The First Child Victim of the Siege: The Father still keeps the Only Photo of His Daughter

April 6, 2017 12:15 PM

child war victim Aida KucukNew Year’s Eve 1992 in Sarajevo – blonde little girl, just turned five, stands smiling in a chair next to decorated Christmas tree while her father is holding her.

This is the only photo of his daughter that remained to Fahrudin Kucuk. Four months after it was taken, Aida Kucuk was hit by shrapnel while she slept in their apartment in Sarajevo’s settlement Grbavica. She was the first child victim of the siege of the city.

“The 1st of May was sunny, there were some shells, but gardens around the city were full of people,” recalled Kucuk the events before the death of his daughter, whose mother died four months after her birth.

The next day started one of the key battles for the city, the building of Post was set on fire, telephone lines were not working, shells were falling at the center of Sarajevo, which from then, for the next 1,460 days, will be under the siege, and its people will be a constant target.

“I came back from the war line with a group of fellow soldiers and we were listening to the news. The transistor was working, the city was on fire, people constantly listening to the news, everyone thinking in their heads what will happen next. That is an indescribable state, that uncertainty, somewhere before the madness,” recalled Kucuk.

At that moment, they heard the appeal for an ambulance car to Grbavica from the transistors, because one child was wounded.

“They mentioned the same street, number of the building and the entrance where my daughter was. However, they said that it was a boy, and that calmed me down a little. However, this news was repeating and at that moment I had some feeling that it was my Aida…”

However, despite all of this, the ambulance could not come through. Aida’s family took her in their hands and placed in the transporter. She was taken to the hospital in Lukavica, but it was too late.

After the war, said Kucuk, who had no more children, his internal dissatisfaction forced him to turn to something that he nurtured back in his childhood – writing. He noted that his mother was a great narrator, and she told many legends about Sarajevo… He wrote his first book the Secret of Stellar Room by hand, and he was writing it for three days and three nights.

His inspiration then opened and he wrote several novels for children, drawing books, collections of poems and stories. He started to work in the puppet theater, and he also gladly accepted the invitation to be Santa Claus on Sarajevo New Year’s Market.

This year, the National and University Library of BiH nominated Kucuk for the world’s largest prize for children’s and youth literature, which bears the name of Astrid Lindgren, the author of a book about Pippi Longstocking, as reported by Al Jazeera Balkans.

(Source: Radiosarajevo.ba)

 

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