World Bulletin / News Desk
Ballet slippers, tinned food and drawings by a sister killed from shelling are found among the objects in a new Sarajevo museum used to tell stories of life during Bosnia's war through the eyes of children.
An unfinished letter, kept safe by a young Bosnian woman for 20 years, was started by her mother who perished when their apartment was shelled in the Balkan country's 1992-1995 civil war.
To obtain such personal and treasured possessions, "you have to create trust," said Jasenko Halilovic, the 28-year-old founder of the newly opened War Childhood Museum.
During Bosnia's inter-ethnic conflict nearly 3,400 Muslim children were killed, including 1,500 in the capital Sarajevo. The city was besieged for 44 months by Belgrade-backed Bosnian Serb forces, who launched shells and sniper fire from the surrounding mountains.
Among them was 17-year-old Aida, hit by artillery shells at the entrance to her family's home. She loved to draw Disney characters, including Minnie Mouse with a tear sliding down her cheek. Her sister Selma donated the sketches to the museum.
'Message against war'
Some of the collection is less tragic but equally poignant. Mela Softic donated the ballet slippers she would dance in as a way to "disconnect from reality".
When she put on the ballet shoes and played some classical music, "I was no longer in war, in Sarajevo, but in a fairy tale," she recalled.
Softic, now 32, believes the museum is "the best place possible" for her cherished mementoes of that time in her life.
The collection consists of around 4,000 objects, accompanied by short texts, and those on display will be rotated so that the exhibition is renewed, said Selma Tanovic, a 36-year-old anthropologist and head of research.
Along with photos and diaries detailing the day-to-day drama, the dozens of exhibits now on display include a hat pierced with shrapnel, a makeshift stove, stuffed animals, a television and a bicycle.
"We do not mean, of course, to minimise the trauma that children have suffered," Tanovic said.
"But we want to emphasise the resistance of children, the way they overcame the cruel conditions of their childhood."
All the stories are meant to convey "a strong message against war," she said.
Art of survival
Filip Andronik, who was 11 when war broke out, turned his months sheltering in the basement of his building into an exercise in the art of the survival.
When his family received their first supplies of tinned meat, provided by aid workers, he decided to keep the empty packaging to joke about once the war was over.
"But the war continued, and so did the humanitarian aid," said Andronik, now a comedian and comic book writer.
He collected more than 2,000 pieces of packaging from wartime food and toiletries.
"I handed over my entire collection to the War Childhood Museum."
Halilovic, who has also compiled a book of children's wartime testimonies, wants to make the museum a platform for "dialogue and reconciliation" in Bosnia, which remains deeply divided along ethnic lines of Bosniak Muslims, Croats and Serbs.
'Common to all of us'
The new museum mostly displays belongings of children from Sarajevo, a predominantly Muslim city, but Halilovic also wants to tell the stories of youngsters caught up in different sides of the conflict.
He is now looking for objects from places such as Banja Luka in the north, the capital of Bosnian Serbs, and the southern city of Mostar, divided between ethnic Croats and Muslims.
"I think it's a wonderful idea to tell the stories of children in all the cities... regardless of which side they grew up on," said Emina Omanovic, who donated her red bicycle to the museum.
"It's something common to all of us, the children who grew up during the war."
Regulators find company’s search engine gives unfair advantage to its shopping service
Trump invites Republican senators to White House to discuss path forward after bill lacks votes to advance
US Homeland Security Dept. says monitoring global hacks, stands ready to assist
The European Commission's powerful competition regulator on Tuesday hit Google with the biggest fine ever against a company for abuse of a dominant market position.
Vatican experts said Zerbo, 74, was recovering from an illness but had managed to make the trip to the Vatican to be appointed cardinal along with four others by Pope Francis on Wednesday.
Monday's hearing saw sentence handed down to Folly Satchivi as well as to another student involved in this month's demonstrations, Marius Amagbegnon.
"On Monday, we rescued about 5,000 people from four large boats, one smaller one and 18 rubber dinghies," a spokesman said.
Speaking to reporters on a military plane late Monday as he headed for meetings in Europe, Mattis said the US-led coalition was determined to keep a strict focus on fighting the ISIL group.
"Part of my political life is coming to an end. I am leaving the Socialist Party, or the Socialist Party is leaving me," the 54-year-old told RTL radio.
His comments came as rival Cypriot leaders were headed to Switzerland for a make-or-break summit aiming to seal a long-elusive peace deal for their divided island.
If the feuding main parties cannot agree to form a semi-autonomous government in Belfast by 4:00pm (1500 GMT) Thursday, then the province will be fully governed from London.
With 96 percent of polling stations tallied, the Socialists had grabbed 49 percent of the vote cast in Sunday's election. Their main rivals in the centre-right Democratic Party took less than 30 percent.
"The deceased was a serviceman in the armed forces," ministry spokesman Artem Shevchenko said at a briefing.
"As from tomorrow (Tuesday), 206 of my clients are claiming compensation of 22,000 euros each," their lawyer told Dutch late night talk show Jinek on Monday.
The bribery charge filed by Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot swept Temer into the forefront of a giant graft scandal that has engulfed Latin America's biggest country over the last three years.
Here are five key elements of the peace accord that the sides say will end Latin America's oldest civil conflict.