Uncle Ale – Encyclopedia and the Soul of Banja Luka

12804088_1121190454598576_611063698_nSometimes, just sometimes, an angel enters the body of a human being and lights up the world that is walks in. Banja Luka is lucky to have one such citizen, Alija Mahmutović Ale. He is the man who has been bringing joy into the lives of people around him for decades, with small, good deeds.

Ale is the soul of the city on Vrbas. The city he loves endlessly, he says, just as he loves all the good people, the river, pigeons…

Not even the fact that he was born with autism in the beginning of the Second World War, and thus lived in a society where something like that was considered to be deviant and not accepted, was not something that his fellow citizens turned their heads away for.

Ale is a living encyclopedia that remembers incredible data, both about Banja Luka and the world he lives in. Although he is in the eight decade of life, without a trouble he will state when the plane crash above Zagreb occurred. The same way he remembers the tragic railway accident in Banja Luka from the fifties of the last century and everything related to the catastrophic earthquake in Banja Luka in 1969.

Alija has been taken care of first by his mother, participant in the National Liberation War, and then his sister. Now they are both dead, but the people of Banja Luka strive to show him love and attention as much as they can, and Alija pays them back in more than just one way.

One way in which Ale reciprocates the love and attention given to him is the fact that he attends funerals of all good people. Even when there is no one at the funeral except for the priest or imam, as long as he lives Ale is there to say the final farewell.

(Source: hayat.ba)

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