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World March Blog
5 November 2009

Splendid Sarajevo

Today we’ve been in Sarajevo and it’s been great!  The city is beautiful and totally unexpected.  I guess if I’d have thought about it I should have expected a city in the mountains (it was a Winter Olympic host city after all – famous for Torville and Dean’s Ice Dance Gold Medal – at least it was famous for that if you grew up in the UK), and I should have expected a city full of Byzantine style mosques given the Muslim population.  Today the sun came out for the World March and really made it a great day.

We met the President who came to the start of the World March, but in researching him for the Pressenza article I wrote today I found that there isn’t just one President, there’s a committee of Presidents who represent the 3 major communities here (Serb, Croat, Bosniak) and they take it in turns to be Chair of the Presidency.

Since Istanbul, we’ve been accompanied by Mensur Peljto, former Cruiserweight Professional World Boxing Champion, and national idol, and he’s just a fantastic guy.  He’s got a lovely personality and has been helping us a great deal ever since we arrived in Macedonia given that he’s the only one of us who can speak any of the languages they speak around here.  Anyway, I won’t write too much more because I’m going to interview him for a Pressenza article tomorrow.  He’s got a great story to tell.

Mensur was at the front of the March receiving greetings from passers-by.  Everyone knows him and he’s very charismatic.  He’ll be with us all the way to Geneva and we’ve been urging him to come to Argentina for the end, and I think he’ll do it.

Later on this afternoon we had a round table discussion with local organisations about the theme of peace in Bosnia.  It was very interesting to hear the different speakers, one of whom shocked me with a description of the peace as nothing more than a temporary truce.  And another one who spoke of having a sensation like the country was in a pause between wars.  What a terrible internal state to carry around with you, always worried that a war is about to blow up.

Another speaker asked rhetorically, “what kind of peace is it when there is domestic violence, when there is violence at football matches, and when same sex orientated people can’t express themselves?”  It was a fair point, and one that can be said of nearly every country of the planet.

For our part, we stressed the need to see violence not as just the physical act, but to see violence as something that is also economic, racial, psychological, moral and sexual.  We talked about the need to change the entire system “whose methodology of action is violent and whose highest value is money”.

It’s been great to be able to go deeper into these themes today.

I can’t stay writing for long.  Tomorrow we’re up at 5:00 am to drive to Croatia for a meeting with the President in Zagreb!

Two presidents in two days…  Not bad, heh?

Big hug

Tony

P.S. I’ll put the pictures on tomorrow.  I really must sleep.

6 comments to Splendid Sarajevo

  • claudie

    great tony
    it seems now that the WM is everywhere when we observe and read the news of the activities, meetings, concerts, festivals, marchs which are organised all over the world.
    In France we got big contra and it was so a pity. During the whole day, I encouraged our friends to go to read this blog, to watch the videos, and to breath this air, to receive this spirit of hope in order to the faith could be deeper!
    Thanks to you, thanks to all
    claudie

  • Ayurami

    Dear Tony,
    It’s amazing how this kind of activities will help our dream of peace.
    Step by step with de WM all of you help with this! and this is for us, people who follow you is very special.
    Please we are reading you all time dont forget us!
    Grettings for all! and thanks again!
    PD: sorry for my bad English”

  • Dear Tony,

    I absolutely love the way you always run to put the WWW banner in front of cameras! :) Since the March passed Czech republic I’ve had more time and I translate all your blog posts for our czech website. And I feel like being there with you, guys :) Thank you for writing this blog and going this amazing journey! :)

    Kisses
    Jana from Czech rep.

    PS: I hope the czech WM sweatshirt you are wearing protects you from getting cold :)

    • Tony Robinson

      yes! I have taken the role of making sure that the WWW banner is visible in all official photos! It’s better than a picture of my face anyway. And the sweatshirt is fab, fab, fab although probably in need of a wash now!

  • hey, everybody…. first of all, i have to thank you all for giving a chance to Sarajevo to organize acitivities in World march for peace and nonviolence… it was a great experience and huge responsibility :))) i hope you like it??? second, i’m happy that some of governmental people (i mean on President and city mayor) give a support and join us in this….
    At the end, for this time, Tony, my name is Mersiha, not Mireha…. please, change it……

    thank you all…

    and i’m sending all of you my warmest kisses nad hugs….

    Mersiha,
    Association “Education builds B&H” – one of the partners of organising committee in Sarajevo

    • Tony Robinson

      Hey Mersiha!
      We had a fantastic time in Sarajevo. It was one of the high points of the trip. Thank you and all the other organisers who made it possible.

      I definitely want to come back to Sarajevo one day.
      With a big hug
      Tony
      P.S. I’ve corrected the spelling. Thanks for letting me know.