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Reliving Srebrenica Memories

Elinor Chohan (L) presenting the award to Heather Fletcher

The charity Remembering Srebrenica with support from the Department of Communities and Local Government and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office organised the North West Community Champions Award where the Best Educational Event went to the Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester….reports Asian Lite News

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Elinor Chohan (L) presenting the award to Heather Fletcher

In January 2016, Forum Co-Chair Cllr Heather Fletcher and Forum Executive Member Ms. Qaisra Shahraz were part of the first all-women delegation to Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This trip had been sponsored by the Remembering Srebrenica charity.

Whilst on this intensive trip the pair had learnt the full horrors of the Bosnian war and saw the cemetery in Poticari where over 6,500 out of the 8,372 Muslim men and boys murdered in the Srebrenica genocide are buried.

This trip spurred Heather and Qaisra to organise an event to educate more people about the tragedy and what happens when intolerance and bigotry prevail. Accordingly, on 17 July 2016 the Forum held a Srebrenica Memorial event at the Manchester Multifaith Centre, coinciding with the 21’st Anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide

The event was attended by over 50 people of all faiths and none who heard moving accounts from Dudia Zilic, a survivor of the Bosnian war, Afzal Khan MEP and Julie Ward MEP who both have a special responsibility for Bosnia in the European Parliament.

The Awards Dinner was held at the Sanam Restaurant in Longsight, Manchester. Qaisra Shahraz, a world-renowned novelist, was unable to be present as she is currently on a literary tour in India. Cllr Heather Fletcher received the Forum’s award from Remembering Srebrenica’s North West Regional Chair, Mrs Elinor Chohan

Cllr Fletcher said in her acceptance speech “This Award is entirely unexpected and I am very proud to receive it. Going to Bosnia last year was a life changing experience and I thank Remembering Srebrenica for choosing me to go there. The Srebrenica genocide only happened just over 20 years ago, yet it is not well known. The least I can do is spread the message about what happened and the need for tolerance and unity “