A short while ago we came across a story published in Toronto Star about a Srebrenica couple who’s planning to have a first interfaith marriage since the end of the Bosnian war which ended in 1995. Two years ago this year Almir Salihovic announced that he was in love with a woman who is half Serbian and half Croatian, and whom he was planning to marry this coming May. Needless to say the news came as a shocker in a town where such marriages are only thing of a past.
Despite heavy criticism the young man is facing and yet to face, he has become a symbol of modest progress in famously fractious Bosnia. Since the war has ended, no interfaith marriages have happened in Srebrenica. And by no surprise either, after all the town was literally wiped of it’s male population and as many as 8,000 people had been killed, making the genocide the worst mass killing in Europe since the Second World War. Aside from the interfaith marriage that has stunned majority of the town, it has further shocked many locals that Almir Salihovic will be taking part in this mostly because it was his father who became one of the 8,000 victims of Srebrenica during the bloody war in Bosnian that lasted nearly five years.
Srebrenica now has a population of about 12,000, nearly half of it Muslim. For years it remained a divided city, even after Muslim families began to trickle back. This interfaith marriage is a first of it’s kind in this region, and it’s something that’s not warmly welcomed by either the Bosnian or the Serbs. It may take many more years before this becomes something of acceptance to this region. In a town where the unemployment rate is more then 50 per cent, and in a country that ranks 91st in the world, tied with Liberia and Zambia on Transparency International’s Corruption Index, this is a very positive step in the right direction. We don’t choose who we fall in love with, our heart does, and this is why Almir’s heart has set it’s sight on Dusica.
Read the full story here – Srebrencia couple plans first interfaith marriage.