World Bulletin / News Desk
On March 20, 1993, 11-year-old Irma Grabovica, was killed by Serbian shelling while playing in a street of the Bosnia & Herzegovina capital.
A crater marked the place where the shell struck. After the war ended in 1995, these craters were painted red in honor of the blood spilled in these places. They were called 'Sarajevo roses.'
Fikret Grabovica, Irma's father, is today the president of the Association of Parents of Children Murdered in Besieged Sarajevo. Grabovica said to the parents of murdered children it is "very important" that these Sarajevo roses be preserved.
"Significant is everything that can preserve the memory of innocent victims, and everything that can preserve the truth from oblivion. Sarajevo Roses mean a lot to the families of the victims and to all citizens who survived the killings," Grabovica insisted.
During the 1,425 day-siege of Sarajevo by the Serbian army, an average of 329 shells struck the city each day, killing11,541 civilians, out of which 1,601 were children. At least 50,000 people were injured, according to the Union of civilian war victims in Sarajevo Canton.
The siege left many Sarajevo Roses.
The siege of Sarajevo by the Serbian army was the longest one in recorded human history. It left many scars on Sarajevans and on their city, but the Sarajevo Roses were not all preserved.
In the 20 years since the war, Sarajevo has been rebuilt. And the reconstruction filled in and covered up many of the Sarajevo Roses.
But families of the victims of the siege are mounting an effort to preserve the Sarajevo Roses so that the truth would be preserved from oblivion.
Nearly 200 citizens gathered in Bosnian capital of Sarajevo Thursday to mark the 21st anniversary of the massacre that happened in the street market called Markale on Feb. 5, 1994, when 68 civilians were killed while 144 were injured by shells fired from surrounding hills.
Gathered at Markale, people laid flowers on the remaining Sarajevo Rose. The one in the Markale market is one of few that has been preserved.
Melita Dokic whose 17-year old daughter Maja Dokic was killed on April 9, 1995, while returning home from basketball practice, met the AA team in the city center to show the place where there once was a Sarajevo Rose. It has been covered by asphalt during the renovation of intersection.
"I feel sorrow that the traces of the killing of Sarajevo children are covered and very quickly forgotten," said Dokic adding that it would mean a lot to her if that 'rose' remained uncovered because every time she passes she looks at the place her daughter died.
U.S. photographer and film director Roger M. Richards, 53, is making a film called "Sarajevo Roses."
"These roses are a symbol of the city and its struggle to survive the siege and afterwards when all was destroyed," Richards said.
"In my film, they are a metaphor for the city, and the petals of these shell impacts mark the pavement like scars on the heart. A terrible beauty. The red is not only for the color of the flower but of the innocent blood spilled on Sarajevo's streets. The real roses are the people of Sarajevo, who continue to bloom. Roses still grow even in the middle of destruction," said Richards.
Whether the 'roses' on the streets of Sarajevo will be preserved depends on the city's cultural agencies.
The Cantonal Institute for the Protection of the Cultural and Natural Heritage put the Sarajevo Roses on the list of authentic monuments from the period of the siege. The Department of Veterans Affairs of Sarajevo Canton has developed criteria for preserving them.
"The criteria for preserving the remaining roses is that in the place of the explosion at least three people were killed," said Osman Smajlovic, Assistant Minister for Veterans Protection.
He added that there were originally nearly 100 roses painted in the city, some of which were destroyed because of "negligence." The Ministry is currently working on the restoration of the12 remaining roses.
"The restoration of the 12 remaining roses in the city center should be completed by the end of 2015. They will be proposed for UNESCO's world heritage list," said Smajlovic.
Bosnia and Herzegovina was part of Yugoslavia until March 1992, when a majority of people voted in a referendum for independence. In May of the same year Serbs besieged its valley basin capital stationing tanks, mortars and snipers on all the surrounding hills. The siege was officially ended by the Dayton agreement between warring parties signed in Dayton, Ohio in Dec. 1995.
In trying to understand how the tower got its special meaning in Islamic societies, scholars have attempted—with mixed success—to trace minarets back to various traditions of tower building in the pre-Islamic cultures of Eurasia.
"Star Wars" has grown into the most lucrative and influential movie franchise of all time
With the fame and effect to the west on discoveries and creations in medicine, the book of Ibn Sina, “El-Kanun fi't-Tib” was taught in the European medical schools such as Louvain and Montpellier Universities, until the 17th century
The winner, the dhow "Zilzal," or "Earthquake," was awarded 10 million dirhams ($2.72 million).
Friday sees re-opening of Emperor's Mosque, 25 years after it was attacked during 1992-1995 Bosnian War
With the beginning of the era of Japanese Renaissance, known as the era of Meiji, started in 1868, only two countries in Asia enjoyed independence, namely the Ottoman Empire and Japan.
Homo naledi is believed to have lived alongside early humans known as Homo sapiens, say scientists
Palestinians have for centuries painstakingly sewn long black dresses and adorned them with red embroidery, in designs still worn today in rural areas and at marriages and other celebrations.
Check out these amazing aerial photos taken from above during the 27th night of Ramadan in Makkah.
Millions of pages of rare manuscripts -- some centuries old -- are being put online and restored to the public domain
Kinte's descendants, along with heritage officials, warn that without urgent action, 550 years of history could be lost.
Centuries old tradition of the desert theology schools of Western Africa is being transferred to the new generation.
The daughter of Admiral Machmud Syah of the Aceh Empire of Indonesia, Aceh Malahayati was the first woman admiral in the modern world