I was 9 years old when the first explosion happened in my hometown which announced dark clouds of war in my country. For a kid who was in school one day and next one in the shelter, that become my home in further years, it was a new feeling, not understandable, not accustomed. I just got my new bike, my birthday was close, I invited my classmates for a party, and I had my first crush on a girl, Kristina. This was not right. Right? Just few days before my birthday, and after days of explosions, fighting, deportations, killings, my parents decided that it was not safe for the youngsters to be in Mostar anymore, so they decided to send us away, far away from the “new story in creation”. Instead of the big birthday party that my parents prepared every year inviting members of family, friends, I celebrated my 10th birthday far away from my town, away from people that were present in my everyday life. My only gift was a hope that we will be reunited again. After some months, we have returned home, but Mostar was different city. Ruins everywhere, no electricity power, no water, no familiar faces.
I was 11 years old when I got separated from my parents for whole year, during a “peace between wars” time. I was on the one bank of the city, and they on the other side of the city. The bridge between us. Then, it is a big black out for me. Bridge was torn down, and no alternative way to cross it. The river that flows through my city kept us separated. I didn’t know whether they were alive, nor did they know the same about me. Some other people decided for my future at that time, and sent me away, to other city. Although the distance between us was only 30 kilometers, with no possible way to make any contact to my parents, only thing I could felt was that I have lost them forever, as if we were on two different worlds. Only news from my hometown was over electronic media, and even at that age, I could sense it that the news represented only one side of the story and not how it really happened.
When I was 12, I have received the best birthday present ever: message from my parents through Red Cross Organization. Somehow, they traced my moving and where I was, and they managed to send only news that I wanted: they were alive. Few months later, I finally returned to the hometown, and reunited with my parents and family. My return was organized through a mutual activity of two different armies, enemies in the war, and partners in helping me to reunite with my family.
This is only one of a many, many heartbreaking stories during the war time in Bosnia and Herzegovina. My story was even with the happy end at “the end”. I managed to survive the war, everything that came afterwards is living memory … day by day…
Influenced people receive Nobel prize, who accomplished something, gained knowledge, did research, found a cure, prevent an evil. European Union (European Community at time) did accomplished great deal of activities for better future. But I can’t erase the fact that I’m not from Germany, or England, or France, or Norway … I’m from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and proud to come from this area. I’m not proud that childhood of the kids from Balkan area was different from the rest of the world. I am not proud that I had to grow up so fast. I’m not proud that variety of prejudices exists when I mention my origin, just because of the events in 1990s. Where was this powerful “mother” that we are all turning to, to protect us from these events, to prevent these events?
EU standing there doing nothing silently approved the events at the area. And I will never allow myself to think that its actions were necessary at that time and approved. European Union with its passive relations toward the events of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and not having clear statement how to act mutually is nothing else but support, encouragement and approval of the regime at that time: one people must be overpowered by other for the “peace”. The statements like “European community is worried for the state that Yugoslavia was in” was not enough. Let’s not forget that it was European community who put veto NOT on all usage of weapons on the Balkans area, but veto that one people or nation can’t use weapons of destruction, while supporting other and providing munitions. Let’s not forget that European forces were present in Srebrenica, first giving them hope, and later abandoning them. Their presence there meant that no shooting or grenade or killing or bombing will happen. Soon as they left, it was a clear area for the events that today became shameful history and mark on every soul, regardless the nation, sex, religion.
Same things are done today with other countries in need, i.e. Syria. EU is repeating the same role. That passive role, the “we-can’t-find-same-opinion-on-this-issue” role. I know what people are thinking there, how they feel and what they need. Yet, Europe takes large amount of time, thinking, discussing, what to do and will they do. It’s a bit frustrating that politics and country relations are on higher level than human life. But, hey, that’s politics.
My statement is: encouragement to European Union and what it represents, its values and objectives. But, having its eyes blindfolded and having the “composing” role in these “life-important” issues is not the European Union that I want to be part of. And definitely not PEACE awarding.
Dear reader, where were you in 1992? What is like to have normal 1990s in your life?