“Without action, you aren’t going anywhere.”

Bosnia and Herzegovina

By Lejla Karabeg

Although I’m still very young I have taken part in a lot of peace projects, but with every new project I always learn  new things. I’m glad that I took part in this project because I really got the chance to speak and to be heard. For a young girl like me, this means a lot. This project opened my eyes to see deeper what is happening and what happened in my country. I met new people who are different from me but who have the same hope for a better future, and many of whom are ready to do things to get to their goal.

I liked that art played a huge part in this project because I think that when two groups who have a history of conflict make music or art together then communication and healing becomes possible. Also when individuals listen to or play music, they can reduce their stress levels and express their feelings.

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Connection

When I went to the project in Prijedor from my home in Sanski Most, I watched the Sana river travel from Sanski Most through Prijedor. I was thinking about how fascinating it is that the river can go through both Sanski Most and Prijedor and how it connects these two cities. If a river can do that, why can’t people do the same? Why can’t people like both Sanski Most and Prijedor? Why can’t people connect with each other although they live in different cities? Why do mothers have to be afraid to send their children to the school in Prijedor or Sanski Most ? Why do people have so many negative stereotypes about each other?

One of the speakers, Refik Hodzic, was talking about this same topic. He explained the situation between Sanski Most and Prijedor and how those two cities are separated by the two entities,  the Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Workshop in Prijedor
Workshop in Prijedor

Five things that come to my mind when I hear the word Bosnia:

  1. Family
  2. Nature
  3. Strong people
  4. Differences
  5. Beautiful Culture

Tanja, one of our fellow participants, made a presentation about Bosnia and Herzegovina on Thursday. She told us the history of Bosnia and a lot of other things. At the end she asked us a question ‘What five things  come to your mind when you hear the word BOSNIA?’ This question made me think about what connects me with Bosnia. A lot of people said things like war, destruction, unemployment  etc. I agree with all these things but it feels bad that people think of these things when they think of my country. Bosnia is more than those words.

When I hear the word Bosnia the first thing that comes to my mind is FAMILY. My whole family lives here. All of my friends and people that I love and care about live here. These people  stayed in Bosnia although our history and current situation are hard. These people  don’t want to move away because they feel this is their home and they love this country. They love our beautiful nature and our unique culture because they are a part of it. They are aware that if they stay here they must face their past every day but they still stayed.

Bosnia is more than a country that has gone through war. Bosnia is more then a country that has issues. Every country has issues, some more than others, but we all have issues. Some people think that one of Bosnia’s issues is the diversity of the people who live here. My personal opinion is that all these people are Bosnia and Herzegovina. All of our religions, ethnic groups, and peoples– they create Bosnia.

And I want people to think about these beautiful things when they think about Bosnia.

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