The history of Sarajevo was bloody… and who can forget about it? This photo below is just a small fraction of inconveniences and life threatening events that Sarajevans went through. If there were no journalists in Bosnia nobody would capture what was happening. Journalists who covered Bosnia deserve lots of credit. There were many who came from all over the world. Nobody really talks about them even though they risked their lives to tell us the story.
During the siege of Sarajevo I was approached by some journalists. They wanted to take a picture. I knew that if I said yes my picture would be published all over the world, but I said no and missed the opportunity. The reason I said no was because Bosnian people are very proud people and have a dignity. The world at that time already knew what has been happening in Bosnia and they chose not to do anything about it. I also did not want to be victimized further.
To me if you don't want to help a nation but you like to talk without doing anything about it, you in some shape or form enjoy their pain. You benefit in some extent from talking about it if you had no intent to make an actual steps and initiate the change.
There is nothing worse then when you victimize ( feel sorry for ) people but you do nothing to stop their extinction. I did not make mistake for refusing the picture in the most vulnerable times. I had more hope in my own people to defend us with no guns then in the world outside. I also thought somebody will just see the photo, read about Bosnia, throw the papers in the garbage, and forget about it, without actually taking an action and doing something.
"Roger Richards, a US photojournalist and writer, covered the siege through all its stages for the Washington Post, Miami Herald and Gamma Liaison photo agency. During this period, he met Dina Kunic and her family. Dina and Roger were married in Sarajevo in 1994". Here is one of his photos:
A woman runs from Bosnian Serb sniper fire, 1993.
Photo by Roger Richards Larger Photo Here
As you can see Bosnians dressed up and wore clothes as if there was no war. This is one of the ways to maintain normalcy through acting and dressing as if everything is normal. I did not have clothes like the Bosnian woman on the photo. I wore a thin jacket in the middle of winter because my clothes burned. Perhaps her clothes did not burn. I wonder if the woman on the photo is alive? Here is another true story about snipers in Sarajevo by Mima Tulic Kerken:
"I went to work, I worked in the Head Office of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Railroad Company and every day leaving for work and coming back I had to cross an avenue. It wasn't a street, but an avenue, I don't know how many meters wide. A sniper was always shooting at that avenue, killing people, injuring them, and I thought how to cross.
I stayed in between the houses. One quick glance to my watch. When the first bullet was shot I counted the seconds to the next bullet. Some 15 to 20 seconds. And so I was ready when the shot was fired to run across the avenue and I had to do it in 15 seconds.
At such times the fear a person feels is incredible. The legs were dead, the muscles don't work and there's no air in the lungs. And when I arrived to the other side then I stayed there awhile to catch my breath and rest a little and the people who were hiding there and watching were happy that somebody managed to cross that fateful avenue near the 2nd Gymnasium. " ( Mima Tulic Kerken, resident of Sarajevo )
Well Ms Tulic obviously was trying to go to work and maintain the normalcy. This was earlier in the war time. Later, it was much worse. I did have experiences with crossing the sniper fire because everybody had to cross from one area to another and snipers were all over the city. That is however a very long story as it took place multiple times. When I have more time I will get back to this. Snipers were more prominent in the beginning of the war as they were shooting within the city. They were just sniping on everything and everybody. After they were taken out by Bosnian special units then Serbs kept sniping from further distances. Also snipers shoot first then you get bombing after. It was complicated.
Serb snipers in Sarajevo were shooting at children as well
Men you see in uniforms are UN peace keepers. The children were drawn to peace keepers because of their uniforms and guns and cars. Perhaps the child was standing nearby talking to one of the UN peacekeepers when Serbian sniper decided to kill the child.
Sniper Alley, Sarajevo, Photo by Strodder