Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bosnian Ski Resort Helps Heal War Wounds

Remember the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo in 1984? I was only 14 years old, but I remember them. It's hard to believe that just a few short years after the Olympics, the area was devastated by the Bosnian War.

An article today from shows how the resort is helping heal those old war wounds. Here are some excerpts from the article:

"In 1984, this ski resort hosted some of the world's top athletes at the Sarajevo Olympics. Just a few years later, notorious war commanders and their troops took shelter here, turning a symbol of harmony into one of ethnic hatred. Today, as another Winter Olympics begins this week in nearby Italy, Jahorina's ski slopes are slowly becoming trails to reconciliation as skiers from all countries of the former Yugoslavia come to ski and put the past behind.

At bars and cafes, Slavic Muslims, Croats, Serbs, Slovenes, Macedonians sit next to one another and sip tea or the traditional Bosnian plum brandy, sljivovica."

"Drinking tea at a bar, Dzenan Hadzic, a 43-year-old Bosnian Muslim, talked about the changing mood on the slopes.

"When the war ended I thought I would never again come to Jahorina and ski here. I was afraid that someone might attack me because I am Muslim and to be honest I did not want to come here and spend my money in Serb territory," he said.

"I still remember when I came for the first time in 1996 skiing season, I was masked with a turtle neck and goggles so nobody could recognize me. But things changed and now I feel just as much at home here as I do in Sarajevo." To read the complete article, go to

It's nice to see the area can rise from the ashes of a war and once again become a tourist destination. It brings new hope to the possibility that Iraq might one day become a viable tourist destination. We shall see...

Make it a great day!


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