In Celebration of Ordinary Heroes
Documenting stories of ordinary people who have assisted others despite clear risk to themselves is at the heart of an effort to promote reconciliation and peace among ethnic, religious, and political groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This project adds to Fetzer’s understanding of moral courage and explores the connection between love and human rights.
One story tells of a Bosnian Muslim pulled from his job at a petrol station and taken into the mountains to a scene of mass execution. He escaped but needed help to hide from recapture and certain death. That help came from Mina, a woman who is now 80 years old and living in Sarajevo. For her bravery, Mina was recently honored by the US State Department and given a plaque personally signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In another story, Salih tells of being dragged from his home in the dead of night and imprisoned in the notorious Batkovic concentration camp. One day a guard came to his cell and marched him to a military checkpoint. Though he feared the worst, he looked up at the checkpoint to see his lifelong friend, Đorđe, who had infiltrated the camp to bring him home. During the war, Đorđe became known as a man who would risk his life to help others regardless of their ethnicity or religion.
Through video documentation and educational outreach with youth, Ordinary Heroes celebrates and teaches how pro-social behaviors can shift perceptions between adversary groups from stereotypical to re-humanized and re-legitimated images.
This is a project of the Fetzer Advisory Council on Law Professions.