Tuesday 15 December 2015

Behind God's Back

In 1994 Anne Aylor wrote 'Behind God's Back' after visiting War Child's operations in Mostar. The New Republic asked to publish it, but wanted the article to focus on the charity's mobile bakery which was feeding the besieged town. She felt the whole piece was important and so, 20 years later, it will appear in 'Left Field'. Here is an excerpt: “I meet Hamid, the official responsible for food distribution in the city. Over whiskey, he explains his view of the conflict. ‘Before the war the mosques were empty. Even now, after all this talk of us “Muslims”, there are still only a few old women there at prayer time. The bridge was our life and they took that from us. They took what was most important. This war has nothing to do with religion. When you hear the muezzin call, you can tell the time.’ He adds, ‘I used to live in West Mostar, close to the cathedral. I loved that cathedral and I loved its clock. I used to look out at it from my flat. When the clock stopped because some idiot damaged the building, I was very sad because I couldn’t tell the time any more. It removed something important in my life. You know,’ he said, ‘that clock on the cathedral and the call to prayer from the mosque are one and the same.'  

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