Beslan, North Ossetia
10 years ago, in September 2004, the world was shocked by one of the most tragic terrorist attacks ever perpetrated: a group of Chechen separatist rebels took a school #1 in Beslan, North Ossetia, with more than 1,100 people hostage during a ceremony held to inaugurate the new school year. The attack resulted in the death of 334 people. Among them, 186 children. -
Today, Beslan exists as a living memorial to the victims of the massacre. The children who were held hostage in Beslan school #1 ten years ago are already graduates. All of them remember that September.
I met them nine years ago, a year after the tragedy, when I came to Beslan among other volunteers with a humanitarian mission. We came back and back every year, watching them and witnessing how they grow up and recover step by step from that horrible drama. Ten years is a long period, and still many have long-lasting health problems and post-traumatic syndrome. But I feel happy for them that with the help of many people almost from the whole world they became those beautiful young women and men, and could live with their memories but looking forward to the future.