NEW YORK– Unfolding memories of the horrible Bosnia war, a Bosnian-American writer has published a book that revisits the war during which thousands of Muslims were massacred through the eye of a 12-year-old Bosnian Muslim boy.
“Writing this book became not only a personal matter, but it was also became a moral obligation to tell the truth not for my family, but for my people, and for anyone who has been persecuted because of their religion, race or nationality,” Kenan Trebincevic, the author of “Bosnian List” book, told Anadolu Agency on Monday, March 10.
After more than two decades of the Balkan war, the young Muslim author has revealed the unfiltered memories that sent his family into exile during the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia Muslims.
Bosnia fell into civil war in 1992 that left 200,000 people dead and displaced millions as Serb forces launched ethnic cleansing campaign against Bosnian Muslims.
During the 43-month war, which claimed some 200,000 lives, nearly two million people fled their homes, half a million of them are still listed as refugees.
In the final months of the three-year war, Serb forces, led by General Ratko Mladic, overran Srebrenica, killing some 8,000 Muslim men and boys.
In his book, the author tells the misery of Bosnia Muslims who were betrayed by their Christian neighbors, citing his own family horrifying experience.
“It is a totally unfiltered, authentic sum of my memories that I have experienced as a twelve-year-old boy in Bosnia,” the author said.
“By writing this story, I was able to turn the worst experience of my life into the most beautiful,” Trebincevic, who explains how it was important to rewrite the history of the Balkans from a Bosniak family's point of view, added.
“Yugoslavian history was always been tainted and written by Serb politicians and educators in Belgrade,”
Trebincevic's family ordeal started in the spring of 1992 when they were ordered to leave the country, threatened by Trebincevic's Karate coach and family friend.
“You have one hour to leave or be killed!” the Karate coach screamed at the family.
“Our only ‘crime’ was that we were Bosnian Muslims,” the 33-year-old American author complained.
The Bosnia List, published by Penguin two weeks ago, has received positive feedbacks and was interviewed by various media outlets such as BBC and New York 1 TV.
The book was also named the 'book of the week' on the Oprah Winfrey's TV talk show.
The writer believes that his book may not get the same feedback in Europe.
“This can only happen in America,” Trebincevic said while expressing doubts that such a book, “would be published in Europe.”
Trebincevic's success caused his deferred dream to revisit his home country to come true when he and his brother decided to offer their father a visit to their homeland.
“My 72-year-old widowed father desperately wanted to visit our homeland before he was too old to make the trip,” Trebincevic said
“He had a stroke and maybe was feeling his mortality,” he added.
After the visit, the Bosnian–American met with the book co-author Susan Shapiro, a prominent Jewish writer, and decided to stop being a victim and to take revenge by unveiling the “truth”.
“My co-author, Susan Shapiro, would tell me that the ‘the pen is mightier than the sword,’” Trebincevic said.
“I realized that this book is the best way I can avenge my people and my family.
“I didn't want to remain a victim.
“As soon as I decided to visit my old homeland, I started having vengeful fantasies of what I wanted to do to everyone that betrayed us.
“While I started feeling like a victim who lost his happy childhood, I came to understand how amazingly lucky we were,” he added.
“I never imagined that our Christian Serb neighbors and family friends with whom we shared birthdays and holidays, would throw their own countrymen in concentration camps, murder them and rape them, just because they were Muslim.”
In 1995, Dayton peace accord ended the war by splitting Bosnia into two ethnically-based autonomous regions, the Muslim-Croat federation and the Serb Republic.
Yet, the deal was “unfair” for Bosnia Muslims who were massacred and expelled from homeland.
Reconciliation in Bosnia has to be “fair, natural and without equalization of guilt between the victim and executioner” Trebincevic said.
“I think there's something deep down in all of us Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) that can never be fully repaired.”
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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