Day 5 of Retreat

This morning’s words were “power” and “marginalization.” Not warm and fuzzy stuff. This session, “Including Marginalized Groups: Women as Peacemakers” was lead by Tanenbaum, with special guests experts from the region (Carolyn Boyd, Zilka Šiljak-Spahić and Vesna Teršelič). Again, this is one of those topics that is so big that, in a half day session, we can only swim around the tip of the iceberg. Yet, again, this is one of those topics that is so important that it must be discussed – lessons shared and challenges issued. From one of the session evaluations: “It caused me to see that in nursing my own isolation, I hadn’t considered those I had isolated.”

After a quick coffee meeting with the deputy mayor of Sarajevo, the Peacemakers were back to work – on “Bringing Indigenous Rituals into Peace Work.” Peacemaker Bill Lowrey has a wealth of experiences and stories from his work in Sudan. And, demonstrating his participatory and inclusive approach, Bill notably left us wanting more in order to make time for the other Peacemakers to tell their stories as well, eliciting the realization that we all have powerful rituals within our traditions that can be used for peace work.

Finally, the day’s “work” complete, Friar Ivo lead us away from the Bosniak Institute (the museum-like structure where we hold our sessions) and into the streets of Sarajevo for a tour of religious sites of the three Abrahamic faiths. This was a historic – and conspicuous (our large multi-cultural group gets quite a few stares from the locals) – journey that ended at Friar Ivo’s own Franciscan monastery. There we were treated with a delightful meal of the local favorite, cevapcic, and with a brief, impromptu organ concert by our talented host.