Bosnian Muslims toss 3,000 roses into the Drina River, each representing people killed in the 1992-95 war, in the eastern Bosnian town of Višegrad, on May 26, 2012 [File: AP/Amel Emric]

I was born in the 1980s to a Bosniak family in Višegrad, an ethnically diverse town in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. A couple of years later, my hometown turned into one of the worst places on earth to be born a Muslim.

It was a hot day in June 1992. The disappearances and the mass killings of Bosniak civilians at Višegrad’s famous 16th-century Mehmed Paša Sokolović’s bridge, which can be seen from almost every window in town, had intensified. Death and fear were all around me. I was just six years old.

We were

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