It is important to learn what makes some people, who otherwise look "normal" to hate others, who take part in crimes or simply stand by and witness systematic killing and elimination of others. The core teachings of our holy books seem to provide clues of this primordial sin of human from the very beginning of our existence on earth.
Aside from the growing negativity towards the US in Afghanistan, its role in Bosnia had also come to be viewed suspiciously. In the autumn of 1994, during my coverage of the war there, I received information from a reliable source that bands of Arab mujahedeen had arrived from Afghanistan seven months before.
Muhammad Ali defined my assimilation as an American and growth as global citizen. He was so different that we might have expected him to go to the grave screaming of his greatness. However, we all saw a piece of ourselves in him, and his greatest character strength was that he saw in everyone he met a connection to the higher.
It's generally not war that refugees choose to remember, but the people who help you. My mother's colleague who snuck us out of Serbia, French volunteers who took refugee kids camping, and those who came to welcome us at the airport when we were resettled in Ohio; those are the people I think of daily. I hope Basel finds such people on his path too.
The battle for the survival of Sarajevo deserves a much greater devotion than can be addressed in a short blog. It has been given too little attention by film makers and politicians, and its lessons and links to current ills still too often not comprehended. Those politicians who failed in their initial test to rescue Sarajevo then set into refashioning the story to reflect their own stereotypes and agendas. Many were also eager to escape the responsibility for allowing the longest modern siege of a city to perpetuate for almost four years, and no one could claim ignorance of either the suffering or the methodology of the siege.