Dear Mama

Dear Mama,

I pray this letter never reaches you.

I am sorry. I am sorry you have to see this. Iam sorry I’ve left you alone. The moment I was grabbed

from your arms into the clutches of ominous death I knew I would never return to you. Do you

remember my hands you used to kiss? These hands, though tied, now pray to be back in your warm

embrace, thanking God each night for the UN’s protection.


How could they just leave us like that? Last week I played football with them, and now they

supervise the execution of my family. The blood of my nation splattered so mercilessly across the

classroom next door doesn’t even make me vomit anymore. Every beat of my heart is a bullet

shattering into pieces the skull of my grandfather, my father, my brother. United Nothing.


The land weeps for its sons. Serene Srebrenica, a city of safety brought to its knees in a single

gunshot. One became ten; became a hundred; became thousands more. And now what’s left? A

blanket of snow concealing bloodstains and secrets of this untold war. The sky and mountains that

brought clean water and air now only brings agony and despair. Men of honour lie beneath the once

sparkling River Drina where Papa taught me to swim. Why? Mere names. We share the same skin,

culture, language, even pray to the same God, yet genetic waste is what they call us. And they won’t

stop until we are all gone.


What happened to you, Bosnia, my beloved? You were once home to Europe’s very own Jerusalem,

and now death and destruction devour your very soul. Shattered hopes and battered dreams. Bullet-

ridden buildings become broken homes. Holy Qurans lay unearthed between scattered bones.

Mama, I read mine every day. I pray for us to meet again in a land with no such agony, where rivers

are made from water and not blood, and food is found on trees and not in the pockets of the dead.


But mother don’t you cry, for some good may still come of this. If I must be torn from you, then do

not let the world forget. A paradise of free souls is where I await you, Mama.

Forever Longing,

Your Son


Srebrenica remembers. Will you?

– Written by Najmul Haque & Merium Bhuiyan

The Narrative

Life is cheap and irrelevant, a thing that naturally expires,

some would not even spite on me if I was on fire.

Why bother and waste their saliva?

A tyrant’s propaganda cannot heal like the words of a saviour.

Fear shrouds itself in the illusion of power,

like a sheep clothed in wolfs clothing,

their egos survival became their motivation,

Using weapons of lies for annihilation, their false pride was our destruction.

Born to one mother and father different to yours and another,

then comes the massacre, we are forced to die together.

Bones become one as we cluster cannot tell one from the other,

Yet I have a name, lost in a mass grave.

My youth was coloured with love and dreams,

the bodily odours of hugs and a caring tight squeeze.

Now my love and dreams sail with the breeze,

I give chase, picking up pace, escaping the torture waiting behind the screams.

If life was bliss and perfect, folk would label it boring.

Yet it’s morbid to think some would find war games to be exciting.

The earth beneath my feet need not be the encasing of a tomb,

At least, the soil of heaven, Shambala, Zion or the immortals garden of Eden.

Are we specs of dust easily swept under the carpet?

You can close your eyes but cannot close your ears,

Who cares to hear how the dead came to be dead, robbed of precious years?

Are we not family though, yet you left us to be savaged by tigers and bears?

If you pierce it will bleed, fragile is the human flesh.

Yang that isn’t subdued by ying causes the worst of sins.

How do you remove a mask of grief, turning upright your upside down grin?

The pain of remembrance, yes it shatters but is also strengthening.

Some parents lose their children whilst out shopping, may be on a trip to the zoo,

or whilst you nodded off from exhaustion.

To see your young return alive and whole is truly a comfort.

How does a mother with a gaze that is fixed, find herself in the gravest pits,

Searching for their young still held in their tight loving grip?

Could a voice be heard beyond the grave?

Testify and seek their justice at The Hague?

Criminality is a plague, infecting those with a lust to reign,

One of thousands murdered in this way, now hear my voice beyond the grave

Could you be your brother’s keeper,

like a mothers love for her child, whilst in the manger?

Could you be your sister’s healer,

like green hands that nurture and water a flower?

Watch as a phoenix rises from the ashes of persecution,

Deeply rooted roots once had their petals charred, continue blooming,

muse at the fruits as they ripen out of season,

for the richness of this land will never lose its nutrients!

Inspired by the ‘I Remember Srebrenica’ Project

– Ausar Furion (Lloyd Benjamin) –