I survived this way, but throughout my entire life, I haven’t been able to forgive myself for my father’s death. If it hadn’t been for me, he would have been able to escape with my uncle.
After I’d been treated at the hospital, the Red Cross managed to track down my uncle and he took care of me along with his wife and three children.
For most of my childhood, I lived with him and while I was in an orphanage for a period of time, I would visit him at weekends, helping him out on the farm.
I have happy memories from this time of my life – I had friends and my uncle looked after me and made me feel safe.
I still live with my uncle, his family and my sister now. We grow strawberries and other seasonal vegetables, thanks to a greenhouse and 1,000 square metres of land provided by Islamic Relief, which started supporting people in Bosnia after the war.
Living with my uncle makes me feel safe. And I need this, because what happened that day 25 years ago still haunts me.
I often wake up in the night shaking and can’t go back to sleep. I can’t bring myself to reflect on the shooting too much or I know I will go crazy. It’s too much to bear.
I sometimes go to the memorial in Srebrenica to visit my father’s grave, but always avoid it at this time of year. While some people use this time to remember, for me, it’s too much to have other people there.
It just brings back memories of the painful cries of the men being killed as I was carried away.
Twice I have returned to the place where my father was killed. Now, all I want from life is to find his jacket.
If I had his jacket, I would wear it all the time and I would feel close to him. But of course, it was destroyed.
They found his body, a skeleton, ten years later.
Twenty-five years later, I still don’t feel safe. I don’t like being left alone in the house – it’s right by the road, so we’re pretty exposed here.
When I can’t sleep at night, I watch the windows, scared that somebody will appear – just like looking out of the window brought the soldiers to our house 25 years ago.
Ten years ago, I gave evidence about my experience as a witness at the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Incredibly, another witness was my ‘doctor’ – the soldier who could have killed me but saved my life. I asked if I could meet him.
The night before I met him, I couldn’t sleep. The whole situation was very overwhelming, and we both started crying.
The Srebrenica massacre showed the worst of humanity. I once thought all Bosnian Serbs were cruel, but this man proved otherwise.
He showed that everybody has the capacity to be honourable.
Islamic Relief: Helping survivors and their families