Story: Nermina, 1977 / Interviewed by Amina
Before the war started in 1992 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, my childhood was fulfilled and safe. The first thing I think about is how the war ruined my education. For a period of time I didn’t even attend school, I graduated not knowing how I even managed to do it. Nothing was organized or on time, we didn’t start the new school year in September as we would have usually. We had classes in one of the neighbor’s basement and in some other schools, but we only had general classes like Math and Bosnian language. I only had classes in my own school in 1994, and even then it was terrifying to attend them. Just going to classes was horrible. It was far, and I couldn’t ride the tram, so I had to walk. I also had to run in some areas or hide between buildings because otherwise I could have gotten shot by a sniper.
I also had to run in some areas or hide between buildings because otherwise I could have gotten shot by a sniper.
But I would have to say the hardest thing I had to go through during the war was lack of food and water. The beginning was somehow manageable, because we had some stocks of food in our homes. But especially in summer the food that we had would go bad, because the fridge didn’t work without electricity. So everything that my family had, my neighbors, my cousins, uncles and aunts, we shared between ourselves to at least use that food. But our savior during those times was a garden of a house where my father grew up. There were trees of plums and apples, so we would make jams with the sugar that we had in stock. That would keep us full for at least some time. The rest of the food we received from humanitarian aid. We would receive oil, flour, bread. Imagine having one quarter of a bread in a four-member family for the whole day. But having water was a whole other issue. My sister and I would walk for kilometers carrying liters of water on our backs.
All of this lasted for four years.