Tuesday, March 20, 2012

(54) Bosnia twenty years later a story of a child from Banja Luka

(Banja Luka)

1) Do you remember where were you when you realized the war was imminent? What town and what location in the town?

I was only 3 years old so I don´t remember it but I know I was at home in the centre of Banja Luka

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

At home in Banja Luka
3) Where were you when the war came to your town? Were you at home, relatives, friends, work?

I was at home with my grandmother and grandfather (mothers side)

4) The most memorable event of the war for you was?

When my grandmother died. She got sick during the war and because she didn´t want to leave the house and Banja Luka we stayed but when she passed away we decided to leave the country in December 1994. I was very close to my grandmother and I remember I cried so much, then I did the same that cold winter morning when we left our house...
5) What made you hopeless during the war?

As I was a child I guess back then I didn´t realize what was really going on, even if I knew that things where serious. Some days I feel more hopeless today when I think of the future of BiH...
6) What gave you hope during the war?

My mum,dad, grandmother and grandfather.

7) Did you lose anyone close to you during the war?

No, not directly because of the war but indirectly yes...
8) Were you wounded during the war? Where were you wounded? Anyone close to you wounded?

Where we lived, about 10 minutes from the city centre of Banja Luka, a lot of "serbs" lived and we were neighbours but they didn´t do anything to them but one night they put an explosive device outside our house as a "warning" that we had to leave. No one got wounded but one bookshelf that fell almost hit me as I crawled on the floor and the fridge fell and almost hit my mother. Also, all the windows broke both at our house and our neighbours´ houses.
9) Your biggest loss during the war was?

I had such a great start of my childhood, the first years where like paradise. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents while my parents where at work and my relatives came visiting, so losing all this closeness and happiness and everything we had, everything my parents had built up for a good life, all of that is a huge loss... And even though I would never admit it, sometimes when I´m in Banja Luka it feels like I lost my hometown the day we left our house. It´s very sad.
10) What was the hardest part about the war?

Losing my grandmother and leaving the house

11) Did you leave the country during the war?

Left Banja Luka and Bosnia in December 1994

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

I think it was really stupid, the whole war. What happened is horrible and unforgettable and has left scars which we all could have lived without (all sides). I think "they" have their goal and they are very keen of reaching it (always been that way), which is unbelievable. I can´t understand that people have so much hatred inside themselves. I do see things happen today as well and the world is powerless but for me it´s still a mystery that the war in BiH happened only 20 years ago in Europe and went on for four years and no one could stop it or overpower "them" ?
13) Are things better or worse than what you expected 20 years later?

I think that things in Bosnia seem to be worse than they actually were 1991, only there are no weapons. A lot of people still suffer because of what happened and the economy is standing still. Something has to happen, BiH has to move on - without RS. And the Dayton-agreement-solution -thing, why are "they" still referring to that?

14) Do you think war will return to BiH?

I hope not, which means I think it could but I´m not sure if I think it will. I pray for a solution that will not kill innocent lives in any way.

15) What do you think the future of BiH will be? 
I think we have to be more demanding and speak up! We can´t hand over our country to others to solve our problems because in that case will never get out of this bad circle. We must take part and not only sit and talk about what happened in the 90-s. As much as it is important not to forget and hide what happened in BiH we must also focus our energy on the future of the country. I think we are very weak and the other part is very stubborn with getting what they want so I am afraid RS will be independent if we continue being passive. I think some of the old men ruling over Bosnia's future should leave and let people who are really interested in the future of BiH take over. That feels like the first step if we want to move on. I have to stay optimistic and not lose my hope, so I think that´s what will happened and the Bosnian spirit will finally win and BiH will become the independent country it should have been since the very beginning of the 90-s.

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