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August 14, 2002

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Sarajevo bears many scars from its civil war. Shell holes mark most buildings. All museums are closed except for the "tunnel Museum," which is literally that, a tunnel. This tunnel served as the lifeline to Sarajevo during the 1000 day siege when attacking Serb forces cut off the city from the outside world. For a few Bosnian marks (2 marks equal one dollar) you can walk down a piece of this tunnel or talk to the museum proprietor who is a veteran of the civil war. It's a new experience for us to visit a museum where the events displayed happened only seven years ago, still fresh in the minds of the men that run the museum. The museum proprietor holds great enmity against the Serbs. We asked about the current situation and he said that if the UN left war would break out immediately. He said that the Muslims wouldn't 'let the Serbs keep 49 percent of the country.' He paused. "Maybe 30 percent." The country has three governments, three armies, and three peoples competing for the same land.
In Sarajevo we met Yasmine, who recruited us from the bus station to stay in her apartment for 20 Euro. Homestays such as these can be much cheaper than hotels. In this case, however, our homestay meant we slept on a sofa in her living room/kitchen. Her two room, one bath apartment was small enough to fit inside moving van.
The 'tunnel museum,' the only museum currently open in Sarajevo, is not really a museum. It's run by the local family that owns the house where this tunnel ended. The tunnel is 800 meters long and served as a pipeline of munitions and food during the seige of Sarajevo by Bosnian Serbs.
Bombed out buildings or shell hole markings can be found all over Sarajevo. Bosnian Serbs attacked the city for three years as part of their effort to take over the country and expel ethnic Croats and Muslims.
A wide avenue of gravestones leads into the city.