Date of Interview

Summer 3-21-2016

Interview Location

St. Louis, MO

Length of Interview


Date of Birth




Religion and/or Ethnicity



Born in Maribor, Slovenia to a Bosnian Muslim father and a Bosnian Serb mother, stayed with family in a refugee camp until the age of 9 months when family decided to go to Germany, Paid a group of smugglers to get them across the border into Munich, Stayed in Germany until the age of 5, Lived in a type of bed and breakfast housing that was converted for refugees, Father was still in Sarajevo experiencing the siege only joined the rest of the family 2 years later, Family was not allowed to work while in Germany but they worked illegally doing odd jobs for Germans, Began to speak German fluently at this this time while also speaking Bosnian, Eventually moved to the United States to the city of Detroit, Lived in a small apartment with family as father worked in a father and mother was a homemaker, Experienced an apartment fire after her younger brother caused a blaze and destroyed the few things her family had, Moved to another apartment were after her father injured himself on the job he began to stay at home and her mother worked, After father recovered they both began to work at the same factories for low wages, Began to experience discrimination from the Bosnian Muslim community in Dearborn who told her she was not Bosnian and that her mother was a "Chetnik", Confused in early life and struggled with identity and who she was, Mother adopted Islam and the family moved to Dearborn where she began to wear the hijab, Further discrimination by Bosnian Muslims and Arabs who lived in the area due to her mother’s ethnic background, Sought help from her father to get some clarity on her own identity as she did not feel like a Muslim or Bosnian, More discrimination including during a fieldtrip when Bosnian Muslims accused her of being a Chetnik, Felt excluded from the Bosnian community and the American community who began to discriminate her due to her hijab, Completed high school and went to college at Central Michigan University to complete a degree in Religious studies, Came to St. Louis and was drawn to the Bosnia memory project as it was something she could put her support behind, experienced a great sense of confusion and not belonging searched for her place in the world, goal is for future generations never to forget what happened in Bosnia and if they see it happening anywhere again in the world it is their responsibility to stop it


Slovenia, Detroit, Religious Identity, Islam

First Country of Residence


First US Residence

Detroit, MI

Document Type

Oral History


Fontbonne University

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Center for Bosnian Studies


St. Louis, MO

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Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.