Avdo and Fikreta Sandzic, from Potocari, are the first returnees to this place. Today, they produce organic fruits and vegetables, and Avdo’s greatest passion is roses.
They say that thanks to humane people, they live solidly on their own property.
Raspberries, Aronia, and various types of vegetables are only part of what is found on the estate of the Sandzic couple. After staying in Tuzla after the genocide, in 2002 they were the first Bosniak family to return to Gostilj near Potocari.
”No one has ever offended me. There was a family here from Ilijas, Mihajlo and Ljeposava, they didn’t let me raise hay. When I was working on the house, everyone came from the camps, took off the tiles in a day, put them together, erected them,”Avdo says.
Avdo’s three brothers and numerous members of his extended family were killed. Today he says that he would not like to live anywhere else, and many know him as a sincere peacemaker in words and deeds.
He found pleasure most in the roses he grows and sells.
”I carry roses around Bratunac, Srebrenica. Someone takes one, someone takes 10, and someone takes 50. And I go, just like those who go to cafes in the evening, that’s what I do,” he states.
Although in their advanced years, the Sandzici are working hard, and, Avdo says, they owe almost everything to the Tuzla doctor Branka Antic Stauber from the Women’s Power Association.
”I will never be able to thank her, and the most important thing is that she saved my life the first time I had a heart attack. She didn’t move away from me until I regained consciousness.”
Avdo’s motto in life is to be in good relations with people and to cultivate hospitality. Although he is in poor health, the fight for a better life for all his neighbors has always been his guiding force.
He talks, while the scent of roses spreads through the property of this friendly man from Srebrenica.