Twenty-three years to the day since it was demolished by Serbian nationalists as part of an ethnic cleansing campaign, Banja Luka’s grand mosque, Ferhadija, was reopened on 7 May. Despite continuing tensions between the Serbian and Bosniak population of Banja Luka, the ceremony passed off without incident and marked an important date in the city’s troubled history.
After her benevolence during the post-war period, people did not brand her a hero, but instead a person ostracized by her community. The best possible option for her was to return to Jajce, because, aside from helping Bajro, there was no place for her in Banja Luka anymore. But her return to Jajce was not salvation, only consolation.
In the Bosnian media, war seems to have never ended. It simply seems to have continued through other means. Above us looms the hologram of war that prevents our confused minds from making sense of oft repeated and empty phrases.