Džemal Bijedić from Dubrovnik works as a Chief of Police in the US city of St. Louis. Besides this, he also helps the refugees from Syria. As Bijedić said, he knows best how difficult the beginning of immigrant life in the USA is.
Džemal was born in Dubrovnik in 1984, where he stayed during the entire war. As he said, the post-war economic and social crisis forced his family to move to the USA in 1997, searching for a better life.
In the beginning of his American adventure, the five-member Bijedić family lived in a single room apartment, and the neighbors were not too friendly, either. Things got better after a while, and the story of Bijedić family headed in the positive direction. As Džemal said, his parents found jobs soon and he and his siblings continued going to school.
Today Džemal works in the St. Louis police, and he was recently awarded the rank of police chaplain.
As Džemal said, regardless of how difficult it was for him and his family in the beginning, refugees arriving from Syria these days are experiencing a much harder time.
Together with other residents of St. Louis of Bosnian origins, Džemal launched a campaign of collecting food, school supplies and other necessities for the refugees.
Regarding the BiH community in that city, Bijedić said that the situation is quite good and it can serve as an example to other immigrant communities. There are around 50,000 immigrants of Bosnian origin in St. Louis, and they became such an indispensable part of that city that they are hardly even considered immigrants anymore.
“I would recommend to the young people to educate themselves, help others, above all to the poor. We never know what our fate is. Due to this, we should be humane and not think about ourselves only,” Bijedić said.