On April 16, 1992, Irvin Mujičić fled Srebrenica with his mother to Italy, where he lived as a refugee for 18 years. He then moved to Egypt, then left for Belgium, and in 2014 returned to live in Srebrenica.
– Italians are a hospitable people and welcomed us nicely, but it was very difficult and life had to start from scratch. The problem was that we didn't know Italian. However, high school students taught us their language and socialized with us. It was unusual, because in the accident we were lucky. I was educated in Italy, and today I speak Italian, French and English – he said in an interview for Fena Mujičić.
"Sometimes you feel a stranger in your own town."
During the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, he participated in the "Peace March" and decided to leave his job in Belgium and stay in his city.
– When I came to my city I had the feeling that I was a refugee again, because at the very beginning of my return I was called Italian. Sometimes you feel a stranger in your own city – said Mujičić.
Today he is building an ethno village "Eko meta", which is 12 kilometers away from Srebrenica. He finances everything he does with his own funds and with the help of friends. He currently built five cottages for tourists and his friends.
– Tourists have accepted the oasis of nature and staying in nature is very healthy. In the morning, the birds wake me up, it's a special feeling. During the corona virus pandemic, I mostly built houses, and as the pandemic ended, I was visited by about 300 tourists from Italy, Austria, Germany and Belgium. They cannot believe that there is this kind of nature, so to speak "on the wild". To them it's all a miracle, I go hiking with tourists and when we visit one of the inhabitants, they wonder how hospitable our people are and often return to Srebrenica. Everyone is welcome here, and one of the conditions is to respect nature – Mujičić pointed out.
He plans to organize a youth camp in September. Its goal is to raise awareness of the local population about the importance of nature protection and tourism development.
During his stay in nature, he also had an encounter with a bear and says that he was not afraid of that encounter.
– The encounter with the bear is indescribable, when I saw it, I couldn't believe it. I was returning from Srebrenica and saw a bear under an apple tree. I approached him and watched him, when I tried to photograph him, he got scared and ran away – says Mujičić.
Irvin is a big nature lover and says he is "a man from nature." He lives an unusual life today, he has no television, he spends his days in pure nature.
– I always have some work to do here, now it's mushroom season, so I'm going to pick mushrooms and therefore eat healthy. I also have my own garden, exclusively organic production, and in my free time I like to read books – Mujičić emphasized.