The Cellist of Sarajevo (Siege of Sarajevo)
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The Cellist of Sarajevo (Siege of Sarajevo)
A fictional novel about the Siege of Sarajevo.
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Bombing destruction of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bombing destruction of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina | The Cellist of Sarajevo (Siege of Sarajevo) | Scoop.it
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An elderly woman carrying fresh water back to her home through sniper fire

An elderly woman carrying fresh water back to her home through sniper fire | The Cellist of Sarajevo (Siege of Sarajevo) | Scoop.it
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Two Decades After Siege, Sarajevo Still A City Divided : NPR

Two Decades After Siege, Sarajevo Still A City Divided : NPR | The Cellist of Sarajevo (Siege of Sarajevo) | Scoop.it
Twenty years ago this week, the Bosnian war began with the siege of Sarajevo, the longest in the history of modern warfare. The siege ended more than three years later, leaving 100,000 dead — the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.
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1- This article relates a protest in Sarajevo to the "Occupy" movement in
     Chicago. Muslim, Croatian and Serbian war veterans are demanding pensions
     from the government. A Muslim protestor says the government wants the
     people to become thieves to feed their families. A Croat says that the
     people are together because they fought the war together, and they can't
     forget their unity now. A Serbian says "There's no winner in this war, and
     if the politicians continue like this, there's no future for us here."

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Bosnian soldiers trying to gain position on Serbians

Bosnian soldiers trying to gain position on Serbians | The Cellist of Sarajevo (Siege of Sarajevo) | Scoop.it
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Looking back at the siege of Sarajevo - 20 years after

Looking back at the siege of Sarajevo - 20 years after | The Cellist of Sarajevo (Siege of Sarajevo) | Scoop.it
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1- The Siege of Sarjevo started on April 6th, 1992,
     lasted four years, killed 200,000 people, and displaced 2.7 million people.
     The 400,000 or so inhabitants of the Bosnian capital were cut off from
     food, medicine, water and electricity. During this time there were mass
     executions, rape, ethnic cleansing, and starvation. The UNHCR (the United
     Nations Refugee Agency) has provided housing solutions for nearly 74,000
     displaced refugees. The UNHCR has dealt with the war-affected and displaced
     populations, both of which are on a huge scale that the UNHCR hasn't dealt
     with before. During the war, the UNHCR, supported by 20 countries,
     activated the largest airlift in history- 160,000 tons of food and other
     goods were delivered in over 12,000 flights, which evacuated 1,100
     citizens. Overall, the UNHCR transported over 950,000 tons of goods. There
     were over 3,000 personnel from 250 organizations, driving 2,000 UNHCR cars. 
      
     2- This article about the UNHCR relates to The Cellist of Sarajevo because
     the main characters talked about family members being about to escape from
     the capital. The few who were able to did so via airlift transport, but (in
     the book only) the people had to be wealthy in order to bribe the pilots.
     The main characters also discussed waiting for an airlift of food, because
     they were running out. The characters can get water from a local brewery,
     but the food they rely on from airlifts, provided by the UNHCR.

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Sarajevo

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THE SIEGE OF SARAJEVO AND AFTER, 1992–2005
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The Cellist of Sarajevo

