Adna Karamehic-Oates

Date of Interview

Winter 1-4-2019

Interview Location

St. Louis, MO

Length of Interview


Date of Birth




Religion and/or Ethnicity



Enisa was born and raised in Sarajevo, specifically in Butmir/Hrasnica. Most of her family lived on the same street, while others lived in the city of Sarajevo. She grew up going to mixed schools, and her two best friends were Serbian. She did not believe that the war would come to Sarajevo because it was so diverse. Along with peers from her high school, she circulated a petition against the war at local factories and other places. Her Serb friend warned her of the war coming, but she did not believe it. After the war started in April 1992, she missed the remainder of her junior year of high school. Professors at the University of Sarajevo organized an alternative high school so students could continue their studies. A shell first struck her house in the Summer of 1992. They then converted all the family members basements into shelters and would sleep there at night for the duration of the war. All of her male family members joined the Bosnian Army. Her father was wounded when he stepped on a mine, and his foot was deformed. There was a makeshift army hospital in the hotels on Ingman, but he was then moved to Hrasnica when the front line of fighting shifted. Their house was shelled again in 1993. She was there but was luckily not injured. She stayed with her Aunt in Sarajevo city when she attended university. During breaks, she would walk 2 hours from Koševsko to Dobrinja, go through the tunnel, and then another 2 hours to get to her house. After the war, there was a lot of hope that things would recover. As the years went on, the economy never expanded, and corrupt politicians stole a lot of money. Society is hopeless and depressed in Bosnia. She lived in Sarajevo until August 2013, when she came to St. Louis to get her masters degree in counseling. She got married to an American and did not feel they could move back to Bosnia because her husband would not find work. She feels like Bosnia could get better, but the politicians feed the people fear and stoke nationalism.


Ilidza, Butmir, Hrasnica, Siege Shelling, Bombing, School, University of Sarajevo, Tunnel, Counseling

Pre-War Residence


Wartime Residence


First Country of Residence

United States

First US Residence

St. Louis, MO

Document Type

Oral History


Fontbonne University

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Center for Bosnian Studies


Saint Louis

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