In 1996, Emina Bičakčić welcomed the former first lady of the USA Hillary Clinton in Tuzla and today she is supporting her during her candidacy for the U.S. President, with a desire to see her help BiH in the future.
After the end of the war in BiH, Clinton arrived to BiH in March 1996 to visit the U.S. soldiers and boost their morale. After landing on the Tuzla Airport, Clinton was welcomed on the runway by the then 8-year-old girl Emina Bičakčić. Clinton kissed her and listened to the poem that Emina wrote about peace in BiH.
Emina is now 28 years old, she works as a doctor in Sarajevo, and Hillary is the U.S. presidential candidate.
Speaking of the former U.S. president and husband of Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Emina said that in her eyes he actually stopped the war and that this is the reason why meeting his wife was an unbelievable experience. Until that moment, Emina, just like other citizens in BiH, spent a lot of time without water and electricity. Bombings and snipers were a constant threat.
American journalist Josh Friedman did an interview with Emina. In the beginning, she talked about her difficult childhood.
“It was a war childhood, it was interesting. For us it was normal not to go out, to live in basements and to be afraid of bombs and snipers. That was a normal childhood in Sarajevo,” Bičakčić said.
Emina wrote the poem on the day of ratification of the Dayton Peace Agreement in Paris. Then the incredible sequence of events occurred.
“My family was watching the signing of Dayton on TV. I wrote a poem on my father’s typewriter about the president Clinton and his impact on peace in BiH. My family was silencing me because the typewriter made noise and when I was finished I showed the poem to my mum. She said it wasn’t bad, translated it to English and sent it to the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo. Later I received a call from the Embassy; they wanted me to meet the ambassador. I spoke to him and they told me that they want me to come to Tuzla and read the poem to Hillary and Chelsea Clinton,” said Emina.
Emina said she will never forget the experience from Tuzla.
“For a child like I was, it was interesting to see soldiers, journalists, cameras, planes. When Hillary and Chelsea arrived, I read my poem to them. They kissed me and that was it. Hillary told me she likes my poem and that she was happy to meet me. The Airport was secured but even then BiH was an unsafe territory. You could still feel the war everywhere, but that was normal for me,” Bičakčić said.
Emina supports Hillary Clinton and hopes that she will defeat Donald Trump in the presidential election.
“Go Hillary! That’s all I say. I always liked democratic candidates, I support her. It will be interesting to see a woman ruling the USA, the greatest power in the world,” Emina added.
If Hillary wins, Emina hopes that she will help BiH and the Balkans.
“I want her to help us in this transition period while we are approaching the EU, to help make the Balkans more stable, to support our economy and push us in the right direction in the future. Our young people must find jobs here, instead of going to Germany and other European countries. That is the most important thing now. I hope Hillary can do it,” Bičakčić said.