July 24, 2006

Shaykhspeara in Bosnia

Dear bloggers, I'm off to Bosnia for the first time in my life. A bit of discovering to do there. I still cannot understand how concentration camps could exist in Europe only roughly a decade ago. How my colleague's grandmother was set on fire by Serbs, how my other colleagues father, brother and nearly half of her family were massacerd while the world stood by remembering the Holocaust that took place nearly 50 years earlier, yet letting it happen again not far from the last place of autrocities.

I think about my neighbour who told me how she used to live next door to Serbs and they used to have garden parties together, celebrate each others religious festivals and one day, overnight, that very neighbor tried to kill her husband.


The man in the front weighing 48 kg is Fikret Alic, at the concentration camp in Trnopolje in 1992. If you read on the net about this famous picture that circled around the media world taken by a British newsteam, you will find a few articles where other people have accused the picture of being fake and that it was not a concentration camp. Fikret Alic now resides in Sweden, and happened to be my neighbours father in law, and I heard the story firsthand from him.

Why? How can it happen? How come human beings can be driven to such sudden extremes?

I am aiming to meet up with my colleague in Sarajevo, hopefully. She wasn't sure she could make it because they had recently found the bodies of yet more of her relatives, and there would be yet another mass funeral in her hometown. They had found the body of her uncle a few years ago and when her mother went to identify it they realised the head belonged to someone else...


Old Town of Sarajevo

I'll be visiting my dearest friend, who together with her parents and sister have worked hard to try and rebuild the life that was suddenly taken away from them, yet with the harsh reality staring them in the face, that there are still landmines to be found, in the heart of Europe, around their summer house.

One thing I have learnt from the Bosnian people I have met throughout my life here in Sweden is that mankind is a master at recovery and life truly goes on. I hope to visit the historic Ottoman bridge in Mostar (built in 1566) that was rebuilt after it was bombed by Croat artillery in 1993, and I hope to visit the recently discovered so far 9 pyramids not far from Sarajevo. And above all, I hope to make sense of what happened to a whole nation, overnight, for I cannot forget the look in the eyes of my colleague when she talks about what happened to her. That blank, empty, "tears have run dry" stare left its mark on me and compelled me to make a visit to this forgotten land.


Mostar Bridge

15 comments:

nzm said...

Writing "have a great time" isn't going to cut it here.

I think that what you're in for is a rollercoaster of emotions and a lot of what you're going to experience is going to touch every fibre and essence within you.

I pray that you also take the time to process what you see, hear and feel, and that it becomes a cathartic exercise for you, and doesn't leave you troubled. Take the time to work through all of what you're feeling - cry, laugh, show whatever you're feeling - don't stifle the emotions.

Take care and be safe.

BuJ said...

This is definitely more than a holiday to Cancun or a trip to Sharm el Sheikh... will be interesting but like NZM said will have a roller coaster or emotions...

having never been to that part of the world.. i would love to come and take a look.. especially at the world-famous mostar bridge and these new pyramids (should learn more about them). as for the camps... well i am always reminded what human hatered can do to the helpess.. just take a look at our environment and humanitarian losses...

Moona said...

"while the world stood by remembering the Holocaust that took place nearly 50 years earlier"


RIGHT , people in Europe seem to be blind, it seems that the only brutal happening in the world was the Holocaust. And Jewish people use it as a weapon to do whatever they want.

Samawel said...

do tell us all about it

Tainted Female said...

You know SS... I admire you.

I admire the way you think, what inspires you, and how you allow your curiosity & cravings for knowledge blend into your life, rather than draft away with childhood dreams.

May you always find peace, no matter where you are SS.

khanana said...

yeah that's all sad happened there :(

anyways.. keep safe and do keep in touch..

Umar said...

have a safe trip

Diligent Candy said...

Wish you a good trip, you will be missed, come back soon and update, take lots of pics...

Tonguetied said...

I think what you're doing requires loads of inner strength and even though I don't know about your past experiences, I do feel that each new traumatic experience needs to be 'dealt with' differently.Some experiences make you go through a 'paradigm shift', a complete alteration of one or more aspects of who you are as a person, how you think and what you do. I hope you're able to cope with whatevers coming your way, and I hope you continue to DO whatever it is that you're doing..Changing the pain, anger, saddness into constructive thought and action.Helping in whatever way you can.Don't give up.

EXSENO said...

Hope you have a safe trip.

Take care
Exseno

kaya said...

I am exhausted with so much suffering and devastation.
When you get back I will not be here.
So take care and we meet when we meet inshallah.

Baraka said...

Salaam,

Take good care of yourself - you're in for a spiritual, emotional, and physical roller coaster ride.

I just finished reading Chris Hedges' "War is a force that gives us meaning" in which he talks quite a bit about the conflict...if you haven't read it yet, do.

My prayers are with you.

Warmly,
Baraka

Tainted Female said...

Pssst...

I just saw Bosnia in my stats... and even though you didn't comment, I can only assume it's you because you're the only one I know who's ever been there... And the first person to my blog from Bosnia.

Thank you for not forgetting us. Know you're much, much missed. And we hope you're having a blast. I'm sure ALL of us, feel the same.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Everyone, thank you so much for your support and kind encouraging words. It really means a lot to me and inspires me to feel that there is much good in mankind, and the potential to be good is even greater.

All of us don't "know" each other, yet the kindness and natural feeling of support exists within us and that is a beautiful thing.

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