Only few weeks ago, It would be hard to imagine this: Children are being rescued by Croatian special police forces in Obrenovac, small suburban town near Belgrade most severely hit by recent floods. Croatia, along with Slovenia, Montenegro and Russia was one of the first countries that offered help in equipment, army, rescue and firefighter units while already was fully engaged in helping Bosnia and Herzegovina, yet itself hit by floods. Slovenia sent units of civil protection, along four vehicles, experts, equipment and convoys of humanitarian aid, Montenegro has dispatched military troops and helicopters along relief supplies and nothing less has arrived from Macedonia.
Flood relief campaign has been viral over the social networks bringing the world and the former Yugoslavia together in unified effort to help devastated region. Seems like borders between countries of the former Yugoslavia are being erased at the moment, despite all administration difficulties. Even the thick "boundary lines" between entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, drawn by everyday political divisions are washed out. Witty yet illustrative tweet from famous Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic is speaking in favor of aforementioned phenomena: "Out of the floods, Yugoslavia has emerged!" While armed conflict has demonstrated the darkest side of human nature within its absurd and tragic vortex, leaving behind the monuments of human suffering and graveyards of human dignity, recent disasters showed humanity in all its virtues, erasing the hostilities between former enemies.
Biblical floods which severely hit Serbia, Bosnia and parts of Croatia have showed heart and spirit, solidarity and greatness of the Balkan nations and one indisputable fact - that we are inclined to each other, not only to coexist, but close and friendly relationships and what is more important - sharing the good and the bad - the same destiny. In this time of disasters of apocalyptic proportions, we have forgotten our ethnic divisions, old grudges and antagonisms and focused on single imperative - helping to each other, to loving our neighbor, to helping every human been regardless his ethnic or religious identity. Sadly, we had to partake in catastrophe of such extent in order to realize how much we need each other. After some time, when we rebuild our homes and devastating impacts become old news, please, do not let to be estranged by our "narcissism of small differences" and remember the humanity, love and trust we have given to one another.
Nikola Knežević, president of Centre for the Study of Religion, Politics and Society and lecturer in Politics and Religion