Amar was six years old at that time, and his brother Alen was four. The plan was to relocate children from besieged Sarajevo and to return them to BiH after the war. However, they never returned – most of them were adopted by Italian families and now have a new name, a new identity, and the youngest one do not even remember their origin.
Kenan Hasanagic and his brother Haris are searching for their relatives, Amer and Alen Ljusa, for years.
“Amer and Alen are children of my uncle, and my brother and I were very close to them. He got divorced before the war, and the children went with their mother. When the war started, she left them in the children’s home “Ljubica Ivezic ‘ for some reason, and my uncle was killed in 1993. At that time, the children were moved to Italy. My mother went to that home after the war, she was asking for Amer and Alen and they only told her that children are now in Italy and they are fine. That was back in 1996, and two to three years later we heard that they were adopted. My brother Haris, who went to live in Italy after the war, contacted the center “Mamma Rita” in Monza where the children from BiH were located, in order to find out what happened to them. But they did not want to tell him anything on the phone,” said Kenan.
“I must say that I was not that much interested in the whole story when I was younger, but when Facebook came I thought I could find some relatives over the internet. I found the complete list of children who were moved to Italy in 1992 and I sent a message to all of those who have profiles on Facebook and I asked them if they knew anything about my relatives if they remember them… One of them, Jasenko Hasecic, contacted me and said that he remembered my cousin and that he shared the same room in the center “Mamma Rita” with the older one, Amer, they were best friends … he sent me a few of their photos from that period,” said Kenan.
Jasenko told him that his cousin Amer was adopted by an Italian family, they gave him name Luca and he is supposedly living in Lombardy. He did not know anything about Amer’s younger brother Alen.
Unfortunately, despite all the efforts to find their long lost relatives, Kenan and Haris’s search remained unsuccessful.
“They are probably happy and have a much better life than they would have if they stayed here. But I think everyone has the right to know their origins, where they are coming from, who are their parents … Here is the grave of their father who was killed as a soldier of the Army of BiH, and their family house is also here… It does not matter if they remember anything from that part of their early childhood or not, I’m sure that they would like to know that. I’d like to meet and hug them one day because we are family after all,” said Kenan Hasanagic.