'IT TOOK ME LONGER TO FORGIVE MY DAD FOR NOT HELPING ME WHEN I WAS TORTURED, THAN TO FORGIVE THOSE SOLDIERS WHO TORTURED ME'
Mirsad Solakovic survived a war in which some 300,000 people died, but was left with psychological damage.
Mirsad lived through the ethnic cleansing of Bosnian civilians, until his family escaped to the UK. Following his experiences, he became difficult and untractable, and refused to speak English - until dedicated and sympathetic teachers at his school in Birmingham brought him back into contact with those around him.
This thought-provoking account of the Bosnian and Herzegovinian tragedy paints a uniquely intimate portrait of survival, revealing pain that has never faded, yet has not crushed the human spirit. It is also an uplifting account of just how effective good teachers can be when faced with deeply troubled pupils.
Mirsad Solakovic was only thirteen years old when the Bosnian War 1992-5 devastated his young life. Mirsad survived this war in which more than 300,000 people died, but even after his family's escape to the UK he was haunted by the terrors he experienced. After his arrival in the UK Mirsad was initially closed off from those around him and quickly labelled a 'problem child'. It was only through the determination and quiet patience of a teacher that Mirsad was able to come to terms with his past. Mirsad now works as an actor and also is a recognised poet. He lives in London.