Latest News > The Last Refuge reviewed in the Economist

Hasan Nuhanovic’s new title ‘The Last Refuge‘, published by Peter Owen last July, has been compared to Under Pressure by Faruk Sehic in the Economist magazine. 

The article highlights how rare it is to find an account of the Bosnian war written by Bosniak survivors rather than ‘outsiders or exiles’. The article also expresses the bitterness and severity of the conflict, as both books are judged to give a harrowingly realistic account of the living and dying conditions experienced by the Bosniak population, both civilian and combatant.

Neither tale is an autobiography as such, but both tell the story of their authors’ individual experience and these personal accounts of the horrors of war give the reader an almost sickening sense of reality. Because of the author’s intimate and unique perspective, The Last Refuge shows not a snapshot of war but a bigger picture of life for the fleeing Bosniaks. Once the Nuhanovic family makes it to Srebrenica, the focus shifts to everyday life for refugees living in Srebrenica, as Mr Nuhanovic did for some years. While there, he served as an interpreter between UN forces and the refugees, but ultimately had to tell his compatriots to leave and face the approaching Bosnian Serb forces. His personal loss and drive to move on from that experience shine through the pages.

Having become a UN interpreter and then an activist, Mr Nuhanovic successfully sued the Dutch government in 2011 for allowing its contingent of UN troops to hand over his family to Bosnian Serb forces. Nuhanovic’s father, brother and mother were among those promptly murdered by the Bosnian Serb forces in the Srebrenica massacre in 1995. 

Recounting such memories must have been an emotional and difficult task for the author. However, it does provide us with a hugely informative and emotive read which will broaden the public perception of this horrible conflict.

 

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