Young Heroes

Nadja Halilbegovich

by Elena from Calgary

" Those who kill children and the elderly, who bomb hospitals and orphanages are entirely inhumane."
Hero web. Descriptive adjectives (Mindmeister (Elena))
Hero web. Descriptive adjectives (Mindmeister (Elena))

Nadja Halilbegovich was only 12 when her life changed forever and not for the best. Nadja lived in a country called Yugoslavia which is now known as Bosnia and Herzegovina. She was young girl who saw the destruction of her country and the death of many. For many years the only sounds she heard were guns firing, bombs exploding and planes crashing overhead. While the war was raging on, Nadja wrote a journal about her daily life in the war. Her journal is 115 pages long and covers the time span of 1992 until 1995. During this period of time, Nadja's legs were seriously injured. That did not stop her from trying to cheer up/help other people. Every day she risked her life by walking outside in the streets to reach school, go to her music classes and visit people in the hospital with her music class. Nadja is a lucky survivor of the war who was determined, courageous and kind. This is why she is my hero.

I drew it (Elena)
I drew it (Elena)

Nadja was born and raised in the capital of Yugoslavia, Sarajevo. She has one brother named Senil. Her parents lived with her as well. She went to school in Sarajevo as well,even during the war! Nadja managed to find a way to sneak to school without getting shot and killed. She managed to follow her studies decently well. Although from time to time, the bombing was so terrible that Nadja had to miss quite a few days of school. Outside of school, Nadja was very interested in all forms of music. She was part of a music and choir club. During the winter of 1993, Nadja went out when suddenly a bomb hit a few hundred meters away from her house. As the bomb exploded, there were many pieces of razor sharp shrapnel. Unfortunately, Nadja got hit by quite a few pieces of shrapnel. The damages caused her to lose the use of her legs for a few days. Even after that she still had to be very cautious. When she grew up in the war she was looking up to all the people who did not give up when they got injured or fought in the war to try and save their country. Nadja had always wanted to be a singer. She is currently an advocate and freedom speaker. While her legs were injured, no one knew if she would ever be able to walk again. With the war raging on, Nadja's future was not secure.

I drew it (Elena)
I drew it (Elena)

One of the challenges Nadja went through during the war that she described in her journal was all the stress of everyday life. She stressed out when her parents had to go to work. Although she was proud of her parents helping out in the war, she was usually worried. Her determination and the determination of others helped her throughout her life and during the war. So did the Red Cross and the young boy in France that sent her food every month. The war had certainly shaped a big part of her future life. It mostly influenced her in being a peace advocate. Despite the fact that Nadja was very successful in life, it has not always been like that. Once again, the pieces of shrapnel from the bomb affected her greatly. For example she was not able to walk, run or stand up for a long time. One thing that Nadja did that made her exceptional was that she always had that little spark in her that made her always want to help people in need. Another thing is that Nadja has always spoken against injustice. Every time she was invited to speak on the radio during the war, she always spoke about the injustice of the war and she also read poems that she wrote. During the war, many things were rationed. For example, everyone now can dry their hair with a hair dryer, but in the war it was very rare to get a single day with electricity! My point is that in her journal, Nadja explained how excited she was when she could finally re use the hair dryer! She has won the Woman of Distinction Award in 2000, The Honorary Doctorate in 2013 and The Best Book Award: A Sarajevo Story, My Childhood Under Fire in 2006.

What pleased me about Nadja was that when she spoke on the radio during the war was that she always said something to help the people suffering from either a loss, injury or the war itself. The three questions I would like to ask Nadja are : "What was the one thing you would have taken if you had to leave your home due to a air raid attack?", " If you could chose a single type of fruit or vegetable that you could eat during the war, what would it be?" and " In how many ways did the war affect you?" I wouldn't want to be this person due to all of the hardship she has lived through. Although, I do admire her because she has through so many things that many of us will never experience in our life. I really enjoyed reading her journal because it gave me an idea of everyday life in the war. What I learned in the book was that you should never give up, no matter how hard life can be. A few things that could apply in our everyday life is that even in the worst of times, eventually everything will be OK. I would recommend this book to anyone that would want to learn about the life in a war. I really liked the book because it gave us the point of view from another person who has lived through something very scary. I am very happy that I chose this person to read about. Nadja is such an inspiring person! I would look up to Nadja as a hero because she has proven to the entire world that you can be a hero. You can help the world and the lives of many people.

Page created on 3/11/2015 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 3/11/2015 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Nadja Halilbegovich - Her peace organization
Sarajevo War Survivor - About her life in the war
About Nadja's Journal - About her book
About her Education - The university she went to

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