During the last month, IFS-EMMAUS provided 90 cubic meters of wood for 30 beneficiaries of the project “Love for the Mothers of Srebrenica”. The first address to which wood for the upcoming winter was delivered was the house of mother Saliha Osmanovic, who lives in Dobrak, 40 km away from Srebrenica.Saliha is one of many Srebrenica mothers who lives lonely life, forced to do most difficult jobs around the house or to pay someone to do it for her.In 1992, the war took her husband and two sons, her young falcons, for which she thougth that once be able to rely on in her old age.
>> “I remember like it was yesterday” Saliha begins her sad story over again while we drank coffee to take a break from work. “When we first moved in Dobrak, my husbant and I had a good life. Ramo has worked in Algeria and with the money he earned, we have built our house.I gave birth to two sons Edin and Nermin. I nurtured them and took them to the right path.Just when they began to live the fate sure played an awful trick on us. On May 8, 1992, we heard the shooting that came across the Drina River.We did not leave the house right away because we did not know what was going on, we thought it would last day or two. Soon after Ramo said that we should run away. We packed some food and stuff and headed for the woods. We left everything we gained for years.After all the villages where we were hiding we went to Srebrenica to the apartment that was free. We were surviving in fear for three years. I lost my son Edin before the fall of Srebrenica on 06 July 1995. He was 18 years old.When Srebrenica fell, Ramo and my other son, Nermin, went over the woods, and I was separated into a truck for Potocari. When we had to separate Ramo told me: “Saliha, go with the people in Potocari, Nermin and I will go through the woods “
“They tortured us and only God knows how I survived everything. I never again saw Ramo or my son Nermin. Then the video footage appeared that went around the world. On that footage, my captured husband, surrounded by armed soldiers, invites our son Nermin and others to surrend to the enemy. It’s hard, it’s painful … ” says Salih, then takes a deep breath.
I do not know if Nermin responded to the calls of his father, but I know that since July 13, every trace abouth them is lost. Their mortal remains were found in various mass graves in 2009. Nermin’s in a mass grave in Snagovo near Zvornik and Ramin’s in Zeleni Jadar near Srebrenica.
When she returned to Dobrak, there were only ruins remained of all that they had. It was hard for her to look at all of this, but she had struggled with all her strength and succeeded to restore they demolished house.
Saliha is an obvious example of how human being after all things that can happen in life can find the way to remain positive. She did not think about taking her life away, she came back to her house, faced her fears and defeated herself and emotions, sorrow, and ugly memories.
She does everything just to forget or to be less aware that Nermin, Edin and Ramo are no longer alive.
She sows in the garden, she cares about her flowers, wanders throught the forests in search of mushrooms, socialize with people, preparing food for winter, knitting socks, all just to try not to think about her pain. Wish that Saliha is the only one, but there are many brave women like her in Srebrenica.
Wherever we go we will find them arranging the house and garden, but they do not know for whom they arrange it for as they hope that their souls, the fruits of their hearts, will come proudly one day from somewhere and take them in their arms. <<
With the help of IFS-EMMAUS employees and volunteers who are working for the benefit of these women, wood for several mothers has been prepared, and in the coming period we will try to finish preparing wood for other mothers as well.
We are here for them, to visit them and try to brighten their day, make their heart rejoice and be for them children who they no longer have.