Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review: [Refuge]e by Adnan Mahmutovic


Title: [Refuge]e
Author: Adnan Mahmutovic
Format: Paperback
Pages: 95 pages

Blurb (from Goodreads):

"After the Balkan war many Bosnian refugees ended up in Scandinavia. In [Refuge]e, we can eavesdrop on and witness the quirky characters that came out as the result of the war. Focusing on Bosnian women and their refusal to be victims, [Refuge]e gives us an insight into their mundane lives, small things with great meanings that make life worth living."

My Rating: 3/5

My Thoughts:

This book brought me just a little bit closer to understanding the plight of the Bosnian refugees and possibly even refugees the world over.

All I've ever heard about the war in Bosnia is based on newspaper and television accounts that appeared many, many years ago. However, one thing stood out clear for me and that is the fact that (as in all wars) it is the innocent people, the ones who are happy to just mind their own business and go on with their everyday lives, who suffer the most. As with the main character, Almasa, one day they have big happy families and the ordinary contentment of everyday life, and the next, they've been robbed of home and family and have had atrocious acts and various indignities performed upon their persons, only to eventually end up dead and in mass graves somewhere or have been miraculously "saved" (though who would want to really go on living after losing everything and suffering such indignities) and placed in refugee camps (but really spending most of their time travelling between these camps) and never really experiencing a sense of home anywhere.

It is a sad reality that we are exposed to in the reading of this book and Almasa's story is representative of hundreds, and possibly even thousands, of Bosnian women whose worlds have been turned upside down, who've had everything worth living for stripped away from them and who have to painfully gather themselves in the aftermath of destruction and trudge through the seemingly barren landscapes of their futures with the mantra that "time is the greatest healer" being repeated over and over again in the hope of shutting out the internal screams of agony that haunt them. For me, this book of less than a hundred pages spoke volumes.

Recommended for: Anyone with an interest in the Bosnian situation


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