Pascal Derrien

5 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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The Second Time Around

The Second Time Around

For some reasons in the recent few weeks I have had a lot of discussions about lucidity, doubts, success and vulnerability and this took different shape or form. I thought it was a paradox almost as for the most part we live in a world where there is a constant need to worship the finish line, an obsession to debate about the 5 best ways to get it right the first time or about how we built glory, how we box trophies and how we carry on leaving behind more than just the weaknesses of our moral casualties. In fact I have very rarely observed individuals who ever look back. But what if we did?

My name is Mirad Jusuglic, in April 1992 in another life I was roughly about two weeks away from my twenty second birthday when I took the last bus to Budapest departing from Sarajevo in Bosnia. The week after my departure the city where I was born and reared fell under one of the longest and hardest siege of the 20 century history. All access to roads to and from the town were subsequently blocked by adverse parties. European TVs and Irish Channels in particular could not show me how the teenagers lacked essential vitamins for their development; how their parents were shot at when making an attempt to reach UN rations on the other side of the road but what TV did show me is how unpredictable is the world and that nothing should be taken for granted.

After I reached Budapest I was briefly sent to Germany where I was held in a refugee camp for about 4 weeks before I was told I would be dispatched to a country called Ireland , the long trip was done by bus but I did not pay too much attention to the landscape around me, the world had really go down on its head those last few months and I was a bit anxious to move to a country where I did not speak the language and from which I have seen consistent reports of violence and sectarianism. What was the point in leaving the pearl of Balkans and ending up in one of the most troubled British Isles.

How is going to be? I repeated those words to my-self hundred times thru the long journey over, and my anxiety gradually rose higher as close as I was getting to my final destination an apparently small harbour called Rosselare. Having embarked in France almost 22 hours prior, I remember clearly that night travel, it was as closed to a jump in the unknown than anything else I had experienced before, I was really firing blind at my destiny , the tragedy of leaving the friends I had known, forgetting the things I was once shown did not alienate my acute sense of loss. I was constantly asking myself why a country where you could find in the same street Muslims, Orthodox, Catholics and Jews living in harmony suddenly became a sanctuary of voracious souls, a city of devils, a country where difference transformed itself in a divine object of hatred. Overnight the humanity embarked on a long road to ruin and I often wonder what could I have done to prevent this? What if I had been more receptive would I had been able to see the obvious?

This was a long time ago and this is now 2014 and I am still around here and I found myself writing a letter to a country which is not Bosnia, a country in which I found refuge and shelter a country who gave me a second chance. It is also a very different place to the one I arrived in more than 20 years ago, today by many aspects it does sometimes remind me of Bosnia you can hear so many people with so many different background in the street whether in terms of nationality, religion or language I am pretty sure Dublin is slowly becoming the pearl of the Western European world in its own right.

What I am trying to say Ireland is that I am now well into my forties, I have lived most of my adult life with you and

you have been good to me Mirad the Bosnian. But don’t rest on your laurels the world is changing, I was thinking Ireland you may not listen to me, you may not understand why I am ready to forgive your moral faux-pas me an isolated individual a lonely taxi driver, the little Bosnish as they call me back home, in a country where I don’t really belong to anymore. You may not understand why but this is not the point maybe the intent is more important than the result, maybe the seed is bigger than the tree, maybe the dark is full of bright shots so thinking about the years and my time in exile this what I would like to tell you Ireland

Me and all my foreign brothers and sisters will carry you but be sensible lighting may well strike again, don’t let the rhythm of life freeze your engine stay away from the debates of a dark age, explore all the ways always. I know that as a country you are unsure of the destination but focus on the journey, please don’t stop at the first hurdle , you can always get it right the second time and remember that your foreign sons & daughters too once had to had a


Stamp & Photo Credit Irish Post / An Post

Giving a second chance to an article previously called `` a shot in the dark``

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Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #6

the story behind this article is based on a conversation i had with a taxi driver in Dublin little i knew i would find myself in Bosnia a few weeks after that this was circa 2007 and i think was still heavily administered by the UN thanks Laurent BOSCHERINI for sharing this side of the story 👊

Laurent Boscherini

5 years ago #5

Thank you Pascal Derrien for sharing your such insightful article about the Courage to survive and live. I served in an Aeronautic French Navy squadron 1994-1995 which had been deployed in Former Yuguslavia. It changed for ever my vision of our world...

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #4

thanks Phil Friedman for sharing that part of your story :-) There are roughly 200 million people leaving in a country where they were not born :-)

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #3

Pascal Derrien, this is a terrific piece that strikes me personally to the core. Several decades ago, extreme dissatisfaction with U.S. military adventurism in Southeast Asia drove me into self-imposed exile in Canada. That nation welcomed me, provided a home and opportunity, and an unexpectedly good life. And although I eventually returned to residence in the country of my birth, I consider Canada still to be my spiritual homeland. The point being that second starts may often be bridges to a new and fulfilling life. My best to you, and thanks for sharing.

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #2

yes true I am like you but not all of us had so much luck :-)

Ken Boddie

5 years ago #1

I also have taken the shot in the dark, but by choice and free will, without being caressed by cruel Lady Fate. So where is 'home', oh Mirad the Bosnian?

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