I was born in the fall of 1994, in a night when the storm was getting closer, a storm I was not aware of, in a city that only a year later would be bathed in the blood of my loved ones. Soon Srebrenica was overwhelmed by the suffering of innocent civilians, and in the arms of my mother I was walking towards a strange new world. Some will say “a better” world . . .
Srebrenica was a mining town, and a city where many people worked in agriculture or cattle breeding. And my whole family was among those who worked in agriculture. Only a few family members pursued a higher education or planned to go to university. They lived well doing what they knew, what they did was very profitable, but then the first shots came . . .
The war began, and they were forced to leave their birthplace. Forces separated the women and the children from the men. In just one day, they killed thousends of people, among them my father, three uncles, and my grandfather. I was so young that I can’t even remember their faces. I can only visit them in the quietest place in the world. Stop and silently honor them.
Today I am a third year student of English language and literature at the University of Sarajevo. I am successful in what I do. I know only this world, the one that I am now a part of. I live with my mother, and we’re used to our loneliness. Only by listening to some of her stories can I imagine what life would be like if I were still in Srebrenica. She recalls memories, and I listen and paint these stories in my head. I can understand how different ”what might have been“ and ”what I have now” are.
I’m left to wonder . . . what if that first gunshot had never happened? What if I had been on the opposite side, and if I were not the one who lost, but the one who won? What if I had never existed?
Recently, we have witnessed people from Syria and Iraq taking a similar path towards a better future. What they have done was done to ensure that they and their children would have better lives. But they forgot one thing . . . the source of all evil is man. No one expected so many difficulties from wanting something so simple, but the difficulties have come.
And again, I ask myself many questions . . . Whose Earth this is, and whether borders actually exist? Can we say that something belongs to us when we have witnessed so many transitions throughout history? Have people forgotten all the examples from the past and learned nothing? If not, then Srebrenica should be a reminder how it looks when the world fails.
My name is Muamer, and 21 years ago I saw the blood on the falling stars .