Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Soccer Helps Young Bosnian Make His Way In USA

I'm still waiting for my latest copy of "Fools' Crusade" to arrive in the mail--it was shipping last week, but "Library Rate" brings a whole new meaning to "snail mail." I'm itching to get back to it.

In the meantime, here's a piece about a promising young Bosnian-American from the Major League Soccer website:

Soccer A Comfort In The Face Of War

It'd be nice if the kid gets a shot at going pro (if for no other reason than the soccer fan in me wanting to see more immigrants in MLS!), but mostly it's another refugee-turned-immigrant story. Another reminder that the effects of the war live on.


Shaina said...

There doesn't seem to be any link to the story. :)

Owen said...

Still not working, but Comments are accessible again.

Kirk Johnson said...

Thanks for letting me know--I used the wrong code (I belong to a message board on soccer, and out of habit I used their code instead of standard html).

Owen said...

Link's working!

Anonymous said...

This guy, seems to me is not Bosnian at all, since he never even mentiones Bosnia in the entire interview. He is a Serbian kid who escapde the war and while I was going to school 2 weeks in entire year because the value of formal education does not take precident at the places where death is the eminent danger that is facing you everyday - he was playing soccer in Belgrade. Similar is the story of Serbian basketball player Stojakovic. And even tough I do not wish upon my worst enemy to go through childhood like I have gone through - lets not pretend that Bosnians are those who were destroying it and lets not pretend that those who lived in peaceful Belgrade until NATO strikes, have done anything but silently supported everything that has gone on in Bosnia. Today Bosnian National Soccer Team is divided just like a state. There are three presdients rotating on the national basis. People who serve as presdients are political apointees who do not have a slightest clue about the sport, never have they participated not do they have a formal education in soccer or sports or anything else. National team is also composed to fit the "united picture". You need to have 1 Serb and 1 Bosniak adn 1 Croat and while you try to press that agenda - whoever has any ability is transformed from a soccer player into a political representative and ambasador and not too many people like that. The best Bosnian Serb player play actualy for the Serbia. It's pathetic indeed that people who were born and raised in Bosnia actually await a day when they are going to play against it - like that did in October od 2004 and 2005 for the World Cup nomination. Bosnian fan supporters who went to Belgrade were greeted with dinamite packed inside a small steel sticks - used to detonate bridges and for the engineering work. One of the guys who went to game - wanted to push the stick from underneath his feet and was left with handicapped hand, two fingers blown to bits and pieces - all while FIFA and UEFA representatives on the stadium were present - never for a moment thinking about interupting the game because people lives were in danger.

This is a sad, sad state of mind that is to be found on the Balkans. And only connection that I want to make to Ubikrepanovic is that for me - he is not Bosnian. Clear and simple. He is a Serbian opportunist that fled Bosnia during the worst times, and then fled Serbia during the equaly bad times, now he is making a story out of nothing - as if he acctuly lived in one of the besieged areas that were shell with milions of granades for three-four years continuously killing everyone and anyone - if not physically then mentally. I am a Bosnian, 26 year old male, living in USA, that came to USA as a refugee, officialy diagnosed with PTSD traits by psychiatrist. All of this - have Serbs done to me, just because I was not one of them. And this is nothing - failes in comparison to what others have gone through - never to see a light on the end of the tunnel or have an opportunity. The real Bosnian for me is not someone who is born and considers Bosnia a geographic entity but is a Bosnian with the whole heart who supports legitimate statehood and is willing to contribute even through sportsmanship endevourus to the improvment of the political and economic state of the mind. However this guy is only interested in making a short term profit, playing a soccer, becoming one of those guys who claim that they have acheived an American dream and then sit in a comfortable CIA/FBI chair with all the benefits and security of the govermental jobs that do not require you to stay on the edge nor to be competitive. That's what Serbs have always done and always will do. Work for goverment. Be part of a military force, police, militia, hunting club anything that has to do with weapons and power is very dear to their heart, anything that has to do with enterprenuership or capacity to strike it on your own - does not appeal much to them.

Sorry for the lenghty comment, I just came accros your blog, and read this story as a first piece in a thread.

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