Syrian, Ogaden, Iraqi, Congolese, Iranian, Jews – all diaspora worldwide share the same aspiration and hopes. The following poignant essay from Naida Sekic, a member of the Bosnian diaspora now living in Sweden, reflects upon dreams of her homeland and desire for “ONCE MORE, NEVER AGAIN.”
AT NIGHT, I WRITE BOSNIA TO PEACE IN MY DREAMS, By Naida Sekic
“Our crowns have been paid for by the blood from the lynching. Even though they hadn’t tasted freedom, they knew they were planting the seeds of the free that would bear the fruit that is now you.”
Before the brush of dusk paints the sky a thousand shades of velvet blue, the sun stretches its rays and yawns; whispers sweat dreams and falls asleep, I too put my mind to rest. I close my eyes and travel to the land of my dreams. The journey from here to there is instantaneous. Upon arrival I am greeted by an orchestra of leaves who sing along with the breeze. The wind plays in my hair and the sun dances across my face as I fall in love beneath the cherry blossoms. I am taken by everything my gaze beholds; the waters, the greeneries, the mountains, the flowers, the rain, everything. A flock of birds fly across the horizon. Surely their wings are set to take them home, where they belong. I make my way across the bridge down to the river to wash my face and hands. I notice a heap of bones in the water. Upon a closer look, I see thousands of them. Who has eaten the flesh and sucked the blood of these bones? I open my eyes to darkness. I am no longer asleep. Once again Bosnia keeps me up.
As long as the darkest shades of love run through my veins and open my heart to life, I cannot stand by and watch my home die yet a thousand deaths. I am too in love with humanity to remain indifferent before this. This is why I write to tell the tales of those who can speak no more. And so at night, when the stars shine the brightest, I light a candle and pour myself a fine cup of Moroccan mint green tea, I take my pen and paper and write NEVER AGAIN; never again to genocide, to ethnic cleansing, to rape, to hunger, to slaughter, to evil; never again to no one and nowhere. I write of how I dream of a Bosnia where one will not be judged by their name, but by the content of their character; I dream of a Bosnia where humanity stands victorious, where love conquers the hearts of those who fear and where trust serves as the beacon of light to guide us to new friendships. I dream of a Bosnia where justice sings the song of freedom a thousand times over, where the rains wash away her tears and give birth to new hopes and new loves. My dream is to not only dream but to work for such a Bosnia.
The spirit of my country has been battered more than once. We have been put to the ground. Stepped upon. Spit upon. Raped and beaten. We have bled a thousand oceans. But never have we broken. Our spirit has been hurt, but never razed. I must believe, and I do believe that life will spring in Bosnia and Herzegovina today and for always.
Naida is on Facebook “Naida Sekic” and Twitter @SrcePutnika. For a recent interview conducted with Naida to explore the stress that children face as a result of ethnic discrimination, see:
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