The Cellist of Sarajevo | The Cellist of Sarajevo (Siege of Sarajevo) | Scoop.it

     1- This novel was about the siege of Sarajevo, which is the longest recorded siege of a capitol in history. Thousands were killed. The story is told by four viewpoints, starting out with a concert cellist who is trying to survive in the war stricken city. He decides that since twenty-two people were killed in a recent bombing, he will play Albinoni's Adagio for 22 straight hours amidst the ruble. His playing soon becomes a sense of hope across the globe, but the opposing forces are trying to shut him down in order to crush any remaining hope. The next narrator is Arrow, a female sniper trying to pick off as many invading soldiers as she can. She often has flashbacks to her past, and comparing it to her present and how things have changed. She is given the job of protecting the cellist from sniper fire. The third narrator is a forty year old father of three, living in an old apartment building with his wife and children. He often helps out an old woman who lives below them. The fourth narrator, Dragan, is a sixty-four year old living with his sister's family. His wife and son are probably in Italy. He works in a bakery, and the bread he brings home keeps his relatives alive. Everyday these four are faced with the dangers and realities of war, trying to escape snipers from the opposing forces trying to invade their city. 
     2- The main theme of this book is cruelty against humanity, specifically targeted by race or religion, they are targeted because of where they live. Thousands are killed, and death becomes a normal part of everyday life for the main characters. ***The afterword of the book***. "[Dragan] isn't indifferent to the deaths around him, but he can't really say that he feels them so much that they register on his face. He doesn't think many other people do either, anymore." (Galloway 68) This quote from the fourth and oldest main character, Dragan, unveils tot he reader how frequent and normal the killings are, because Dragan has seen so many he's become desensitized. "You may not be interested in war, by war is interested in you. -Leon Trotsky" (Galloway xi) this quote at the beginning of the book really wraps up the entire message of the book. It states that you don't have to have an exceptional life, or be anyone important who cares about the wars of your country, because the wars of your country will affect you no matter what since war affects everyone. "[The men on the hills] fire bullets and mortars and tank shells and grenades into the rest of the city, which is being defended by one tank and small handheld weapons." (Galloway xviii) this quote from the prologue is from the cellist's point of view. 
     3- I think this book was well written, and told each character's story accurately. The most interesting part about this book is that each day the different person's eyes, so the reader gets the whole story.

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World History In Context - Document

World History In Context - Document | The Cellist of Sarajevo (Siege of Sarajevo) | Scoop.it

1- The Serbians
     invaded Bosnia-Herzegovina to erase all traces of culture (ethnic
     cleansing). In response, the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the
     Former Yugoslavia) was set up to try perpetrators of war crimes. 37/109
     pre-war municipalities were Muslim majority, 32/109 a Serb majority, and
     13/109 a Croatian majority. Though there was some mixing, and the
     municipalities were not grouped together, so Bosnia Herzegovina could not
     fragment across one line. Communism started to disintegrate, and the
     country started a bumpy transition to democracy. Any election held was
     broken up along ethnic lines, so the elected few were forced to rule
     together, but their joint rule always fell apart. In the 1990 elections,
     most people voted for one of two former communist options. in June 1991,
     Alija Izetbegoviu (Bosnia-Herzegovina's president and Bosnian Muslim
     leader) joined with Kiro Gligorov tried to save Yugoslavia at the last
     minute, but he wanted independence from Serb domination. He tried to get a
     declaration of sovereignty passed in early 1991, but it failed. Radovan
     Karadzic (leader of the Bosnian Serbs) formed the Serb National Council
     within Bosnia and Herzegovina, a month before the 1990 elections, and by
     late 1991, the had set up 4 "Autonomous Authorities" (self governing Serb
     communities). A month later, the Assembly of the Serb Nation of Bosnia and
     Herzegovina (ASNBH) declared that Bosnian Serbs would join other Serbs as
     part of Yugoslavia. On December 21st 1991, the ASNBH proclaimed the
     creation of the Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and on January 9th
     1992, they declared independence. Many Bosnian Serbs still had weapons from
     fighting in Croatia, making up the YPA (Yugoslav Peoples Army). The YPA
     turned into turned itself into a Bosnian Serb Army easily, showing that
     they were ready to fight for what they wanted. The Bosnian Croats formed
     two of their own Autonomous Authorities in late 1991, however they were
     internally divided. Their initial leader was a moderate Croatian, Stjepan
     Kljujic, but was soon kicked out by Franjo Tudjman (Croatian President),
     and was replaced by Mate Boban, a Herzegovinian radical.

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Map of Sarajevo during the siege

Map of Sarajevo during the siege | The Cellist of Sarajevo (Siege of Sarajevo) | Scoop.it
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Related book- The Disappeared

Related book- The Disappeared | The Cellist of Sarajevo (Siege of Sarajevo) | Scoop.it

"The Disappeared" is also about countries being divided. This novel's main focus is lovers being separated, which differs from "The Cellist of Sarajevo". "The Disappeared" also deals with different countries (Camobodia, Montreal). Two students meet in a jazz club, and when the student from Cambodia is exiled, they try to keep their love alive, against the will of the girl from Montreal's father. They share the love of music, which mirrors the cellist, in "The Cellist of Sarajevo".

 

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