by John Ost
Today, in Sarajevo, there are some people who have begun to hope for the return of tourists. Yet those who have survived the war now face a complex gauntlet: A country needs to be rebuilt, jobs need to be created, families need to be reunited, all under a cloud of revenge and threats. So it's not surprising that Bosnians view the future with confusion and cynicism.  

" ...Now even the car pound is working and they give people tickets--you think you must be dreaming--for speeding on this avenue where, a few weeks ago, speed was your only chance of survival. As if this city was just a European capital like any other, as if it wasn't surrounded. As if, under all these new clothes, there were no cracks in the walls. As if, deep down, we had not blown our fuses, as my little daughter Selma puts it, the only one with her little classmates who will wake up from this as from a bad dream. Just like you open wide the windows after the violence of the storms of summer. 

These thoughts come from a project called "Sarajevo Alive-Sarajevo Online," designed to connect the city's residents--through laptop computers--with the outside world. The project, sponsored by World Media, ran for two weeks last spring and started up again in November. It continues to be one of the few ways in which average Sarajevans can express themselves or even try to track down lost family members. (For more excerpts from Sarajevo Alive--Sarajevo Online, click to our Bulletin Board, below. Or if you'd rather send us a message through email, click here.) It's estimated that almost 200,000 people--about half the city's pre-war population--have moved out, but another 100,000 have moved in.  

More than 600,000 Bosnians now live in exile, including many children who were sent abroad when the war began and still do not know whether their parents are alive. Similarly, parents forced to flee ethnic cleansing campaigns must now track down their children, who may be living in a Bosnian orphanage or may have escaped with relatives to another country or to a refugee camp inside Bosnia. The war stories of Bosnia's children take many turns. To get a sense of their lives, click on the subjects. Also, we updated this story with a report from writer Bruce Duffy as he traveled with American troops in Bosnia. See his report "Insde Bosnia."

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  The new life of Sarajevo's "Anne Frank"
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