Smajo Beso was born in Bosnia in 1985. His father, and several male relatives, were tortured in concentration camps as Bosnian Muslims became targets of genocide. Smajo’s close relatives were murdered. In 1994, Smajo and his family arrived in Newcastle as refugees. Today, he regularly shares his experiences and has played a vital role in organising Holocaust Memorial Day and Bosnian Genocide commemorations across the country. In 2020, Smajo founded the Bosnian Genocide Educational Trust and most recently has been recognised with an OBE for services to genocide education and commemoration in the New Years Honours 2023.