Keeping Up With the Jasarevics

Bosnian refugees found safe haven in St. Louis in the 1990s. Many are on the move again -- this time to the suburbs.

In March 2001, they applied for refugee status. They considered Buffalo and Seattle, where they had relatives, but St. Louis was the best choice because of its low cost of living and large Bosnian community.

Vahidin benefited from a program, designed for children of Srebrenica, that paid for him to live in New York for three months to learn English. He often translates for his mother and aunt. A certificate for academic excellence he received at Long Middle School hangs on the living-room wall.

Aside from being able to work and provide an education for their children, the sisters see the absence of sectarian strife as the biggest improvement.

Mark Gilliland
Anna Crosslin: "Immigration, long-term, is one of the things that's going to save the city, if anything can."
Mark Gilliland
Anna Crosslin: "Immigration, long-term, is one of the things that's going to save the city, if anything can."

"People here are treated equally; it doesn't matter what your religion is or what your background is," says Brdarevic. "I'm not afraid of the things I was afraid of in Bosnia, the political violence."

Before they left Bosnia, Brdarevic went back to visit the remains of her old house. She found a sweater her eldest son wore when he was an infant. She also found some slippers belonging to her husband, lying where he had last left them, by the front door.

Knowing that she was leaving her country to help give her son a better future, she took the sweater along as a keepsake.

Knowing that her husband was gone and would never leave Bosnia, she left the slippers.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...