Nineteen years ago I was on my way to the first concert of my life. I was seventeen. It was exhilarating, exciting. The day was full of promise that the history was about to be made. I was no ordinary teenage girl.
Egypt. It would happen in just a matter of days, he insisted. I agreed that something was brewing, but I dismissed his notion that it could happen so soon
“What he’s been saying is really totally crazy, ridiculous ... he is totally nuts.”
I watched as they walked away, heading towards downtown Cairo, Mohamed in the middle, like some kind of political leader surrounded by his people. I wondered what it would take for him or one of his friends to one day be just that in a country that had been politically and socially sterilised by dictatorship.
This is not just about Bosnia but rather the reactionary appeal of nationalism, populism and manifestations of walls, physical and psychological.
It's generally not war that refugees choose to remember, but the people who help you. My mother's colleague who snuck us out of Serbia, French volunteers who took refugee kids camping, and those who came to welcome us at the airport when we were resettled in Ohio; those are the people I think of daily. I hope Basel finds such people on his path too.