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Religion, identity, and peace: Learning through cultural immersion in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Author: Mahan Mirza, Ansari Institute Executive Director

Mahan Bryan Martin

During our May student trip to Sarajevo, Amra, one of our discussion facilitators, laughed, cigarette dangling from her lips, as she likened the city to a femme fatale—alluring, but with a dark side. It was, we soon learned, an apt description for a lovely and complicated city, one that has been simultaneously strengthened and scarred by its history.Our group, which included fourteen students from Notre Dame was drawn to Sarajevo to study “Religion, Identity, and Peace and the Periphery of Europe.”

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How I learned to appreciate religion’s role in building peace

Author: Prithvi Iyer

Prithvi Hiking Main

Bosnia and Herzegovina is not a place I had ever pictured myself visiting. This small country in the Balkans had quite simply never captured my imagination. Its allure was less obvious to me, unlike that of western European countries such as France and Switzerland that are often romanticized in globalized pop culture. But thanks to a student trip made possible by the University of Notre Dame and Peace Catalyst International, I recently visited the country—not as a tourist, but as a student of peacebuilding who gained a new appreciation for the role of religion in peace processes and reconciliation. 

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Finding hope amid the horrors of violence: Lessons from Sarajevo

Author: Allison Sharp

Allison Sharp News Image

I applied to Notre Dame’s faculty-led trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina this summer because I wanted to learn more about a part of Europe that is often left out of history books and course syllabi. I wanted to educate myself on the rich history of the country, and the current situation in regards to peacebuilding. This trip did help me accomplish those goals, but the most impactful part of the journey was actually a conversation about my own country.

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Thursday, June 23, 2022


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