Admir & Sabina

Admir & Sabina  

Bosnia

Admir: I married Sabina before the war. I think it was one year before the start of the war in 1991. Sabina lived before in Srebrenica. I went and took her and she came to live with me in my house maybe 55 km away, in Vlasenica. Our families were close to one another. Our life was normal; we lived like normal people. We had a house; I worked, and Sabina stayed home. I worked just like I work here. If you work more, you would have more; if you worked less, you would have less.

The war started in 1991. Sabina's family was in Srebrenica, like always, and she was with me and my family in Vlasenica. They just started messing with the Muslim people, treating them really badly. They took people for no reason to jail. Some people came back home, some people didn't. They just started treating people badly everyday. So we decided that we couldn't do anything about it. We knew that a lot of people had died, so we just decided to go to Tuzla. So my dad stayed in Vlasenica with my grandmother. Sabina's mom, dad and her brothers stayed in Srebrenica because they couldn't come to Tuzla. In Srebrenica, no one could move, no one could go anywhere.

Nobody wanted to lose their head; there were a lot of problems. Every night we were listening to some soldiers walking around the house. Not just my house, a lot of peoples' houses. Everyday we didn't have food; we didn't eat. You know you don't have too much food because it's war—it's a problem. Nobody worked and the stores were closed. Some people had enough of what they needed for the house, but they didn't share. After one month, I could see this was no good. I didn't want to lose my family: me, my wife, and Ismet—ten months old. I say, "Okay, Sabina's cousin is coming; we are going to Tuzla because in Tuzla it's safe." The war wasn't close to Tuzla, maybe around 100 miles. Tuzla and Vlasenica are like 100 miles away. It was definitely safer. So, Sabina's cousin drove us to Tuzla in his truck. There were maybe a hundred people in the truck. Not just my family, but a lot of families.

Sabina: It was a pretty big truck, and there were over 100 people in the truck. It was one of those trucks with the covers, not made out of metal. Some of the men were changing into females' clothes and dressing up as females so that the soldiers wouldn't take them off of the truck. The soldiers stopped the truck. They were looking for certain people. But, there were more buses, so they told us we could go. In our truck, the soldiers didn't touch anybody. They just went into it and looked through who was there, and then they just let us go. They didn't touch us.

I didn't feel good of course. I left my family; I left my house; I left everything. I thought we were going to get killed, and Ismet was going to get killed because he was small. I was never sure what was going to happen from Vlasenica to Tuzla. I never knew, because anything could happen. I didn't even know I was going to leave that day. We just got everything together and left.