Srebrenica visit for former Tower Hamlets student
PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 December 2013
A former Tower Hamlets student was one of 24 people to visit Srebrenica to raise awareness of the 1995 genocide there.
Mohammed Mahboob Alom, 22, joined young people from all over the country to spend four days in Bosnia.
The trip was organised by Remembering Srebrenica, a charity which urges people not to forget the 1995 genocide which saw the deaths of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims, mostly men and boys.
The group visited Srebrenica’s memorial centre and met with a number of Bosnian officials.
The delegates were nominated by local councils and organisations and narrowed down from 200.
Mohammed, who works as a ward coordinator for Tower Hamlets council, said: “When I was at school they taught us that the war had finished.
“Going out there made me see it’s still affecting people today.
“I met one woman who lost 28 members of her family, and there’s still a lot of division between the ethnic groups.”
He was put forward by the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, and described the trip as “emotional.”
While there, he met some of the women who lost husbands, brothers and sons during the massacre, including one woman who had lost 27 members of her family.
Following his trip, Mohammed, who lives in Wilmington Gardens in Barking, is trying to raise awareness of the genocide by visiting schools and colleges to talk about his experience.
He plans to return to his former college, Tower Hamlets College, to give students a better understanding of the effects of the Bosnian war than he had while studying there.
He added: “It’s really interesting to see that they’re a European country like us and they’ve got a completely different standard of living.”