness at Potocari Memorial
- Boarding buses to Sarajevo
- Lunch stop in Milici
- Check-in in your hotel in Sarajevo
- Concluding group process
- Final dinner
SATURDAY 13th MAY
Check-out hotel and going home
The programme still might be subject to change
 Famous bridge across the River Miljacka in Sarajevo, formally called ‘Vrbanja bridge’. It is now named after Suada Dilberović and Olga Sučić, the first victims shot at the beginning of the Siege of Sarajevo.
 During the war the Sarajevo airport was held by neutral UN-forces. An underground tunnel served as the city’s lifeline and its only connection to the outside world during the siege.
 Throughout the siege, Mount Trebevic was the main strategic hill above Sarajevo from where the besieging armies constantly shelled the city below.