Location: Sarajevo, Bosnia
"I would turn back the clock - but I would keep the memory of the
people, so maybe the war could be avoided.Time heals all wounds, but
people will remember the war forever, but still I believe that there is
hope that people will continue to love together - we can not exist on
These are the words of Sanela, a young woman with a heart
that is filled with thankfulness of life. Thankful, because after
years of war and killings she has stood strong and is now making a life
of her own. Sanela is one of the many who were in Sarajevo, Bosnia
during the war. She is
a survivor of the conflict in Bosnia, and with perseverance has come
out strong and dynamic. Our team corresponded with her, and what you
will find below is the correspondence, her words of hope, and of
In March of '99, Our Team Member Contacted Sanela and requested
correspondence. Sanela replied, and what follows is her letter:
Nice to hear from you. I am willing to talk you.since you are
following the situation all over the world, believe that you have heard
about what is going on in Kosovo, just 500 kilometers away... If there
is any questions you would like to have answered, please e-mail me.
I work for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe
(OSCE) Mission to Bosnia and
Herzegovina as Spokesperson, so I guess that giving answeres is in a
line of my job...
For more information on the OSCE in Bosnia and Herzegovina you can
check out the web site at www.oscebih.org
Hope too talk to you soon...
On April 2, Jocelyn replied:
I was happy to receive a letter from you, and see that you would be
interested in corresponding and answering some of my questions. For
one thing, what is your opinion of what is happening in Kosovo? Has it
been affecting your country much? What is the status of your country
like at these times?
All that is happening in Kosovo - it's something that I think
students such as I should know about, as it is something that, when you
get right down to it, ends up affecting all of us who are involved and
not involved. It is worth our while to try to understand, and have a
will to understand, so that we can be pro-active citizens, and most
importantly, teach future generations and encourage our children to
grow up caring and understanding of what can happen, and possibly
prevent wars from starting.
Milosevic, in my opinion, is aiming for power.But I think that NATO
and the USA could be going about it a bit differently.
So, that's my opinion. What is yours? Opinions are only based on
what people know, and that is why I have listened to both sides, and am
continuing to give everything I hear an equal chance to be truth.
I know some about what happened in your city of Sarajevo a few years
ago. What is it like now? Were you living there when everything was
Sanela's Reply: April 6, 1999
I have to say (this might be strange) but I do not have opinion on
anything - I just think it is great to be alive... I was here in
Sarajevo, Bosnia, during the war. War is something you can not explain
so easy and to tell you the truth I remember only the good and funny
things from that time. Life is too short to spend it in anger or
regret. I feel sorry for the refugees from Kosovo and Serbia, I even
have some family there - they are OK for time being, but you never
know. In one hand this might seem very cruel to you - the fact that I
am kinda "cold" towards happenings in Yugoslavia, but there is nothing
much I can do, except to help to the people I can. I know what they are
going through (I was in the same position for 4 years). I guess you
just loose emotions. I am trying to live my life and to help others
that is why I work where I work and that is why I am still in Bosnia.
I have to be selfish a little bit and to share great news with you
(with the whole world as a matter of fact) - I got engaged on my 25th
birthday (Sunday - April 4) and I am getting married in July this year.
Back to your questions - situation in my country is tensed - we are
still post-war society and memories are still fresh - there was lot of
victims during the war and that can not be ignored or just forgotten,
but people are trying to live together again...
It is good to have NATO strikes finally - but they happened 6-7
years late - and although back in 1992 and '93 (during the war here)
only hope I had was that NATO will bomb Serbia, but now emotions are
mixed - I feel sorry for all innocent civilians who will die. Can you
only imagine how many lives will and is destroyed by this situation.I
agree with you mainly - but still you have to sit down and think
carefully about lot of things - it is not easy to make decisions, which
will effect the world future...
Sarajevo is almost like it used to be - reconstruction is on going
and it is nice to see that life is coming back here - but there is so
many things to be done here - and we just made few first steps...
OK I have to go now - I am still in the office and in 5 minutes I
have to be at this reception...
Talk to you soon... Sorry for not giving you more precise answers
but talk to you soon.
Jocelyn's Reply: April 25, 1999
.Thanks for your informative and interesting reply - your
experiences and feelings are so interesting to me. I can see how you
feel, and partially understand what you mean about not having much
opinion on anything. I can see how you would be so thankful to just be
alive. It is not strange to me, but rather enlightening, and it makes
me so thankful. Stories like yours, like all the other people's in the
Balkans and elsewhere, are inspiring. This may sound funny, but it's
true. They help to show us that this stuff is reality, that it effects
families just like you, like me, like anyone else. My country has more
capitalism than any other country.we have so much to be thankful for -
and are we? Well, I think quite a lot of us are a bit spoiled. A bit
lazy, and it saddens me to even speak of this. We have so much, and
should thrive in it, should not take advantage of it but be thankful,
and become active in trying to understand issues abroad, and take
things more into consideration. If you take someone from China, or any
other country where there is so much communism, and compare their
thankfulness to someone in the USA, you would be surprised who was more
thankful for what they had, even if it was very little.
War can...cause such destruction...I hear of all these mistakes by NATO,
killing civilians...And they bombed a TV station. Can you believe it?
Innocent people were supposedly killed - 9-15 of them. I am grasping
to fathom all of this. It happened before in Croatia, and I didn't even
know about it. I didn't really understand what happened in Bosnia again
that decade. I know Kosovo has been an eye-opener for many.I suppose it
may be because I am older, but I think many others are also trying to
think about it. My neighbor is in the National Gueard, a platoon
leader, and may be going to Serbia. I hate to hear of any awful
casualties, on any side. But we can pray.
I'd like to tell you about a project that I am involved in.
I would like to say Congratulations about your engagement! That is
Sanela's Reply: April 26, 1999
I was out off the office for a week... working in another part of
Bosnia, I like traveling but I really need vacation. Have to go now, I
have meeting in 5 minutes... Talk to you later...
And just one thing - the TV they bombed in Belgrade - there was good
reason for that, and until this morning there was some 100 people in
the building, only 6 are confirmed dead and few are missing...
During our interviews, we developed a set of questions to ask.
Sanela gave us some very enlightening answers, and the whole interview
can be viewed by clicking the link below.
Our Interview with