One truth, three versions of it.

Drama! That's the word most often used to describe life in post war Bosnia. For me it was dramatic from the very beginning.

When my mother went into labor with me, she drove to the hospital in a bus filled with the enemy army. Three months latter...I was a refugee. That's why my generation and me were branded as "94 children." I've titled this text as: "One truth, three versions of it" because of the overall separation of pretty much everything in Bosnia. It's either Bosniak, Croatian or Serbian.

Funny thing is...I became aware of that last year when I came to study in Sarajevo. I come from part of Bosnia where there was no fight between Muslims and Serbs or Muslims and Croatians, but there was a war, unfortunately. It was between Muslims and Muslims.

Consequence of that is a true picture of Bosnia, perhaps Balkan- if there's blood to be shed, let it flow in streams. This sounds quite dark and horrible, well it is. That's the fundamental truth, It's just that everyone has their own version of it. By everyone, I mean the three constitutional people of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bosnians, Croatians and Serbs. Instead of taking responsibility for past actions, they find that it's more productive to pass the blame for the bloodshed to one another that happened twenty years ago.

You can imagine how bright Bosnia's future is?! Especially when all the hate and rage that caused the war is now floating through the young people of Bosnia, just like poison. When I was just a kid, there wasn't nationalities just people, citizens. That's more to my upbringing, it was based on communistic principals. And, I live in a town where grand majority are Muslims. But as I grew older, society changed my point of view. I became witness of religious division, the consequences of war became real to me, words like treason, genocide and war criminals occupied the media and with them also the everyday life of an average citizen of Bosnia. So...I like, the rest of Bosnia started to divide people by it's nationality and religion.The question why was inevitable. But that's the question that no one could answer. Even today, I have no answer. I study psychology, and I try really hard to find some explanation.

Why do people do unimaginable things to each other? 

What in us drives us to kill and torture other human beings? Children? Is that truly in our nature?

No religion preaches that. I guess Miligram partially explained that.

But, I still find it hard to believe that in fact we are cold blooded animals. That's what war reveals about us better than any experiment. I don't even know what to tell about people that stand by and watch mass killings and do nothing, like the International Community did during Bosniak Spring, Arab Spring and in Africa. I may not be able to understand people when it comes to war, but if I have learned anything in my education is how much education influences on people especially in young age. I understood why all of a sudden I blended with the rest of the country.

As it turns out it wasn't so sudden. It was a product of doctrine that predates war.

It's the same doctrine that keeps the war going.

One example: Mostar! It's pearl of Bosnia, beautiful emerald water of Neretva, old core of the town and of course Old Bridge in Mostar that is listed in UNESCO's National Heritage list. But there's a dark reality behind that Southern beauty. Mostar is divided in two parts; Eastern where Muslims live and Western side where Croatians live. They don't cross to each other's side. But the highlight of this situation is the news that went viral few days ago, about a boy born and raised in Mostar (West-Croatian side) and he has never seen the Old Bridge which is on the Eastern (Muslim) side. Angelina Jolie and Ronlado have. That is just sad, but it paint's perfectly picture of situation in Bosnia. Because that is the case in Central and Southern Bosnia. Our capital city isn't dis-included. With appearance of social media, hate language that is passed through generations is more present then ever. It's a common thing for Bosniak youth. It's part of our parent's heritage, that's the language our society stands for, it's the language that keeps the war going on. But don't be mistaken, it's not the language of truth. Truth frightens us, because it's very simple. it enough to reconcile post-war Bosnia? The simple fact is before we all lived together in peace! 


Ajka Muzaferović