Friday, January 6, 2012

(6) Bosnia twenty years later the story of a child from Sarajevo wounded playing

(Alipasino polje)

1) Do you remember where were you when you realized the war was imminent?
I was in my country, SFR Yugoslavia when it became clear that we were going to have a war. I’m at the same place now, 20 years later, but my country is no longer called SFR Yugoslavia. Now it’s Bosnia and Herzegovina.

2) Do you remember where were you when the war broke out?
 I was in my country, SFR Yugoslavia. I was only 11 and I didn’t know what it all was about but I knew it wasn’t good.
3) Where were you when the war came to your town?
 I was at home, sleeping. I remember that the phone rang at around 4am and it was my uncle, telling us that barricades had been set all over Sarajevo. Soon after that we could hear sirens and planes and bombs exploding somewhere in the distance.

4) The most memorable event of the war for you was?
I could say it was the day when we were sitting in the shelter and my grandma was sitting right next to me and we were listening to the news and they were reading the names of the men killed in a bus in Ahatovici, Sarajevo. Three of my grandma’s brothers were on that list.
Or I could say it was the day when my dad came knocking at the door of the shelter where mom, sister and I were hiding together with dozens of other people, with a huge hole in his leg and my mom had to stop the bleeding.
But I’m not going to say it was any of the two above. The most memorable event/day of the war for me was November 29th 1993, the day when my brother was born.

5) What made you hopeless during the war?
It seemed like it lasted forever. Three years under a siege can really make you feel hopeless, especially when there’s no food coming inside the city, there’s no water, no electricity, no heating and the bombs kept exploding all day every day.

6) What gave you hope during the war?
I think it was spite that kept us going during the war. The idea of them wanting us dead and us staying alive out of spite. Another thing, though it might sound stupid, was bosnian songs that were made during the war. Also, I knew the world would have to intervene at some point but I just didn’t know at what point.

7) Did you lose anyone close to you during the war?
Dozens of people from both my mom’s and my dad’s side were killed in the war but thankfully, my close family, all of them, survived. I can never thank God enough for that.  
8) Were you wounded during the war? Where were you wounded?
Yes, but it was only a small wound at the front upper part of my left leg. It happened in front of the building at Alipasino polje where I lived at that time. It was Oct 1st, 1992, less than a month after I turned 12. It was a bomb shell, it hit the building that I was in from of, together with dozens of other kids.

9) Your biggest loss during the war was?
I lost family members and friends but the thing that defined me as a person is my lost childhood. Some say you stop being a child the day when you realize you’re going to die. For me, it was way too early. I wasn’t ready but I didn't have much time to learn how to deal with it.

10) What was the hardest part about the war? 
My dad going to the front line was the hardest part. He'd be gone for four days or longer and there was no way to know if he's alive. We just had to wait for him to show up at the door.
11) Did you leave the country during the war?
 No, but we had to move a lot within Sarajevo since our house is at Stup, which was one of the worst frontlines and was bombed 24/7. So we changed 5 different apartments at Alipasino polje and one at Dolac Malta.
12) 20 years later, what do you think of what happened?
 Some really narrow-minded bloodthirty monsters are to blame. I can’t hate or blame all the Serbs because many of them also got killed during the war and most of them that I had a chance to meet or talk to after the war were as furious about what had happened as I was/am.
13) Are things better or worse than what you expected 20 years later?
 Better in a way that the war is over but worse in other ways. Economic situation here is at the lowest point ever and finding a job is almost impossible.
14) Do you think war will return to BiH?
 It will. It always does. I just hope it won’t be soon.
15) What do you think the future of BiH will be?
 I don’t know but what I know for sure is that it doesn’t look good.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes I wonder... who suffered more, parents that worried about their children, or children that worried about their parents? Living in the state of terror makes you suppress your feelings but it doesn't make them disappear. Eventually the numbness goes away and we have to learn how to "live" again.