Monday, January 9, 2012

(9) Bosnia twenty years later Jasminko tells of losing his best friend Mirela age 9


1) Do you remember where were you when you realized the war was imminent?

I can't remember the moment because I was a child. What I can remember is very often used new word “war”  in my parents conversations.

2) Do you remember where you were when the war broke out?

I was on Dobrinja with my parents. Dobrinja is part of Sarajevo, located just on the border with Republika Srpska today. It was one of the first parts of the city where aggressor came, so we had to leave our home third day of war.

3) Where were you when the war came to your town?

As I said in previous answer, we lived in Dobrinja. It was a small apartment on the first floor. Older guys from the building were next to the buildings door, and women with children were in basement. After few days we escaped to other part of Dobrinja, to my uncles flat. We stayed there for 21 days – the only part of war I was hungry. We had one piece of bread a day, eight of us. I can remember that I asked my father to give me his part.
4) The most memorable event of the war for you was?

 The death of my friend, Mirela Pločić. She was nine when she was killed, in Hasana Kikica Street. We moved there from my uncle’s home after a month of war or so. I stayed there with my family for 15 months. We have lived in one room – place where my father used to work as a researcher before war started. After we moved from there (third migration inside the city during the war), Mirela was killed. The TV news stated: 9 year old girl was killed in Hasana Kikica Street. I started to cry, I knew it was her.

5) What made you hopeless during the war?

I never lost a hope. I was a child, so it was probably easier because I didn't really realize what was happening. I could see it, but probably I could not see all aspects.

6) What gave you hope during the war?

I learn how to read when I was 4. That helped a lot, because I spent days reading books. It was useful time for me, because I learned a lot. I started school when I was 5. It was something easier to live through war when you have friends and something to do. We had lessons in basement, and sometimes we could not go to school, but today I would say, that were good times.
7) Did you lose anyone close to you during the war?

Yeas, as I said the girl with blue eyes, Mirela. First eyes I liked in my life.

8) Were you wounded during the war? Where were you wounded?


9) Your biggest loss during the war was?

Same answer, 7th question.

10) What was the hardest part about the war?

The lack of freedom, when you want to go out to play with friends and you can't. When you wanted to go to school and couldn’t, it was difficult for a child. When you want to watch cartoons and there is no electricity.

11) Did you leave the country during the war?

12) 20 years later, what do you think of what happened?

I think it was possible to avoid the war. That's most important. First of all, local politicians should not let it happen. After them, Europe should not watch it happening, they should stop it.
Many people were killed. Many children were killed. For what? For borders? For new flag? It is disgusting.
It was a very aggressive policy against Bosnian Muslims, and on the other side, strong wish for independence, made this horrible war possible. I think it was possible to make it in other way, without so much bloodshed.

13) Are things better or worse than what you expected 20 years later?

Things are not going really well in the Balkans, and in Bosnia too. Matrix which is established by Dayton's agreement is holding this country paralyzed. Bosnia is highly deconstructed country, not only physically, but in minds too. It will take few generations, and hopefully political turning point to make things better will eventually happen.

14) Do you think war will return to BiH?

Probably not, if we go to European Union, other countries will be guarantee for the peace. Besides that, who knows? It is possible; because rhetoric of local politicians is very similar to that we could hear 20 years ago.
15) What do you think the future of BiH will be?

It can be bright if: we make institutions more functional; we reduce administration; people realize that they are same, from same land, and start to work together; we invest money in culture and education; we find money to invest in infrastructure and industry.

Otherwise, our children will live in muck.

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