April 6 is the date most deeply embedded in the history of our city of Sarajevo with significant events taking place in 1945 and 1992, both marking the ends of wars that have indelibly shaped our country. The former marks the occasion of Sarajevo’s liberation from fascism in World War II.
The latter is the date in 1992 during which the four-year Siege of Sarajevo began, setting in motion the longest siege of a capital in modern warfare. The bitter consequences of these four years (a slightly different type of isolation — starvation, uncertainty, fear and often death) were the deaths of 11,541 civilians, including 1,601 children. Thousands more were wounded and displaced. Yet as a result of the incredible courage, creativity and perseverance of Sarajevo’s citizens (and against tremendous odds), our city survived these years of unimaginable suffering. Sarajevo — which over centuries has been called the Jerusalem of Europe, a shining symbol of multi-cultural and ethnic unity where the Muslim, Catholic, Orthodox and Jewish faiths have lived together — once again rose from the ashes.
In today’s highly turbulent times, when the world around us is changing faster than ever before, our team at the Mandala Academy is committed to providing an educational platform to honor our rich historical, natural and cultural heritage. Most importantly, we all carry a small part of Sarajevo’s heroic spirit within us.