For years I wanted to go. Years in which I had heard about the city through newspapers, television or songs.
Curiosity grew and created a sort of attraction that I still do not know right now or ethically correct, but I find it undeniable.
Accustomed to the thousand European capitals boasting unparalleled monuments and beauties all over the world, the approach to Sarajevo (capital of Bosnia Erzigovina) must be different.
Here, there are no monuments capable of letting open, here there are no artistic beauties that seduce tourists, or such dimensions that require visiting days …
Here is the liveliness of a city that has suffered violence, death and destruction.
And although he does not want to be right, I wanted to go to Sarajevo to see all this with my eyes, and I wonder if the charm that emanates from this city is so strong to me because of his (tragic) story or hiding even a ‘Different soul.
Sarajevo is not just its past, but I will not deny that without its history, perhaps, I would not have tried to know it so quickly.
And here’s my opinion. Listen to Sarajevo.
Listen to what is meant for a city that today reaches 700,000 day residents, but only 500,000 residents (these numbers reported by the local guide) remain closed and isolated in themselves during the 1992-1995 Serbian siege.
Listen to the voice of a young man 22 telling how his mother in 1992 would leave a 3-year-old child (brother) and a baby in her own (ONLY) ONLY to go looking for water to survive.
Listen to the young man’s pride in saying, “Yes, my father could have brought us all to Croatia, but he preferred going to fight in the back of the country.”
Listening to how life in a besieged city surrounded by military forces was impossible nowadays as it became a luxury.
Listen to what it means to be in one’s own city without having the freedom to live without being able to move, without forgetting that the army is around, and will not shoot at other soldiers, but shoot directly to civilians.
… Listen to what it’s like to be afraid of dying simply by walking down the road.
Only by listening you can make sense to the cemeteries you will see in every corner of the city.
“We were locked in our town, and the Serbs killed people but we did not know where to bury them since we could no longer leave and the cemeteries were in the areas occupied by the Serbs. So for the sake of things we had to bury our dead in urban areas. Gardens, parks, soccer fields and everything else on earth. ” Sometimes you will see a garden of 3 meters for 4 turned into an open graveyard.
(The Serbs applied a “tactic” to create stress in the population. Once the city was siege and surrounded the territories, they shot at random on civilians from their stations to kill them.
Random! It was important for them to collapse, not just physically, but above all psychologically).
Only by listening you will discover the history of the Sarajevo tunnel.
A complex story that starts from a simple base: “The city was under siege, we no longer had food, but the only area where life was happening normally was Hrasnica, a village bordering the city but we could not Arrive because there were the Serbs all around. Then, with the help of NATO, we built a tunnel linking the only free zone in the center of Sarajevo. Thousands of people have been saved thanks to that tunnel. ”
(The tunnel was built underground by the inhabitants of the city to allow food supplies and allow many to leave the city. Today, it is possible to visit a 25-meter open section for the public, subject to payment. Inhabitants call it “Life Tunnel”).
Only by listening you will discover the story of “Romeo and Juliet” in Sarajevo.
Two boys. Young. Lovers. Quite a lot. Residents of the Grbavica district who despaired and with the dream of being able to get to the tunnel to find freedom began to run.
To run on the bridge that would take them to the city and then to the tunnel …
And the photo of their bodies no longer lived around the world. And their bodies were left there, visible to all, lifeless, for seven days.
(Grbavica is the northern neighborhood near the mountains that was totally occupied by the Serbs and iron and fire.) Typing on Google image Grbavica you will see how this district was destroyed in its entirety, the most representative district of Sarajevo in war time.
Just listening yes … But do not think you understand. Understanding this is not allowed in a simple human mind, or perhaps it is not for me. Today, Sarajevo has almost rebuilt all the war-torn buildings. It is modern and contemporary, with a new soul that looks to the future. But a past like this can never be deleted and listening to it is an experience that will hardly leave you equal before. Also for this, it must be done.