Izzetbegovic passes away .. the end of an era in the Balkans

Essay by afzalshad January 2005

download word file, 15 pages 3.7

Downloaded 27 times

Few events in the recent past have so shaken the conscience of the world as the carnage and blood bath that took place in Bosnia Herzegovina during the years 1991-1995. Here in this profile, the author brings out a swift recapitulation of the Balkan crisis together with an account of one of the most remarkable lives of the twentieth century - that of Alija Ali Izzetbegovic, the former president of the war torn republic, who passed away in October, 2003.

* * * * *

'I shall die when I lose the reason to live.' - Izzetbegovic

In the foreword to the Malayalam translation of the book, Islam between east and west, the publishers had written about the author thus: "The ruling class never quite managed to extinguish the great intensity of his yearning for light notwithstanding the torturous incarceration, within darkened prison cells, to which he was subject in what should have been the most resplendent days of his life.

Indeed, his life represents, in all its nobility, the ultimate triumph of the human spirit." An year earlier, in 1989, when the author was still believed to be in prison - in fact, in what was to be the last phase of imprisonment in a remarkable saga of endurance under pressure - the publishers of the revised English edition of the same classic work had commented that the author had "predicted the fall of Communism well before the current tide of change in Eastern Europe. His assessment of the situation there was based on his thesis that life, like Islam, is bipolar, and any effort to undo its bipolarity will therefore lead to an unstable state of existence. What bothers us is the irony in his case: the man who strove for this change and predicted it remains incarcerated...